Cold War Aircraft

Aircraft discussed in this exhibit:

The following list is in no way all-inclusive of air craft used during the Cold War.  Instead, it is a a list of those that were discussed in this exhibit.

North American:

B-25: Mitchell Bomber(North American)-bomber:

A two-engined, American bomber seeing its first flight in August of 1940.

CF-18: Hornet (McDonnell Douglas)-multirole:

American aircraft, first flown in November of 1978, entering service in 1983 with a Marine squadron 314.

The Canadian version was the CF-18 which was beginning in 1982 was used to bypass their previous aircraft such as the Voodoo and the CF-104.

Radar:  The radar used could follow ten visuals, showing the user nine of them.  It consisted of Hughes Aircraft AN/APG-65.  It had the ability to use different roles to follow targets, including air-to-ground and air-to-air.

CF-86: Sabre (Canadair)-fighter:

The F-86 was made by North American in the United States in October, 1947, and was the vital fighter in the Korean War.

CF-100: Canuck (Avro)-interceptor:

Canadian all weather and night interceptor beginning in January 1950, which drew on radar.  It was created to fight off bombers coming from the north.  The initial threat in the Cold War was considered Soviet bombers that would come through the arctic, thus this type of interceptor was vital to NORAD in the early Cold War.

CF-104: Starfighter (Canadair)-interceptor:

Was created by Lockheed in the United States and flown on February 1954, drawing from the Korean War and the call for an interceptor that could quickly gain altitude.  When it was updated as the F-104G, it became popular in Canada and NATO.

Radar: The original radar included was the FIAR R21 G/H.

CF-105: Arrow (Avro)- interceptor:

The Arrow was a Canadian interceptor that was to replace the CF-100.  It was considered to be far ahead of its time and had delta wings, titanium, and twin engines.  After a series of setbacks such as a problem with the Douglas-Benix Sparrow and the RCA-Victor Astra radar, not being SAGE-compatible, and issues with the press and a change of government, it failed.

DHC-3: Otter (De Havilland Canada)-utility:

A Canadian utility aircraft, its first flight was in December of 1951.  It was used mostly mostly for transportation, including by the American Navy and Army in the Arctic as it could float and ski, and could be used on wheels.

F-15: Eagle (McDonnell Douglas)-fighter

This American fighter plane was highly impressive, planned as early as 1968, and flying by 1972.

Radar: The radar was equally impressive, rivaling any other at the time.  It was the Hughes AN/APG-63 X-band pulse.  It provided the pilot with images while straining out the unimportant details.  It was based on digital Doppler and allowed the pilot to be able to look up so he could fight.  It could visualize long distances and follow these visuals at any height.

F-89: Scorpion (Northrop)-interceptor:

American all weather and night interceptor which saw its first flight in August 1958.

F-101: Voodoo (McDonnell)-fighter

This fighter was created as the XF-88 in 1947 but became more successful with its update as the Voodoo   Canada flew them as well as the CF-101 after they received American Voodoos when their Arrow failed.

F-102: Delta Dagger (Convair)-interceptor:

The Dagger was created for North American air defence, taking flight in October, 1952.  It was not as successful as hoped though.

F-106: Delta Dart (Convair)-interceptor:

The Dart was created to improve on the Dagger, flying in December, 1956.  It was SAGE-compatible after receiving the Hughes MA-1.  They continued to be used throughout the Cold War, but by the end it was by the Air National Guard and tests for NASA.  The Eagle had become the more valuable aircraft.

F-111: Aardvark (General Dynamics)-bomber:

The F-111 was originally supposed to be an important American fighter for the Air Force and Navy.  It was larger and more expensive than expected however and it became a bomber.  It was often used in Electronic Warfare.

Radar: The Aardvark made use of attack radar, the General Electric AN/APQ-144.

H-19: Sikorsky Helicopter-utility:

A utility helicopter which became important in constructing the radar lines.

PBY-5A: Canso (Consolidated)-bomber:

A bomber aircraft which was used in the construction of the radar lines.

T-33: Shooting Star (Lockheed) interceptor:

The T-33 was made in Canada as CT-133 Silver Stars by Canadair.  The American version of the aircraft was updated to become the F-80C Shooting Star in 1948.  By the end of the Cold War they were still being used in training, including on targeting radar.


Su-24: Fencer (Sukhoi)-ground attack:

The Fencer, put to use in 1974 had became important by the end of the Cold War.  In the late 1980s there were about 700 estimated aircraft in use.  Some were used for Electronic Counter-Measures.

Radar: The Fencer drew on various radar uses including in guidance, fighting, and finding and following the target.

Tu-22M: Backfire (Tupolev)-bomber:

Flying by July 1970, the Backfire was a significant Soviet bomber and the first one in the world to be swing-wing.  It was used against Europe mostly by the Navy and the Air Force.

Radar: It used radar to guide the plane and the 23mm tail guns drew on Bee Hind radar.

Tu-95: Bear (Tupolev)-bomber, surveillance:

Flying as early as 1954, the Bear was created to become the Soviet intercontinental bomber.  Its focus became reconnaissance however, as North American defence increased.  It was updated as a newer, ASW model in the 1970s, the Tu-142, which were still being used near the end of the Cold War.

Radar: Its weapons were controlled and guided by Short Horn radar.  Radar was also used in the tail to give notice of an attack, and search radar under the fuselage for surveillance.

Tu-160: Blackjack (Tupolev)-bomber:

The use of this aircraft was not positively clear in the West but it was thought that it was to be used to enter North American airspace and drop cruise missiles or other weapons at supersonic speed.


Tornado (Panavia)-multirole:

The Tornado was a joint venture between the Italian, British, and West German Air Forces, and the West German Navy.  It began flying in August of 1974, and was used in Operation Cerberus.

Radar:  It drew on a few different radars to provide control information including Texas Instruments radar for looking ahead and providing an image of the ground, Decca Type 72 Doppler Navy Radar, and GEC Avionics used in navigation of the terrain features.