Fighters which did not make the cut: The McDonnell F-85 Goblin

In the period after World War II, the USSR rapidly emerged as the only power on Earth capable of challenging the USA militarily, and as wartime relations cooled toward the ‘Cold War’ situation which dominated global affairs between 1947 and 1989, the USA came to rely on nuclear (and later thermonuclear bombing) as its primary …

Fighters which did not make the cut – the Dassault MD.550 Mirage

Early in 1952, Dassault received a contract from the French air ministry – which was becoming concerned about the increasing cost of modern fighters – to study the feasibility of a lightweight fighter in the form of a delta-winged variant of its Mystère fighter. The company accordingly began preliminary work on such a concept under the …

The Arsenal VG.33

The Arsenal de l’Aéronautique was created in 1936 as the French government nationalised and then rationalised the widely scattered and completely inefficient French aero industry. The new organisation created several advanced warplanes, primarily based on the designation suffix VG as an abbreviation indicating Ingenieur-Général Michel Vernisse and Jean Gaultier, who were the establishment’s head and …

Fighters which did not make the cut – the Folland Midge

The British company which secured a measure of fame as Folland Aircraft Ltd originated as the British Marine Aircraft Ltd in August 1935, but assumed its definitive name from Henry Folland when that distinguished aircraft designer left Gloster in 1937 to form his own company at the BMA’s premises at Hamble in Hampshire. Following the …

Fighters which did not make the cut – the Avro Canada CF-105

For the Canadian aviation industry, and for Avro Canada in particular, the traumatic story of the CF-105 Arrow was paralleled by that of the contemporary British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 in the UK. Both of these formidable warplane types were destroyed before entering production by inflexible policies formulated by politicians who, in 1957, were convinced that …

The Curtiss-Wright F-87 Blackhawk

Given the fact that it had ended the Pacific War of World War II through the bombing of the Japanese home islands, a strategic campaign that culminated in the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by single atomic bombs on 6 and 9 August 1945 respectively, the US Army Air Forces were well aware of the …

Fighters which did not make the cut: the Saunders-Roe SR.53

One of the small number of companies which expressed some interest in the British preliminary Specification F.124D for a rocket-powered interceptor was Saunders-Roe Ltd, which opted to prepare the design of a mixed-power fighter to Specification F.138D. Unlike the Avro Type 720, the SR.53, designed by Maurice Joseph Brennan, was of orthodox construction and employed …

Fighters which did not make the cut – the Breguet Br.100 Taon

A particular feature of the turbojet-engined warplanes which evolved in the late 1940s and early 1950s was their steadily increasing combination of power and performance. This was seen as useful as it improved such warplanes’ overall operational capabilities, but on the other side of the coin, there was the less attractive combined feature of greater …

Fighters that did not make the cut – the Sud-Est SE.5000 Baroudeur

France was occupied by German forces during a large part of World War II, and after the country’s liberation the first priority of the revived French air force was to rebuild its strength and overall capabilities with warplanes that were, for political as well as economic reasons, to be of French design and powered, wherever …

The Commonwealth Aircraft CA-15

Nicknamed Kangaroo, the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-15 was an advanced warplane designed in Australia during War II, but as a result of its lengthy development, it was not completed until after the end of the war. With turbojet-powered fighters coming rapidly to the fore during this period, the CA-15 was cancelled after the sole prototype …