Cathay Pacific Airways Limited known as Cathay Pacific or just Cathay, is the flag carrier of Hong Kong, with its head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport. The airline's operations and subsidiaries have scheduled passenger and cargo services to more than 190 destinations in more than 60 countries worldwide including codeshares and joint ventures. Cathay Pacific operates a fleet of wide-body aircraft, consisting of Airbus A330, Airbus A350 and Boeing 777 equipment. Cathay Pacific Cargo operates two models of the Boeing 747. Wholly owned subsidiary airline Cathay Dragon operates to 44 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region from its Hong Kong base. In 2010, Cathay Pacific and Cathay Pacific Cargo, together with Cathay Dragon, carried nearly 27 million passengers and over 1.8 million tons of cargo and mail. The airline was founded on 24 September 1946 by Australian Sydney H. de Kantzow and American Roy C. Farrell; the airline made the world's first non-stop transpolar flight flying over the North Pole in July 1998, the maiden flight to arrive at the new Hong Kong International Airport.
The airline celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016. It is reciprocally one of the major shareholders of Air China. Cathay Pacific is the world's tenth largest airline measured in terms of sales, fourteenth largest measured in terms of market capitalisation. In 2010, Cathay Pacific became the world's largest international cargo airline, along with main hub Hong Kong International Airport as the world's busiest airport in terms of cargo traffic, it is one of the founding members of the Oneworld alliance. Cathay Pacific's subsidiary Cathay Dragon is an affiliate member of Oneworld. Cathay Pacific Airways was founded on 24 September 1946 in Hong Kong, with Sydney "Syd" de Kantzow, Roy Farrell, as well as Neil Buchanan, Donald Brittan Evans and Robert "Bob" Stanley Russell were the initial shareholders. Buchanan and Russell worked for de Kantzow and Farrell in the predecessor of Cathay Pacific, Roy Farrell Import-Export Company, headquartered in Shanghai. Both de Kantzow and Farrell were ex-air force pilots who had flown the Hump, a route over the Himalayan mountains.
Farrell purchased the airline's first aircraft, a Douglas DC-3, nicknamed Betsy, in Bush Field, New York City in 1945. The company began freight services on 28 January 1946 from Sydney to Shanghai, after Farrell and Russell flew the plane to Australia and obtained a license to carry freight services earlier that month, its first commercial flight was a shipment of Australian goods. The profitable business soon attracted attention from the Republic of China government officials. After several instances where the company's planes were detained by authorities in Shanghai, on 11 May 1946 the company relocated, flying its two planes to Hong Kong. Farrell and de Kantzow re-registered their business in Hong Kong on 24 September 1946 as "Cathay Pacific Airways Limited", while another sister company The Roy Farrell Export Import Company Limited was incorporated on 28 August 1946 and chartered some flights of Cathay. According to International Directory of Company Histories, forming two companies are for tax purposes.
They named the airline Cathay, the ancient name given to China, Pacific because Farrell speculated that they would one day fly across the Pacific. Moreover, to avoid the name "Air Cathay" as it was occurred in a comic; the Chinese name for the company was not settled on until the 1950s. It comes from a Chinese idiom meaning "grand and peaceful state" and was at the time used by other businesses called "Cathay" in English. According to legend, the airline's unique name was conceived by Farrell and some foreign correspondents at the bar of the Manila Hotel, while another narrative was the name was taken in the Cathay Hotel in Shanghai Bund, during drinking and brainstorming, choosing Cathay was to avoid the word China in the airline name. 25 September, on Cathay Pacific's maiden voyage, de Kantzow and Peter Hoskins flew from Sydney to Hong Kong via Manila. The airline flew routes between Hong Kong, Manila, Shanghai, Bangkok, with additional chartered destinations; the airline grew quickly. By 1947, it had added 2 Vickers Catalina seaplane to its fleet.
