Early Jet Aircraft

Frühes Düsenflugzeug

The first generation jet fighters are the first attempts to build jet fighters. Long-haul sea patrol / Flight early warning / Search and rescue aircraft. 11-2 Obviously, the issue is how to choose such a large area for the aircraft. Compared to the 60 pound area load of the Me 262, the corresponding value for the Airacomet was 28 lbs per sq ft. Using advanced tip and rear edges high-lift equipment on the Me 262 enabled this aircraft to achieve reasonable take-off, land and manoeuvre performance with a small wingspan and high surface area.

The P-59A used only small, single, internal rear leading edges, and the resulting low max Lift factor undoubtedly plays a major role in the decision for low WLL and the associated large area.

Aircraft - The Jet Era

From the 1920s, continuous progress in aircraft power had been achieved through enhanced structure and towing technology as well as more efficient turbocharged power plants, but by the early 1930s, a fistful of far-sighted scientists had realized that speed would soon be possible beyond the capability of piston and propeller motors.

However, since spiral shaped prop propellers move through the atmosphere at higher speed than the remainder of the aircraft, they first reach this transsonic state. Therefore, there is an unflexible maximum speed limitation for propeller-driven aircraft. It was such intricate interaction in the transsonic regimes - and not the foreseeable impact waves of ultrasonic flights that ballistics had been understanding since the end of the nineteenth centuries - that posed particular challenges that were not resolved until the fifties.

He 178, the first jet aircraft, took off on 27 August 1939, almost two years before its UK counterpart, the Gloster E.28/39, on 15 May 1941. A lot of early jet hunters were driven by concentrifugal turbines, but with increasing speed the thrust dominated. Equipped with four 30-mm cannons and guided missiles, he was an efficient demolisher of bombers, but he came into action too belatedly to significantly influence the warmonger.

Gloster Meteor was put into operation on July 27, 1944, about two month before Me 262; although it was less powerful than the Germans, it was able to effectively intercept V-1 "humming bombs". Driven by a Hellmuth Walter-designed hydroperoxide missile, the comet had a stunning power, but its narrow reach and inefficient gun arming made it an operating malfunction.

In 1943-44, a small crew led by Lockheed Clarence ("Kelly") Johnson created the P-80 Shooting Star. P-80 and its UK counterpart, de Havilland Vampire, were the first hunters to be successfully hunted by a jet engine. World War II jetliners were the first generations of jet aircraft to be launched, with the use of turboprop engines on aircraft cabin technologies and aircraftodynamics.

In fact, some early post-war planes - especially the Soviet Yakovlev Yak-15 and Yak-23 and the Swedish Saab 21R - were just converted. In general, these aircraft surpassed their reciprocating counterparts due to the higher thrusts their jet engines delivered at high speed, but they experienced severe defects in reach and performance due to the high level of propellant usage and low speed accelerations of earlier turbines.

Basically, they were restricted to sub-sound velocities because the relatively thick wings of the daily were susceptible to the compression issues of transoonic air travel - especially at high altitude, where the higher velocities necessary to generate buoyancy in a thin environment led the aircraft faster to transound velocity. The other first generations of hunters were the U.S. McDonnell FH Phantom and the British Hawker Sea Hawk (the first jet carriers), the McDonnell F2H Banshee and the French Dassault Ouragan.

In 1950 these single-seater daily hunters were in action, while the radar-loaded first-generation all-weather hunters and a second member of the crews were put into action at the end of the fifties. When the first generations of jet fighters were put into operation, many aerodynamics experts and aeronautical engineering thought ultrasonic flying was a virtual impossible, as the transsonic air resistance or compression that could break an aircraft increased.

The X-1 was developed for research purposes only and had thin, non-woven blades and a 50 inch projectile body. Yeager's mission signalled the beginning of ultrasonic time, but it was only part of a wide range of tests and experiments that had started during the Second World War. By the time these trends had taken root, a second breed of fighter planes had emerged able to operate under the Transonian regimes.

Those planes had narrower lift and steering areas than the first generations, and most had returned wing. Aerial rockets using radars and infra-red positioning have become smaller and more powerful (see Raketen- und Raketeensystem: Taktische Lenkflugkörper). Prominent combatants of this genre were the American F-86 Sabre and its enemy in the Korean War (1950-53), the Soviet MiG-15.

