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Jet! When Britain ruled the Skies.

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Jet! When Britain ruled the Skies.

Old 22nd Aug 2012, 20:03
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Jet! When Britain ruled the Skies.

Just starting now on BBC4 (and, I'm sure, to feature soon on iPlayer).
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Old 22nd Aug 2012, 21:08
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Well, IMHO, it was great.

In the heady post-war years of the 1950s and 60s, British flying was at its zenith and its aircraft industry flourished in a dazzling display of ingenuity and design brilliance. Having invented the jet engine, Britain was now set to lead the world into the jet age with a new generation of fighters and bombers. The daring test pilots who flew them were as well-known as the football stars of today, while their futuristic-looking aircraft, including the Meteor, Canberra, Valiant, Vulcan and the English Electric Lightning, were the military marvels of the age.
BBC iPlayer - Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies: Military Marvels (Signed)


This is episode 1 of 2. The second episode will cover the civilian side of things.
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Old 22nd Aug 2012, 21:13
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A lot to fit in in 60mins, but as these things go it was very good



SHJ
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 01:03
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Excellent program - one question - what was the aircraft with no tail fin that had a brief fly-by over the camera? It's really bugging me!!
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 12:30
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One or two research items needed clarifying. The Germans had ejector seats before us. 1942 was long before Martin Baker. Test pilot Helmut Schenck used one in anger escaping from a He 280 twin jet fighter.
From the time of Schenck's successful escape to the end of the Second World War, approximately 60 Luftwaffe airmen ejected from their planes in combat situations.

They also missed showing the Miles M52 saga to really show the world we had the technology. I guess 60 minutes is not enough to cover such a fascinating period of aircraft production.

The prat Duncan Sandys [son in law of WSC] who single handedly screwed up the Aircraft Industry/RAF/Navy with his "Aircraft are out of date, the Guided missile is King" decisions was only repeating his failure as Chairman of a War Cabinet Committee for defence against German flying bombs and rockets. Prof.RV Jones loathed him [with good reason].

Good to see so many RAF and Navy aircraft once again!

The John Derry DH 110 crash was my first [aged 11] real experience of life and its ups and downs. I was in the crowd but well in front of the carnage.

Looking forward to part two.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 12:38
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Dagnabit, forgot to record it!

I know it's on iPlayer but will it be reshown again on TV so I can set up a Series link?
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 13:48
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I know it's on iPlayer but will it be reshown again on TV so I can set up a Series link?
Part 1 is repeated on BBC4 23:00 28/08.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 13:58
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Thanks Dave, see you over at RS.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 15:17
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A lot to fit in in 60mins, but as these things go it was very good
but no mention of the stalwart .. the Buccaneer!!!! (or did I blink and miss it?)
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 21:29
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The Bucc was seen fleetingly in a FAA fly past, and the Swift was featured on a couple of occasions too. I thoroughly enjoyed the programme, and it seems many others did too.
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Old 24th Aug 2012, 00:10
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Agreed, too much to fit in to an hour but the audience is probably not there for two hours of military detail.

Whilst they discussed the numebr of test pilots who went West, there was no mention of the many ordinary RAF pilots who followed them. The process of converting from prop to jet was learnt the hard way. Readers of this forum will know of the slow response times of the early jets and that the pilot converting would think that the engine was not responding (since it did not give the fast response of the prop) and so open the throttle further. Then all the power would arrive in one bang. Many were lost.

I'm biased as my uncle was an instructor whose student put them in when they were very low - too low for recovery or bail out. That was 6th August 1953.

Back to the programme, the commentary was well spoken for diction but the actress had been directed to the rather 'breathy' and 'awe inspired' tone that is used too often. Having grown up with the 'practical' approach of Horizon and T'rows World (in it's Hay Day!) I prefer a commentary that just tells me the story - rather than dressing it up.

I will watch next week's because this did have veracity from the crews and that was worth a great deal. Tebbit was supernumerary, I thought. He just said how wonderful it all was - without any of the downsides. Almost like he'd been a politician.
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Old 24th Aug 2012, 16:32
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"ruled the skies" is a bit rich

of the aircraft listed we had to pretty much GIVE them away (other than the Canberra & the Hunter) to get any export orders

and when you think what the USA had in production in the 50's & 60's - almost embarrassing
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Old 24th Aug 2012, 19:42
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Harry

On the face of it, perhaps. But in the aftermath of WW2, we did surprisingly very well. It was post-amalgamation of all our aircraft companies, and the management thereof, was when it all went wrong. The UK aircraft industry was in need of a diet, but it went too far: the lack of competitiveness was a damning factor.
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Old 25th Aug 2012, 02:14
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For those of us involved in aviation it could have easily stretched to 2 more programs with more detail, however for the general consumption of the British Public, I would say it was about right.

And yes, an excellent programme.

Last edited by keel beam; 25th Aug 2012 at 19:08.
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Old 26th Aug 2012, 10:44
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jindabyne

good point - when you look back at the "great" British industries 1945-1980 what strikes is just how awful the management were in general - aviation, shipbuilding, motor cars................................

they really didn't have a clue
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Old 26th Aug 2012, 14:02
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... what strikes is just how awful the management were in general...
Were?
They have improved?
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Old 26th Aug 2012, 18:58
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The unions were at their most powerful in those days. The main aim seemed to be in preventing the management from managing.
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Old 27th Aug 2012, 02:53
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Soldeed: don't recall an aircraft with no tailfin, do you mean tailplane? If so maybe you mean the DH 106 Swallow; basically a Vampire fuselage fitted with a swept wing. There was also a too brief clip of the Short Sherpa, also with a fin and no tailplane but with sort of rotating wingtips instead of ailerons/elevators.

Last edited by chevvron; 27th Aug 2012 at 02:56.
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Old 27th Aug 2012, 06:06
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The Germans had ejector seats before us.
So did the Swedes.
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Old 27th Aug 2012, 06:59
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The unions were at their most powerful in those days. The main aim seemed to be in preventing the management from managing.
The unions do take their share of the blame of course but our industry management was truly appalling - as was lack of investment (a british disease).
And then we end up with just one incompetent company

edit...
Forgot to also include our woderful government departments and possibly a certain airline !!

Last edited by longer ron; 27th Aug 2012 at 07:01.
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