Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Avro Vulcan XH 558, Duxford 2012

The Avro Vulcan (sometimes referred to as the Hawker Siddeley Vulcan) is a jet-powered delta wing strategic bomber, which was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1956 until 1984. Aircraft manufacturer A V Roe & Co (Avro) designed the Vulcan in response to Specification B.35/46. Of the three V bombers produced, the Vulcan was considered the riskiest option. Several scale aircraft, designated Avro 707, were produced to test and refine the delta wing design principles.
The Vulcan B.1 was first delivered to the RAF in 1956; deliveries of the improved Vulcan B.2 started in 1960. The B.2 featured more powerful engines, a larger wing, an improved electrical system and electronic countermeasures (ECM); many were modified to accept the Blue Steel missile. As a part of the V-force, the Vulcan was the backbone of the United Kingdom’s airborne nuclear deterrent during much of the Cold War. Although the Vulcan was typically armed with nuclear weapons, it was capable of conventional bombing missions, a capability which was used in Operation Black Buck during the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina in 1982.

Vulcan XH 558 is the only Vulcan left that is flying.   It isn't the one used for the first attack on Stanley.   That was XM 607 which is now a gate guard at RAF Waddington.   XH 558 wasn't deployed for the Falklands War because it was in the middle of conversion to the tanker role having been confined for some years to maritime reconnaissance.    Its number identifies it as one of the earliest Vulcans, probably built around 1960 !

Tornado GR4, Duxford 2012

The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-enginevariable-sweep wing combat aircraft, which was jointly developed and manufactured by the United KingdomWest Germany andItaly. There are three primary variants of the Tornado; the Tornado IDS (interdictor/strike) fighter-bomber, the suppression of enemy air defences Tornado ECR (electronic combat/reconnaissance) and the Tornado ADV (air defence variant) interceptor.
The Tornado was developed and built by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a tri-national consortium consisting of British Aerospace (previously British Aircraft Corporation), MBB of West Germany, and Aeritalia of Italy. It first flew on 14 August 1974 and was introduced into service in 1979–1980. Due to its multirole nature, it was able to replace several different fleets of aircraft in the adopting air forces. The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) became an export operator of the Tornado in addition to the three original partner nations. A tri-nation training and evaluation unit operating from RAF Cottesmore, the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment, maintained a level of international cooperation beyond the production stage.
The Tornado was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF), Italian Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force during the 1991 Gulf War, in which the Tornado conducted many low-altitude penetrating strike missions. The Tornados of various operators were also used in conflicts in the former Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War and Kosovo War, the Iraq War, Libya during the Libyan civil war, as well as smaller roles in Afghanistan and Yemen. Including all variants, a total of 992 aircraft were built.

Shorts Tucano, Duxford 2012

The Short Tucano T1 is a two-seat turboprop basic trainer used by the Royal Air Force. It is a licence-built version of the Brazilian Embraer EMB-312 Tucano, and is also used by the air forces of Kenya and Kuwait. 

Hawk 75, Duxford 2012

The Curtiss P-36 Hawk also known as the Curtiss Hawk Model 75, was an American-designed and built fighter aircraft of the 1930s and 40s. A contemporary of both the Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109, it was one of the first of a new generation of combat aircraft—a sleek monoplane design making extensive use of metal in its construction and powered by a powerful radial engine. Obsolete at the onset of World War II and best known as the predecessor of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, the P-36 saw only limited combat with the United States Army Air Forces.
The P-36 was used more extensively by the French Air Force, both during the Battle of France and by the Vichy French; and was used against French forces in the Franco-Thai War (October 1940–9 May 1941.) It was also used by the British Commonwealth (where it was known as the Mohawk), and by Chinese air units. Several dozen also fought in theFinnish Air Force against the Soviet Air Forces. With around 1,000 aircraft built, the P-36 was a major commercial success for Curtiss. This article also covers the YP-37 and theXP-42 prototypes based on the P-36.

P-47 Thunderbolt, Duxford 2012

Republic Aviation's P-47 Thunderbolt, also known as the "Jug" (because it was shaped like a squatted liquor jug, although the British incorrectly assumed it was short for "juggernaut"), was the largest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single piston engine.[2] It was heavily armed with eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing. When fully loaded, the P-47 weighed up to eight tons, and in the fighter-bomber ground attack roles could carry five inch rockets or a significant bomb load of 2,500 pounds; over half the weight the B-17 bomber could carry on long-range missions. The P-47, based on the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine, was to be very effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude air-to-air combat and when unleashed as a fighter-bomber, proved especially adept at ground attack in both the World War II European and Pacific Theatres.

