Quiz about 100 Years of RAF Combat Aircraft
Quiz about 100 Years of RAF Combat Aircraft

100 Years of RAF Combat Aircraft Quiz


Welcome to my quiz about combat aircraft of the RAF, from its formation in 1918 to its centenary year in 2018. I hope that you enjoy playing my quiz.

A photo quiz by mcsurfie. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
mcsurfie
Time
5 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
389,363
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
11 / 15
Plays
245
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 86 (4/15), Guest 24 (10/15), Guest 92 (12/15).
photo quiz
1. This aircraft is a Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe, which entered service with the RAF late in 1918. The Snipe succeeded which famous Sopwith fighter that had been introduced in 1917? Hint

Sopwith Pup
Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Triplane
Sopwith 1 Strutter

photo quiz
2. Another aircraft inherited by the fledgling RAF was the Airco DH.9A. This aircraft was designed by which person, who set up his own aircraft company out of Airco's assets after World War One? Hint

Sidney Camm
Geoffrey de Havilland
R.J. Mitchell
A.V. Roe

photo quiz
3. During the period between the First and Second World Wars, the RAF underwent many changes, including being used for policing parts of the world under British control. One of the types used was this aircraft designed by Bristol. What is this aircraft known as? Hint

Bulldog
Bullet
Bullfinch
Bullpup

photo quiz
4. This aircraft is a Hawker Hart light bomber. There were a number of variants of the Hart built that were named Audax, Demon, Hind, Osprey and Hardy. True or False?

True
False

photo quiz
5. This next aircraft is a Stranraer flying boat. It was built by which aircraft company, entering service a few years prior to the start of World War II? Hint

Short Brothers
Supermarine
Saunders-Roe
Felixstowe

photo quiz
6. The aircraft under restoration in this image gained the nicknames of the "Wooden Wonder" and the "Timber Terror", what is the name of this aircraft? Hint

Bristol Blenheim
de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito
Avro Manchester
Hanley Page Hampden

photo quiz
7. The aircraft in this image is a Hawker Hurricane designed by Sidney Camm. Hawker Hurricanes shot down more German aircraft during the Battle of Britain than the Supermarine Spitfire. True or False?

True
False

photo quiz
8. Designed by Bristol, this aircraft was nicknamed the "Whistling Death" by the Japanese when it was used against them during World War Two. What is this the name of this aircraft? Hint

Bristol Bombay
Bristol Beaufort
Bristol Blenheim
Bristol Beaufighter

photo quiz
9. As World War Two progressed, the RAF introduced larger bombers capable of carrying heavy bomb loads, what is the name of this famous four engine heavy bomber depicted? Hint

Boeing B17 Flying Fortress
Short Stirling
Hanley Page Halifax
Avro Lancaster

photo quiz
10. As World War Two drew to end, the RAF entered the jet age with its first operational jet fighter. What is this the name of this fighter? Hint

Supermarine Attacker
De Havilland Vampire
Gloster Meteor
Hawker Sea Hawk

photo quiz
11. This next aircraft is an English Electric Canberra designed to replace the de Havilland Mosquito. In which year as the last Canberra finally retired from RAF service? Hint

1996
2006
1986
1876

photo quiz
12. This aircraft is the English Electric Lightning, the only British built jet fighter capable of obtaining Mach 2 to see operational service with the RAF: True or False?

True
False

photo quiz
13. The Panavia Tornado was built-in collaboration with a number of European countries. Which of the following countries DID NOT contribute to the development of the Tornado? Hint

Germany
Italy
Great Britain
France

photo quiz
14. The Hawker Siddeley Harrier is known the world over for its capability to take off and land vertically. After which bird-of-prey was the prototype - the Hawker P.1127 - named before it became known as the Harrier?
Hint

Kestrel
Peregrine
Merlin
Hobby

photo quiz
15. In this image are two aircraft that form the future of the RAF. One is the F.35 Lightning II, the other - suspended above the F.35 - is the Eurofighter which shares it name with which famous RAF fighter-bomber of World War Two? Hint

Spitfire
Tempest
Hurricane
Typhoon


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. This aircraft is a Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe, which entered service with the RAF late in 1918. The Snipe succeeded which famous Sopwith fighter that had been introduced in 1917?

