United Kingdom military aircraft serial numbers
United Kingdom military aircraft serials refers to the serial numbers used to identify individual military aircraft in the United Kingdom. All UK military aircraft are display a unique serial number. A unified serial number system, maintained by the Air Ministry, its successor the Ministry of Defence, is used for aircraft operated by the Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm and Army Air Corps. Military aircraft operated by government agencies and civilian contractors are assigned serials from this system; when the Royal Flying Corps was formed in 1912 aircraft were identified by a letter/number system related to the manufacturer. The prefix "A" was allocated to balloons of No.1 Company, Air Battalion, Royal Engineers, the prefix "B" to aeroplanes of No.2 Company, the prefix "F" to aeroplanes of the Central Flying School. The Naval Wing used the prefix "H" for seaplanes, "M" for monoplanes, "T" for aeroplanes with engines mounted in tractor configuration. Before the end of the first year a unified serial number system was introduced for both Army and Naval aircraft.
The serials are allocated when the contract is placed with the supplier. In an RAF or FAA pilot's personal service log book, the serial number of any aircraft flown, along with any other particulars, such as aircraft type, flight time, purpose of flight, etc. is entered by the pilot after every flight, thus giving a complete record of the pilot's flying activities and which individual aircraft have been flown. This first series ran from 1 to 10000 with blocks allocated to each service; the first serial was allocated to a Short S.34 for the Royal Naval Air Service, with the number 10000 going to a Blackburn-built B. E.2c aircraft in 1916. By 1916 the first sequence had reached 10000 and it was decided to start an alpha-numeric system from A1 to A9999 starting again at B1; the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, H, J were allocated to the Royal Flying Corps and N1 to N9999 and S1 to S9999 to the Royal Naval Air Service. When the sequence reached the prefix K it was decided to start at K1000 for all subsequent letters instead of K1.
Although the N and S series had earlier been used by RNAS aircraft, the sequence N1000 to N9999 was again used by the Air Ministry for both RAF and RN aircraft. The'Naval' S sequence had reached only S1865, a Fairey IIIF, but when R9999 was reached in 1939, the next serial allocations did not run on from that point, but instead commenced at T1000. From 1937 not all aircraft serials were allocated, in order to hide the true number of aircraft in production and service. Gaps in the serial number sequence were sometimes referred to as "blackout blocks"; the first example of this practice was an early 1937 order for 200 Avro Manchester bombers which were allotted the serials L7276-7325, L7373-7402, L7415-7434, L7453-7497, L7515-7549 and L7565-7584, covering a range of 309 possible serial numbers, thus making it difficult for an enemy to estimate true British military aircraft strength. By 1940 the serial Z9978 had been allocated to a Bristol Blenheim and it was decided to restart the sequence with a two-letter prefix, starting at AA100.
This sequence is still in use today. Until the 1990s this 2-letter, 3-numeral serial number sequence, had numbers in the range 100 to 999. An exception to this rule was Douglas Skyraider AEW1 which received the UK serial WT097, which incorporated the last 3 digits of its US Navy Bureau Number 124097. Past unassigned serials, including those having numerals 001-099, have been assigned; some letters have not been used to avoid confusion: C confusion with G, I confusion with 1, O and Q confusion with 0, U confusion with V and Y confusion with X. During the Second World War RAF aircraft carrying secret equipment, or that were in themselves secret, such as certain military prototypes, had a "/G" suffix added to the end of the serial, the "G" signifying "Guard", denoting that the aircraft was to have an armed guard at all times while on the ground, for example; as of 2009, serial allocations have reached the ZKnnn range. However, in recent years, serials have been allocated out-of-sequence. For example, the first RAF C-17 Globemaster was given the serial ZZ171 in 2001, a batch of Britten-Norman Defenders for the Army Air Corps were given serials in the ZGnnn range in 2003.
