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Aircraft names, or 'nothing new under the sun'

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posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 05:17 PM
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The debate about the naming of the F-35, and some of the suggestions, makes me think that some members may want to know just where names have been used before, maybe even the USMC too, seeing as they suggested 'Spitfire II', clearly not knowing that the famous British fighter of WW2 already WAS the Spitfire II! The 'Spitfire I' was a spectacularly unsuccessful fighter prototype which flew two years earlier than the famous one and which led RJ Mitchell to think 'can do better'.

Before I go on I should point out that we in the UK do not subscribe to such tackiness as enumerating planes as if they were Monarchs - You can have George V etc but not Spitfire II, it's just Spitfire, or Typhoon or whatever. In America there was the F-4 Phantom II, in Britain it was just the Phantom. This had nothing to do with the fact that we didn't actually operate the FH-1, it's just the way we do things here. I know it makes it easier for Americans to tell them apart, but most English people who are interested enough to have heard of them seem to manage.

So, planes in current service that have been named by leafing through dusty old plane books?

Well, clearly the first Typhoon, the Hawker Typhoon, was a Napier Sabre engined fighter on 1940 vintage that, like the early P-51, was inadequate until switched to ground attack where, unlike the P-51, it served for the rest of the war in fine style.

Not so well known is the fact that the Hawker Tornado was an exact clone of it, but fitted with the 'X-24' cylinder Vulture engine, the Vulture however was a dismal failure and that is why almost nobody has heard of the WW2 Tornado except anoraks like me.

Even less well know are two pre-WW2 Hawkers whose name is carried on current front line RAF aircraft. The Hawker Nimrod was the carrier based version of the RAF's Fury biplane fighter. The Hawker Harrier was a late 1920's ground attack aircraft, pre-dating the famous Hart, that was unsuccessful and remained a prototype.

Of course the Americans do it too, and how! The most frequently used single aircraft identity in history must almost certainly be 'Vought Corsair'. There are of course the two mega famous ones, the 1960's A-7 and the WW2 F4U, but apart from these two Vought seems to have named almost every single new naval combat aircraft it produced up to WW2 'Corsair'. There are three, utterly different, Vought Corsairs listed in the 1938 Janes All the Worlds Aircraft for example, and none of them are the F4U which hadn't been produced yet. It appears to have been an almost generic name for the companies products at the time. In todays USAF there is the Thunderbolt II, named after the P-47, and the Globemaster III, named after two previous Douglas heavy transports, the C-74 and C-133, remember, Boeing only inherited the C-17.


Its not only military planes of course. The first Boeing Stratoliner was the 1938 Model 377, based on the B-17. But later, in the 1950's, Boeing launched a new 'Stratoliner', this time based on the KC-135 tanker. Of course this time the name didn't stick and everyone simply came to know it as the 707, which kick started the entire 7-7 tradition for Boeing jetliners.

These are examples of tradition being carried forward by a manufacturer and I could trawl my library to add many many more but I wont because if you aren't bored already, you soon would be. Terefore to finish I will make a minor mention of how names are often just pilfered by other firms, because they like them.

Examples here include the North American FJ Fury, navalised Sabre, presumably because they thought, after using it twice already, Britian had finished with the name, and the Sepecat Jaguar, BAC rescuing this fine name from being wasted on a nondescript Grumman prototype of 15 years earlier.

We also nicked 'Lightning' after Lockheed had first used in on the P-38, though it seems much more aptly applied to BAC's fast climbing interceptor of 1960. Perhaps a few at Lockheed think its about time they had it back? After all, they already tried once already, applying it to the YF-22, so, truth be told, if they give it to the F-35 it CANNOT be 'Lightning II', it will have to be the 'Lightning IV', which is just silly, you see why we Brits don't bother with the numbers?




posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 05:28 PM
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F-35 Invader II after the A-26 Invader. apt for the times.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 05:28 PM
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Just to add, please feel free to add whatever other duplicate names you wish, for instance, everyone who wants to tell us how a Lockheed Orion is a four engined ASW aircraft based on the Electra which was a 1950's tuboprop airliner, While the Lockheed Orion was previously a single engined early thirties airliner and the Lockheed Electra was its late 1930's twin engined replacement. See how interesting that is?


Incidentally, 'Spitfire II' was one of the very early names discussed for the Eurofighter EFA in the late 1980's but someone got a slap or woke up, and thankfully it never happened.

I don't think we would accept any 'Spitfire II'. Just like we wouldn't accpt a King Arthur II or a Robin Hood II, especially an American born one


[edit on 5-6-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 07:11 AM
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The YF-22 has never officially be named Lightning II. I have thought it would be named like this just because it just like a single engine F-22, so should inherit nick name of YF-22.



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 07:52 AM
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I always like Gruman’s cat naming convention. It’s a shame they’re out of the fighter business.



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 05:10 PM
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Hello i´m new here

i´ve been following your comments about the repetaed names of fighters, son i prefer to find an original name, as F-22 Raptor.

So i ´will suggest some names for the F-35:

Eel
Shark
Marlin
Narval
Harpy ( the biggest eagle on earth) and those mythological winged beings
Squid
Spider
Manta
Ray

hehehe...well i can imagine other names but they´re not serious.

Bye



posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 08:45 PM
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the original Nighthawk fighter: www.militaryfactory.com...



