|BRISTOL BEAUFIGHTER The Bristol Beaufighter was a Torpedo Bomber and had a crew of two. with a maximum speed of 330mph and a ceiling of 29,000 feet. maximum normal range of 1500 miles but could be extended to 1750 miles. The Bristol Beaufighter carried four 20mm cannon in the belly of the aircraft and upto six .303in browning machine guns in the wings. it could also carry eight 3 -inch rockets, 1605 lb torpedo or a bomb load of 1,000 lb. The Bristol Beaufighter first flew in July 1939 and with some modifications entered service with the Royal Air Force in July 1940. In the winter of 1940 - 1941 the Beaufighter was used as a night fighter. and in March 1941 the aircraft was used at Coastal Command as a long range strike aircraft. and in 1941, the Beaufighter arrived in North Africa and used as a forward ground attack aircraft. The Bristol Beaufighter was used also in India, Burma and Australia. A total of 5,564 Beaufighters were built until production in Britain finished in 1945, but a further 364 were built in Australia for the Australian Air Force|
|Construction of the first SR-71 Blackbird (61-7950) was completed by Lockheed at its Burbank California Skunk Works in October of 1964. The aircraft was then broken down for shipment to Palmdale, California where it was reassembled. Kelly Johnson, the famous aircraft designer for Lockheed, had oversight responsibility for this project, and Kelly gave specific instructions to Robert Gilliland, the pilot chosen for the first flight of the Blackbird. The first flight was originally scheduled for December 21, 1964. Bad weather had caused a one-day postponement. During the first flight only Gilliland would be on board, and a trio of F-104 fighters would fly chase. Following take off Gilliland performed a number of stability and handling checks. He then took the Blackbird up to 30,000 feet and easily went supersonic (hitting Mach 1.2) before some caution lights came on. Determining that he faced no serious problems Gilliland accelerated to Mach 1.5 and climbed to 50,000 feet. Returning to Palmdale he made a subsonic flyby before lining up for his landing. The first six SR-71s produced were assigned to flight-testing at Edwards AFB. The first successful aerial refueling of a Blackbird occurred on April 25, 1965, and two pilot training aircraft (designated SR-71B) were delivered in 1965. A set back to the program occurred in January 1966 when an SR-71 was lost over New Mexico and a year later the original Blackbird (61-7950) was destroyed when the craft caught fire during braking tests at Edwards. Overall ten Blackbirds were lost during the first six years of the program. A total of thirty-two SR-71A aircraft were produced. In March of 1990 an SR-71 was flown from California to Washington before being retired to the Smithsonians Air and Space Museum.|
|BOULTON PAUL DEFIANT Built as a fighter, with a crew of two. Maximum speed of 304 mph, and a ceiling of 30,350 feet. armament on the defiant was four .303 browing machine guns in the Boulton Paul Turret. Designed as a intercepter fighter, the Defiant first flew in August 1937. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in October 1939 with no 264 squadron. and first flew in operations in march 1940 the Boulton Paul Defiant was certainly no match for the German Fighters, due to their lack of fire power as the defiant had no wing mounted machine guns. Heavy losses. The aircraft was re deployed as a night -Fighter in the autumn of 1940. This role also being taken over by Bristol Beaufighters in 1941, leaving the defiant for training, target tug, and air-sea rescue roles. A Total of 1075 Boulton Paul Defiant's were built |
|The McDonnel Douglas (now part of Boeing ) F-15 Eagle has been the USAFs primary air superiority fighter for more than two decades. McDonnell Douglas won the competition to develop this aircraft in 1969 over competing proposals from North American Rockwell and Fairchild Hiller. The Eagle was designed to counter the threat of new Soviet fighters like the Mig-25. The first development versions of the Eagle flew in 1972. Designed as a single pilot, twin-turbofan, all weather fighter, the Eagle had far superior acceleration and maneuverability compared to the aircraft it would replace. The F-15A was capable of speeds in excess of 1600-MPH and had an operational ceiling of nearly 70,000 feet. Although the attack role was a secondary design consideration, the Eagle can carry an impressive bomb load of more than eight tons (externally mounted.) The F-15 is a large, very sophisticated aircraft. It is considered among the most successful modern fighters with over 100 aerial combat victories with no losses
Since the 1970s, the Eagle has also been exported to Japan, Isreal and Saudi Arabia. Despite originally being envisaged as a pure air superiority aircraft, the design proved also to be an all-weather strike derivative, and in 1989 the later development version the F-15E Strike Eagle entered service. The F-15 is expected to be in service with the U.S. Air Force until 2025.
|Built by the Consolidated Aircraft Company and designed by Isaax M Ladden. the Catalina first flew on the 28th march 1935. and first flew with the US Navy in October 1936. In 1935 the cost of each Catalina was $90,000 and just over 4,000 were built. The Catalina was used in various maritime roles. but it was designed initially as a maritime patrol bomber. Its long range was intended to seek out enemy transport and supply ships. but was eventually used in many roles including Convoy escort,, anti submarine warfare and search and rescue. In its role as a search and rescue aircraft it probably is best remembered for many thousands of aircrews shot down in the Pacific and less extend in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The Catalina was the most successful flying boat of the war and even served in a military role until the early 1980's some are still used today in aerial firefighting.|
|The Hawker Siddeley Harrier, Vertical Take off Royal Air Force and Royal Navy ground attack fighter. with a maximum speed of 737mph and a ceiling of over 50,000 feet. range of 260 miles. The Harriers armament consisted of two 30mm Aden guns and up to 5000 lb of bombs, Rockets or other armaments under the wings. The Worlds First vertical take off and landing combat aircraft the Hawker Siddeley Harriers first arrived with No. 1 squadron Royal Air Force in July 1969. and with a variety of modifications and changes (Harrier GR 1, Harrier T2, Harrier GR3 and finally the British Aerospace Sea Harrier FRG1) The Sea Harrier commenced trials in 1977. The Fleet Air Arm received their first harriers just in time for the Falklands Conflict.|
|GLOSTER GLADIATOR: A continuation form the Gloster Gauntlet aircraft the Gloster Gladiator (SS37) becoming designated the F.7/30 was named Gladiator on the 1st July 1935. The first 70 Gladiators had Under wing machine guns (Vickers or Lewis) before the browning became standard The first aircraft arrived at Tangmere airfield on in February 1937 to no. 72 squadron. at the outbreak of world war two a total of 218 Gladiators had been received by the Royal air force with a total of 76 on active service. They served also in the Middle eats and in 1940 when Italy joined the war was nearly the only front line fighter in the middle east. Between 1939 and 1941. the Gloster Gladiator flew in many war zones. flying in France, Greece, Norway, Crete Egypt Malta and Aden. The Aircraft claimed nearly 250 air victories. It stayed in front line duties until 1942, then becoming fighter trainer, and other sundry roles. It continued in these roles until the end of world war two. The Naval equivalent the Sea Gladiator a short service in the Middle east and European waters. A Total of 746 aircraft were built of these 98 were Sea Gladiators.. Performance. speed: 250mph at 17,500 feet, 257 mph at 14,600 Range 430 miles. Armament: Two fixed .3-03 browning machine guns|