Talk:Night fighter

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Can we confirm that the Black widow "designed from the ground up" had superior performance that the Mosquito NF? GraemeLeggett 14:24, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

What, weighing around twice that of a Mosquito and being considerably larger, and despite the increased horsepower, having the much greater wetted area of the two tailbooms - that doesn't seem very likely does it. I'd like to see a P-61 doing upward rolls on one engine. I suspect the Black Widow had a slightly better performance than a late Ju 88 night fighter, but that both the Mosquito and the Heinkel He 219 would better it by a considerable margin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:42, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Modern-day night fighters[edit]

The final paragraph mentions the F-14 and MiG-31 as the only surviving night figthers. It explains that they are long-range interceptors, but it doesn't explain how or why they are any more "nighty" than other aircraft. Lupine Proletariat 09:32, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Fixed that. -> But soon got reverted for unexplained reason. --Kubanczyk (talk) 13:12, 1 February 2011 (UTC)


I would disagree with the proposition "night fighter" ="all-weather fighter", esp since the AW fighter is a postwar invention, & specialist NFs have been obsoleted by the AW day/night capability typical for all modern fighters. Furthermore, I'd agree with Lupine's remark above, mod fighters are no more "nightfighters" than "day fighters"; with radar, & esp datalinks to AWACS types, the distinction has long since disappeared. In short, I strongly suggest breaking out NFs & AWFs into separate articles. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 02:06, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, the statement "night fighter" = "all-weather fighter" is by all means laughable. Following this logic, "day fighter" = "all-weather fighter". I'm fixing it right now. --Kubanczyk (talk) 09:45, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
To consider that night-fighters simply disappeared at the end of the Second World War is not accurate; a renaming of the then current and new fighters undertaking this role led to then contemporary use of the "all-weather" fighter terminology. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 15:52, 1 February 2011 (UTC).
I would like to establish a basic understanding between us first, using one basic example. Are these statements true or false: "F-14 is a night fighter", and "F-14 is a day fighter". My answers are false, and false. What are yours? --Kubanczyk (talk) 18:17, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
The point being more clearly, when did the term night fighter get superseded by "all-weather" fighter and if the term was synonymous throughout the immediate post-war era, then it appears to be the natural progression of the night fighter's capabilities. Perhaps I should have stated that more clearly in my first response, which I have amended with the declarative "then". The term, "all-weather fighter" was made moot by the new capabilities derived from ground-based support systems such as ATC and radar, as well as airborne systems that allowed all fighters to operate in all types of conditions. The use of dayfighter seems to have continued into the 1960s as aircraft such as the F-104 were still considered "dayfighters". The F-14 falls into the category of a modern weapons system and would therefore not be treated as either a night or day fighter. FWiW, this article might spawn off an "All-weather fighter" article and I would have no issue with that, but there was a period wherein the night fighter morphed into the all-weather fighter and that should be acknowledged. Bzuk (talk) 20:57, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Further comments: I was drawn to this article by the removal of a large amount of the article by what appeared to be an anon, but I would guess, it might have been Kubanczyk who did not log in under his user name. The alert is typically, a massive change not related to the talk page discussion. This type of change usually is reverted unless there is overwhelming evidence that vandalism or correction is involved. Nevertheless, in making a cursory review of the article, it has a great deal of information not cited or supported by authoritative sources, an indication that this may be more of an essay than a fact-based document. I would welcome thoughts on the possible re-write of the article as it appears to be bending if not breaking the NPOV dictum. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 21:09, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
OK, I certainly agree with you. Originally, I wanted to have a redlink to "all-weather aircraft", but I have no problem with including it here (as long as there is no implication that "night fighter" is synonymous with "all-weather fighter"). I've changed the intro accordingly, please feel free to improve.
What troubles me is the last part of text (since the F-4), is it only me, or is it completely off-topic? This article should not attempt to elaborate on every all-weather fighter in existence. This way we could as well copy-and-paste entire three sections of Fighter aircraft. --Kubanczyk (talk) 08:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Here's where it gets interesting. The DH Venom NF series was redesignated Venon FAW, so the terms were the same at one point. FWiW, the night fighter and all-weather fighter co-existed through the 1950s and not until the 1960s was the all-weather fighter nomenclature dropped, however the designations still remained in unique instances such as the Venom FAW (literally: Fighter, All-weather). Bzuk (talk) 15:09, 2 February 2011 (UTC).
I know you are trying to be bold, but you also have to be accurate. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 16:20, 2 February 2011 (UTC).