In 1948, a new legal person of Cathay Pacific Airways was incorporated, with John Swire & Sons, China Navigation Company, Australian National Airways being the new shareholders of the new entity, acquiring the assets from the old legal person. De Kantzow and Russell were the shareholders of Cathay Pacific Holdings at that time, it was reported that the colonial British government of Hong Kong, required the airline was majority owned by British. Despite de Kantzow being a British subject through his Australian roots, Farrell was an American, thus forcing them to sell their majority stake. Under Swire's management, de Kantzow remained in the airline until 1951, while Farrell had sold his minority stake in Cathay Pacific soon after Swire's takeover in 1948, due to his wife's health problems, he became a successful businessman. Swire acquired 52% of Cathay Pacific Airways; as of 31 December 2017, the airline is still 45% owned by Swire Group through its subsidiary Swire Pacific Limited, as the largest shareholder.
However, Swire Group formed a shareholders' agreement with the second largest shareholder Air China (which was controlled by state-owned China National Aviation Hold
The Bristol Type 156 Beaufighter is a multi-role aircraft developed during the Second World War by the Bristol Aeroplane Company in the United Kingdom. It was conceived as a heavy fighter variant of the Bristol Beaufort bomber. Upon its entry to service, the Beaufighter proved to be well suited to the night fighter role, for which the Royal Air Force deployed the type during the height of the Battle of Britain, in part due to its large size allowing it to accommodate both heavy armaments and early airborne interception radar without major performance penalties; as its wartime service continued, the Beaufighter was used in many different roles. In operations, it served as a maritime strike/ground attack aircraft, RAF Coastal Command having operated the largest number of Beaufighters amongst all other commands at one point; the Royal Australian Air Force made extensive use of the type in the maritime anti-shipping role, such as during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. The Beaufighter saw extensive service during the war with the RAF, Fleet Air Arm, RAAF, Royal Canadian Air Force, United States Army Air Forces, Royal New Zealand Air Force, South African Air Force and Polskie Siły Powietrzne.
In addition, variants of the Beaufighter were manufactured in Australia by the Department of Aircraft Production. The concept of the Beaufighter has its origins in 1938. During the Munich Crisis, the Bristol Aeroplane Company recognised that the Royal Air Force had an urgent need for a long-range fighter aircraft capable of carrying heavy payloads for dealing high amounts of damage; the results of evaluations of the Beaufort had concluded it to have great structural strength and stiffness in areas such as the wings, nacelles and tail, so that the aircraft could be developed further for greater speed and manoeuvrability akin to a fighter-class aircraft. Accordingly, Bristol's design team, led by Leslie Frise, commenced the development of a cannon-armed fighter derivative as a private venture. A key goal for the prospective aircraft was to share the same jigs as the in-production Beaufort so that manufacturing could be switched from one aircraft to the other at short notice; as a torpedo bomber and aerial reconnaissance aircraft, the Beaufort had modest performance.
To achieve the fighter-like performance desired for the Beaufighter, Bristol suggested that they equip the aircraft with a pair of their new Hercules engines, capable of around 1,500 hp, in place of the Beaufort's 1,000 hp Bristol Taurus engines. The Hercules was a larger and more powerful engine which required larger propellers. To obtain the necessary ground clearance, the engines were mounted centrally on the wing, as opposed to the underslung position on the Beaufort. In October 1938, the project, which received the internal designation Type 156, was outlined. In March 1939, the Type 156 was given the name Beaufighter. During early development, Bristol had formalised multiple configurations for the prospective aircraft, including variations such as a proposed three-seat bomber outfitted with a dorsal gun turret armed with a pair of cannons, designated as the Type 157, what Bristol referred to as a sports model, equipped with a thinner fuselage, designated as the Type 158. Bristol proceeded to suggest their concept for a fighter development of the Beaufort to the Air Ministry.
The timing of the suggestion happened to coincide with delays in the development and production of the Westland Whirlwind cannon-armed twin-engine fighter. While there was some scepticism that the aircraft was unnecessarily large for the fighter role, the proposal was given an overall warm reception by the Air Staff. Accordingly, the Air Ministry produced draft Specification F.11/37 in response to Bristol's suggestion for an "interim" aircraft, pending the proper introduction of the Whirlwind. On 16 November 1938, Bristol received formal authorisation to commence the detailed design phase of the project and to proceed with the construction of four prototypes. Amongst the design requirements was that the aircraft had to be able to accommodate the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine as an alternative powerplant to the proposed Hercules, that it have maximum interchangeability between the two engines, which would feature removable installations. Bristol began building an initial prototype by taking a built Beaufort out of the production line.
