First generation British jets

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pattern14, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. pattern14

    pattern14 Member

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    A couple of days back, I was browsing the local newsagent and came across this great magazine. Titled "Early Jet fighters", it chronicles British jets from the Gloster E.28/39 up until the Folland Gnat, although the bulk of the magazine centres around the mid to late1940s'. Of course it is only a special edition periodical, but has great photo's and basic information, and is hardly intended for the serious historian. Still, I had never seen or heard of some of them. The ill fated Gloster E1.44, the amazing Saunders Roe SR/A1 Jet powered flying boat, the Hawker Sea Hawk, and the Supermarine Attacker being previously unknown to me. The Meteor and Vampire/venom had great cut away schematics as well. For such a low price, it was a great find. It is usually the First generation Luft Jets that get the publicity, so it was great to see something like this on the news stand!
     
  2. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Great find. All of these aircraft you mention have at some time been covered in either the 'Aeroplane' or the 'Fly Past' British magazines and I wouldn’t mind betting that your magazine is from the same publisher using the same, possibly updated articles.
     
  3. OldSkeptic

    OldSkeptic Active Member

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    I have a real soft spot for the Folland Gnat, 'Sabre Killer' the Indians called it (in the 1st Indo/Pak war). The Pakistanis had the latest US equipment (inc the Sabre) and the Indians a motley bunch of stuff.
    And that little Gnat showed it had some teeth...
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #4 FLYBOYJ, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
    The "Sabre Killer" title of the Gnat is a bit stretched. The Gnat, while a great little aircraft did not have any type of large kill ratio against the Sabre. In fact I believe the Gnat only claimed 3 Sabers for the loss of 2, but did damage a few Sabers. One IAF Gnat held off 6 Sabers during an epic dogfight but was eventually shot down. I also remember reading that F-104s forced one down during the 1965 war.
     
  5. pattle

    pattle Member

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    The Gnat was a great aircraft, I preferred the Gnat over the Hawk when with The Red Arrows. I have seen the AW Seahawk at air shows in the past and again this is an interesting aircraft, I used to like watching it start up with it's old cartridges banging and chucking out smoke. I think the most interesting thing with the early British fighter jets is that they were pioneer aircraft.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree about the Gnat with the 'Reds'. The Hawks put on a great show, but those tiny Gnats looked much better.
    And seeing these early British jets (albeit in Norwegian markings) at Duxford recently, really brought back memories.
     

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  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    We have a former Red Arrows Gnat at Chino that flies occasionally but regularly. Nice to look at but has no legs at all. The owner says that without tanks, it is in a state of fuel emergency when full of fuel just before he starts it up to go fly! He says you can DO a max performance climb to 48,000 feet but you'd better be within gliding distance of an airport if you do!

    Not QUITE that bad in real life, but almost. Fortunately you can fly it with external tanks. The official range is 500 miles ... but the owner and pilot says he doesn't believe it without tanks. He says he wants to be near an airport after 35 minutes of engine run, including startup, taxi, takeoff, climb, and cruise. With tanks, he is comfortable with about an hour of flight time at moderate power settings.

    This is a civilian jet and has to have legal fuel reserves when it reahes an airport. The military can operate as they so choose and likely won;t run afoul of the aviation watchdogs.
     
  8. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    I love the early British jets, but my favorite is the Hawker Hunter. I've been on exercise with them when stationed as a soldier in Gibraltar.The RAF still had four of them in the late 1970's, Spanish opposition didn't require us to have the cream of the bottle handy. In Fire force operations a Rhodesian friend of mine has had the support of Hunters and the last Vampires to see active service.
     
  9. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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  10. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Love the Hunter ... unless I had to fire the guns above 35,000 feet or so.

    Beautiful lines. An altogether lovely jet. Another I really liked the lines of is the Sea Hawk. I know it evolved into the hunter with swept wings and tail through the intermediate stage of the swept wing Hawks (P.1052 and P.1061), but I think the straight wing Sea Hawk F.1 is a good looker all by itself.

    If I could afford a jet, I'd LOVE a Sea Hawk F.1 as one of my rides.
     
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  11. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Agree on the looks of the Hawker Sea Hawk...always been one of my favourites. However, owning one would be a different proposition. Keeping the bifurcating tailpipes from fracturing seems to be a major headache. Just ask the RN Historic Flight. Their Sea Hawk seems to spend waaaayyy more time in the hangar than any other historic aircraft in the UK - I can't remember the last time I saw it flying, despite several promised appearances at airshows I attended. Still a beautiful jet, though!
     
  12. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    #12 Waynos, Oct 31, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
    Another fascinating publication out at the moment is "The Aeroplane 75 Years Ago", which is a reprint of the Aeroplane magazine from the corresponding week 75 years previously (the clue is in the name, lol)

    Just five or so issues so far but to read stuff "as it happens" from 1938 is absolutely stunning, as is the editors strong pro German stance. It'll be interesting to see how that changes next September :)

    Highlight of this week are the descriptions of the HP Hampden (finest and most efficient bomber in the world) compared with the Boeing B-17 ( Most useless aeroplane of them all). Yes, seriously. :oops:
     
  13. OldSkeptic

    OldSkeptic Active Member

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    I agree, another one of my favourites, arguably one of the most beautiful jets ever made (definitely in my top 10, probably top 5).
     
  14. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    In the early 70's I did some work on the Sea Hawk that I believe is still at Duxford. I seem to remember spending a lot of time on my back working on the brakes on what always seemed to be cold, windy and wet days
     
  15. Neil Stirling

    Neil Stirling Member

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    Sea Hawk F.G.A.4

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    Neil.
     
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