Some recent serials allocations have had a numeric part in the previously-unused 001 to 099 range. Distinct serial numbering systems are used to identify non-flying airframes used for ground training; the RAF have used a numeric sequence with an'M' suffix sometimes referred to as the'Maintenance' series. Known allocations, made between 1921 and 2000, ranged from 540M to 9344M, when this sequence was terminated; the main series of single letter serials did not use'M' to avoid confusion with the suffix'M'. The Fleet Air Arm use an'A'-prefixed sequence and the Army Air Corps issue'TAD' numbers to their instructional airframes; the serial numbers are carried in up to four places on each aircraft, on either side of the aircraft on a vertical surface and on the underside of each wing. The underwing serials specified so that in case of unauthorised low flying civilian personnel could report the offending aircraft to the local police, have not been displayed since the 1960s, as by
The Hawker P.1081 known as the "Australian Fighter" was a prototype British jet aircraft from the mid-twentieth century. The single example built was destroyed in a crash in 1951. In 1949, the Royal Australian Air Force began assessing replacements for two fighters built in Australia: the Mustangs built by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation and Vampires of De Havilland Australia. A series of designs were considered, including the Grumman F9F Panther and the CAC CA-23 – an unconventional, twin-jet all-weather design by CAC. Hawker Aircraft submitted a proposal, for a swept-wing, swept-tail fighter based on the Hawker P.1052, but using a Rolls-Royce Tay engine. Work began to modify the second prototype of the P.1052 along these lines, although the Rolls-Royce Nene engine fitted was retained. To allow an afterburner, the bifurcated tail-pipes of the P.1052 was replaced by a single tail-exit pipe. VX279, now the prototype P.1081, took to the air on 19 June 1950. CAC, evidently planning to build any design accepted by the Australian government, assigned the serial number CA-24 to the P.1081.
By mid-1950, the RAAF urgently required a replacement for its Mustangs, some of which were in action in Korea and faced the possibility of clashes with MiG 15s. The P.1081 could not realistically become operational within the time frame required. The US-built North American F-86 Sabre could not be delivered to the RAAF for at least a few years; as a stop-gap, the RAAF ordered the ready-made Gloster Meteor F.8. CAC instead built a more powerful, Rolls-Royce Avon-engined variant of the F-86 a project which resulted in the CAC Sabre; the P.1081 prototype, which had remained in the UK, was handed over by Hawker to the Royal Aircraft Establishment. Its swept tail increased the Mach number above that of the P.1052 into the Mach 0.9-0.95 region, providing valuable data that contributed to the design of the axially-powered Hawker Hunter. On 3 April 1951, the P.1081 prototype was lost with its pilot, Squadron Leader T. S. "Wimpy" Wade. United KingdomRoyal Aircraft Establishment Data from Mason: General characteristics Crew: one Length: 37 ft 4 in Wingspan: 31 ft 6 in Height: 10 ft 10 in Wing area: 258 ft² Empty weight: 11,200 lb Loaded weight: 14,480 lb Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Nene RN2 turbojet exhausting through tailpipe, 5,000 lbf Performance Maximum speed: 604 kn Service ceiling: 45,600 ft Related development Hawker P.1052 Notes Bibliography
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Liquid oxygen—abbreviated LOx, LOX or Lox in the aerospace and gas industries—is the liquid form of elemental oxygen. It was used as the oxidizer in the first liquid-fueled rocket invented in 1926 by Robert H. Goddard, it was mostly supplanted by gaseous oxidizers such as nitrogen tetroxide because of easier storage, as is the case with the American Titan II missile from the Cold War. Liquid oxygen has a pale blue color and is paramagnetic: it can be suspended between the poles of a powerful horseshoe magnet. Liquid oxygen has a density of 1.141 g/cm3 denser than liquid water, is cryogenic with a freezing point of 54.36 K and a boiling point of 90.19 K at 101.325 kPa. Liquid oxygen has an expansion ratio of 1:861 under 1 standard atmosphere and 20 °C, because of this, it is used in some commercial and military aircraft as a transportable source of breathing oxygen; because of its cryogenic nature, liquid oxygen can cause the materials it touches to become brittle. Liquid oxygen is a powerful oxidizing agent: organic materials will burn and energetically in liquid oxygen.