Answer: Sopwith Camel

Entering service in March 1918, the Sopwith Snipe succeeded its better known predecessor, the Sopwith Camel. Despite not being as fast as other fighters introduced late in the First World War, the Snipe had a rapid rate of climb and was maneuverable. In addition, the Snipe had a stronger airframe than previous Sopwith aircraft and offered a better forward and above view for the pilot. The Snipe was a private venture for Sopwith, using the license grated to the company to build the Sopwith Rhino bomber - which failed to see service due to development problems.

The Snipe first flew in October of 1917 against planes built by Bolton Paul, Neiuport and Austin Osprey. Despite little difference between the performance of the Snipe compared to the other aircraft on trial, the Air Ministry ordered 1,700 - rising to 4,500 - of which nearly 500 were built before the end of the First World War.

Armed with two.303 Vickers machine guns, the Snipe could also carry four 25lb bombs. Although similar in other areas compared to the Sopwith Camel on performance, the Snipe was slightly faster than the Camel at 10,000 feet. In addition, the Sniped address some of the problems pilots had in flying the Camel with regards to the way the Camel handled.

By default, the Sopwith Snipe became the main fighter of the fledgling RAF when it was formed in 1918, seeing service with the RAF until 1926. In addition, it also saw service with the Canadian, Australian and Brazilian air forces, along with a captured Snipe serving with the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution.
2. Another aircraft inherited by the fledgling RAF was the Airco DH.9A. This aircraft was designed by which person, who set up his own aircraft company out of Airco's assets after World War One?

Answer: Geoffrey de Havilland

Redesigned out the of the failure of the Airco DH.9, the DH.9A addressed the former aircraft's failings by replacing the Siddeley Puma 6 cylinder inline engine fitted to the DH.9 with the 12 cylinder Liberty L-12 engine. The Airco DH.9A featured not only a new engine but also improvements to the airframe over its predecessor.

The DH.9A took its DH prefix from Airco's chief designer Geoffrey de Havilland who had designed the DH.9 as initially as a light bomber, although later variants also included floatplanes. In addition, Poliarkov also built copies of the DH.9A for Russia as the Poliarkov R-1 and R-2.

The DH.9A served with the RAF until it was retired in 1930. In addition, the DH.9A also served with the Canadian, Australian, Afghanistan, Iranian and Latvian air forces as well as the United State Navy and Marine Corp.

Geoffrey de Havilland was hired by Airco's founder - George Holt Thomas - in 1914 after leaving the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough. De Havilland also designed, or had a part in designing, several other aircraft for Airco such as the DH.2 (fighter), DH.4 (bomber), DH.6 (trainer) and the DH.16 and DH.18 passenger aircraft.

When Airco went into liquidation after World War One, the company's assets were initially sold to the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) in 1920. When BSA found out about the state of the finances for Airco's assets, they liquidated those assets with de Havilland, buying them to form the de Havilland Aircraft Company Limited.
3. During the period between the First and Second World Wars, the RAF underwent many changes, including being used for policing parts of the world under British control. One of the types used was this aircraft designed by Bristol. What is this aircraft known as?

Answer: Bulldog

During the 1920s, the Bristol Aircraft Company chief designer, Frank Barnwell, began work on a new fighter for the company. A few early attempts failed, either due to Bristol wanting to use its own engines (rather than those of Rolls Royce) or to limit supplies of the company's own engine. By 1927, Bristol presented the Air Ministry with two aircraft; the Bullpup - powered by a Bristol Mercury engine - and the Bulldog - powered by a Bristol Jupiter engine.

Although similar in design, the Bullpup was initially selected for testing, however, Bristol pressed ahead with the designs for a prototype Bulldog as a private venture, encouraged by the selection of the Bullpup for trials with the RAF.

