Gloster Javelin, an operational history

The Gloster Javelin was a much under-rated aircraft that has received less then its fair share of books. This book covers the Javelin’s service career comprehensively and will probably long be the definitive account of a fighter that was significant and important to the RAF, if not for its direct service but as it role in preparing for the next generations. A must read for aviation enthusiasts.


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NAME: Gloster Javelin, an operational history
FILE: R2478
AUTHOR: Michael Napier
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES:  264
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Air war, night fighters, Cold War, jet fighter, trans-sonic, 
range, radar, missiles, rockets, guns, infrared, All-Weather fighter

ISBN: 1-47384-881-4

IMAGE: B2478.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/lur9owx
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The Gloster Javelin was a much under-rated aircraft that 
has received less then its fair share of books. This book covers the 
Javelin's service career comprehensively and will probably long be the 
definitive account of a fighter that was significant and important to 
the RAF, if not for its direct service but as it role in preparing for 
the next generations. A must read for aviation enthusiasts. 

The Gloucester Javelin was prepared to the same Air Ministry 
specification that the De Havilland DH110 was designed to meet. The two 
aircraft were very different and the DH110 probably lost out because of 
the spectacular crash at the Farnborough Air Display that killed its 
pilot and showered the spectators with wreckage.

De Havilland had used the twin boom design to allow the first jet engines 
to avoid long exhaust ducts, reducing active thrust. With the Vampire/
Venoms that started entering service with the RAF in the closing months 
of WWII, this was very important. The Meteor solved the problems of 
early engines by wing mounting two engines in minimal housings so that 
the inlet and exhaust ducts were very short, almost non-existent. The 
Vampire was to rely on a single engine and that meant finding a way of 
keeping the nose clear for guns and keeping the exhaust as short as 
possible. By placing intakes in the wing roots and bifurcating the intake 
air supply, a short intake length was achieved. Providing two booms from 
the trailing edge of the wings to take the tailplane allowed the engine 
to exhaust without a long duct pipe. The DH110 was to employ two Avon 
engines and a similar configuration was not only something De Havilland 
was used to, but it avoided the complications of alternative 
configurations. The English Electric P1 (Lightning) had to accommodate 
after-burning and used an over and under configuration that was to delay 
construction and continued to present fire problems through its life.

Glosters took an equally innovative approach and employed a delta wing 
and raised 'T' tail plane. This also allowed for very short exhaust 
ducts. The design also allowed the provision an all-missile armament 
with unguided rockets in place of guns and Firestreak guided missiles on 
under-win pylons. For the RAF requirement, De Havilland had provided a 
choice of mounting four cannon in bays to either side of the nose wheel 
that could be replaced by retractable rocket pods. The RAF opted for a 
gun armament and provision for four Firestreak guided missiles on pylons 
under the wings. They produced a fighter that was considerably larger 
than the DH110.

What made the Javelin significant to the RAF was not in great performance, 
or use in combat, but as a sturdy platform that would provide first 
experience of a true All Weather Fighter. It was also provided with better 
range than the typical RAF point interceptors and allowed for the use of 
air-to-air refuelling. What was learned by flying the Javelin was 
incorporated into design and tactics for the aircraft that were to follow.

In service, a Javelin squadron was usually based at an airfield with Hawker 
Hunter day fighters. The Hunter was a beautiful single seat aircraft that 
was trans-sonic and a pilot's aircraft. That may be one reason why the 
massive, corpulent Javelin failed to excite much general appreciation. It 
also failed to win export success as the Hunter achieved and it had a much 
shorter service life.