British Military Jets

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More About This Title British Military Jets


The end of the Second World War provided little respite for the air forces, and aircraft industries of the major powers: both sides would expend vast amounts on research and development in an effort to gain an edge. Hanging over it all was the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction, and the possibility of biological and chemical warfare. For the Royal Air Force this meant employing the latest jet aircraft technology, and for the British aircraft industry it meant rising to the challenge of producing suitable aircraft quickly, and on tight budgets: aircraft with which bomber command could carry Britain’s new nuclear deterrent, and strike aircraft to be deployed by Fighter Command in defence of the country. As time wore on both men and machines had to adapt to changing circumstances: many tactical, most financial. This book studies the RAF’s British made combat jet aircraft of this turbulent and frightening period, up to the cancellation of TSR-2 and the end of the British aircraft industry as it then was. The great names: Hunter, Vulcan, Lightning, Harrier, are considered alongside less well known types, and in the context of their foes. The stories of each key aircraft are told from development to combat and the author considers their effectiveness, and their popularity, or otherwise, with the men who serviced and flew them. Illustrated throughout with period photographs, many of them in color, this is a journey back to an age of fear and excitement in the skies and on the airfield dispersals of Britain.


Kev Darling spent over twenty years in the RAF as an engineer, and has first hand experience of many of the aircraft discussed in this book. He has been writing about aircraft since 1987, his books including monographs on the Avro Vulcan, English Electric Lightning and Blackburn Buccaneer. He lives in South Wales.