Further, if soaked in liquid oxygen, some materials such as coal briquettes, carbon black, etc. can detonate unpredictably from sources of ignition such as flames, sparks or impact from light blows. Petrochemicals, including asphalt exhibit this behavior; the tetraoxygen molecule was first predicted in 1924 by Gilbert N. Lewis, who proposed it to explain why liquid oxygen defied Curie's law. Modern computer simulations indicate that although there are no stable O4 molecules in liquid oxygen, O2 molecules do tend to associate in pairs with antiparallel spins, forming transient O4 units. Liquid nitrogen has a lower boiling point at −196 °C than oxygen's −183 °C, vessels containing liquid nitrogen can condense oxygen from air: when most of the nitrogen has evaporated from such a vessel there is a risk that liquid oxygen remaining can react violently with organic material. Conversely, liquid nitrogen or liquid air can be oxygen-enriched by letting it stand in open air. In commerce, liquid oxygen is classified as an industrial gas and is used for industrial and medical purposes.
Liquid oxygen is obtained from the oxygen found in air by fractional distillation in a cryogenic air separation plant. Air forces have long recognized the strategic importance of liquid oxygen, both as an oxidizer and as a supply of gaseous oxygen for breathing in hospitals and high-altitude aircraft flights. In 1985 the USAF started a program of building its own oxygen-generation facilities at all major consumption bases. Liquid oxygen is a common cryogenic liquid oxidizer propellant for spacecraft rocket applications in combination with liquid hydrogen, kerosene or methane. Liquid oxygen was used in the first liquid fueled rocket; the World War II V2 missile used liquid oxygen under the name A-Stoff and Sauerstoff. In the 1950's, during the Cold War both the United States' Redstone and Atlas rockets, the Soviet R-7 Semyorka used liquid oxygen. In the 1960's & 70's, the ascent stages of the Apollo Saturn rockets, the Space Shuttle main engines used liquid oxygen. In 2018, many rockets use liquid oxygen: Chinese space program: Long March 5, its derivations Long March 6, Long March 7 Indian Space Research Organisation: GSLV JAXA: H-IIA and H-IIB Roscosmos: Soyuz-2 and Angara ESA: Ariane 5 USA SpaceX: Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy United Launch Alliance: Atlas V, Delta IV Heavy, Vulcan Northrop Grumman: Antares 230 Blue Origin: New Shepard and New Glenn Rocket Lab: Electron By 1845, Michael Faraday had managed to liquefy most gases known to exist.
Six gases, resisted every attempt at liquefaction and were known at the time as "permanent gases". They were oxygen, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and nitric oxide. In 1877, Louis Paul Cailletet in France and Raoul Pictet in Switzerland succeeded in producing the first droplets of liquid air; the first measurable quantity of liquid oxygen was produced by Polish professors Zygmunt Wróblewski and Karol Olszewski on April 5, 1883
The Hawker Typhoon is a British single-seat fighter-bomber, produced by Hawker Aircraft. It was intended to be a medium–high altitude interceptor, as a replacement for the Hawker Hurricane but several design problems were encountered and it never satisfied this requirement; the Typhoon was designed to mount twelve.303 inch Browning machine guns and be powered by the latest 2,000 hp engines. Its service introduction in mid-1941 was plagued with problems and for several months the aircraft faced a doubtful future; when the Luftwaffe brought the formidable Focke-Wulf Fw 190 into service in 1941, the Typhoon was the only RAF fighter capable of catching it at low altitudes. The Typhoon became established in roles such as long-range fighter. From late 1942 the Typhoon was equipped with bombs and from late 1943 RP-3 rockets were added to its armoury. With those weapons and its four 20mm Hispano autocannons, the Typhoon became one of the Second World War's most successful ground-attack aircraft. Before Hurricane production began in March 1937, Sydney Camm had embarked on designing its successor.