This, together with a long-range projectile sight, allowed the F-86, despite the higher velocity, the higher blanket, and the heavy weaponry of the Soviets airplane, to reach a favorable killing rate compared to the MiG-15. Further aircraft of this series were the British Hawker Hunter, the MiG-17 and the tiny Folland Gnat developed by Great Britain. Launched in the mid-1950s, the latter two later became effective low-altitude air fighters - the Gnat against F-86 Pakistanis in the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war and the MiG-17 against US aircraft in the 1965-73 Vietnam War.

The third series of combat aircraft, engineered for more efficient post-burning propulsion and able to conduct ultrasonic combat at the highest levels, began serving in the mid-1950s. The first hunters of this type, which were destined from the beginning for the transport of air-to-air rockets, and the first ultrasonic all-weather hunters belonged to this group. A few were only slightly ultrasonic, in particular the U.S. Convair F-102 Delta Dagger, an all-weather anti-aircraft combat aircraft that was the first fully functional "pure" anti-aircraft combat aircraft without a dedicated horizontally stabilized system.

Further aircraft were the Grumman F11F Tigercat, the first carrier-based ultrasonic aircraft, the Super Sabre F-100, the Dassault Mystère B-2, the Saab 35 with a singular dual Delta and the MiG-19. Up to that point, jet aircraft were primarily intended for air-to-air warfare, while older aircraft and aircraft design that did not meet expectation were modified for surface attacks and recon.

As the on-shore assault was to be conducted by airplanes, the first mission aircraft of large and heavy dimensions conceived to engage ground level target were aircraft carrier aircraft. They corresponded to the third generations of combat aircraft, but they were not sonar. A-4 Skyhawk, which was put into operation in 1956, gave up cruising speeds for the supply of guns.

As one of the most thermally effective aircraft ever constructed, it bore the weight of U.S. Navy assaults on land in North Vietnam and was often used by Israelis in conflict in the Near East. During the Persian Gulf War (1990-91) the A-4 Skyhawk was still in use with the Kuwaiti Luftwaffe, an amazingly long lifespan.

Grumman's A-6 Intruder, put into operation in the 1960', was another sub-sonic carrier-based aircraft. First real low -wing aircraft for nights and all kind of bad conditions was very successfull over North Vietnam and was in operation until the end of the 90s. EA-6B Prowler, the EA-6B's electronics weapon of war, was to continue in use well into the 21 st centuries.

In the 1960' a forth series of fighter planes began to appear which were able to reach top speed of about Mach 1. The top speed varies depending on the missions, and the increased motor output, improved aerodynamics and more powerful and smaller radar and electronics began to obscure the difference between two-seater all-weather hunters and single-seater anti-aircraft aircraft and fighter-interceptor aircraft.

At this point, however, defence engineers were persuaded that air-to-air rockets had made aerial combat superfluous, so many fighter fighters were constructed without weapons. It was the first on-shore jet fighter ever conceived as a secundary or main missions with a ground assault - a process fuelled by the emergence of ground-to-air rockets such as the Soviet SA-2, which excluded medium- and high-altitude aircraft from intrusion.

The forerunner of this was the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, developed by a Kelly Johnson crew and first used in 1954. Intercepting fighters that can reach velocities far beyond Mach 2, this aircraft was constructed with small and very thin blades to minimize impact wave production. Yet lightweight weaponry, scarce electronics and low manoeuvrability made it an inefficient air-to-air combatant, and only with the introduction of modern bomb and navigational equipment in the sixties did it become a useful low-level warrior.

Really prominent hunters were the U.S. McDonnell F-4 Phantom II and the MiG-21. The F-4, a large twin-engined two-seater, was initially a carrier-based antiaircraft interceptor equipped only with air-to-air rockets, but it was so popular that the U.S. AA Force used it as its main warfighter. MiG-21 was a small single-seater delta-wing aircraft conceived as a special light-detector, but it soon turned out to be modifiable for a wide variety of mission and became the most widely used jet of all time.

The Republic F-105 Thunderchief, one of the biggest fighter planes ever made, was also excellent. The F-105 was developed to transport an atomic attack internal as a low level penetration device and thus unusually quickly at low levels. With heavier charges of traditional air force missiles under the wing it performed the main US Air Force attack on North Vietnam.

