Hunting aviation generation

Generations of fighter planes . Given the impetuosity of the introduction of scientific and technical advances in hunting aviation from the 50s of the last century, conventionally to catalog the development of it are classified to aircraft of this type by “generations.” This is not an officially standardized issue but rather represents different stages of its capabilities, performance, performance, technological evolution and periods of time during which the use of one or another design philosophy has enjoyed a preponderant influence on development. thereof.

It is considered a “generation” leap when the technical advances incorporated in fighter aircraft produced in series imply a qualitative change of their capacities in relation to the previous models. The criteria as already reflected are not uniform, in fact this classification is approximate as is the term hunting, interceptor, multirol or fighter-bomber with which they are classified indifferently from each other changing the term or over mounting according to the source, but in a way General or more coincident generations designations and classifications can be encompassed in the manner discussed here.


[ hide ]

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 First generation
    • 1 Other aircraft representative of the generation
    • 2 First generation images
  • 3 Second Generation
    • 1 Other aircraft representative of the generation
    • 2 Second generation images
  • 4 Third generation
    • 1 Other aircraft representative of the generation
    • 2 Third generation images
  • 5 Fourth generation
    • 1 Other aircraft representative of the generation
    • 2 Fourth generation images
  • 6 Generation 4 ++ or quarter and a half
    • 1 Images of the Fourth ++ generation
  • 7 Fifth generation
    • 1 Other developments
    • 2 Fifth generation images
  • 8 See also
  • 9 Sources


The first jet plane to fly was the German Heinkel He-178, which is tested before the start of World War II , this was driven by an engine based on the principle of the reaction known since the Middle Ages, despite demonstrating this great advantages over the piston plane the technology was not yet ready, so it took several more years to concretize and manufacture in series a device driven by a reactive engine, being the first fighter of this genus to enter into service also the German Messerschmitt Me-262, which debuted in combat from July 1944 , its development had begun in 1938as Projeck P.1065, and from the beginning it brought twin-engine configuration, making the first flight as a prototype in April 1941 , followed closely at the beginning of the tests by the British Gloster E-28, which flies a week later, in May of that same year.

Heinkel He 178 first plane driven by reactive force, did not pass the test flights because the technology of its time was not yet ready

Finalized the stages of tests and modifications of design based on them, the final product turned out to be a shark-like aircraft, wings in positive arrow that supported two large twin engines, armed with four Mk 108 30 mm cannons mounted on the nose and capable of firing 660 projectiles per minute, its speed was much higher than the propeller fighters, being able to reach 870 km / h while the fastest fighter participating in the world conflagration, the Nort American P-51, barely exceeded 700 km / h; from this design not continued in its post IIGM development given the defeat of Germany, is that the reactive stage of combat aviation opens, and 262 can be called the 0 series of jet fighter generations. In the relationship below for generations, the most representative aircraft in each of them are reflected, but they are not the only ones, since there are Swedish, Chinese and other countries or very good developments but for reasons of space not It is possible to expose them.

First generation

As of the conclusion of the IIGM, all aeronautical powers were fully launched in the race for the development of the reactive aircraft, and after transition models, hundreds of failed or successful tests, etc., entered into service in the main forces fully operational jet aircraft models, which in their first clashes during the Korean War left clear evidence that the era of piston planes had come to an end.

The reactive fighters considered of the first generation were absolutely different from the propeller models that preceded them, so there is no possible confusion, which if it happens in the more advanced generations, although their aerial combat tactics were very similar to their predecessors; The fundamental characteristics of this generation can be considered to be subsonic aircraft (<1,225 km / h)) but superior to all propeller models, in general with high maneuverability, acts for close-range close combat and main armament guns or machine guns . Fully movable ejector seats and tail stabilizers were introduced for the first time, it is interesting that both Soviets and North Americans designed their powerful engines from British technology.1944 – 1952 .

The most representative and most curricular models of the generation were the Nort American F-86 Saber and the Mikoyán-Gurevich MiG-15 and 17. The first two were the stars of the Korean War and the most advanced inventory aircraft of all the air forces committed or not in the war, each party claims for itself that of being its airplane the winner in the air lides over the Korean skies, and there are several criteria to evaluate the performance of each medium, if the comparison is made by devices The balance is demolished favors the Sabers because although far from the fantastic 10 to 1 that many pro-American media proclaim, the most truthful relationship seems to be that of 2.7 MiGs shot down by each F-86.

