Squadron Aircraft

RE8 - August 1916 to August 1918

The Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 was a British two-seat biplane reconnaissance and bomber aircraft of the First World War. Intended as a replacement for the vulnerable B.E.2, the R.E.8 was much more difficult to fly, and was regarded with great suspicion at first in the Royal Flying Corps. Although eventually it gave reasonably satisfactory service, it was never an outstanding combat aircraft. In spite of this, the R.E.8 served as the standard British reconnaissance and artillery spotting aircraft from mid-1917 to the end of the war. Over 4,000 R.E.8s were eventually produced and they served in most theatres including Italy, Russia, Palestine and Mesopotamia, as well as the Western Front.

 

Bristol F2B - April 1918 to August 1919


The Bristol F.2 Fighter was a British two-seat biplane fighter and reconnaissance aircraft of World War I flown by the Royal Flying Corps. It is often simply called the Bristol Fighter or popularly the "Brisfit" or "Biff". Despite being a two-seater, the F.2B proved to be an agile aircraft that was able to hold its own against single-seat scouts. Having overcome a disastrous start to its career, the F.2B's solid design ensured that it remained in military service into the 1930s and surplus aircraft were popular in civil aviation.

Hawker Hector - June 1937 to September 1938


The Hawker Hector was intended as a replacement for the Hawker Audax Army co-operation aircraft. Because of the demand for Rolls-Royce Kestrel engines required for the Hawker Hind program, an alternative power plant was specified. Consequently the Napier Dagger III was used.  Although both the design and the building of the prototype was done by Hawkers, the subsequent production aircraft were built by Westland Aircraft in Yeovil, Devon. The prototype first flew on on 14 February 1936 with George Bulman as pilot. One prototype and 178 production aircraft were built.

 

Bristol Blenheim - May 1939 to September 1941

Two 920 hp Mercury XV engines. Initial armament of one fixed forward firing Browning and one Lewis or Vickers K gun in dorsal turret, both of 0.303-in (7.7-mm) calibre, later one gimbal-mounted nose gun, one or two rear-ward-firing Brownings in blister under nose and two Vickers 'K' or Browning guns in dorsal turret; bomb load 1,000 Ib (454 kg) internal and 320 Ib (145 kg) external.

Lockheed Hudson - July 1941 to August 1942


59 Squadron flew Mark III, IV and V versions of this aircraft.  The Lockheed Hudson was an American-built light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft built initially for the Royal Air Force shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War and primarily operated by the RAF thereafter. The Hudson was the first significant aircraft construction contract for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation—the initial RAF order for 200 Hudsons far surpassed any previous order the company had received. The Hudson served throughout the war, mainly with Coastal Command but also in transport and training roles as well as delivering agents into occupied France.

Liberator III - August 1942 to December 1942

 

 

Fortress IIA - December 1942 to March 1943

B 17 Fortress

Liberator V - March 1943 to March 1945

Liberator VIII - March 1945 to June 1946

York C1 - December 1947 to October 1950

Canberra B2 - August 1956 to March 1957

Canberra B(1)8 - February 1957 to January 1961