In 1927, the first test flight of the Bulldog took place at RAF Martlesham Heath against a competitor from Hawker named the Hawfinch. After some handling issues were addressed in the initial trials, the Bulldog was finally selected, as the aircraft was easier to maintain than the Hawfinch.

Around 500 Bulldogs were eventually built, not only serving with the RAF but also with the Australian, Estonian, Finnish, Swedish and Latvian air forces among others who also brought the aircraft secondhand.

Although never actually seeing combat service with the RAF, the Bristol Bulldog was stationed in the Sudan during the 1935-36 Abyssinian Crisis. Despite being retired by the RAF in 1937, the Bristol Bulldog was used by the Finnish Air Force during the 1939 Winter War with Russia, gaining some limited success against more modern aircraft at the time.

One notable Bulldog pilot was the famous Douglas Bader who lost both his legs as a result of crashing a Bulldog whilst performing a flying stunt, allegedly on a dare. Despite his injuries, Bader returned to flying at the outbreak of World War Two becoming an ace before being captured in 1941 when force to bail out of his aircraft over France.
4. This aircraft is a Hawker Hart light bomber. There were a number of variants of the Hart built that were named Audax, Demon, Hind, Osprey and Hardy. True or False?

Answer: True

Designed by Sydney Camm during the 1920s, the Hawker Hart was designated as a two seat light-bomber, eventually able to carry up to a 500lb bomb load and armed with two forward facing machine guns with one machine gun operated by the observer. Powered by a Rolls Royce Kestrel engine, the Hawker Hart had a top speed on around 180mph.

The top speed of the Hawker Harts meant that it was faster than a number of other RAF fighters that were already in service, prompting a fighter version named the Hawker Demon. Although the RAF had also selected the Hawker Fury as its primary fighter aircraft, the Demon was seen as a suitable stop gap measure due to the costs of purchasing the Hawker Fury.

The Hawker Audax was built as an army co-operation aircraft with a few modifications to pick up messages from the ground. A number of this variant of the Hart were used overseas from Canada to the Middle East. Like the Hawker Audax the Hawker Hardy was also designed to carry out similar activities. However, the main difference between the Audax and the Hardy was that the latter was specially built for tropical climates.

The Hawker Hind was built as a replacement for the Hart, acting as an interim design prior to the introduction of the Fairey Battle that was still in development. The Hind also had a variant named the Hawker Hector which was also sold to the Republic of Ireland.

The final variant of the Hawker Hart was the Hawker Osprey used by the Royal Navy as a fighter / reconnaissance aircraft on board the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers. A few Ospreys were even adapted a float plane launched from warships.

In addition to serving with the RAF, Hawker Harts and it variants flew with a number of other airforces across the world. Despite being obsolete by the outbreak of World War Two, Harts - and its variants - saw action in overseas territories including Iraq due to lack of more modern aircraft that were available at the time.
5. This next aircraft is a Stranraer flying boat. It was built by which aircraft company, entering service a few years prior to the start of World War II?

Answer: Supermarine

Designed by R.J. Mitchell, the Supermarine Stranraer was a twin engine seaplane, built for the reconnaissance role at sea. A bi-plane, the Stranraer was based around the Supermarine Scapa - itself based on the Supermarine Southampton.

Powered by the Bristol Pegasus X engines, the Stranraer had a top speed of 165mph. However, by the time the Stranraer was introduced into RAF service in 1937, it was already outdated. Unloved by both the aircrews that flew in it and the ground crews that serviced it, the Stranraer gained several derisive nicknames including the "Flying Meccano Set", the "Whistling Birdcage" and the "Strainer".

As such, only 57 Stranraers entered service with the RAF, some of which were made in Canada for use in the Canadian Air Force. Given that the Stranraer was only armed with 3 x.303 Lewis machine guns, by 1941, the RAF had withdrawn its Stranraers from operational use, relegating them to train aircrews until 1942.

Of those Stranraers that survived World War Two, some found a second life, use by civilian companies in Canada and the United States of America, some flying until 1957 before being sold for private use. The example displayed at the RAF Museum in Hendon is the last surviving Canadian-built Stranraer.
6. The aircraft under restoration in this image gained the nicknames of the "Wooden Wonder" and the "Timber Terror", what is the name of this aircraft?