But the comparative reality of superiority of one or the other medium is not so simple since it depends on many factors and the best way to compare the results is to evaluate the objectives to which each AF was destined and the percentage of its general compliance, placing to each one in the scenario in which the fighting took place, and then here the MiGs are superior: For the main mission to which these were destined was not to engage in “dogfight” against the F-86, but to force the USAF to stop the attacks of the strategic bombers, which they achieved satisfactorily.

The MiGs were able to prevent absolute US dominance of the Korean skies, devalued the powerful B-29s and prevented what could have been their devastating attacks on the supply lines, and generally gave air coverage to the Chinese counter attack- Korean who threw the coalition forces beyond the 38th parallel. For their part, the “victors” Sabers whose main objective was to cover the B-29 could not defend these and had to assume their role by bombarding the strategic objectives. That the performance of the Soviet aircraft was greatly appreciated by the USAF gives us the reference that in April 1953 the US high command offered a reward of $ 100,000 to who provided an intact MiG-15.

Both planes were very similar in their performance except that the Saber was carrying a radar and in the armament, the MiG carrying two 23 mm and one 37 mm guns while the Sabers served as a platform for six 50 mm caliber machine guns. In general, it is said that MiGs above 10,000 meters were superior in almost all aspects while sabers below 8,000 meters were superior in almost all aspects.

Model Entry into service Designation V max The ceiling
F-86 Saber 1949 Air superiority 1,100 km / h 14,000 m
MiG-15 1949 Air superiority 1,075 km / h 15,700 m
MiG-17 1952 Air superiority 1,154 km / h 16,470 m

For its part, the MiG-17, which was an improved version of the MiG-15bis, fought in Vietnam against more advanced North American models and together with MiG-19 and MiG-21 they made things so difficult for the USAF that it was specified to change their tactics and training methods. Even the low sophistication of these aircraft became an advantage because the simplicity of operation of this made the Vietnamese pilots train in a short time and many preferred it to the more advanced generation MiGs.

Other aircraft representative of the generation

Gloster Meteor : (1944) British Hunt, its entry into service was weeks after the Me-262 and the IIGM remained in service, fought in Korea from the RAF and RAAF. V max 670 km / h.

from Havilland Sea Vampire Mk. 5 : (1948) British fighter bomber, was the first jet fighter (CATOBAR) to take off from an aircraft carrier. THE 3 as December as 1945 he made his first takeoff and landing on HMS Ocean . He fought in the Malayan Emergency in the late 40s and early 50s. V max 800 km / h

Lookheed P / F-80 Shooting Star : (1945) First American-made jet fighter, which was not ready before the end of the IIGM, in its first versions it was still classified as P (from pursuit) to airplanes North American fighters, hence these were P-80A and P-80B, but the late version was already designated with the letter F (fighter) F-80C, fought in Korea where it was widely surpassed by the MiG-15, the first duels between jet airplanes took place between these two aircraft and the first victory was for the MiG-15 # 0615372 to bring down an F-80C where the USAF pilot Fran Van Sickle perished, although later some demolitions are claimed of MiGs by the Shooting Star; its training version T-33 was the most widespread and manufactured aircraft of this genre in the west. In Cuba three T-33A were used in 1961 by our incipient air force against the organized and financed invasion of the CIA that landed in Bay of Pigs, with a balance of five B-26 demolished and significant damage to the ships that transported the mercenaries P / F-80 V max. 965 km / h

Grumman F-9F Panther (1949) : First jet fighter manufactured by the Grumman and the second to enter service in the US navy but was the most used by that force during the Korean War, it was the first fighter to shoot down another aircraft during the conflagration when a North Korean propeller Yak-9 is shot down, some MiG-15 demolitions are also claimed. V max 925 km / h

Dassault MD450 Ouragan : (1952) First fighter of the now recognized Dassault Aviation , and the first to enter serial production, being a key product for the resurgence of the French aeronautical industry, fought from the Israeli FA in the first wars against the Arabs with satisfactory results proving the aircraft to be very operable but with similar engines lower than the MiG-15. V max 940 km / h


Leave a Comment