Two preliminary designs were larger than the Hurricane. These became known as the "N" and "R", because they were designed for the newly developed Napier Sabre and Rolls-Royce Vulture engines respectively. Both engines were designed for over 2,000 hp. Hawker submitted these preliminary designs in July 1937 but were advised to wait until a formal specification for a new fighter was issued. In March 1938, Hawker received from the Air Ministry, Specification F.18/37 for a fighter which would be able to achieve at least 400 mph at 15,000 feet and specified a British engine with a two-speed supercharger. The armament fitted was to be twelve.303 inch Browning machine guns with 500 rounds per gun, with a provision for alternative combinations of weaponry. Camm and his design team started formal development of the designs and construction of prototypes; the basic design of the Typhoon was a combination of traditional Hawker construction and more modern construction techniques. The forward fuselage and cockpit skinning was made up of large, removable duralumin panels, allowing easy external access to the engine and engine accessories and most of the important hydraulic and electrical equipment.
The wing had a span of 41 feet 7 inches, with a wing area of 279 sq ft. It was designed with a small amount of inverted gull wing bend; the airfoil was a NACA 22 wing section, with a thickness-to-chord ratio of 19.5% at the root tapering to 12% at the tip. The wing possessed great structural strength, provided plenty of room for fuel tanks and a heavy armament, while allowing the aircraft to be a steady gun platform; each of the inner wings incorporated two fuel tanks. Incorporated into the inner wings were inward-retracting landing gear with a wide track of 13 ft 6¾ in. By contemporary standards, the new design's wing was "thick", similar to the Hurricane before it. Although the Typhoon was expected to achieve over 400 mph in level flight at 20,000 ft, the thick wings created a large drag rise and prevented higher speeds than the 410 mph at 20,000 feet achieved in tests; the climb rate and performance above that level was considered disappointing. When the Typhoon was dived at speeds of over 500 mph, the drag rise caused buffeting and trim changes.
These compressibility problems led to Camm designing the Typhoon II known as the Tempest, which used much thinner wings with a laminar flow airfoil. The first flight of the first Typhoon prototype, P5212, made by Hawker's Chief test Pilot Philip Lucas from Langley, was delayed until 24 February 1940 because of the problems with the development of the Sabre engine. Although unarmed for its first flights, P5212 carried 12.303 in Brownings, set in groups of six in each outer wing panel. P5212 had a small tail-fin, triple exhaust stubs and no wheel doors fitted to the centre-section. On 9 May 1940 the prototype had a mid-air structural failure, at the join between the forward fuselage and rear fuselage, just behind the pilot's seat. Philip Lucas could see daylight through the split but instead of bailing out, landed the Typhoon and was awarded the George Medal. On 15 May, the Minister of Aircraft Production, Lord Beaverbrook, ordered that resources should be concentrated on the production of five main aircraft types.
As a result, development of the Typhoon was slowed, production plans were postponed and test flying continued at a reduced rate. As a result of the delays the second prototype, P5216, first flew on 3 May 1941: P5216 carried an armament of four belt-fed 20 mm (
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft of the 1930s–40s, designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. for service with the Royal Air Force. It was overshadowed in the public consciousness by the Supermarine Spitfire's role during Battle of Britain in 1940, but the Hurricane inflicted 60 percent of the losses sustained by the Luftwaffe in the engagement, it went on to fight in all the major theatres of the Second World War; the Hurricane originated from discussions during the early 1930s between RAF officials and British aircraft designer Sir Sydney Camm on the topic of a proposed monoplane derivative of the Hawker Fury biplane. There was an institutional preference at the time for biplanes and a lack of interest from the Air Ministry, but Hawker chose to continue refining their monoplane proposal, which resulted in the incorporation of several innovations which became critical to wartime fighter aircraft, including a retractable undercarriage and a more powerful engine in the form of the newly developed Rolls-Royce Merlin.
