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Top 10 British combat aircraft of all time

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posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 10:20 PM
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I have a soft spot for great piston engine fighters in particular this example of endearing piston engine engineering the Hawker Sea Fury.



Sea Furies served extensively in the Korean War, operating from Royal Navy carriers HMS Glory, HMS Ocean and HMS Theseus, and Australian carrier HMAS Sydney. They usually paired with Fairey Fireflies for ground attack missions. The Sea Fury excelled in this role, often proving superior to the enemy’s modern jets. For example, on August 9, 1952, Royal Navy Lieutenant “Hoagy” Carmichael, flying a Sea Fury of HMS Ocean’s 802 Squadron, shot down a Soviet-built North Korean Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 15, marking the first such kill by a piston-engined fighter, and the only air-to-air kill by a British pilot flying a British aircraft in the Korean War.


Hawker Fury MK-10





That aside I must mention something in answer to this,



6 BAC TSR 2 - Yes, only one of these was ever flown, but that was not the fault of the aircraft. A mach 2.5 (mach 3 depending on engine development) long range strike bomber this aircraft was the most advanced in the world by a mile when it flew in 1965,


Beg to differ here waynos,

I would place the XB-70 Valkyrie as the most technically advanced A/C of the mid-sixties.



Flight History

5:30am, 21 September, 1964

Al White and Colonel Joe Cotton begin their pre-flight inspection of the Valkyrie. Today's plan isn't a taxi test, or an engine run-up. White and Cotton will lift the XB-70, the heaviest plane ever built, into the skies above the Mojave Desert and fly from North American's Palmdale ("Plant 42") facility to Edwards Air Force Base, the Air Force's Flight Test Center (AFFTC).




October 14th, 1965.

"On this flight the XB-70 proved its capability of attaining Mach 3 at 70,000 feet!" -- Al White's summary in the pilot's report for Flight 1-17.


Flight of the Valkyrie

Just thought I'd mention it, not meaning in any way to diss british A/C which have a long and storied history.





posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 04:38 AM
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Originally posted by mark_interrupted
What about the Hawker Hunter. A great fighter if there ever was one.


*SLAPS FOREHEAD* What a dummy! (thats me not you!
)

*shakes head*
I cannot believe I forgot the Hunter. Maybe I should put that in instead of the Hawk, that would make FIN happier too



Phoenix; Yes the Fury is a real beauty, always been one of my favourites. If you're interested the link you posted is not quite right when it says the Fury was based (very loosely) on the Fw-190 but its nearly right in that the aircraft did benefit from a captured Fw-190. The Fury was designed to F2/43 and what we learned from the FW 190 was how to design an efficient and streamlined cowling for a radial engine. The Germans perfected this with the Fw 190 but the allies never quite got the hang of it until a captured one was examined.

I will add some pictures of the Fury for you in case you haven't seen the different engine combinations tried on it before the Centaur was standardised.


Regarding the XB-70, of course you have a point, but I maintain that the TSR 2 was the most advanced overall, Of course as an airframe design the XB-70 was more adventurous and advanced but with the TSR 2 it was the overall package and it was the most sophisticated and integrated systems package ever attempted at thqat date, mostly stuff that the XB-70 did not need of course, like automatic terrain following and bomb aiming computers, things that are in use today in much more modern form of course but the TSR 2 was the first to incorporate them, also the airframe of the TSR 2 was designed to fly at mach 3, this was meant to allow for future development though, it was not intended to be a mach 3 bomber when it entered service.

I think there are undoubtedly areas in which the B-70 was more advanced though and maybe I should add 'in its class' to that sentiment?

[edit on 25-11-2005 by waynos]

[edit on 25-11-2005 by waynos]



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 05:09 AM
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here's the info, the pictures are a bit fuzzy but I can't do anything about that, sorry, all this is from Putnam's 'Hawker Aircraft Since 1920' by F K Mason








posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 07:17 AM
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Waynos,

You've forgotten one very important aircraft! The Stringbag!

The Fairey Swordfish, the legendary ‘Stringbag’, was a Torpedo Spotter Reconnaissance biplane dive-bomber which went into service with the Fleet Air Arm pre-war in 1936. Initially, Swordfishes operated from the large fleet carriers. Later Swordfishes operated from escort carriers, and were very effective against U-boats. The nickname Stringbag indicated the versatility of the Swordfish, which could carry an unlikely combination of loads, but also referred to its jungle of bracing wires, which belonged to a past age. The Swordfish remained operational until the end of the war, gaining the distinction of being the last biplane to see active service.



- Phil



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 09:55 AM
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You see! I said it was hard.