Remarkable in this genre were also the British Electric Lightning, one of the first Mach-2 fighters to be put into operation and one of the quickest at high altitude; the Soviets' twin-engined all-weather Yak-28 Firebar; and the Convair F-106 delta dart, a single-seater anti-aircraft aircraft with superb airspeed and manoeuvrability; Dassault Mirage III, the first ever true air-to-air combat aircraft to successfully complete the clean drift plus a huge international record; the Soviet Sukhoi Su-21 flag, a single-seater, all-weather, single-seat, packed drift fighter; and the Vought F-8 Crusader, an exceptional carrier-based fighter over Vietnam.

In the 1970s, continuous improvement in power, aircraft dynamics, aviation and electronics led to a move towards multi-mission fighter aircraft. As the accelerating properties of the engines drastically increased and radar, fire guidance and air-to-air rockets became more dense and powerful, the aircraft itself's power became less important than the capability of its rockets and sensor.

Now it was clear that even with ultrasonic planes almost all air battles took place with trans and sub-sound velocity. Mach 2+ power on demand, multi-mission capabilities and mature all-weather electronics were the outstanding features of the new fighter family. A lot of aircraft of this type used blades with varying geometries so that the number of sweeps in the air could be varied to achieve optimum power at a given velocity.

The MiG-25 Foxbat, a large single-seater intercept and recon aircraft with a 24,400-meter (80,000-foot) false deck and a maximum velocity in the Mach 2 range, was an important aircraft of this type, approximately in order of operating layout. The MiG-23 Flogger, a fighter arrester capable of intercepting rockets below it at height and of coming into contact with them; the MiG-27 Flogger, a MiG-23 surface offensive derivate; the Saab 37 Viggen, conceived for a brief launch with a major deltas swing rear and small deltas flapped front delta blades;

The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, a single-seater, twin-engined, solid geometric aircraft built for sustainable manoeuvring power (a U.S. AA Col concept). The Panavia Tornado, a small aircraft with varying geometries commonly engineered by West Germany, Italy and Great Britain in no less than four different variants, from low level two-seater all-weather attacks to single-seater airborne considerations; the USA.

The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, a powerful, single-seater multi-purpose aircraft with stunning air-to-ground capabilities; the MiG-29 Fulcrum, a single-seater, twin-engine, fixed-geometry fighter plane with outlook and launch capabilities; MiG-31 Foxhound fighter, which appears to be derivative of the MiG-25, but with lower velocity and greater air-to-air capabilities; and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, a single-seater carrier-based aircraft capable of surface attacks but also with outstanding air-to-air capabilities.

A Vulcan, the first jet fighter to use the Delta-wing layout, stayed in action long enough to launch conventionals in the Falkland war. The Soviets also deployed in 1956 the only strategically important turbo-prop aircraft to see an operation, the Tu-95 Bear, a large aircraft with sweeping wings propelled by four giant turbo-prop counter-rotating thrusters.

Tu-95 turned out to be an outstanding achievement. As the B-52, it was adjusted to the naval and marching missiles after becoming outdated as a tactical aircraft, and remained in use in the 21 st centuries. These planes were only able to reach sub-sound velocities. Its first ready to use ultrasonic aircraft was the Delta-winged Convair B-58 Hustler of the United States, which was put into action in 1960.

B-58 had a lifetime of only three years, because at the beginning of the 1960' it became clear that ground-to-air rockets could also launch aircraft at previously secure heights of over 15,240 meters (50,000 feet). As a reaction, the fighters took shelter from early alarm radars by low level flight, and a new breed of high-powered aircraft came into full use, taking full benefit of post-war power, aerodynamics and electronics.

First of these was the U.S. General Dynamics F-111, the first mission aircraft with a variably swung blade. Following a bad run in Indochina in 1968, the F-111 became a highly acclaimed high-speed, low- and all-weather inker. Bigger strategical aircraft that achieved high power at low elevations with varying geometries were the Soviet Tu-22 Backfire, the US Rockwell International B-1 and the Tu-160 Blackjack.

Complementing the older pure sub-sonic aircraft, these planes constituted an important part of the US and Russian atomic force after their use in 1975, 1985 and 1988. Like all first-class fighter aircraft, they were fitted with advanced ECMs to block or mislead hostile radar.

