The Best home grown aircraft...

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by The_Big_Floater, Dec 29, 2010.

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  1. Okay.

    With such a prestiges history of flight.... Over the previous century (1900s) what do you think has been classed as the best British made aircraft, I am including prototypes that flew but if it wasn't for the governments at the time would have made it in and been ideal for the job intended...

    I already have one aircraft in mind and won't say as I am sure there are plenty of other BRITISH designs that would also of been "the right kit"... but want your opinions first.......

    So the aircraft enthusiasts amongst you " What are the best British built aircraft of the past 100 years, including prototypes (that were cancelled for whatever reason) AND why".......
  2. De havilland Mosquito.
  3. The old Huntley & Palmer bomber. The one with the twin Cross and Blackwell engines.
  4. Concord (given that the French design contribution is open to debate....): a truly astonishing feat of engineering - possibly the greatest achievement of British industry ever.

    I guess you're referring to the TSR2.....?
  5. Spitfire
  6. Hawker Hunter, English Electric Canberra, Vulcan to name but three.
  7. That huge beast - the Shorts Sunderland. A prickly creature if the Hun got close, but oh, so elegant for a fat bird.
  8. I may as well say it now - TSR2 - allegedly the best aircraft ever designed.
  9. TSR2. Pretty much hit all the design requirments set out, came in pretty much on budget and on time... it was doomed.

    PS. Was the TSR1 the Fairey Swordfish? Or was that a mishearing of mine.

    Either way let's get the Fairey Swordfish on the list... What a good bit of kit, could absorb all manner of damage and still fly. Repairable with the contents of your housewife.

    Similar too the Vickers Wellington (aka the Wimpy)

  10. This could be a long list - so many "Might have been's" thanks to screwed up procurement policy that bled a successful aircraft industry dry through investment in projects that were cancelled. TSR2 obviously. Concorde was the most beautiful (I don't mind skinny birds). The fifties produced some spectacular designs, but my favourite, the Vickers Type 559 never got off the ground so doesn't qualify here. Spit, Mosquito, Wellington, Hurricane, Lancaster all great aircraft that contributed to Britain's battle for survival, but they ended their operational life before I was around so I'll leave them off my personal list.
    So my choice narrows down to four aircraft that were successful operationally in my lifetime: Hunter, Harrier (various versions), Buccaneer and Vulcan. The hunter was elegant - as well as effective in the Middle East, the Harrier demonstrated its versatility in the Falklands, the Buccaneer showed enormous versatility - and awesome stability when it got down fast and low, but in the end my vote goes to the Vulcan because of my memories watching 6 of the big white birds scramble at Finningley in the '60's back when they were on QRA and carried Britain's nuclear deterrent.
  11. Pararegtom

    Pararegtom LE Book Reviewer

    English Electric Lighting
    Harrier Jump jet
    Armstrong Whitworth Argosy ( A Parachutist dream)
  12. Surprised nobody has mentioned the Hawker Tempest,fastest fighter of WW2,this aircraft was used to shoot down V1's.

    Got over 650,during a 3 month period,but then again not as pretty as a Spitfire.

    Blackburn Buccaneer,of a flight deck,along with the Sea Vixen pretty mean CAS aircraft.
  13. maguire

    maguire LE Book Reviewer

    C-F - TSR1 was a designation given to the Canberra when they were casting about for a replacement, as I understand it.

    all good suggestions, and I would say personally it's impossible to call. Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster -ww2 wouldnt have been won without them. same with the Harrier and the falklands war.

    incidentally, do you know the Canberra was in service with the RAF for 55 years? I think the B-52s now broken that record, but for a while it was the longest serving aircraft in any air force. by way of perspective, the Spitfire would have needed to be in active squadron service until the early nineties.

  14. The Tempest V was nothing like the fastest fighter of WWII. It was good for 435mph.
    A Spitfire XIV would do 450mph, the P-47N Thunderbolt was good for 460mph and a P51H Mustang could do 490mph.

    The Tempest V was however exceptionally manoeuverable at high speed and could fly rings round all of them and any luftwaffe piston engined fighters at ≥ 400mph
  15. The problem is that it is “allegedly” since it was never finished we will never know how good it would have been. IMHO it was an early example of a ridiculously over optimistic sales brochure and would not have got even close to the advertised performance.

    On aircraft I do like:
    Comet, a truly revolutionary design for its day.
    Canberra, highly advanced for its day and long service life.
    Sea Vixen, a childhood favourite, based on appearance, but also a very capable aircraft.
    Mosquito, a very capable aircraft and an interesting example of designing around production constraints.