The German Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe (Swallow) was the first operational jet fighter and appeared in air combat towards the end of World War Two. The Me 262 has always been one of my favourite World War Two era aircraft. It wasn’t the best jet to ever grace the skies but I have always… Read More The Survivors: Messerschmitt Me 262 – Germany’s Jet Fighter
Rare aircraft are a passion. If they are a bit of an oddity, then that’s even better and the Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake“, World War Two era experimental aircraft more than fits the bill! Ordered in May 1940, the wooden framed, canvas covered V-173 was completed in 1942 as the sole Proof Of Concept prototype for the… Read More The Survivors: Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake”
Reportedly dubbed “Whispering Death” by Japanese ground forces due to its quiet engines (courtesy of engine sleeve valves), fast and powerful Bristol Beaufighter heavy fighters were flown by Allied pilots to strike Axis shipping and ground targets in the European, North African, Mediterranean and South West Pacific theatres of World War Two. I can picture… Read More The Survivors: Bristol Beaufighter – The “Whispering Death” of the Pacific and Beyond!
The USAF Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) Program commenced in the 1970’s, then continued through the 1980’s and 1990’s, as a development, demonstration and evaluation program for a new USAF fifth generation fighter with stealth technology to complement and eventually replace the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter. Lockheed and Northrop proposals were accepted in… Read More The Survivors: Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23A Black Widow II Advanced Tactical Fighter
By all accounts the 1980’s era Northrop F-20 Tigershark was a great fighter jet that was maneuverable with good short field capability. It was kind of like a super F-5E Tiger II with a new single General Electric F404-GE-100 turbofan engine that boosted performance to Mach 2.0 and featured modern avionics, a Hands On Throttle… Read More The Survivors: Northrop F-20 Tigershark – A Formidible but Unlucky Jet Fighter!
In 1972 the USAF Lightweight Fighter (LWF) Program was launched to develop a smaller, highly maneuverable, lower cost air combat fighter to complement and conduct roles not suitable for the highly capable but expensive McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle air superiority fighter. This program ultimately pitted two contenders in a fly off, the General Dynamics YF-16… Read More The Survivors: Northrop YF-17 Cobra – The Unwanted Fighter with Quite a Legacy!
There is just something about the Swedish Saab 35 Draken (Dragon) fighter aircraft that has always fascinated me. It is certainly not pretty to look at, yet its long air intakes and tailless double-delta wing design give it a certain stylistic charm. Cold War chic that remained in operational service in European skies for 45 years from… Read More Dragon Knights!