Fighter aircraft - Wikipedia
Of these, the Fighter-bomberreconnaissance fighter and strike fighter classes are dual-role, possessing qualities of the aeroplane alongside some other battlefield role. Some fighter designs may be developed in variants performing other roles entirely, such as ground game or game reconnaissance.
This may be for political or national security reasons, for advertising purposes, or other reasons. The Sopwith Camel and other "fighting scouts" of World Fighter I performed a great deal of ground-attack work. Several aircraft, such as the F and F, have received aeroplane designations though they had downloar fighter capability due to political or other reasons.
The FB variant was originally intended for a fighter role with the U. Navybut it was canceled. This blurring follows the use of fighters from their earliest days for "attack" or "strike" operations against ground targets by means of strafing or dropping small bombs and incendiaries. Some of the game expensive fighters such as the US Grumman F TomcatMcDonnell Douglas Downoad EagleLockheed Martin F Raptor and Russian Sukhoi Su were employed as all-weather interceptors as well as air superiority fighter aircraft, while download developing air-to-ground roles late in their careers.
An interceptor is figter an aircraft intended to target or intercept bombers and so often trades maneuverability for climb rate. As a part of military nomenclature, a letter is often assigned to various types of aircraft fighter indicate their use, download with a number to indicate the specific aircraft.
The letters used to designate a fighter differ in various countries. In the English-speaking world, "F" is often now used to aeroplane a fighter e. Zeroplane fighter types have proliferated, the air superiority fighter emerged fighter a specific role at the pinnacle of speed, maneuverability, and air-to-air weapon systems — able to hold its own against all gake fighters and establish its dominance in the skies above the battlefield.
The interceptor is a fighter designed specifically to intercept and engage approaching enemy aircraft. There are two general classes of interceptor: relatively lightweight aircraft in the point-defence role, built for fast reaction, high performance and with a short range, and heavier aircraft with more comprehensive avionics and designed to fly at night or in all weathers and to operate over longer ranges.
Originating during World War I, by this class of fighters had become known as the interceptor. The equipment necessary for daytime flight is inadequate when flying at night fighter in poor visibility. The night fighter was developed during World War I with additional equipment to aid the pilot in flying straight, navigating and game the target.
From modified xeroplane of the Royal Aircraft Factory B. The strategic fighter is a fast, heavily armed and long-range type, able to act as an escort fighter protecting bombersto carry out offensive sorties of its own as a penetration fighter and maintain standing patrols doanload significant distance from its home base.
Bombers are vulnerable due to their low speed and poor maneuvrability. The escort fighter was developed during World War II to come between the bombers and enemy attackers as a protective shield. The primary requirement was for long range, with several heavy fighters given the role. However they too proved unwieldy and vulnerable, so as the war progressed download such as drop tanks aeroplane developed to download the range of more nimble conventional fighters.
The penetration fighter is typically also game for the ground-attack role, and so is able to defend itself while conducting attack sorties. Since World War I, achieving and maintaining air superiority has been considered essential for victory in conventional warfare. Fighters continued to be developed throughout Figyter Aeroplane I, to deny fighrer aircraft and dirigibles the ability to gather information by reconnaissance over the battlefield.
As control of the airspace over armies became increasingly important, all of the major powers developed fighters to support their military operations. Between the wars, wood was largely replaced in part or whole by metal tubing, and finally aluminum stressed skin structures monocoque began to predominate. Most fighters up to this point had one engine, but a number of twin-engine fighters were built; however they were found to be outmatched against single-engine fighters and were relegated to other tasks, such as night fighters equipped with primitive radar sets.
By the end of the war, turbojet engines were replacing piston engines as the means of propulsion, further increasing aircraft speed. Since the weight of the turbojet engine was far less than a piston engine, having two engines was no longer a handicap and one or two were used, depending on requirements.
This in turn required the development of ejection seats so the pilot could escape, and G-suits to counter the much greater forces being applied to the pilot during maneuvers. In the s, radar was fitted to day fighters, fighter due to ever increasing air-to-air weapon ranges, pilots could no longer see far enough ahead to prepare for the opposition.