(Note for general reader: article for the third time starts with "Night fighter (also known as all-weather fighter...)") I'm afraid this discussion is going nowhere. I'm dropping this page off my watchlist, regretting it went from bad to worse since I've touched it. --Kubanczyk (talk) 19:49, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your interest. Your assertion that night fighter did not equal all-weather fighter was patently wrong through the 1950s, so the definitions have to include that nexus. Binksternet (talk) 20:13, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Wow, that was quick. So I'm still here. A rectangle is also known as a square. To state that rectangle did not equal square was patently wrong through the 1950s, because at that time all the rectangles were squares. --Kubanczyk (talk) 20:33, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
The 'square' you refer to was the radar-capable night fighter of WWII. The rectangularization of that square came with augmented ground- and aerial-based (EC-121 Warning Star) radar coordination with the fighter as well as more sophisticated onboard avionics. The later rectangle started out as a square. Binksternet (talk) 21:20, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
K, perhaps you didn't see the earlier comments, but "night fighters" were still in existence in the postwar era but gradually, the terminology, repeat terminology changed to "all weather fighter". Barry Jones in the latest database on the Venom series, states on p. 66: "In line with a change in official nomenclature, the NF (nightfighter) designation was changed to that of FAW (Fighter, All-Weather)." This RAF/RN change occurred in July 1951, and was very representative of a worldwide change in designations. For example, the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck, from the same era, entered service in 1953 with the RCAF declaring its role to be an "all weather night fighter." FWiW Bzuk (talk) 21:29, 2 February 2011 (UTC).
Binksternet and Bzuk. Yes, the things were the same. Yes, there was a change in terminology. You conclude that the old term is a synonym of the new term; I cannot agree. "All-weather fighter" is not a synonym of "night fighter" - the actual fighters WERE the same for some time, but the TERMS do not mean the same. You did not point any error in my metaphor with squares; it puzzles me that you allow the article to start with "square (also known as rectangle) ...". --Kubanczyk (talk) 13:51, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Since actual references and cites do not seem to convince you, remember that the writing and research done here is intended to be collaborative and has to fit into the established and agreed-upon conventions. The latest additions to the article that have been made are also quite extraordinary as they quote unusual and not often used sources. Maybe we should talk about these revisions? As an example, I, for one, have never heard of Steemrok Publishing Services, which to all intents, appears to be a "vanity press" with all the attendant issues herein. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 13:06, 13 April 2011 (UTC).
I don't see any response to my arguments. --Kubanczyk (talk) 07:57, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
The 'all weather fighter' came about because of the widespread adoption of precision GCA on military airfields in the late post-war period. Previously AI-equipped night fighters had been able to land at night because although the lack of light is fairly obvious, visibility is no problem, i.e., all the airfield needs to do is to turn on its runway lighting to allow the landing fighter to both locate and then to land on the airfield. At that time though, it was not possible to land safely in conditions of heavy sleet, falling snow, or fog, by day or night, as the pilot was not able to locate, never mind see, the runway. Once ground controlled approach became the norm and an aircraft could be guided right down to the runway itself then this no longer remained a problem, and hence, the fighter could be operated in any weather condition, day or night - hence the term all weather fighter. These sort of weather conditions are fairly common in winter in western Europe, and so having a fighter that could operate in these conditions was an important increase in capabilities, which is why the term came into use. Bear in mind that bad weather over, say, the UK, is only confined to the lower few thousand feet, and that any attacking bomber flying higher would not be affected by conditions of poor visibility, especially if using nuclear weapons where the need for bombing accuracy is less, so the defending force might find itself in a situation where it were being attacked when the weather conditions at ground level precluded any defensive flying at all. The 'all weather fighter' and GCA effectively removed this problem.
So the term 'all weather fighter' in effect encompassed the earlier AI-equipped 'night fighter' when it was used in conjunction with precision GCA. Often these aircraft were originally termed 'night fighters', but they could be used in conditions of much worse visibility when used in conjunction with GCA, so they then became 'FAW - Fighter, All Weather' such as in the Javelin and Sea Vixen - both had originally been ordered as 'Night Fighters' - 'NF'.
BTW, I should perhaps point out that, providing you had someone to guide you to the end of the runway, then taking off in poor visibility was never a problem, as once you climbed above the clouds you then entered into good weather. It was landing however, that poor visibility was a killer. To such an extent that for fog, the RAF instigated FIDO at some of its bomber airfields. In poor visibility you really don't want to be flying around at low altitudes, especially if there is high ground in the vicinity. There lies the route to a 'stuffed cloud' and plenty of time to learn the harp.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:48, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