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by waynos


Regarding the XB-70, of course you have a point, but I maintain that the TSR 2 was the most advanced overall, Of course as an airframe design the XB-70 was more adventurous and advanced but with the TSR 2 it was the overall package and it was the most sophisticated and integrated systems package ever attempted at thqat date, mostly stuff that the XB-70 did not need of course, like automatic terrain following and bomb aiming computers, things that are in use today in much more modern form of course but the TSR 2 was the first to incorporate them, also the airframe of the TSR 2 was designed to fly at mach 3, this was meant to allow for future development though, it was not intended to be a mach 3 bomber when it entered service.

I think there are undoubtedly areas in which the B-70 was more advanced though and maybe I should add 'in its class' to that sentiment?



Waynos thanks for the engine varient info on the Sea Fury, I was unaware of the earlier versions.

Along with the XB-70 there is also the Lockheed A-12 airframe that stands as an A/C way ahead of its time (Mach 3.3 capabilty) - however your point about avionics package sophistication on the TSR-2 is well noted.



25 April 1962: First flight of the prototype A-12 (#06924) with Lockheed test pilot Lou Schalk.
30 April 1962: First "official" flight of A-12 (#06924) with Lockheed test pilot Lou Schalk.
2 May 1962: A-12 goes supersonic for first time during second test flight.


A-12



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 06:05 PM
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I think that the musquito was the most important brittish design ever. It was the first real multirole aircraft.



posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 08:17 AM
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Originally posted by tomcat ha
I think that the musquito was the most important brittish design ever. It was the first real multirole aircraft.

Did you know there is a roumour the mosquito was made out of wood. That would compare to the US P-38 Lightning, The Bristol Beufighter would compare to the P-61 Black Widow.

www.aviation-history.com...

The Avro Lincoln is another one of my favourite post war aircraft.

www.rafmuseum.org.uk...

There was another post war british plane derived from the mosquito.

The best V-Bomber was the Victor although the i prefer the Vulcan.
There is a Vulcan in blackpool and once it was open to the public.



posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 10:05 AM
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Thats no rumour Browno, its an established fact. The Mosquito fuselage was formed from composite balsa sandwich without the usual frames and stringers and went together with glue, pretty much like a model kit. It was revolutionary and avoided relying on 'strategic materials'.

The same construction method was used on the aircraft that was developed from it, which you mentioned, which was the Hornet long range fighter (flew in 1943 not post war), and also the Vampire and Venom jets retained wooden construction in their fuselages.

DH Hornet





posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 01:21 PM
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www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk...

www.avrovulcan.org.uk...

www.airsceneuk.org.uk...

The Blackpool Vulcan was sold to a pub owner near manchester. He bought it off e bay. I have actually been inside this one when i was a young kid back in 93,94 and 1995. It was quite scatty inside the cockpit and the joysticks were cut off probably by yobbos.

Its a shame this Vulcan XL391 has not been looked after all this time since its arrival in 1983.



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 03:49 PM
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I believe the Hawk has the least amount of ground time to hours of flight of any jet aircraft in the world -least i read that once. so its rightly there in the list. Since the TSR2 never became operational how can it be classed as a combat aircraft ? surly the fairy delta 2, Sunders Roe 53 & EAP also qualify at this level. although I agree the tsr 2 was an incredible machine. The hawker hunter deserves a place along with the Vulcan, Victor & Nimrod. & then theirs new types like the Tornado & Typhoon although not entirely British. It is going to be hard to whittle down the 10. Im not particularly familiar with pre ww2 aircraft so have not included these. Its the engines that make us brits stand out from the crowd.

so the candidates by engine in no particular order:

Prop:
Rolls Royce Kestrel: Hawker Fury
Rolls Royce Merlin: Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire,
De Havilland Mosquito, Avro Lancaster,
Bristol Hercules: Handley Page Hallifax
Rolls Royce Griffon: Supermarine Spitfire
Napier Saber: Hawker Typhoon

Jet:
Rolls Royce Derwent: Gloster Meteor
Rolls Royce Avon: Hawker Hunter, English Electric Lightning,
English Electric Canberra
Rolls Royce Spey: Blackburn Buccaneer, Hawker Siddeley Nimrod
Rolls Royce Olympus: Avro Vulcan, TSR 2
Rolls Royce Conway: Handley Page Victor
Rolls Royce Pegasus: sea Harrier /Harrier GR 7-9
Rolls Royce Auour: Hawk, Sepcat jaguar
Rolls Royce RB 199: Tornado
Rolls Royce EJ200: Eurofighter Typhoon

So thats 22 in my top ten



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 05:11 PM
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Nice post, good stuff.

I can answer this point though


Since the TSR2 never became operational how can it be classed as a combat aircraft ? surly the fairy delta 2, Sunders Roe 53 & EAP also qualify at this level.


The crucial difference is that all those other aircraft were designed and built as experimental aircraft from the outset, TSR 2 was a supersonic bomber, albeit one that was never allowed to reach its potential. It was a genuine combat aircraft and those others were not and as it was built and flown the achievement in creating it was a genuine one, even if it never did reach RAF service, this was an act of political cowardice and not a fault in the aircraft.

