5 British Post War Jet Fighters: English Electric Lightning, Hawker Hunter, Blackburn Buccaneer and Others
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5 British Post War Jet Fighters: English Electric Lightning, Hawker Hunter, Blackburn Buccaneer and Others

5 British Post War Jet Fighters: English Electric Lightning, Hawker Hunter, Blackburn Buccaneer and Others
                  The Cold War started where World War II left off. During this period which lasted for 44 years (1947-1991) the internal differences between Allied member countries particularly the Soviet Union and the Western World (US, Great Britain, France and other NATO member countries) had been fuelled by the existing competition in military technology. Aside from the major issues concerning the ultimate weapon of mass destruction as demonstrated by the detonation of the atomic bomb in Japan by the US, the existing competition brought by the introduction of the jet engine had just began. Now these major technology leaders of the world are figured up in a new threat watching each other’s backs building military hardware to specifications which through intelligence networks had either been matched or surpassed by each key member. In aviation, with the initial lead as the home country of the brains behind the jet engine, Great Britain has pursued her advance in jet aircraft designs that secured her own stand in the Cold War.

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Supermarine Swift (1948) – The Swift was a single seat jet fighter that served the Royal Air Force (RAF) from its introduction in 1954 until the 1970s. It had varied roles from an interceptor to an aerial reconnaissance variant. A number of prototypes were built which made early flights in December 1948 (Type 510) which were instrumental to the evolution of the final version that was made in numbers (197 units) that were placed on service with the RAF. It was powered with 1 Rolls Royce Avon RA. 7R/114 turbojet giving it a maximum speed of 1,148 km/h (713 mph) at sea level.

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De Havilland Sea Vixen (1951) – The Sea Vixen had a glorious service with the Fleet Arm (the air component of the Royal Navy) from its introduction in 1959 to its retirement in 1972. A proven carrier based defence fighter, it was characterized by twin boom and power from twin Rolls Royce Avon Mk. 208 turbojets giving it a maximum speed of 1,110 km/h (690 mph) at sea level. About 145 units of this aircraft were built and maintained by the Royal Navy until its retirement. One aircraft remained in flying condition with De Havilland Aviation based in Bournemouth Airport (UK) and participates in airshows around the country.

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Hawker Hunter (1951) – This aircraft was one of the Royal Air Force’s dedicated jet fighter. First flight was made in 1951 but design refinements took 5 years until its introduction in 1956. The type has initial retirement in the early 70s (UK) however many remained flying in other air forces outside. In 2006 however, some numbers re-entered RAF service to simulate as targets on a surface to air missile program. This aircraft is powered by a single Rolls Royce Avon 207 turbojet giving it a maximum speed of 1,150 km/h (715 mph) at sea level. Hawker Siddeley had 1,972 units built including those under licence.

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English Electric Lightning (1954) – A supersonic jet fighter noted for its unusual engine configuration (one above the other ), the Lightning was  the only British built Mach 2 jet aircraft of the Cold War. It was built by English Electric which later joined with other 3 British aircraft manufacturing companies ( Vickers-Armstrongs, Bristol Aeroplane Company, Hunting Aircraft) to form British Aircraft Corporation (now British Aerospace/Bae) in 1960. First flight was made in 1954 but formal introduction to active service with the Royal Air Force started in December 1959. Based on the Lightning F6 variant powered by 2 Rolls Royce Avon 301R afterburning turbojets, maximum speed is at mach 2.0 (2,100 km/h or 1,300 mph) at 36,000 ft. With its speed, it gained effective role as an interceptor and had served with outside air forces (Kuwait Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force) before the type was retired in 1988 (RAF). There are some numbers still flying in Cape Town South Africa and one operated by Anglo American Lightning Organization in the US.

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Blackburn Buccaneer (1958) – The Buccaneer was Blackburn Aircraft’s low-level strike jet fighter built for both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. Blackburn was however integrated to be part of Hawker Siddeley having with it the tooling and maintenance support for the type. First flight was made in 1958 and introduction to service with Royal Navy and Royal Air Force started in 1962 until it was retired in 1994. The aircraft was also tailored to fill up nuclear weapons delivery in 1965 making its role vital during the Cold War. Some numbers were also in service with the South African Air Force. The type based on the Buccaneer S.2 was powered by twin Rolls Royce Spey Mk 101 turbofans giving it a maximum speed of 1,074 km/h (667 mph).

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Electric_Lightning

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackburn_Buccaneer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Hunter

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Sea_Vixen

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Swift

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Comments (8)

Top notch article.

Fascinating jet fighters!

Beautifully done, as usual. I have come to expect nothing less from you Deep Blue

Great write Will. I wish you had been with us when we were out at the horse fields the other day because you could have told us what the jet was that flew over low. It was dark and big! not like the other really fast jets that come over normally.

Yes, aircraft spotting is actually my favorite, Lisa..

nobert bermosa

tweeted,submitted to digg and SU,liked (FB),tumbs up,carry on kabayan

nobert bermosa

tweeted,submitted to digg and SU,liked (FB),tumbs up,carry on kabayan

Your fact filled article is valuable and interesting.thank you.

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