THE F5 FREEDOM FIGHTER The need for an inexpensive, lightweight supersonic fighter that was easy to maintain, and capable of operating from short runways and poor quality airfields was fulfilled when this baby fighter went from the drawing board to become one of the most successful export products of the US military aircraft industry. We also look at the company that produced this little marvel and see how it and other early manufacturers of aircraft have developed.
THE F104 STAR FIGHTER We look at one of the many legendary planes designed by one of the worlds most awarded Aviation designers - Kelly Johnson. We follow the path of the much maligned but equally inspiring F104 Lockheed Star Fighter, from Kelly’s initial concepts in 1952, through the painstaking development and to the last F104 made in 1983, a production run that lasted over 30 years.
THE F105 THUNDERJET In the annals of aeronautic history the plane that takes the place between Republics classic attack fighters, the P47 thunderbolt of the Second World War and their outstanding F105 Thunderchief in the skies of Vietnam, is often skipped over. This period of expansion marked the first ventures into jet aircraft and many of the lessons learnt during the development of this series of planes have sired today’s generations of fighter aircraft.
After the hectic development period of world war 2 and the ensuing rush into jet engine development, a successive series of fighter aircraft emerged that made their mark in aviation history. These planes epitomised the shape of the supersonic jet fighter;
they were the Century Fighters. The Grumman F14a Tomcat is amongst today’s ultimate weapons. It is considered a large fighter and stands at 63 foot long, 16 foot high and has a maximum wingspan of 64' 1". The F14 's cruise speed is approximately 610 mph and it has a maximum speed of 1544 mph or nearly mach 2 – twice the speed of sound. VTOL stands for vertical take off and landing. If you are thinking helicopters you are correct. However in this episode, we review the development of a plane that has the abilities of a helicopter as well as being a front line fighter plane. The Harrier Jump Jet is the only VTOL with a fighting history and the only VTOL in service today.
Running Time: 180 minutes
Release Date: 18 January 2010
Certificate: E - Exempt from Certification