While the B-1B Lancer, the operating B-1 bomber model, could only reach ultrasonic flying in brief shots at high altitudes, the Soviets were able to "ignite" ultrasonic at low altitudes and could double the velocity of ultrasound at high altitudes. In 1980, the US administration heralded the advent of a stealth programme developed to manufacture aircraft that were effective against radars at regular range in battle.

In 1983, the first single-seater aircraft to use this was the Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk Airborne Surface Attacker. The two aircraft had non-conventional forms, primarily developed to minimize airborne reflections. From the time the radar-controlled defense affected bomb formation in World War II, aircraft engineers and airmen had been looking for ways to bypass surveillance.

A lot of early ray era material was known to adsorb rather than replicate radars' energies, but they were heavier and not powerful enough for structure use. Only after the sixties and seventies did the emergence of composite material such as composite material made of coal fibers and high-strength plastic (which were structurally stable as well as clear or see-through for radar) make it possible to reduce the signatures of pilots.

The reduction of the radarsignature also necessitated a control shaping, especially by the avoidance of right-angled, steep bends and large areas. To steer SAR in the least insightful direction, the outer form of a camouflage aircraft was either a set of large scale radiometric curvilinear faces (like the B-2) or a set of small, shallow, meticulously aligned levels (like the F-117A).

In order to prevent the capture of airborne radars, cloaking aircraft had to depend on navigation inertia or other non-emitting navigation devices. Further options were the use of lasers, which tracked the floor in front of the ship with a thin, almost invisible ray of lasers. In order to evade infra-red recognition, first-generation cloaking aircraft were not fitted with large, heat-generating post-combustion motors.

As a result, they were no longer able to carry out ultrasonic flights. Even the optimum forms and structure for camouflage aircraft were often at variance with aircraft aerodynamics and operating conditions. As all weapons had to be borne in-house, projectile charges were lower than on comparable traditional aircraft, and elaborate synthetic stabilisation and guidance equipment was required to give camouflage aircraft satisfying performance.

In 1997, a second-generation camouflage aircraft, the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, first flown in 1997, is able to perform "super cruises" and achieve ultrasonic velocities without afterburner. From small V/STOL interconnecting aircraft and modifications to civil transport, to giant ships such as the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, which was built in the sixties to transport two M-60s, 16 three-quarter-tonners or 245 soldiers, our range of transport services included everything from small V/STOL interconnecting aircraft and modifications to large ships such as the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.

Introduced in 1969, the C-5 was the biggest aircraft in the entire globe for nearly two dozen years until it was exceeded by the Soviet Antonov An-225. With a width of 4 meters, a height of 4.4 meters and a length of 42 meters (21 x 14.5 x 140 feet), the An-225 was engineered for a load capacity of up to 250,000 kg. Learn more about seven of the greatest things that have ever flown.

Air scout aircraft also wore ECM units and placed strong reliance on electronics and infra-red to complement their cams. Its mission was to localize and take photographs of objectives by means of radars and traditional photography technologies, and to explore hostile electronics defence networks in order to detect and assess the radios and radars used.

Two Lockheed aircraft - the U-2, which was first used in the mid-1950s, and the SR-71 Blackbird, which went into operation in the mid-1960s were the most well-known US aircraft to be used for flyovers. SR-71 had a Titan aircraft cell to withstand the high temperatures produced when travelling at Mach 3; this aircraft could be operated over 24,000 meters (80,000 feet).

Air carrier-based early alert aircraft had a large radars to identify aircraft or vessels; some could also intercept aircraft that defended the fleets. Its first aircraft was a Russian turbo prop, the Tu-126 Moss, which was replaced in the 1980s by the jet-powered Ilyushin Il-76 Mainstay. Those vessels, like the U.S. E-3 Sentry (a transformed Boeing 707), had a large saucer-shaped radars on the hull.

The British early bird alert system was the British Aerospace Nimrod. By 1962, military pilots had added 40mm automated turret-type mortars, missile pods, and 7 grenades that could be learned by remote control. Marine attack aircraft can be used as bait for anti-ship rockets by launching heat-generating or chaffing lights to interfere with infra-red and radars targeting capabilities.

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