Answer: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito

The development of the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito can be traced back to the 1930s when the chief designer for Handley Page - George Volkert - first proposed the concept of a fast, unarmed light-bomber.

Using his experience at making fast, wooden aircraft such as the De Havilland Albatross and De Havilland DH.88 Comet racing aircraft Geoffrey De Havilland set up a design team - led by Ronald Eric Bishop - at Salisbury Hall in Hertfordshire in 1939 to begin work on what would become the Mosquito.

Powered by two Roll Royce Merlin engines, the Mosquito was largely constructed of wood with a spruce / balsa wood plywood skin laid over a wooden airframe that was constructed in two halves - to make installation of equipment easier. The wings were made in one piece before being fitted to the fuselage. In addition, early in the Mosquito's development provisions were also made to fit four 20mm cannon - later four.303 Browning machine guns were added to some aircraft.

Although at first the Air Ministry showed a lack of interest in the project, deeming it to radical, instead wanting a more multi-role aircraft. However, it was only when de Havilland's General Manager - L.C.L Murray - gave a promise to the head of Minister of Aircraft Production - Lord Beaverbrook - that he could supply 50 mosquitos by the end of 1941 was the go ahead given to produce the Mosquito.

The first flight of the Mosquito prototype - now preserved at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum where it was built - took place in November 1940, with the Mosquito entering service in November 1941. During it's service with the RAF, the Mosquito performed many duties including unarmed bomber / photo reconnaissance aircraft, night-fighter, fighter-bomber and anti-shipping aircraft, gaining a fearsome reputation of being able to fly fast at low level and bombing with a high degree of accuracy.

By the end of World War Two, the Mosquito served with many air forces around the world, including the US Army Air Force, Australian, Canadian, Norwegian and Polish Air Force. In addition, a number of Mosquitos saw service after World War Two around the world, with the RAF retiring their last Mosquitos - then used as target tugs in 1963.
7. The aircraft in this image is a Hawker Hurricane designed by Sidney Camm. Hawker Hurricanes shot down more German aircraft during the Battle of Britain than the Supermarine Spitfire. True or False?

Answer: True

When work began on the Hawker Hurricane in 1934, the RAF had only 13 fighter squadrons, all equipped with biplane fighters. The growing threat of possible war and the need to re-arm with more modern fighters led Hawker to begin work on the Hurricane in 1934.

Although other fighter aircraft were being designed as all metal with a metal skin the Hurricane used aircraft building techniques that dated back to the first biplane with parts of the fuselage and wings being covered in fabric that was then covered in dope.

In 1935, the first Hurricane prototype flew, but without initial air ministry backing Hawker decided to go ahead and produce an initial batch of 1,000 aircraft. When the Air Ministry responded, the reduced the initial order to 600 Hurricanes. By the time production of the Hurricane stopped in 1944, over 14,000 Hurricanes had been built.

The Hurricane entered service with the RAF in 1937. Despite lacking in some areas compared to the Supermarine Spitfire in performance, there were many more Hurricanes in service with the RAF when the Battle of Britain began. In addition, the Hurricanes ease of serviceability and repair of battle damage meant could often be repaired by its ground crew whilst being re-armed and re-fueled.

Despite lacking in performance in some areas compared to the Spitfire and Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Hurricane had a tighter turning circle and proved to be a stable gun platform. As a result, Hurricanes accounted for nearly 60 "kills" during the Battle of Britain.

After the Battle of Britain, shortcomings in the Hurricane's design saw it transferred to other theatres of operations in favour of the more adaptable Spitfire - which could also be easily upgraded. During this time Hurricanes found a new role as ground attack aircraft, fitted with first 20mm cannon - and later 40mm cannon in the tank busting role. The Hurricane could also carry a small bomb load.

As well as the RAF, Hurricanes served with a number of other air forces during the war including the Indian, South African, Canadian and Yugoslavian air forces. Captured examples of the Hurricane were also used by the Axis forces including Germany and Japan.

