Aviation Articles

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Vickers Valiant and Britain’s first nuclear bomb

British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin’s quote about the necessity of developing an independent nuclear deterrent — “We’ve got to have the bloody Union Jack flying on top of it” — signifies the priority placed on this programme as the Cold War reared its head. It led, 70 years ago, to the first ‘special weapons’ arriving at an RAF station, and to the Vickers Valiant becoming the first platform able to deliver them 

V-Force pathfinder - the story of the unique black Valiant B2

The concept of target-marking had been proved with great success by the RAF of World War Two, but how would it translate to the jet bomber age? The Vickers Valiant was chosen to lead the role into this new era. Why, then, did the menacing and very capable ‘Black Bomber’, the Valiant B2, end up being a one-off?

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Handley Page HP113 - the biz-jet concept based on the Canberra

Could this executive transport have been Handley Page’s saviour? Perhaps not, but the HP113 was a highly advanced design — even if it borrowed from, of all things, the Canberra

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Did the TSR2, P1154 and AW681 really "get the politics wrong"?

Hawker’s Sir Sydney Camm once mused, “All aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics. TSR2 simply got the first three right”. But was he correct?

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First year of the 'V-Force'

The ‘V-bomber’ triad came together in 1952, its longest-serving members, in the forms of the Handley Page Victor and Avro Vulcan, taking to the air to join the Vickers Valiant. But the Soviet threat they would face was evolving, too, and their weaponry had to keep pace

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NOT THE WEAPONS OF CHOICE

RAF IN THE COLD WAR Blue Steel and SkyboltSince June 1968, large...

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The first Harrier: Hawker P1154

The P1154 seems somehow symbolic...

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STRIKING POWER

The range of weapons that would have been carried by the TSR2...

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Weapons and Tactics of the English Electric Lightning

Chris Gibson examines how the weaponry of the English Electric Lightning developed