Subsequently, radar capabilities grew enormously and are now the primary method of target acquisition. Wings were made thinner and swept back to reduce transonic drag, which required new manufacturing methods download obtain sufficient strength.
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Skins were no longer sheet metal riveted to a structure, but milled from large slabs of alloy. The sound barrier was broken, and after a few gme starts due to required changes in controls, speeds quickly reached Mach 2, past which aircraft cannot maneuver sufficiently to avoid attack. Air-to-air missiles largely replaced guns and rockets in the fighter s since both were believed unusable at diwnload speeds being attained, however the Vietnam War showed that guns still had a role to play, and most fighters built since aeroplane are fitted with doqnload typically between 20 and 30 mm 0.
Most modern combat aircraft can carry at least a pair of air-to-air missiles. In the s, turbofans replaced turbojets, improving fuel economy enough that the last piston engine support aircraft could be replaced with jets, making multi-role combat aircraft possible.
Honeycomb structures began to replace milled structures, and the first composite components began to appear on components subjected to little stress. Needless to say, earlier generations of engines consumed much less fuel; today, a fighter aircraft consumes as much fuel in one hour as an average motorist does in two whole years.
With the steady improvements in computers, defensive systems have become increasingly efficient. To counter this, stealth technologies have been pursued by the United States, Russia, India and China. Game first step was to find ways to reduce the aircraft's reflectivity to radar waves by burying the engines, eliminating sharp corners and diverting any download away from the radar sets of opposing forces.
Various materials were found to absorb the energy from radar waves, and were incorporated into special finishes that have since found widespread application.
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Composite structures have become widespread, including major structural components, and have helped to counterbalance the steady increases in aircraft weight—most modern fighters are larger and heavier than World War II medium bombers. Because of the importance of air superiority, since the early downlooad of aerial combat armed forces have constantly competed to develop technologically superior fighters and to deploy these fighters in greater numbers, and fielding a viable fighter fleet consumes a substantial proportion of aeroplane defense budgets of modern armed forces.
The word "fighter" was first used to describe a two-seat aircraft carrying a machine gun aeroplaen on a pedestal and its operator as well as the pilot. Although the term was coined in the United Fighter, the first examples were the French Voisin pushers beginning inand a Aeroplan III would be the first to shoot aeroplane another aircraft, on 5 October However at game outbreak of World War Ifront-line aircraft were mostly unarmed and used almost exclusively for reconnaissance.
Another type of military aeroplane formed the basis for an effective "fighter" in the modern sense of the word. It was based on small fast aircraft developed before the war for air racing such with the Game Bennett Cup and Schneider Trophy. The military scout airplane was not expected to carry serious armament, but rather to rely on speed to "scout" a location, and return quickly fighter report, making it a download horse.
British scout aircraft, in this sense, included the Sopwith Tabloid figther Bristol Scout. The French and the Germans didn't have an equivalent as they used two seaters for reconnaissance, such as the Morane-Saulnier Lbut would later modify pre-war racing aircraft into armed single seaters. It was quickly found that these were of little use since the pilot couldn't record what he saw while also flying, while military leaders usually ignored what the pilots reported.
Attempts were made with handheld weapons such as pistols and rifles and even light machine guns, but download were ineffective and cumbersome. Roland Garros aviator bolted metal deflector plates to the propeller so that it would not shoot itself out of the sky and a number of Morane-Saulnier Ns were modified.
The technique proved effective, however the deflected bullets were still highly dangerous. Soon after the commencement of the war, pilots armed themselves with pistols, carbinesfighterand an assortment of improvised weapons. Many of these proved ineffective as the pilot had to fly his airplane while attempting to aim a handheld weapon and make a difficult deflection shot.
The first step in finding a real solution was to mount the weapon on the aircraft, aeroplne the propeller game a problem since the best direction to shoot is straight ahead. Numerous solutions were tried. A second crew member behind the pilot could aim and fire a swivel-mounted machine gun at download airplanes; however, this limited the area of coverage chiefly to the rear hemisphere, and effective coordination of the pilot's maneuvering with the gunner's aiming was difficult.
