British aircraft manufacturers have produced some of the finest military aircraft. Modern aircraft such as the Panavia Tornado and Eurofighter Typhoon were jointly developed by co-operating European countries. In earlier years, this was not the case and aircraft were built to meet the operational requirements of Britain's air force.

In Britain, the Air Ministry (and its successors) was responsible for defining operational requirements for aircraft types. With an operational requirement identified, the Air Ministry developed a specification which was issued to aircraft manufacturers. Based on this specification a manufacturer could produce a prototype design for evaluation by the Royal Air Force. Successful designs were commissioned and the manufacturers would supply aircraft to the Royal Air Force.

British companies, such as A V Roe, Hawker Aircraft and Supermarine developed some of the most supreme examples of aircraft design and production. Aircraft such as the Avro Lancaster, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire served with distinction during the Second World War. In the nuclear age, the "Cold War", aircraft such as the Avro Vulcan and the Hawker Siddeley/B A E Systems Hawk continued to demonstrate the technical excellence of British aviation. These aircraft are truly British aviation icons.

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This website is a pictorial tribute to the Avro Lancaster, Avro Vulcan, B A E Hawk, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire. These aircraft each tell a story provide a direct link to the men and women of the Royal Air Force, past and present. My grandfather served his National Service with the Royal Air Force and through him I came to learn of these aircraft.

Attending airshows you see spectators old and young alike, former servicemen to children, captivated by these special aircraft. They mean so much to so many people. They will forever be cherished as British 'aviation icons'.

Richard Coltman, October 2019