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British vs American


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#1 Ricky

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 09:39 AM

Hoping to start a debate, and this kind of topic always seems to work! ;)

 

 

So my contention is, British aircraft post-WW2 have generally been better than their US peers.

 

Reasoning?

 

Well, until the Government cut all funding*, British aircraft were collecting many records - for example the Fairey Delta 2 brole the existing record by over 300mph, the largest increase until the Blackbird, and was the first to go over 1,000mph

 

The world's first jet airliner was British, and a modified version is still in service with the RAF

 

The world's first (and for a long while only) properly successful VTOL aircraft was British

 

Both nations developed an interceptor in 1954, that first flew in 1958. One of them was stuffed with high-tech concepts to improve performance. The other performed better :P

 

Where roughly equivalent aircraft of both sides met in warfare (Indo-Pakistani wars, for example) British aircraft tended to come out on top. However, I'll admit this is a rare occurance and may be down to factors beyond the aircraft themselves.

 

I'll stop there, as I'm sure I have provided enough appetizers for a lengthy chew

 

 

 

* A lement you may hear often in this topic



#2 flying kiwi

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:13 AM

Just a quick remark on the speed records - the Fairey Delta 2 was a research airframe, whereas all the American planes that have held it since, up to the SR 71, were service airframes.



#3 Kutscha

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 01:14 PM

The world's first jet airliner was British

 

 

Only by 13 days. :)

Avro Canada C102 Jetliner

#4 CORSNING

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 04:10 PM

I have been reading about WW2 aircraft since 1968. I have been researching and studying closely WW2 fighter aircraft since 2004. Sorry guys, I never really got into post WW2 aircraft all that much. I'm just going to go over here and sit in the corner and watch this one. 

 

Jeff :)



#5 Armand

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:06 PM

My only opinion to the Topic comes from a former aircraft maintenance engineer I had as colleague long time ago:
He stated that the surface of the Hawker Hunter was smooth as his wifes ass, and the contemporary F84 Thunderjet was multiple dented due to lesser crafted riveting.
The pilots loved the Hunter for it's liability in flight, meanwhile the Thunderjet is explained as riding atop of a haystack. I think the two statements might connect rather much and all in all is the Thunderjet most likely a Ford compared to a handbuild british car :-/
Time have shown that later and seemingly effectively american jetfighters was a plain continuation of the Thunderjets lack of general thoroughness.

When it comes to the race for records I consider that the Brits sold out many skills and gave up some projects in trade with the Nuke-bomb :-/

#6 Ricky

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 09:01 AM

...don't get started on the Mach 1 issue :P

 

 

Some other points that occurred to me, in favour of my argument.

 

1) The American military (like most in countries with a successful home aviation industry) does not tend to buy foreign aircraft, unless it really has to. And sometimes not even then. But it has bought British - the Canberra and the Harrier. Britain has bought American, but only after we kneecapped our aviation industry and thus had no other viable option

 

2) American aircraft do always sell better. However, this can be attributed at least in part to scale. Any US aircraft receiving an order from the US will be produced in large quantities - hence cheaper unit costs and bigger assembly lines meaning more can be produced faster, exactly what a customer wants. British aircraft entering service with the RAF will not sell anywhere near as many, and thus will have higher costs per unit and less factory space available. Not very competative. As an example, in the mid 1960s Both American and Britain introduced new long-range heavy-lift transport aircraft, the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter and the Short Belfast respectively. Payload was similar and the performance balanced out (C-141 was faster, Belfast was longer-ranged). 285 C-141's were made. 10 Short Belfasts were made.



#7 Ricky

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 11:20 AM

Just a quick remark on the speed records - the Fairey Delta 2 was a research airframe, whereas all the American planes that have held it since, up to the SR 71, were service airframes.

 

Not all of them were stock airframes though - at least 2 of the 4* had different or modified engines for example.

 

But then that is pretty normal for such attempts, all sorts of little tricks were used - from smoothing the skin to lightening the aircraft to refining the aerodynamics to upgrading the engine and so on and so forth. I haven't really taken away from your point :P

I can't help wondering what would have happened if we'd tried for the speed record in a Lightning... :) 

 

 

* The F-101A had a bigger engine, the F-4 had water injection in the engine



#8 flying kiwi

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:20 AM

 

I can't help wondering what would have happened if we'd tried for the speed record in a Lightning... :)

 

It would have run out of fuel shortly after breaking the record and the pilot would have had to hitch a ride home. :-)



#9 Ricky

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 01:11 PM

:D

 

... or possibly shortly before reaching top speed. Interestingly one of the prototypes managed to hit Mach 2 (the first British aircraft to do so) within 7 minutes of take-off on 28 November 1958, but then had to land immediately because it was nearly out of fuel!

 

 

That being said, from what I can tell its range was not much less than the F-104. Why does the Lightning always get criticised for its range but the F-104 does not?

 

 

And back to the speed issue... an interesting article (I admit the site might be a touch biased! ;) )

http://www.lightning.../oct04sotm.html



#10 GatorDude

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:16 AM

This is just a general impression, but it seems to me that America produced successive generations of aircraft faster than Britain.  So, while Britain might come up with a great design, the U.S. would come up with 2 not so great designs leading to a greater design that exceeded Britain's design.

 

630px-F-84G.jpg

 

 

640px-F-84F_Thunderstreak.jpg

 

640px-F-86A_01.jpg


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