This conversion served to speed progress. Designers expected that maximum re-use of Beaufort components would speed the process, but the fuselage required more work than expected and had to be redesigned. In anticipation of this, the Air Ministry had requested that Bristol investigate the prospects of a'slim fuselage' configuration. Since the "Beaufort cannon fighter" was a conversion of an existing design and production was expected to proceed more than with a fresh design. Within six months of the first F.11/37 prototype, designated R2052, had been completed. A total of 2,100 drawings were produced during the transition from Beaufort to the prototype Beaufighter, more than twice as many were created during development, between the prototype Beaufighter and the operational production models. Two w
The Gloster Javelin is a twin-engined T-tailed delta-wing subsonic night and all-weather interceptor aircraft that served with Britain's Royal Air Force from the mid-1950s until the late 1960s. The last aircraft design to bear the Gloster name, it was introduced in 1956 after a lengthy development period and received several upgrades during its lifetime to its engines and weapons, which included the De Havilland Firestreak air-to-air missile; the Javelin was succeeded in the interceptor role by the English Electric Lightning, a supersonic aircraft capable of flying at more than double the Javelin's top speed, introduced into the RAF only a few years later. The Javelin served for much of its life alongside the Lightning. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Britain identified a threat posed by the jet-powered strategic bomber and atomic weaponry and thus placed a great emphasis on developing aerial supremacy through continuing to advance its fighter technology following the end of conflict.
Gloster Aircraft, having developed and produced the only Allied jet aircraft to be operational during the war, the Gloster Meteor, sought to take advantage of its expertise and responded to a 1947 Air Ministry requirement for a high-performance night fighter under Air Ministry specification F.44/46. The specification called for a two-seat night fighter, that would intercept enemy aircraft at heights of up to at least 40,000 feet, it would have to reach a maximum speed of 525 kn at this height, be able to perform rapid ascents and attain an altitude of 45,000 feet within ten minutes of engine ignition. Additional criteria given in the requirement included a minimum flight endurance of two hours, a takeoff distance of 1,500 yards, structural strength to support up to 4g manoeuvres at high speed and for the aircraft to incorporate airborne interception radar, multi-channel VHF radio and various navigational aids; the aircraft would be required to be economical to produce, at a rate of ten per month for an estimated total of 150 aircraft.
Gloster produced several design proposals in the hope of satisfying the requirement. P.228, drawn up in 1946, was a two-seat Meteor with swept wings. A similar design was offered to the Royal Navy as the P.231. The later-issued P.234 and P.238 of early 1947 had adopted many of the features that would be distinctive of the Javelin, including the large delta wing and tailplane. The two differed in role; the RAF requirements were subject to some changes in regards to radar equipment and armaments. On 13 April 1949, the Ministry of Supply issued instructions to two aircraft manufacturers, Gloster and de Havilland, to each construct four airworthy prototypes of their competing designs to meet the requirement, as well as one airframe each for structural testing; these prototype aircraft were the Gloster GA.5, designed by Richard Walker, the de Havilland DH.110, the latter of which held the advantage of being under consideration for the Royal Navy. Development was delayed through political cost-cutting measures, the number of prototypes being trimmed down to an unworkable level of two each before the decision was reversed.
The first prototype was completed in 1951. An unusual feature of the prototypes was the opaque canopy over the rear cockpit, it had been believed that visibility outside the cockpit was unnecessary and a hindrance to the observer. Following a month of ground testing, on 26 November 1951, the first prototype conducted its first flight at Moreton Valence airfield. Bill Waterton, Gloster's Chief Test Pilot, would describe the Javelin as being "as easy to fly as an Anson", although expressing concern over its inadequate power controls. Disaster nearly struck during one test flight when aerodynamic flutter caused the elevators to detach in mid-flight, he was awarded the George Medal for his actions to retrieve flight data from the burning aircraft. The second prototype received a modified wing in 1953. After initial testing by Waterton, it was passed to another Gloster test pilot, Peter Lawrence for his opinion. On 11 June 1953, the aircraft crashed during testing. Lawrence had ejected from the aircraft, but too late, was killed.