I wanted also to consider the Hawker P1121, but as this prototype was only partially complete when the axe fell I felt that would be stretching things too far.

[edit on 2-4-2006 by waynos]



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 06:11 PM
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Didn't see that one... The Arado 234 B2 saw action in 1945, although it was limited, with KG 76 at least against the Ludendorf bridge in/near Remagen. Pierre Clostermann describes his encounter with one as he was on a patrol covering the bridge, in his book "the big show". Thus the 234 was the first operational pure jet bomber (since you don't want to count the Me 262 A2), sorry for you Brits



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by bmdefiant

Originally posted by kilcoo316

Originally posted by bmdefiant
part of the development of Close Air Support "Taxi Rank" operations.



Surely that would be attributed to the Stuka?


Forgot about that... Must be the distinction between having on call CAS and scheduled missions for this.I stand ready to be corrected ;-)


If we're going to say it was Stuka then we have to go back to Sopwith Salamanders and WW1 Heinkels.

After all, the Luftwaffe only had Stukas because Udet brought a couple of Curtiss dive-bombers back to Germany with him after a trip to the US.



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 06:45 PM
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Are joint project with other nations eligible?

If don't would any of them deserve a spot on the list if it was all British?

BTW I still think the SR-71 was the most advanced plane of the 60's. Its design was as Kelly Johnson said about the Y-12/SR-71:

"It makes no sense to just take this one or two steps ahead, because we'd be buying only a couple of years before the Russians would be able to nail us again. No, I want us to come up with an airplane that can rule the skies for a decade or more."

And he sure did...



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by echoblade
Didn't see that one... The Arado 234 B2 saw action in 1945, although it was limited, with KG 76 at least against the Ludendorf bridge in/near Remagen...


Did not know that. At least this would appear to be genuine, not like the rumours of Maus seeing combat...



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 08:59 PM
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posted by HowlrunnerIV: “Waynos, Canberra was so much more than that . . it was the world's first operational jet bomber . . the Canberras flying in Vietnam were Australian. The Yanks had something called a Martin B57 . . Hell, the RAF still fly them in PR9 form. Is there another military aircraft with such a service record?[Edited by Don w]
.

1. USAF Canberras had side by side seating. I think the first Canberra’s had tandem seating. The USAF used one version - I think the RB57-F - with extended wings that gave it 60,000 feet operational capability. Fuel tanks in the bomb bay gave longer range. P&W J57 were upgraded to P&W TF100. www.b-57canberra.org/rb57recon.htm

2. America’s B52 went into service in 1953. I believe about 450 were built and about 150 remain in service.

I was stationed at K14, Kimpo, 67 TRW, in late 1953, when the 77 Squadron of RAAF pulled its Gloster Meteors out for home.

[edit on 4/2/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Apr, 2 2006 @ 09:39 PM
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America’s Top 10 Fighters

1. F14 Tomcat by Grumann
2. F16 Fighting Falcon by Lockheed
3. SR71 Blackbird by Lockheed
4. F117A Nighthawk by Lockheed
5. F4C Phantom II by McDonnell
6. F86 Sabre Jet by North American
7. F6F Hellcat by Grumann
8. P51 Mustang by North American
9. F4U Corsair by Chance Vought
10. P47 Thunderbolt by Republic
11. P38 Lightning by Lockheed

[edit on 4/2/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 03:42 AM
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Don White, there are a lot of threads like this, the 'top ten' this or that was a fad on this board for a while and so there is a thread already for US planes (in fact several)
Also you distinction between the seating arrangements between UK and US Canberra's are the wrong way round, it was the original Canberra that had side by side seating, although the B-57A was unchanged , all other B-57's were tandem seaters.


echoblade, Yes I knew about the Ar-234, but why sorry for us Brits? We were quite slow to produce a jet bomber and I think the B-45 and Il-28 (as well as the EF-140) were all airborne before the Canberra.

Our only saving grace in this area was that all the US designs paid too much attention to the wilder German ideas and were subsequently rubbish, hence the B-57


[edit on 3-4-2006 by waynos]



posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 04:39 AM
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Waynos good post and good list - overall I think your top 10 is about right but I'd put the Bucc, Lancaster and Hurricane higher up.

The Bucc is probably my favourite UK aircraft of all time - the Falklands would have been over a lot quicker if we'd had a few down south at the time

Makes you think what we could have done but for a few stupid decisions in the 60's (cancelling the carriers and scrapping every fixed-wing a/c in development apart from the Bucc & the Harrier).

BTW My grandfather built Lancs at Avro Woodford (Cheshire). At a funeral I met an old boy who worked with him who said that on every proving flight one of the workers would be secreted in the rear turret and be taken for a spin - apparently my Grandad loved it and went up loads of times



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