The Hurricane also served with the Fleet Air Arm, whilst some Hurricanes near the end of their service life were launched from catapults fitted to merchant ships, The use of these Hurricanes was a stop gap measure to counter Luftwaffe attacks on Allied shipping gaining the name "Hurricats". However, there was also much danger to the pilots of these aircraft since they had to either bail out -and hope to be recovered - or ditch their Hurricane at sea.

After World War Two, the RAF quickly retired the Hurricane, now rendered obsolete due to the introduction of better, more able fighter designs. Today only a few examples are left in flying condition, most of the other surviving aircraft now in museums such as the RAF Museum in Hendon.
8. Designed by Bristol, this aircraft was nicknamed the "Whistling Death" by the Japanese when it was used against them during World War Two. What is this the name of this aircraft?

Answer: Bristol Beaufighter

The Bristol Beaufighter was originally conceived as a long range heavy fighter based on the Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber. However, as World War Two progressed the Beaufighter was also used as a night-fighter, anti-shipping attack aircraft - replacing the Beaufort - and also serving in a ground attack role.

Despite its size the Beaufighter was capable of flying at over 300mph and carried ten forward facing guns comprised of four 20mm cannons - in the fuselage - and six.303 machine guns - fitted in the wings. In some examples, the observer also has a rear facing machine gun.

The first prototype Beaufighter flew in 1939 - a few months before the outbreak of World War Two - entering into RAF service in 1940. Despite being unsuitable for its intended role of a heavy-fighter, the Beaufighter quickly found a new use as a night-fighter. This was due to the fact the size of the Beaufighter meant it could carry early air-borne radar equipment. The Beaufighter was only surpassed in this role by the introduction of the de Havilland Mosquito night-fighter variant.

In the anti-shipping role, the Beaufighter could either carry a single torpedo and bombs or eight 60lb rockets. These aircraft proved successful not only in the European theatre of war but the Far East and Pacific. There, like the Mosquito, some Beaufighters were used in low level attacks both over land and sea. It is whilst serving the RAF against the Japanese forces that it is said the Japanese soldiers gave the Beaufighter the nickname of the "whistling death" due to how much quieter the Beaufighters twin Bristol Hercules engines sounded compared to other aircraft.

Along with the RAF, other air forces operated Beaufighters during and after World War Two. Apart from the Australian and Canadian Air Force, the US Army Air Force also operated a few Beaufighters in the night-fighter role.
After the end of World War Two, the RAF converted a number of Beaufighters into target tug aircraft. Some surplus Beaufighters were sold to other air forces around the world including Greece, Portugal and Israel.

Today there are only a handful of Beaufighters surviving, many using bits of other Beaufighters in their restoration. At the Fighter Collection. Duxford - part of the Imperial War Museum - where one Beaufighter is being restored with the aim of getting it airworthy.
9. As World War Two progressed, the RAF introduced larger bombers capable of carrying heavy bomb loads, what is the name of this famous four engine heavy bomber depicted?

Answer: Avro Lancaster

Designed by Roy Chadwick, the Lancaster bomber evolved from the failure of the Avro Manchester Twin engine bomber. Work on the Avro Manchester began in the 1930s as a result of an Air Ministry requirement for a twin-engine bomber for use globally. The engine selected for use on the Manchester was the 24 Cylinder Rolls Royce Vulture engine. However, this engine proved problematic with many engine failures and lack of development due to Rolls Royce focusing more on the production of their Merlin engine.

By the time the Manchester had been introduced into RAF service in 1940, Roy Chadwick had already began working on an improved version powered by the Merlin engine. Although the Merlin engine was less powerful that the Vulture engine, it was far more reliable. Since theAvro Lancaster share much of its design with the Manchester, the first Lancaster actually used the airframe of an uncompleted Manchester with enlarged wings to carry four Merlin engines. The early test flights proved so successful that by the end of 1941, the first production Lancaster flew.