The Javelin had experienced a "deep stall". Without elevator control, Lawrence was unable to regain control and the aircraft dropped from the sky. A stall warning device was developed and implemented for the Javelin; the third prototype, the first to be fitted with operational equipment including radar, first flew on 7 March 1953. The fourth WT827 was passed to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment for trials and the fifth prototype, WT836, made its first flight in July 1954. On 4 July 1954, a prototype Javelin accidentally achieved supersonic speed during a test flight, the pilot having b
North American T-6 Texan
The North American Aviation T-6 Texan is an American single-engined advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force, other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1970s. Designed by North American Aviation, the T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force; the United States Army Air Corps and USAAF designated it as the AT-6, the United States Navy the SNJ, British Commonwealth air forces the Harvard, the name by which it is best known outside the US. Starting in 1948, the new United States Air Force designated it the T-6, with the USN following in 1962, it remains a popular warbird aircraft used for static displays. It has been used many times to simulate various Japanese aircraft, including the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, in movies depicting World War II in the Pacific. A total of 15,495 T-6s of all variants were built; the Texan originated from the North American NA-16 prototype which, modified as the NA-26, was submitted as an entry for a USAAC "Basic Combat" aircraft competition in March 1937.
The first model went into production and 180 were supplied to the USAAC as the BC-1 and 400 to the RAF as the Harvard I. The US Navy received 16 modified aircraft, designated the SNJ-1, a further 61 as the SNJ-2 with a different engine; the BC-1 was the production version of the NA-26 prototype, with retractable tailwheel landing gear and the provision for armament, a two-way radio, the 550-hp R-1340-47 engine as standard equipment. Production versions included the BC-1 with only minor modifications, of which 30 were modified as BC-1I instrument trainers. Three BC-2 aircraft were built before the shift to the "advanced trainer" designation, AT-6, equivalent to the BC-1A; the differences between the AT-6 and the BC-1 were new outer wing panels with a swept-forward trailing edge, squared-off wingtips, a triangular rudder, producing the canonical Texan silhouette. After a change to the rear of the canopy, the AT-6 was designated the Harvard II for RAF/RCAF orders and 1,173 were supplied by purchase or Lend Lease operating in Canada as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
Next came the AT-6A, based on the NA-77 design and was powered by the Pratt & Whitney R-1340-49 Wasp radial engine. The USAAF received 1,549 and the US Navy 270; the AT-6B was built for gunnery training and could mount a.30 caliber machine gun on the forward fuselage. It used the R-1340-AN-1 engine, to become the standard for the remaining T-6 production. Canada's Noorduyn Aviation built an R-1340-AN-1-powered version of the AT-6A, supplied to the USAAF as the AT-16 and the RAF/RCAF as the Harvard IIB, some of which served with the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Canadian Navy. In late 1937, Mitsubushi purchased two NA-16s as technology demonstrators and a licence. However, the aircraft developed by Watanabe/Kyushu as the K10W1 bore no more than a superficial resemblance to the North American design, it featured a full monocoque fuselage as opposed to the steel tube fuselage of the T-6 and NA-16 family of aircraft, as well as being of smaller dimensions overall and had no design details in common with the T-6.
It was used in small numbers by the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1942 onwards. None survived the end of the war, after the war, the Japanese Air Self Defense Force operated Texans; the NA-88 design resulted in 2,970 AT-6C Texans and 2,400 as the SNJ-4. The RAF received 726 of the AT-6C as the Harvard IIA. Modifications to the electrical system produced the AT-6D and SNJ-5; the AT-6D, redesignated the Harvard III, was supplied to the Fleet Air Arm. When the USAF was created in 1948, its final production variant was nominated T-6G and involved major advancements including a full-time hydraulic system and a steerable tailwheel and persisted into the 1950s as the USAF advanced trainer. Subsequently, the NA-121 design with a clear rearmost section on the canopy, gave rise to 25 AT-6F Texans for the USAAF and 931, as the SNJ-6 for the US Navy; the ultimate version, the Harvard 4, was produced by Canada Car and Foundry during the 1950s, supplied to the RCAF, USAF and Bundeswehr. A total of 15,495 T-6s of all variants were built.
