A lovely Jaguar RAF photo

Taking flight
Two aircraft figure in the pilot episode, First Principles.

HS 748
Originally manufactured by Hawker Siddley of the United Kingdom, the firm has since merged with British Aerospace. The twin-airscrew aircraft first flew in 1960 had four major series: 100, -200, -300, It held 58 passengers. By the time production ended in 1988, 337 were built and were in service from the heat of India to the bone-chilling isolation of the Canadian north.

The aircraft’s history began in 1965 when the English and French agreed on requirements for a dual-role trainer and tactical support aircraft. The Royal Air Force originally intended to use the aircraft purely as an advanced trainer, but this was later changed to the offensive support role for cost effectiveness.

The first RAF aircraft took to the air in October 1969, and each air force placed orders for 200 aircraft - the RAF opting for 165 single-seat and 35 two-seat aircraft. Deliveries to No 226 OCU at Lossiemouth began in 1973. At its peak the Jaguar equipped eight front-line and 1 training squadron; Nos 14, 17, 20 and 31 Squadrons at Bruggen (strike and attack), II(AC) Sqn at Laarbruch (reconnaissance) as well as the three Coltishall-based squadrons (6, 41 and 54) and Lossiemouth based 16(Reserve).

In case you are wondering, yes, it’s fast. Thanks to a pair of Turbomeca/Rolls-Royce engines, this 55-foot-long aircraft rockets along at 1,593km/h. That’s fast enough to get you in and out of the Kola Peninsula before the Russians can blink.