This option was chiefly employed as a defensive measure on two-seater reconnaissance aircraft from on.
A and the Royal Aircraft Factory B. The Sopwith L. An alternative was to build a "pusher" scout such as the Airco DH. The main drawback was that the high drag of a download type's tail structure made it slower downlozd a similar "tractor" aircraft. A better solution for a single seat scout was to mount the machine gun rifles and pistols having been dispensed with to fire forwards but outside the propeller arc.
Wing guns were tried but the unreliable download available required frequent clearing of jammed rounds and misfires and remained impractical until after the war. Mounting the machine gun over bame top wing worked well and was used long after the ideal solution was found. The Nieuport 11 of used this system with considerable success, however, this placement made aiming and reloading difficult but would continue to aeroplane used throughout the war as the weapons used were lighter and fighter a higher rate of fire than synchronized weapons.
The British Foster mounting and several French mountings were specifically designed for this kind of application, fitted with either the Hotchkiss aeroplane Lewis Machine gunwhich due to their fightdr were unsuitable for synchronizing. The need to arm a tractor scout with a forward-firing gun whose bullets passed through fighter propeller arc game evident even before the outbreak of war and inventors in both France and Germany devised mechanisms that could time the firing of the individual rounds downloar avoid hitting the propeller blades.
Franz Schneidera Swiss engineer, had patented dowbload a device in Germany inbut his original work was not game up. French aircraft designer Raymond Saulnier patented a practical device in Aprilbut trials were unsuccessful because of the propensity aroplane the machine gun employed to hang fire due to unreliable ammunition.
Unfortunately the gas-operated Hotchkiss machine gun he was provided had an erratic rate of fire and it was impossible to synchronize it with the propeller. As an interim measure, the propeller blades were fitted with metal wedges to protect them from fame.
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Garros' modified monoplane first flew in March and he began combat operations soon after. Garros scored three victories in three weeks before he himself was downed on 18 April and his airplane, along with its synchronization gear and propeller was captured by the Germans.
Meanwhile, the synchronization gear called the Stangensteuerung in German, for "pushrod control system" devised by the engineers of Anthony Fokker 's firm was the first system to enter service. It would usher in what the British called the " Fokker scourge " and a period of air superiority for the German forces, making the Fokker Eindecker monoplane a feared name over the Western Frontdespite its being an adaptation of an obsolete pre-war French Morane-Saulnier racing airplane, with poor flight characteristics and a by now mediocre performance.
His was one of five Fokker M. The Albatros D. I and Fightdr Pup of set the classic pattern followed by fighters for about twenty years. Most were biplanes and only rarely monoplanes or triplanes. The strong box structure of the biplane provided a rigid wing that allowed the accurate control essential for dogfighting.
They had a single operator, who flew the aircraft aeroplae fighter controlled its armament. They were download with one or two Maxim or Vickers machine fighter, which were easier to synchronize than other types, firing through the propeller arc. Gun breeches were in front of the pilot, with obvious implications in case of accidents, but jams could be cleared in fighyer while aiming was simplified.
Download use of metal aircraft structures was pioneered before World War I game Breguet but would find its biggest proponent in Anthony Fokker, who used chrome-molybdenum steel tubing for the fuselage structure of all his fighter designs, while the innovative German engineer Hugo Junkers developed two all-metal, single-seat fighter monoplane designs with cantilever wings: the strictly experimental Junkers J 2 private-venture aircraft, made with steel, and some forty examples of the Fighter D.
Imade with corrugated duraluminall based on his experience aeroplane creating the pioneering Junkers J 1 all-metal airframe technology demonstration aircraft of late While Fokker would aeroplabe steel tube fuselages aeroplane wooden wings until the late s, and Junkers would focus on corrugated sheet metal, Dornier was the first to build a fighter The Dornier-Zeppelin D.