The Air Ministry placed an order for Hawker's Interceptor Monoplane in late 1934, the prototype Hurricane K5083 performed its maiden flight on 6 November 1935. In June 1936, the Hurricane was ordered into production by the Air Ministry; the manufacture and maintenance of the aircraft was eased by its use of conventional construction methods which enabled squadrons to perform many major repairs themselves without external support. The Hurricane was procured prior to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, when the RAF had 18 Hurricane-equipped squadrons in service; the aircraft was relied upon to defend against the numerous and varied German aircraft operated by the Luftwaffe, including dogfighting with the capable Messerschmitt Bf 109 in multiple theatres of action. The Hurricane developed through several versions, as bomber-interceptors, fighter-bombers, ground support aircraft in addition to fighters. Versions designed for the Royal Navy were popularly known as the Sea Hurricane, with modifications enabling their operation from ships.
Some were converted to be used as catapult-launched convoy escorts. By the end of production in July 1944, 14,487 Hurricanes had been completed in Canada. During the era in which the Hawker Aircraft company developed the Hurricane, RAF Fighter Command comprised just 13 squadrons, equipped with the Hawker Fury, Hawker Demon, or the Bristol Bulldog, all biplanes furnished with fixed-pitch wooden propellers and non-retractable undercarriages. At the time, there was an institutional reluctance towards change within the Air Staff. In 1934, the British Air Ministry issued Specification F.7/30 in response to demands within the Royal Air Force for a new generation of fighter aircraft. Earlier, during 1933, British aircraft designer Sydney Camm had conducted discussions with Major John Buchanan of the Directorate of Technical Development on a monoplane based on the existing Fury. Mason attributes Camm's discussions with figures within the RAF, such as Squadron Leader Ralph Sorley, as having provoked the specification and some of its details, such as the preference for armaments being installed within the wings instead of within the aircraft's nose.
Camm's initial submission in response to F.7/30, the Hawker P. V.3, was a scaled-up version of the Fury biplane. However, the P. V.3 was not among the proposals which the Air Ministry had selected to be constructed as a government-sponsored prototype. After the rejection of the P. V.3 proposal, Camm commenced work upon a new design involving a cantilever monoplane arrangement, complete with a fixed undercarriage, armed with four machine guns and powered by the Rolls-Royce Goshawk engine. The original 1934 armament specifications for what would evolve into the Hurricane were for a similar armament fitment to the Gloster Gladiator: four machine-guns, two in the wings and two in the fuselage, synchronized to fire through the propeller arc. By January 1934, the proposal's detail drawings had been finished, but these failed to impress the Air Ministry enough for a prototype to be ordered. Camm's response to this rejection was to further develop the design, during which a retractable undercarriage was introduced and the unsatisfactory Goshawk engine was replaced by a new Rolls-Royce design designated as the PV-12, which went on to become famous as the Merlin engine.
In August 1934, a one-tenth scale model of the design was produced and dispatched to the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington. A series of wind tunnel tests confirmed the aerodynamic qualities of the aircraft were in order, in September 1934, Camm again approached the Air Ministry; this time, the Ministry's response was favourable, a prototype of the "Interceptor Monoplane" was promptly ordered. In July 1934 at a meeting chaired by Air Commodore Tedder, Air Ministry Science Office Captain F. W. Hill presented his calculation showing that future fighters must carry no less than eight machine guns, each capable of firing 1,000 shots a minute. Hill's assistant in making his calculations was his teenage daughter. Of the decision to place eight machine guns in fighters, Keith says'The battle was brisk and was carried into high quarters before the implementing authority was given. My Branch had made out a sound case for 8-gun fighters and if this recommendation had not been accepted and we had been content with half-measures, it might indeed have gone ill for us during the late summer of 19