As World War Two progressed, the demand for Lancasters grew that other companies began building them with some built-in Canada. In addition, a number of variants were built, including some powered by the Bristol Hercules engine. With a long, large bomb bay, the Avro Lancaster evolved into carrying more and heavier bombs up to the 10 ton Grand Slam bomb by the end of the war. In addition, some Lancasters were modified for use by 617 Squadron to drop the bouncing bomb on German dams in what became known as the "Dam Buster Raids".

Although evolved from the failure of the Avro Manchester, the Lancaster airframe was itself adapted and improved upon. By the end of World War Two, there was a civilian version built named the Lancastrian and enlarged version - that was powered by Rolls Royce Griffon engines - called the Lincoln. The wings and tail plane of the Lancaster were also used as the basis for the Avro York transport aircraft.

Production of the Avro Lancaster continued for a short time after World War Two ended with the last Lancaster being retired from RAF service in 1953 whilst Canadian built Lancasters were eventually retired in 1963. The Avro Lancaster on display at the RAF Museum, Hendon is S Sugar that first entered service with the RAF in June 1942. Over the course of the war S Sugar completed 137 missions. S Sugar is one of the few surviving Lancasters that originally was going to be built as a Manchester but later converted to a Lancaster.
10. As World War Two drew to end, the RAF entered the jet age with its first operational jet fighter. What is this the name of this fighter?

Answer: Gloster Meteor

Development of the Gloster Meteor began in 1940, however, work on the engines to power the Meteor began work in 1936 based on the designs of Frank Whittle. Although not as advanced as other fighter designs such as the Messerschmitt Me 262, the Meteor proved a capable jet fighter when it entered service with the RAF in 1944 with 616 Squadron. In doing so the Meteor became the first and only Allied jet fighter to see service during World War Two.

Since it was feared that a Meteor would be shot down and captured by the Germans, the Meteors of 616 Squadron were limited to chasing and shooting down V-1 flying bombs. The speed of the Meteor proved ideal for this task. As the V-1 threat decreased, the first Meteors were then used to train US Army Airforce pilots on how to combat German jet fighters.

It was only in 1945 did Meteors finally see combat over Europe - even then restricted from flying over German territory in case one was shot down and fell into German or Russian hands. Instead, Meteors found themselves used in a ground attack role, destroying an estimated 46 German aircraft on the ground. Despite the Luftwaffe flying Me.262 jet fighters Meteors and the Me.262 never engaged each other in combat.

After World War Two, Meteors were improved fulfilling photo reconnaissance roles along with that of the night-fighter. Also Meteors were used as fighter-bombers armed with bombs and rockets. Meteors also saw service with the Royal Australian Air Force during the Korean War. During the Korean War, the Meteor engaged in Jet on Jet combat on a few occasions with the Russian built MiG-15. In the 1956 not only did the RAF use Meteors during the Suez Crisis, but also Israel and the Egyptian Air Force - having been sold some Meteors by Britain before an arms embargo was placed on Egypt and Israel.

A number of other air forces across the world also used Meteors including ironically the Luftwaffe, using Meteors as target tugs. The RAF retired their last Meteors in 1980s, by then relegated to the role of target tugs.

Across the world a number of Meteors survive in museums, however, only a few are left in flying condition two of which are used for ejection seat trials.
11. This next aircraft is an English Electric Canberra designed to replace the de Havilland Mosquito. In which year as the last Canberra finally retired from RAF service?

Answer: 2006

Developed as a successor to the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, work on the English Electric Canberra began in the mid 1940s. Part of the requirement for the Canberra was that it was capable of bombing from high altitude. Despite the size of the Canberra, early aircraft were able to evade early jet fighter and highly maneuverable in combat.

In addition, night-fighter variants were made of the Canberra, however, it was a photo reconnaissance aircraft that saw the Canberra service with the RAF until 2006 before finally being retired from service.

Due to the large wing area, photo reconnaissance Canberra's set a number of early jet altitude records and became the first jet aircraft to complete a trans-atlantic flight without in-air refuelling. Given the Canberra could fly at high altitude, some were used for early reconnaissance flights over Soviet held territory, able to fly higher than early jet interceptors and ground-to-air missiles.