Twenty AT-6 Texans were employed by the 1st and 2nd fighter squadrons of the Syrian Air Force in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, providing ground support for Syrian troops, launching air strikes against Israeli airfields and columns, losing one aircraft to antiaircraft fire. They engaged in air-to-air combat on a number of occasions, with a tail gunner shooting down an Israeli Avia S-199 fighter; the Israeli Air Force bought 17 Harvards, operated nine of them in the final stages of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, against the Egyptian ground forces, with no losses. In the Sinai Campaign, IAF Harvards attacked Egyptian ground forces in Sinai Peninsula with two losses; the Royal Hellenic Air Force employed three squadrons of British- and American-supplied T-6D and G Texans for close air support and artillery spotting duties during the Greek Civil War, providing extensive support to the Greek army during the Battle of Gramos. Communist guerillas called these aircraft "O Galatas", because they saw them flying early in the morning.
After the "Milkmen", the guerillas waited for the armed Helldivers. During the Korean War and
De Havilland Tiger Moth
The de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth is a 1930s British biplane designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company. It was operated by many other operators as a primary trainer aircraft. In addition to the type's principal use for ab-initio training, the Second World War saw RAF Tiger Moths operating in other capacities, including maritime surveillance and defensive anti-invasion preparations; the Tiger Moth remained in service with the RAF until it was succeeded and replaced by the de Havilland Chipmunk during the early 1950s. Many of the military surplus aircraft subsequently entered into civil operation. Many nations have used the Tiger Moth in both military and civil applications, it remains in widespread use as a recreational aircraft in several countries, it is still used as a primary training aircraft for those pilots wanting to gain experience before moving on to other tailwheel aircraft. Many Tiger Moths are now employed by various companies offering trial lesson experiences.
The de Havilland Moth club, founded in 1975, is now an owners' association offering a mutual club and technical support. Among the reasons for which de Havilland came to pursue development of the Tiger Moth was the personal dissatisfaction of Geoffrey de Havilland, the company's owner and founder, who sought to produce a light aircraft superior to two of his previous designs, the de Havilland Humming Bird and de Havilland DH.51. From earlier experience, de Havilland knew the difficulty and importance of sizing such an aircraft to appeal to various sectors of the civil market, such as touring, flying club and private aviation customers; the starting point for the Tiger Moth was, in fact, the successful Gypsy Tiger. Successively more capable engines had been developed, the company had produced a prototype to test the new de Havilland Gipsy III engine; this prototype, a low-wing monoplane, was a modification of the standard Gypsy Tiger. Improvements made on the Tiger Moth monoplane were first incorporated into a military trainer variant of the de Havilland DH.60 Moth, designated the DH.60T Moth – in parlance the T came to stand for'Tiger' in addition to'Trainer'.
According to aviation author A. J. Jackson, development of the standard Tiger Moth version from the monoplane prototype had proceeded straightforward after this point; the DH.60T Moth had several shortcomings, thus was subject to several alterations, such as the adoption of shortened interplane struts in order to raise the wingtips after insufficient ground clearance was discovered while it was undergoing trials at RAF Martlesham Heath. As a result of the Martlesham trials, a favourable report for the type was produced, which in turn led to the type soon being formally adopted as the new basic trainer of the Royal Air Force. A single prototype, designated the DH.82 Tiger Moth, was ordered by the British Air Ministry under Specification 15/31, which sought a suitable ab-initio training aircraft. One of the main changes made from the preceding Moth series was necessitated by a desire to improve access to the front cockpit since the training requirement specified that the front seat occupant had to be able to escape especially when wearing a parachute.
Access to the front cockpit of the Moth's predecessors was restricted by the proximity of the aircraft's fuel tank, directly above the front cockpit and the rear cabane struts for the upper wing. The solution adopted was to shift the upper wing forward but sweep the wings back to maintain the centre of lift. Other changes included a strengthened structure, fold-down doors on both sides of the cockpit and a revised exhaust system. On 26 October 1931 the first'true' Tiger Moth, the prototype E6, conducted its maiden flight at Stag Lane Aerodrome, London. Shortly thereafter construction of the first 35 production aircraft for the RAF, designated K2567-K2601, began following the issuing of Specification T.23/31. The Tiger Moth became a commercial success, various models were exported to more than 25 air forces of various nations. In addition to the military demand, aircraft were produced for the civil market. At one point the flow of orders for the Tiger Moth occupied the entirety of de Havilland's capacity to manufacture aircraft, little capacity could be spared to accommodate domestic customers.