World War I ??[edit]

How did these work, they did not have air born radar? --Thorseth (talk) 10:21, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

They used either moonlight to see the enemy bombers or relied on ground-based searchlights to illuminate them. Often the attackers were Zeppelins so they were much larger than aeroplanes and easier for the searchlights to find and illuminate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Word of caution - OR[edit]

Re-visiting this article, I've found a lot of WP:original research and tracked it down to these major edits almost a year ago. I've examined only the tiny Zeppelin-related portion, but it worries me that (a) there was a source included, (b) the source does not confirm the text, (c) the information provided is incorrect to say the least. Hence, I doubt if the other content of the same contributor, introduced at the same time, can be trusted - and it means a lot of article's content. Especially that the rest of contribution was not cited. --Kubanczyk (talk) 22:54, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

I see that also late-WWI info had to be corrected (thanks Nigel Ish) because of inaccuracy. This confirms my first impression. --Kubanczyk (talk) 22:59, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Nope, that's not what happened at all, see my earlier concerns. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 13:08, 13 April 2011 (UTC).
I don't see any earlier concerns in regard of these major edits almost a year ago. Are we talking about the same thing? We did end up with a version saying that Strasser died in 1917, and Camel was called Cosmic. I suspect more errors were introduced and not identified to date. --Kubanczyk (talk) 07:53, 15 April 2011 (UTC)


In our times, only heavier-than-air aircraft comes to mind when we say "bomber". But please note that airships were occasionally referred to as bombers in the WWI era. So it is not entirely correct to contrast airships to bombers when writing about this era. Moreover, as airships are (and always were) classified as aircraft, it is even less correct to contrast airships to aircraft. --Kubanczyk (talk) 08:28, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Note the differentiation is embedded in the wikilink to a wikipedia article on the individual subjects. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 17:39, 15 April 2011 (UTC).

Avro Arrow night fighter?[edit]

Why is the Avro Arrow which never entered service mentioned along with the Delta Dart and Lightning which did enter service and were used for many years? (talk) 07:48, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

other craft[edit]

Why no article on night bombers? The tech was just as important. I got here from a link describing the Canberras lack of all-weather ability. Hardy seems relevant. Why not "all-weather aircraft"?.45Colt 23:26, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

The Canberra could be operated in any weather but the lack of H2S made accurate bombing at night or in bad weather difficult, so that may be what the link was referring to. The Canberra was originally to have had H2S but the H2S installation for this aircraft was late in development and as a result the Canberra design had to be revised and a bomb aimer included in the crew, along with a visual bomb-aiming position in the nose.
An 'All Weather' fighter OTOH is able to carry out its mission in any weather, and by day or night.
BTW, article on night bombers here: Night bomber. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:57, 20 May 2015 (UTC)