Since the Canberra was so versatile, other nations purchased variants or obtain licences to build the Canberra. Among these was the United States of America, who under license with the Glenn L. Martin Company. Designated the Martin B-57, American built Canberra's served both in the counter-interdiction role (COIN) but also photo reconnaissance aircraft and electronic-counter measure (ECM) versions were produced.

The Canberra served in a number of conflicts throughout the world, even against countries who had both purchased Canberra variants. With America, the Martin B-57 served in Vietnam and was also sold to Pakistan. Even though the Canberra served many air forces into the late 20th, and into the early 21st century before being retired there are a number still of Canberras still being flown in private hands. Three Martin WB-57F Canberra were assigned to NASA for meteorological use and also communication purposes used in American and Afghanistan.
12. This aircraft is the English Electric Lightning, the only British built jet fighter capable of obtaining Mach 2 to see operational service with the RAF: True or False?

Answer: True

The origins of the English Electric Lightening can be traced back to the 1940s when the Air Ministry issued a specification for a supersonic fighter It was not until the late 1940s when William Edward Willoughby "Teddy" Petter first submitted plans for what eventually evolved into the Lightning.

Forming a design team with Frederick Page and Frederick Page, work began in earnest in developing the Lightning. Despite some scepticism over the Lightning's design, Petter leaving the design team over a production disagreement with English Electric the prototype first prototype Lightning named the p.1 took place in 1954. By 1958, the prototype Lightings had evolved with some modifications becoming the first and only solely British built fighter to achieve Mach 2.

By 1959, the first Lightnings entered service with the RAF, with other variants following. The primary role of the Lightning was to intercept Soviet bombers targeting the RAF "V Force" bomber airfields. As such, the Lightening had an exceptional rate of climb, to intercept potential enemy bombers.

When in the 1980s British Airways offered the use of Concorde as an intercept target to train NATO pilots, only the Lightning was capable of catching and over taking the Concorde used in the trail. This trial was carried out in tests alongside the F-14 Tomcat, the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, Mirages and the F-104 Starfighter. In addition, secret tests were carried out to see whether or not the Lightning could intercept the American U-2A reconnaissance aircraft which proved successful.

However, the Lightning was not without limitations, poor range and lack of offensive armament eventually saw the Lightning surpassed by other aircraft. As the RAF acquired ex-Royal Navy F-4 Phantoms, the Lightning was gradually phased out of service, retired in 1988. In addition, these shortcomings meant that only the Kuwait and the Royal Saudi Air Force purchased Lightnings for use.
13. The Panavia Tornado was built-in collaboration with a number of European countries. Which of the following countries DID NOT contribute to the development of the Tornado?

Answer: France

The origins of the Panavia Tornado can be traced back to the 1960 when a number of European countries were looking at developing a variable geometry winged aircraft, capable of performing a number of roles. By 1969, Britain German and Italy formed a collaboration to build such an aircraft, sharing the development costs between these countries.

The build the new aircraft, a company named Panavia Aircraft GmbH was formed comprising of companies now known as BAE Systems, DASA and Aeritalia. By 1974, the first test flights of the Tornado took place in Germany. Two years later in 1976, the first production Tornados were ordered, with the RAF and Luftwaffe accepting deliveries in 1979 and the Italian Airforce in 1981.

Originally intended as a low level bomber, the Tornado was also adapted as a fighter, maritime strike and reconnaissance aircraft, with nearly 1,000 aircraft produced. Although production stopped in the late 1990s, it is expected that the Tornado will continue to fly with the RAF until 2025.

During the Tornados service life with the RAF, it has seen combat during the First and Second Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, Libya and the Balkans. In addition, the Tornado has been used in air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.
14. The Hawker Siddeley Harrier is known the world over for its capability to take off and land vertically. After which bird-of-prey was the prototype - the Hawker P.1127 - named before it became known as the Harrier?