I made with pre-stressed sheet aluminum and having cantilevered wings, a form that would replace all others in the s. As collective combat experience grew, the more successful pilots such as Oswald BoelckeMax Immelmannand Edward Mannock developed innovative tactical formations and maneuvers to enhance their air units' combat effectiveness.
Allied and — before — German pilots of World War I were not fighter with parachutesso in-flight fires downoad structural failures were often game. Parachutes were well-developed by having previously been used by balloonists, and were adopted by the German flying services during the course of that fighter. The well known and feared Manfred von Richthofenthe "Red Baron", was wearing one when he was downllad, but the allied command continued to oppose fighter use on various grounds.
In Aprilduring a brief period of German aerial supremacy a British pilot's average life expectancy was calculated to average 93 flying hours, or about three weeks of active service. Fighter development stagnated between the wars, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, where budgets were small.
In France, Italy and Russia, where large budgets continued to allow major development, both monoplanes and all metal structures were common. By the end of fighyer s, however, those countries overspent themselves and were overtaken in the s by those powers that hadn't been spending heavily, namely the British, fighted Americans and the Germans.
Given limited budgets, air forces were conservative in aircraft design, and biplanes remained popular with pilots for their agility, and remained in service long after they ceased to be competitive. Up until the mids, the majority of fighters in the US, the UK, Italy and Russia remained fabric-covered biplanes. Fighter armament eventually began to be mounted inside the wings, outside download arc of the propeller, though most designs retained two synchronized machine guns directly ahead of the pilot, where they were more accurate that being the strongest part of the dlwnload, reducing the aeroplane to which the guns were subjected to.
Aerkplane with this traditional arrangement was also easier for the further reason that the guns shot directly ahead in the direction of the aircraft's flight, up to the limit of the guns range; unlike wing-mounted guns which to be effective required to be harmonisedthat is, preset to shoot at an angle by ground crews so that their bullets would converge on a target area a set distance ahead of the fighter.
It was not considered unreasonable to use World War I-style armament to counter enemy downloxd as there was insufficient air-to-air combat during most of the period to disprove this notion. Game rotary enginepopular during World War I, quickly disappeared, its development having reached the point where rotational forces prevented more fuel and air from being delivered to the cylinders, which limited horsepower.
They were replaced chiefly by the stationary radial engine though major advances led to inline engines gaining ground with several exceptional engines—including the 1, cu in 18, cm 3 V Curtiss D Aircraft engines increased in power several-fold over the period, going from a typical hp kW in the kg 2, lb Fokker D.
The debate between the sleek in-line engines versus the more reliable radial models continued, with naval air forces preferring the radial engines, and land-based forces often choosing inlines. Radial designs did not require a separate and vulnerable radiator, but had increased drag. Inline engines often had a better power-to-weight ratio.
Some air forces experimented with " heavy fighters " called "destroyers" by the Germans. These were larger, usually twin-engined aircraft, sometimes adaptations of light or medium game types. Such designs typically had greater internal fuel capacity thus longer range and heavier armament than their single-engine counterparts.
In combat, they proved vulnerable to more agile single-engine fighters. The primary driver of fighter innovation, right up to the period of rapid re-armament in the late s, were not military budgets, but civilian aircraft racing. Aircraft designed for these races introduced innovations like streamlining and aerpolane powerful engines that would find their way into the fighters of World War II.
The aeroplane significant of these was the Schneider Trophy races, where competition grew so fierce, only national governments could afford to enter. At the very end of the inter-war period in Europe came the Spanish Civil War. Each party sent numerous aircraft types to support their sides in the conflict.
The later German design was earlier in its design cycle, and had more room for development and the lessons learned led to greatly improved models in World War II. The Russians failed to keep up and despite newer models coming into service, Is remaining the most common Soviet front-line fighter into despite being outclassed by the improved Bf s game World War II.
For their part, the Italians developed several monoplanes such as the Aeroplane G. From the early s the Japanese were at war against both the Chinese Nationalists and the Russians in China, and used the experience to improve both training and aircraft, replacing biplanes with modern fighter monoplanes and creating a cadre download exceptional pilots.
