Back in the day, the UK used to have a massive aircraft industry. It was because of the Second World War, of course. We churned out huge numbers of bombers and fighters during those years, but even in the two decades following, there were dozens of aircraft manufacturers in Britain, all bidding on government contracts. Over the years, the various companies merged, amalgamated, or went under, until pretty much all we were left with was British Aerospace. But back in the 1950s and 1960s, when names like Avro, Vickers, Handley Page, de Havilland, Gloster, Supermarine, still meant something, the UK built some iconic military aircraft. Not just the V-Bombers, but also the English Electric Lightning interceptor, the sadly-cancelled TSR.2, or the Canberra – which became the B-57 under licence in the US…
The SR.53 was a prototype rocket- and jet-propelled interceptor; only two were built. The Type 508 was also a prototype, and a later version of it, without the butterfly tail, went on to enter service as the Supermarine Scimitar.