Answer: Kestrel

Work began on what became known as the Hawker Siddeley Harrier in the late 1950s. Despite a government shift towards missiles for defence and attack, it was identified there was still a need for a low level attack aircraft capable of vertical take off and landing. Due to the threat of attacks against airfields, what became known as V/STOL aircraft could be used without the need for a runway.

Working together with the Bristol Engine Company, Hawker Siddeley's design team of Sidney Camm and Ralph Hooper began work on the prototype Harrier - then known as the P.1127 in 1957. Powered by the Pegasus engine, the P.1127S innovative vectored thrust system used proved pivotal, enabling the P.1127 to take off and land vertically.

By 1960, the first test flights had taken place with nine aircraft ordered for evaluation purposes with the RAF, US Air Force and the Luftwaffe. By then, the P.1127 had been renamed the Kestrel. The first flight of the Kestrel took place in 1964 in Germany. By 1965, six of the remaining aircraft were sent to America and two to Britain for further trails - one Kestrel having been lost in an accident.

By 1969, the Kestrel had been renamed the Harrier, entering service with the RAF. In 1971 the US. Marine Corp began operating their first Harriers - renaming the Harrier as the AV-8A - with McDonnell Douglas obtaining a license to build them. Later, McDonnell Douglas and BAE Systems worked on an improved version of the Harrier which increase the Harrier's wing size and payload.

When what became the Harrier entered service, only the vertical land function was used when the Harrier was fully armed. This was to increase the payload the Harrier could carry. Even then, the Harrier was still capable of taking off in a short distance. As a result, the Harrier - as the Sea Harrier -became ideal for use by the Royal Navy on their Invincible class aircraft carriers. In addition, the US Marine Corp adopted the Harrier for use on their aircraft carriers to provide ground support for the Marines.

When the 1983 Falklands Conflict between Britain and Argentina took place, Royal Navy Sea Harriers proved more than able in intercepting and attacking Argentine Air Force aircraft, Meanwhile, RAF Harriers were used to attack ground targets on the Falkland Islands. Later Harriers were used in the Balkan Conflict, First and Second Gulf War and Afghanistan.

Despite attempts to sell the Harrier overseas only the Spanish, Indian and Thai Navy purchased the Harrier. By 2006, the RAF had retired its last Harriers - the same time the Royal Navy retired their Sea Harriers.

Although the Harrier was due to be replaced by the F-35 Lightning II in 2012. However, delays in testing the F.35 meant the F.35 will not enter service with the RAF and Royal Navy until 2018. Today, there are number of Harriers preserved, along with Kestrels and the P.1127, with the first P.1127 preserved in the Science Museum, London.
15. In this image are two aircraft that form the future of the RAF. One is the F.35 Lightning II, the other - suspended above the F.35 - is the Eurofighter which shares it name with which famous RAF fighter-bomber of World War Two?

Answer: Typhoon

As part of the programme to update and replace aging aircraft within the RAF, a collaboration was formed between a number of European countries to build an air superiority fighter. This resulted in the Eurofighter GmbH company being formed in the 1980s to oversee the project.

Britain, Germany and Italy - originally partners on the Panavia Tornado project - joined with other European countries to develop the Eurofighter. However, France backed out of the project to develop the Dassault Rafale - a similar design to the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Based upon the British Aerospace EAP - which first flew in 1986, the first Eurofighter prototypes flew in 1994, becoming known as the Typhoon in 1998 - the same name as a.
However, the end of the Cold War, government budget issues and agreements on development costs delayed the introduction of the Eurofighter in full RAF service until 2003.

Although designated as a fighter, the need for a ground attack aircraft to replace the Tornado and Harrier was identified, as a result variants of the Eurofighter had been made to carry air-to-ground missiles and bombs.

Despite entering service too late to see action in the Second Gulf War, RAF Eurofighters have been used against Islamic State targets in the Middle East - in conjunction with RAF Tornados. It is proposed that the Euro Fighter will see service with the RAF until 2040.

Apart from the RAF, Luftwaffe, Italian and Spanish Air Force, Austria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman. As well as the single seat Eurofighter, a twin seat version was built for training purposes - although it too can be used in combat if required.
Source: Author mcsurfie

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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