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Supermarine Swift fuselage

1953, Brooklands Aircraft Factory, On long term display

The jet powered Swift was the first fighter aircraft in the Royal Air Force with a ‘swept wing’. Orders for both the Swift and the Hawker Hunter were placed in 1950 due to rising Cold War tensions and the Korean War. The Swift was rushed into service and outclassed by the Hunter, relegating it to low-level reconnaissance work.

Supermarine, famous for the Spitfire, had been a part of Vickers since 1928. This airframe was built as an F.1 variant and later modified as the F.4 prototype. It briefly held the world absolute air speed record, reaching 737.7mph (1,187km/h) in 1953, flown in Libya by Mike Lithgow.