In 1932 de Havilland developed an affordable air taxi from the Tiger Moth. Following the end of all manufacturing, third parties would re-build Tiger Moths to a similar configuration to the Fox Moth, such as the Thruxton Jackaroo. In late 1934 50 Tiger Moths of a more refined design, sometimes referred to as the Tiger Moth II, were delivered to the RAF. Throughout the period 1934–1936 production activity was centred upon meeting the demand for military trainers, including several contracts having been placed by the RAF to Specification T.7/35 a
Duxford Aerodrome is located 8 nautical miles south of Cambridge, within the Parish of Duxford, Cambridgeshire and nearly 1-mile west of the village. The airfield is owned by the Imperial War Museum and is the site of the Imperial War Museum Duxford and the American Air Museum. Duxford Aerodrome has a Civil Aviation Authority Ordinary Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee; the aerodrome is not licensed for night use. Duxford airfield dates to 1918 when many of the buildings were constructed by German prisoner-of-war labour; the airfield housed 8 Squadron in 1919–1920, equipped with Bristol Fighters. The airfield was used by No. 2 Flying Training School RAF until April 1923, when 19 Squadron was formed at Duxford with Sopwith Snipes. By 1925 Duxford's three fighter squadrons had expanded to include the Gloster Grebes and Armstrong Whitworth Siskins. No.19 Squadron was re-equipped with Bristol Bulldogs in 1931, in 1935, was the first squadron to fly the RAF's fastest new fighter, the Gloster Gauntlet, capable of 230 mph.
The station was enlarged between 1928 and 1932. In 1935, Duxford was the venue for the Silver Jubilee Review before King George V and Queen Mary, the resident squadron still being No. 19. This squadron gave a special demonstration over Duxford for the King. In 1936 Flight Lieutenant Frank Whittle, studying at Cambridge University, flew from Duxford as a member of the Cambridge University Air Squadron. Whittle went on to develop the jet turbine as a means of powering an aircraft. In 1938 No. 19 Squadron was the first RAF squadron to receive the new Supermarine Spitfire. The third production Spitfire was presented to the squadron at Duxford on 4 August 1938 by Jeffrey Quill, Supermarine's chief test pilot. On 3 September 1939 Britain declared war on Duxford was ready to play a vital role. By June 1940 Belgium, the Netherlands and France were under German control and the invasion of Britain was their next objective. Duxford was placed in a high state of readiness, to create space for additional units at Duxford, 19 Squadron moved to nearby RAF Fowlmere.
The dominance of the skies over Britain would be crucial to keeping German forces out of the country, this became known as The Battle of Britain. Hurricanes first arrived at Duxford in July with the formation of 310 Squadron, which consisted of Czechoslovakian pilots who had escaped from France. At the end of August Air Vice-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, the commander of No. 12 Group, ordered the Hurricanes of 242 Squadron commanded by Douglas Bader to come down from RAF Coltishall to join 19 and 310 Squadrons which were on daily standby at Duxford. These units, led by Bader, became known as the "Duxford Wing", the first of 12 Group's "Big Wing" formations. On 9 September the Duxford squadrons intercepted and turned back a large force of German bombers before they reached their target; this proved Duxford's importance, so two more squadrons were added, No. 302 Squadron RAF with Hurricanes, the Spitfires of No. 611 Auxiliary Squadron which had mobilised at Duxford a year before. On average sixty Spitfires and Hurricanes were dispersed around RAF Fowlmere every day.
On 15 September 1940 they twice took to the air to repulse Luftwaffe aircraft intent on bombing London. RAF Fighter Command was victorious, the threat of invasion passed and Duxford's squadrons had played a critical role; this became known as'Battle of Britain Day'. In recognition of the efforts and sacrifices made by the squadrons and airmen during the Battle of Britain, the "gate guard" aircraft on display at the entrance gate to IWM Duxford is a Hawker Hurricane II, squadron code WX-E of No.302 Squadron, Serial No. P2954, flown by Flight Lieutenant Tadeusz Pawel Chlopik, RAF. Duxford became the home of several specialist units, including the Air Fighting Development Unit, which moved to the station at the end of 1940; the AFDU's equipment included captured German aircraft, which were restored to flying condition for evaluation. Duxford was important in developing the Hawker Typhoon into a formidable low-level and ground attack fighter, the suggestion of re-engining the Mk1 North American P-51 Mustang with the Merlin.
