Special Sub-Topic: Aircraft of the Jet Age
|The Mikoyan-Gurevich aircraft company produced some of the most formidable Soviet jet aircraft to fight in the many wars of the 20th century - the MiGs. NATO intelligence assigned them new (English) names. Which of the following was NOT the name of a MiG fighter?|
Flanker. In the NATO naming convention for Soviet aircraft, fighters were given a name starting with the letter "F". The Fagot (MiG-15), Flogger (MiG-27) and Foxhound (MiG-31) are examples of this. However, this naming convention was not limited to MiG aircraft. The "Flanker" was the name of the Sukhoi SU-27, a plane designed to match the performance and combat roles of the American F-15.
|The French aircraft company "Dassault-Breguet" produced France's most successful line of Jet Fighters, the Mirages. All Mirage fighters were designed with the distinctly triangular Delta-Wing configuration.|
False. While the vast majority of military fighters produced by the Dassault Breguet company after world-war II were indeed Delta-Wing aircraft, it was not inherent to all Mirages. The Mirage F1, for instance, featured a regular Swept-Wing design.
|The Israeli Aircraft Industries produced several aircraft based on the French Mirage, after France put a stop to military cooperation between the two countries. Which of the following is NOT one of the fighter aircraft designs created by Israel after its relations with France went sour?|
Arava. The Nesher and Kfir were rather successful designs based on the Mirage 5. That specific Mirage was developed by French and Israeli engineers working together, so many of the secrets of the Mirage 5 could easily be redrawn for Israel's needs. Eventually, Israel modified the technology to create a brand new fighter, the "Lavi", that would ultimately resemble an F-16 fighter jet, albeit with the distinctive Mirage Delta-Wing. The United States put considerable pressure on Israel to dismantle the project, and the Lavi never went past the prototype stages. The Arava is the odd-one-out, as it is not a fighter aircraft but rather a small dual-prop aircraft for paratrooper deployement.
|While close-support for ground troops was eventually delegated to "Rotary Wing Aircraft", also known as Helicopters, some jet aircraft were specifically designed to provide anti-tank support on the battlefield. Which of these aircraft is NOT designed for such a role?|
A-6 Intruder. Ground-attack aircraft, as they are commonly known, are responsible for direct assault on enemy forces in support of ground combat. They come in slow and low, and can unleash a lot of devastation on enemy units before "bugging out". They are usually designed with some armor features to enable them to sustain considerable damage from enemy fire without being shot down. As jets, they are much harder to hit than helicopters, although they cannot make much use of the terrain to their advantage. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is even equipped with a massive cannon that fires a stupendous amount of shells per minute, for taking out enemy light armor. The A-6 intruder doesn't belong in this category; while it is designed for low-level flight, it is more suitable for tactical strikes BEHIND enemy lines, not on the actual battlefield.
|Most aircraft aficionados will instantly recognize the "Blackbird", a super-sonic jet with some stealth properties, designed to fly at extremely high altitudes while taking pictures. Which American company was responsible for producing this massive reconnaissance aircraft? |
Lockheed. The Lockheed SR-71 was designed to fly at incredible speeds (Mach 3) and extreme altitudes (over 75,000 feet), putting it out of reach of any ground-based defense. In fact, the design actually succeeded, and no SR-71 was ever shot down - unlike its predecessor the U-2 whose infamous interception over Soviet soil caused an international diplomatic crisis. SR-71s remained operational from the early sixties all the way up to 1989. It was retired in favour of satellite surveillance, but briefly reinstated in the mid 1990's to provide progressive awareness during the conflicts in Serbia and Bosnia.
|Which of the following car manufacturers was never involved in the production of aircraft or aircraft parts, at any time during the 20th century?|
Peugeot. Mitsubishi of Japan is famous for having produced successful Japanese fighter aircraft during World War II. The British Rolls-Royce made engines for WWII fighters, and still produces a large variety of engines for all kinds of aircraft, including civilian jets. Saab goes to the greatest length in this field, and to this day produces the mainstay of aircraft for the Swedish air force. The French Peugeot is the odd one out, having never been involved in the manufacture of aeronautical equipment.
|American Fighter Jets are usually designated by the letter "F" followed by a number. Due to the specific process of defense-contracting in the United States, some of the numbers have gone unused. Of the following models, which aircraft actually went on to military production and use?|
F-111. The F-111 was originally developed to fill several combat roles, particularly low-level bombing, but was quickly adapted to use as a strategic bomber (called the FB-111) and Electronics Warfare aircraft (called the EF-111). It has a geometric wing similar to the F-14. Some F-111s were modified to carry nuclear weaponry.
Of the other three possible choices, the F-17 is the only designation that belonged to an actual plane (or rather, the prototype of an actual plane). It lost the contract competition to General Dynamics' F-16, but later underwent redesign and turned into the successful F/A-18.
|The founder of one of the leading American aerospace companies was infatuated with the idea of a Flying Wing - an aircraft comprised of a single aerodynamic shape, with no outstanding fuselage. Which company did he found?|
Northrop. Northrop, now Northrop-Grumman, created several (very different) aircraft designs over the years. Its founder, Jack Northrop, was obsessed with the idea of the flying wing, an idea also pursued by German aerospace engineers before and during World War II. He made several attempts to fulfill this dream, but all became large-scale failures, including the massive, prop-driven YB-49. The idea was successfully implemented in 1988, seven years after his death, in the B-2 Stealth Bomber.
|While jet power has certainly become the dominant means of propulsion for aircraft in the latter half of the 20th century, some civilian and military aircraft still held a potential application for propeller-driven engines. Which of the following aircraft has propellers instead of jets?|
Grumman E-2. The Grumman E-2 Hawkeye is a small "Early Warning" aircraft, easily recognizable by its large radar dish mounted on the top of the fuselage, and by two propeller engines. It is small enough to allow take-off from aircraft carriers, and thus is used by the United States Navy for aerial reconnaissance. Propellers were more common for civilian application than military aircraft in the latter 20th century, but are seeing renewed military use in small, unmanned aircraft.
|Which of the following aircraft does not have any sort of weaponry for aerial combat?|
Lockheed F-117A. The F-117A Stealth Bomber was designed with no air-to-air combat capability. It is expected to survive action over enemy territory by completely avoiding radar detection. While it can carry an impressive load of ground-attack weaponry inside its internal bay, it cannot carry or fire anti-aircraft missiles, and does not have a built-in nor external cannon. All other choices have at least one internally-built cannon which enables them to defend against aerial attacks, even to a diminished capacity.
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