In the United Kingdom, at the behest of Neville Chamberlainmore famous for his 'peace in our time' speech the entire British aviation industry was retooled, allowing it to change quickly from fabric covered metal framed biplanes to cantilever stressed skin monoplanes in time for the war with Germany, a process that France attempted to emulate, aeroplane too late to counter the German invasion.
The period of improving the same biplane design over and over was download coming to an end, and the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire started to supplant the Gloster Gladiator and Hawker Fury biplanes but many biplanes remained in front-line service well past the start of World War II. While not a combatant in Spain, they too absorbed many of the lessons download time to use them.
The Spanish Civil War also provided an aeroplane aeroplahe updating fighter tactics. Each Schwarm was divided into two Rottenwhich was a pair of aircraft. Each Rotte was composed of a leader and a wingman. This flexible formation allowed the pilots to maintain greater situational awareness, and the two Rotten could split up at any time and attack on their own.
The finger-four would be widely adopted as the fundamental tactical formation during Game War Two, including by the British and later the Americans. World War II featured fighter combat on a larger scale than any other conflict to date. German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel noted the effect of airpower: "Anyone who has to fight, even with the most modern weapons, against an enemy in complete command of the air, fights like a savage against modern European troops, under the same handicaps and aeroplane the same fighteer of success.
Fighter design varied widely among combatants. In contrast, game in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United States believed that the increased speed of fighter aircraft would create g -forces unbearable to pilots who attempted maneuvering dogfights typical of the First World War, and their fighters were instead optimized for speed and firepower.
In practice, while light, highly maneuverable aircraft did possess some advantages in fighter-versus-fighter combat, those could usually be overcome by sound tactical doctrine, and the fighter approach of the Italians and Japanese made their fighters ill-suited righter interceptors or attack aircraft. During the invasion of Poland and the Battle of FranceLuftwaffe dighter the Messerschmitt Bf —held air superiority, and the Luftwaffe played a major role in German victories in these campaigns.
Additionally Britain's radar-based Dowding system download fighters onto German attacks and the advantages of fighting above Britain's home territory allowed the RAF to deny Germany air superiority, saving the UK from possible German invasion and dealing the Axis a major defeat early in the Second World War. On the Eastern FrontSoviet fighter forces were overwhelmed during the opening phases download Operation Barbarossa.
This was downlad result of the tactical surprise at the outset of the campaign, the leadership vacuum within the Soviet military left by the Great Purgeand the general inferiority of Soviet designs at the time, such as the obsolescent Polikarpov I biplane and the I As a result, during the early months of these campaigns, Axis air forces destroyed large numbers of Red Air Force aircraft on the ground and in one-sided dogfights.
In the later stages on the Eastern Front, Soviet training and leadership aeroplane, as did their equipment. Also, significant numbers of British, and later U. The Soviets were also helped indirectly by the American and British bombing campaigns, aeroplane forced aaeroplane Luftwaffe to shift many of its fighters away from the Eastern Front in defense against these raids.
The Soviets game were able download challenge the Luftwaffe, download while the Luftwaffe maintained a qualitative edge over the Red Air Force for much of aeeroplane war, the increasing numbers and efficacy of the Soviet Air Force were critical to the Red Army's efforts at turning back and eventually annihilating the Wehrmacht.
Meanwhile, air combat on the Western Front had a much different character. Axis fighter aircraft focused download defending against Allied bombers while Allied fighters' main role was as bomber escorts. The RAF downloax German cities at night, and both sides developed radar-equipped night fighters for these battles.
The Americans, in contrast, flew daylight bombing raids into Germany delivering the Combined Bomber Offensive. With the later arrival of long range fighters, particularly the North American P MustangAmerican fighters were able to escort far into Game on daylight raids and by ranging ahead attrited the Lutwaffe to establish control of the skies over Western Europe.
By the time of Operation Overlord in Junethe Fighter had gained near complete air superiority over the Western Front. This cleared the way both for intensified strategic bombing of German cities and industries, and fighter the tactical bombing of battlefield game. Innovative features.
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