TF51 Mustang, Duxford 2012

The North American Aviation 51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and several other conflicts.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Antonov AN2, Duxford 2012

The Antonov An-2 (Russian nickname: кукуру́зник (kukuruznik, "maize farmworker", inherited from the earlier Polikarpov Po-2); also nicknamed "Annushka" or "Annie") is a single-engine biplane utility/agricultural aircraft designed in the USSR in 1946 (USAF/DoD reporting name Type 22 NATO reporting name Colt

Swordfish, Duxford 2012

The Fairey Swordfish was a torpedo bomber built by the Fairey Aviation Company and used by the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Affectionately known as the "Stringbag" by its crews, it was outdated by 1939, but achieved some spectacular successes during the war, notably the sinking of one and damaging two battleships of the Regia Marina (the Italian Navy) in the Battle of Taranto and the famous crippling of the Bismarck. It was operated primarily as a fleet attack aircraft; however, during its later years, it was also used as an anti-submarine and training craft. Designed in the 1930s, the Swordfish outlived several types intended to replace it, and remained in front line service until VE Day.

DC 3, Duxford 2012

The Douglas DC-3 is an American fixed-wing propeller-driven airliner, the speed and range of which revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s. Its lasting impact on theairline industry and World War II makes it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made. The major military version was designated the C-47 Skytrain, of which more than 10,000 were produced. Many DC-3 / C-47s are still used in all parts of the world.

Bucker Jungmann, Duxford 2012

The German Bücker Bü 131 "Jungmann" (Young man) was a 1930s basic training aircraft which was used by the Luftwaffe during World War II.

North American T-28

The North American Aviation T-28 Trojan is a piston-engined military trainer aircraft used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy beginning in the 1950s. Besides its use as a trainer, the T-28 was successfully employed as a Counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War.

Consolidated Catalina, Duxford 2012

The Consolidated PBY Catalina was an American flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s produced by Consolidated Aircraft. It was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II. Catalinas served with every branch of the United States Armed Forces and in the air forces and navies of many other nations.
During World War II, PBYs were used in anti-submarine warfarepatrol bombingconvoy escortssearch and rescue missions (especially air-sea rescue), and cargo transport. The PBY was the most numerous aircraft of its kind and the last active military PBYs were not retired from service until the 1980s. Even today, over 70 years after its first flight, the aircraft continues to fly as a waterbomber (or airtanker) in aerial firefighting operations all over the world.

The Folland Gnat was a small, swept-wing British subsonic jet trainer and light fighter aircraft developed by Folland Aircraft for the Royal Air Force, and flown extensively by theIndian Air Force.
 Although never used as a fighter by the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Gnat T.1 trainer variant was widely used. The Gnat became well known as the aircraft of the RAF's Red Arrows aerobatic team.
The Gnat was exported to Finland, Yugoslavia and India. The Indian Air Force became the largest operator and eventually manufactured the aircraft under licence. India then developed the HAL Ajeet, a modified and improved variant.

World War 1 Replicas, Duxford 2012

The Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 was a British two-seat biplane reconnaissance and bomber aircraft of the First World War designed by John Kenworthy. Intended as a replacement for the vulnerable B.E.2, the R.E.8 was more difficult to fly, and was regarded with great suspicion at first in the Royal Flying Corps. Although eventually it gave reasonably satisfactory service, it was never an outstanding combat aircraft. In spite of this, the R.E.8 served as the standard British reconnaissance and artillery spotting aircraft from mid-1917 to the end of the war, serving alongside the rather more popular Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8. Over 4,000 R.E.8s were eventually produced and they served in most theatres including ItalyRussiaPalestine and Mesopotamia, as well as the Western Front.

The Albatros D.V was a fighter aircraft used by the Luftstreitkräfte during World War I. The D.V was the final development of the Albatros D.I family, and the last Albatros fighter to see operational service.

The Fokker Dr.I Dreidecker was a World War I fighter aircraft built by Fokker-Flugzeugwerke. The Dr.I saw widespread service in the spring of 1918.

Fokker DR1 following a Nieuport 17

The Nieuport 17 was a French biplane fighter aircraft of World War I, manufactured by the Nieuport company.