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 03:22 AM
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Ooh, good spot planeman, I'd forgotten about the original Nighthawk.

welcome on board mapanare, I hope you enjoy it here


from your list of 'first time names' I'd have to discount two as there was a Blackburn Shark (early 30's) and a Sud Oest Narval (late 40's) but I can't place any of the rest being used before



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 04:07 AM
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Martin SP-5B 'Marlin'
aeroweb.brooklyn.cuny.edu...

So dice with that one



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 04:30 PM
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Duh (why isn't there a 'slaps forehead' smiley?) Good catch northwolf, shame on me for missing that one


Some other 'dogfight doubles' which may or may not be obvious;

The F-18 Hornet shares its name with the DH Hornet of 1943. The DH Hornet was a single seat twin engined fighter developed from an older design and which became adapted to fly from aircraft carriers, hows that for a coincidence?


Westland's 1950's helicopters re-used older names, the first Westland Whirlwind was a twin engined fighter of 1938 in the same category as the P-38. It was the first twin engined single seat fighter ever built for the RAF but was bedevilled by engine problems which cut short its career, the second Whirlwind was the licence built Sikorsky S.55.

Westland also produced a licence built S-58 as the Wessex, the original Westland Wessex however was a rather heavy single engined biplane 'limousine' of the 1920's, one of the very first 'executive aircraft' ever built.



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 05:12 PM
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Thank you Waynos

You´re right, i forgot the Blackburn Shark, and the french Sud Ouest Narval, and what about Ghost, i don´t recall anything with this name.

Other names i ´ve thinking could be:

Shadow, but I think it could be a better name for a black project
Grizzly
Pterosaur
Orca, spanish name for a killer whale
Porpoise
Crocodile, nice name we could call it Croc...
Mantis
Agressor

Well, i just hope they will not call it something II o r III...

Raravia



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 05:25 PM
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There was a Beech Grizzly and Mantis rings a distant bell but I can't place it. Thinking along similar lines toi yourself I don't recall ever seeing a Spectre (maybe a good name for stealth) or a Firestorm.


edit, placed it, Mantis was a NATO reporting name for a Yak trainer so it does count as a first time name, the only NATO name that was ever officially adopted by the plane is 'Flanker'


[edit on 7-6-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 05:29 PM
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F-35 Buzzard. I've never heard of a fighter called Buzzard, at least not in English (The Israeli F-15C "Akef"...) although some light aircraft have had that name.



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 05:29 PM
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Though im not sure if this was the offical name the

YF-23 (Black widow) and the P-61 Black widow.



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 05:35 PM
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I think Northrop did name the YF-23 Black Widow officially so yes thats a good one.

Translations; Draken and Viggen have been used in their English form (Douglas Dragon and Republic Thunderbolt) but I don't think there has been a Griffon?



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 06:00 PM
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Didnt they use a griffon engine for the spitfire and then the seafire? Dont know if that counts....

Edit:
But wait theres more... The RCAF ch-146 Griffon

www.airforce.dnd.ca...

Jensy

[edit on 7-6-2006 by jensy]



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 06:04 PM
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yes, there were also engines called Spectre and Ghost but engine names don't count as hardly anyone remembers them


You got me the second time though. I know its 'only' a helicopter but still, damn.


[edit on 7-6-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 10:29 PM
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IMO the naval version should be called something to do with a mean flesh eating fish like a shark or maybe a pirhana.

Air force should be a bird prey of some type or perhaps a ferocious land animal.

and maybe the Marines could name it after some amphibious animal. How about that creapy fish the Snake head which can live out of water for like 3 days and have been known to make their way across land from one body of water to another



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 06:25 AM
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I vote for Sea Dart, a jet which harkens back to the F2Y and the 'Delta Dart', both built by 'Convair' (->GD->Lockheed) and for which historical monikers the F-35 is just as likely to achieve widespread success.

www.aerospaceweb.org...
www.1stfighter.org...

Of course having a wing like two F-16's, the F-35C is not going to be terribly projectilish as it's landbased cousins are.

With the ATL system in mind, I would go with (Sopwith) Snipe or (Hawker) Fury for the land based UK versions since BAe seems to more or less have swallowed whole /all/ the UK aero-industry subhouses.

OTOH, in recollection of the time when Lunch-errr, Lockheed actually owned their products, 'Star' could also be used.

Then, when the laser came online, you could have: 'Snipe-r'. 'Shooting Star' or (snicker, drum roll please) 'Star Fury'. Even 'Gunstar'.

Of course if the Brits go only to sea with the F-35B, the laser system is out but that doesn't mean you couldn't go with 'Roc' or 'Skua' as being historically representative of fighters that weren't.

home.online.no...
freespace.virgin.net...

(Grey) Ghost has been applied (unnofficially, as was 'Black Widow') for the lighter of the two YF-23 prototypes.

Spectre is the name given to the Pave Aegis AC-130A/E/H as I recall.

Again, I am as entirely /against/ the Lightning nickname as you can get. The P-38 was designed for high altitude air to air fighting. This machine is a mud slugger. The P-38 was fast and had twin engines. This jet is neither. The P-38 was built in only small numbers and is generally considered a failure for that reaon alone.

ONLY in it's 'secondary roles' as a long range specialist interdictor, recce and fighter sweep platform does the Lightning name apply to the F-35 mission and then only tangentially.


KPl.



posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 03:03 PM
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Originally posted by ch1466
I vote for Sea Dart, a jet which harkens back to the F2Y and the 'Delta Dart', both built by 'Convair' (->GD->Lockheed) and for which historical monikers the F-35 is just as likely to achieve widespread success.

www.aerospaceweb.org...
www.1stfighter.org...



I was thinking of Dart Frog so we could be on to something



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