Monday, July 9, 2007

Second generation (1953-1960)

The second generation describes the integration of many new technologies to greatly improve the fighting capability of the jet fighter. The introduction of guided missiles such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-7 Sparrow moved combat to beyond visual range (though it often devolved into dogfights in visual range), necessitating the standardization of radar to acquire targets. Designers experimented with a variety of aeronautical innovations, such as the swept wing, delta wing, variable-geometry wings, and area ruled fuselages. With the aid of swept wing, these were the first production aircraft to break the sound barrier.
The primary specializations of this era were the fighter-bomber (such as the F-105 and the Sukhoi Su-7), and the interceptor (English Electric Lightning and F-104 Starfighter). The interceptor was an outgrowth of the vision that guided missiles would completely replace guns and combat would take place at beyond visual range. As a result, interceptors were designed with a large missile payload and a powerful radar, sacrificing agility in favor of speed and rate of climb.

No comments: