General Knowledge Quiz

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d9009alycidon

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Correct - it is the Banana tree, The reason they walk comes down to how they are cultivated. Bananas for human consumption are all clones of a single plant selectively bred. The plants are grown asexually from offshoots of the plant. Generally, there are two shoots at any one time, one that is used immediately and one that will yield bananas in 7 months time. As the shoots grow along the ground rather than downwards, the pseudostem that produces the bananas can move slightly over the years.

Over to you
 

Calthrop

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Sounds downright spooky to me -- no wonder I'm not keen on bananas :( !

Thanks -- but there's no way I could have got this "under my own steam". Open floor, please.
 

DerekC

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OK.

In addition to the Spitfire and Hurricane, what British fighter aircraft were operational during the Battle of Britain (official dates: 10th July to 31st October 1940)?
 
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fowler9

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Yes - the first ten production Beaufighters were delivered by 3rd August 1940 and went into service as night fighters soon after that.

There are at least three other candidates.
Ooh. Are any of them American designs stuck together in the UK or are we talking strictly British?
 

DerekC

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As far as I know the US designs didn't start to arrive until 1941 - the three I am looking for are certainly British.

Blenheim is right - it was designed as a bomber but there was a night fighter version called the Mk1F.

Swordfish was a torpedo carrier, although I think it could carry bombs instead of the torpedo. A Swordfish hit the Bismarck with a torpedo in the rudder compartment making the ship un-manoeuvrable so that the British fleet pursuing it could catch up. So a Swordfish didn't exactly sink the Bismarck, but one certainly played a key role. Anyway definitely not a fighter.
 
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krus_aragon

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If we're including aircraft that blurred the fighter / bomber role, is the Mosquito in the frame?

(My knowledge of Great War planes is far stronger, having helped design a tabletop dog-fighting game in my university days. But most of those planes were long gone by the 1940s, of course.)
 

DerekC

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If we're including aircraft that blurred the fighter / bomber role, is the Mosquito in the frame?

(My knowledge of Great War planes is far stronger, having helped design a tabletop dog-fighting game in my university days. But most of those planes were long gone by the 1940s, of course.)
The Mosquito fits in that it had a night fighter variant, but the prototype didn't fly until 25 November 1940, after the Battle of Britain was over. Still two to go.
 

DerekC

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The Boulton-Paul Defiant is right. It was a turret-armed two-seater fighter intended to destroy German bombers by coming up beside or underneath them, but mostly got shot down by fast single-seater escorts before it could engage. It did have some success as a night fighter for a few months before the Beaufighter was in full production.

The Fairey Battle was a light bomber - relegated to training and target towing after disastrous losses in the Battle of France . You are right that both were disasters!

So - one still to go. Think of a fighter that was obsolete long before the Battle of Britain. And if that doesn't help think Faith, Hope and Charity.
 

DerekC

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Therefore, it was the Gloster Gladiator!
Spot on. There were still three squadrons of Gladiators operational in the British Isles during the Battle. That's all the ones I knew about, but during research to make sure I got my facts right I also discovered an aircraft called the Westland Whirlwind. I thought that was a 1950s helicopter, but the name originally went to a twin engine, single seat high speed cannon-armed fighter which was operational with one squadron during the late summer of 1940. It was the one of fastest combat aircraft in the world at the time, but had big problems with its engines and was withdrawn in 1943, although the people who understand these things say it would have made a great ground attack aircraft.

Your runway.
 

fowler9

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Spot on. There were still three squadrons of Gladiators operational in the British Isles during the Battle. That's all the ones I knew about, but during research to make sure I got my facts right I also discovered an aircraft called the Westland Whirlwind. I thought that was a 1950s helicopter, but the name originally went to a twin engine, single seat high speed cannon-armed fighter which was operational with one squadron during the late summer of 1940. It was the one of fastest combat aircraft in the world at the time, but had big problems with its engines and was withdrawn in 1943, although the people who understand these things say it would have made a great ground attack aircraft.

Your runway.
The Gladiator! Gahhhh. Ha ha. Gutted.
 

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