Air International 2006-11
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J.Lake - Vockers Supermarine Swift /Legends of aviation/
This formation of Hunters flanked by a pair of 79 Sqn Swift FR.5s clearly illustrates the Hunter's more slender lines. Although the Swift had a poor rate of turn and very marginal performance at high altitude, many pilots who flew both the Swift FR.5 and the Hunter preferred the former at low level, in particular for its stability and smooth handling.
Swift F.1 WK210/'C' in the colours of 56 Sqn. The Swift first entered service with 56 Sqn at RAF Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, on February 13, 1954.
Swift FR.5 XD962/'J', flown by Sqn Ldr CS 'Mac' MacDonald, CO of 2 Sqn, shown here with a ventral tank. Note also the clear cockpit canopy, reheat jetpipe eyelids and absence of a wing fence, compared with the F.1.
Swift F.7 XF119 of the Guided Weapons Development Squadron, RAF Valley, carrying a Fairey Fireflash air-to-air missile.
Swift FR.5 WK293 sporting 4 Sqn colours on the nose and 79 Sqn's markings on the intake and rear fuselage. This apparent 'dual identity' was as a result of 79 Sqn being re-numbered 4 Sqn on January 1, 1961.
Swift F.7 XF114 is seen here, resplendent in an overall black colour scheme, at the Cranfield College of Aeronautics, Bedfordshire, in 1965. It carried out braking trials for the Air Ministry and is now in storage in Southampton.
At low level the maximum range for a typical FR mission, flown at operational speeds with a full fuel load, was in the order of 360nm, reducing as speeds were increased to a maximum of 600kts. This enabled the Swift to reach targets as far away as Berlin even from RAF Gutersloh - where this photograph is believed to have been taken.
This formation of Hunters flanked by a pair of 79 Sqn Swift FR.5s clearly illustrates the Hunter's more slender lines. Although the Swift had a poor rate of turn and very marginal performance at high altitude, many pilots who flew both the Swift FR.5 and the Hunter preferred the former at low level, in particular for its stability and smooth handling.
Supermarine Swift in use as a missile testbed.
Distinguishable by its extended nose, housing an Ekco radar, this is one of the 12 production standard Swift F.7s built. Flown by the AFDS at RAF Valley, the F.7s were the first British fighters equipped with air-to-air guided weapons.
Swift F.1 WK205 was delivered on February 15, 1954, and saw service with 56 Sgn and the AFDS. It was then used as an instructional airframe at RAF Weeton, Lancashire, before being scrapped in 1958.
The first pre-production prototype, WJ960, was not officially a Swift, but the name was used unofficially at that time. It first flew on August 1, 1951, and in June 1952 broke the London to Brussels speed record. In 1953, it was decided that WJ960 was not sufficiently representative of the intended production aircraft for further development work and it was relegated to Rolls-Royce Avon engine trials.
Vickers SUpermarine Swift FR.5