In 1942 the first Typhoon Wing was formed. Its first operation took place on 20 June 1942. Other RAF Fighter Command units which operated from Duxford were: 19, 56, 66, 133, 181, 195, 222, 242, 264, 266, 310, 312, 601, 609, 611 Squadrons and the AFDU. Duxford airfield was assigned to the United States Army Air Forces in 1943 and became known by the USAAF as "Station 357", it was allocated to the Eighth Air Force fighter command. USAAF Station Units assigned to RAF Duxford were: 79th Service Group84th and 378th Service Squadrons; the unit was re designated the'66th Fighter Wing' and was transferred to Sawston Hall near Cambridge on 20 August 1943. Combat flying units assigned were: 350th Fighter GroupThe 350th Fighter Group was activated at Duxford on 1 October 1942 by special authority granted to the Eighth Air Force with a nucleus of Bell P-39 Ai
De Havilland Vampire
The de Havilland Vampire is a British jet fighter developed and manufactured by the de Havilland Aircraft Company. It was the second jet fighter to be operated by the RAF, after the Gloster Meteor, the first to be powered by a single jet engine. Work on the Vampire commenced during 1941 in the midst of the Second World War. Out of the company's design studies, it was decided to settle on a single-engine, twin-boom aircraft, powered by the Halford H.1 turbojet engine. Aside from its propulsion system and twin-boom configuration, it was a conventional aircraft. Despite being ordered as an experimental aircraft only, during May 1944, it was decided to mass-produce the aircraft as an interceptor for the Royal Air Force. During 1946, the first production Vampire entered operational service with the RAF, only months after the conflict had come to an end; the Vampire proved to be an effective aircraft and was adopted as a replacement for many wartime piston-engined fighter aircraft. During its early service, it was recognised for accomplishing several aviation firsts and various records, such as being the first jet aircraft to traverse the Atlantic Ocean.
The Vampire remained in front-line service with the RAF up until 1953. During 1966, the Vampire was retired by the RAF, having been withdrawn from its final role as an advanced trainer after having been replaced by the Folland Gnat; the Royal Navy had adopted the type as the Sea Vampire, a navalised variant suitable for operations from its aircraft carriers. It was the service's first jet fighter; the Vampire had been exported to a wide variety of nations and was operated across a plethora of theatres and climates across the world. Several countries deployed the type in combat during several conflicts, including the Suez Crisis, the Malayan Emergency, the Rhodesian Bush War. By the end of production 3,300 Vampires had been manufactured, a quarter of these having been manufactured under licence in several other countries. In addition, de Havilland pursued the further development of the type. In January 1941, Sir Henry Tizard made an informal approach to the de Havilland Aircraft Company, suggesting that the company proceed to design a fighter aircraft that would harness the revolutionary new jet propulsion technology under development, along with an appropriate engine to go with it.
While no official specification had been issued, de Havilland decided to proceed with an exploration of the concept. The aero-engine designer Major Frank Halford had been given access to Frank Whittle's pioneering work on gas turbines. Halford's engine was developed, emerged as the Halford H.1. By April 1941, design work on the engine had been completed; the low power output of the early jet engines had meant that only twin-engined aircraft designs were considered to be practical during the early stages of development. Its first design, designated as the DH.99, was an all-metal, twin-boom, tricycle undercarriage aircraft armed with four cannon. The use of a twin boom enabled the jet pipe to be kept short, which avoided the power loss that would have occurred if a long pipe was used, as would have been necessary by a conventional fuselage, it put the rudder empennage clear of interference from the exhaust. Performance was estimated at 455 mph at sea level and initial climb of 4,590 ft/min on 2,700 lb thrust.
The Ministry of Aircraft Production expressed doubts regarding the estimations for the aircraft's performance and weight. The DH.99 design was soon modified to incorporate a combined wood-and-metal construction in light of recommendations from the MAP. The aircraft was considered to be a experimental design due to its use of a single engine and some unorthodox features, unlike the Gloster Meteor, specified for production early on. In February 1942, the MAP suggested dropping the project for a bomber but de Havilland stated that the twin-boom was, despite Ministry doubts, only an engineering problem to be overcome. On 22 April 1942, the construction of two prototypes was authorised by the Ministry while Specification E.6/41 was produced and