I can remember seeing the TSR2 at Cranfield in '72-73 is. A group of us from NATS Bletchley had been helping move a Cranfielder's boat and we ended up in the bar there (what a surprise!). After a few drinks he took us round the collection of oddities that were stored in the hangers, the TSR2 being the culmination of the tour - he implied that it was something of a secret that it had survived the destruction of the project.
The TSR2 at Duxford, had a lot of panel damage, this was if I remember correctly put back into order by Bae(formerlyBAC, formerly English Electric) my father in law and several other skilled people from Warton and Salmesbury spent several weeks living down in the Duxford area making and fitting by hand all the new panels that were missing from that A/c. They were picked for their skill and the fact that they had all been original prototype workers on this good looking A/c.
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
You're both right. The '681 went through various evolutions before the Labour government axed it. There was a Pegasus VSTOL version (barking mad, in my view. Lift must exceed weight for VTOL - and where on earth would the necessary thrust levels to do that on a jet cargo aircraft be acceptable? ). There were other versions with Comet wings, C-141 wings...... All were much bigger than the BAe 146, incidentally.
On Mountbatten, one of his Staff penned the following ditty in 1943-44
Mountbatten was a likely lad; A nimble brain Mountbatten had, And this most amiable trait: Of each new plan which came his way He'd always claim in accents pat,
"Why I myself invented that!" Adding when he remembered it, For any scoffer's benefit, Roughly the point in his career When he'd conceived the bright idea-- As "August 1934"' Or "Sometime during the Boer War".
When he visited CAS RAAF in the early 1960s, he pulled out three model Buccaneers telling him "You can have three of these for the price of one of these" (brandishing a model of TSR2)
I was stationed at Henlow in 1975 when XR220, the aircraft now at Cosford, was wheeled out of storage and taken to bits for transport. I managed to get a few pics, which I'm sure I still have somewhere.
The terrain following radar for TSR2 was first flown in a Dakota (TS423) by Ferranti in Edinburgh. The same aircraft featured in the TV series 'Airline' in the 80's and is now in the States. The radar never made it into TSR2 but flew regularly in a Buccaneer operated by Ferranti from Turnhouse. Despite being analogue it was very reliable and gave pilots great confidence in terrain following down to 200 feet.
wub - are you sure the TFR never made it into TSR2? I'm sure I've read/seen on video Bea Beaumont extoling the virtues of TSR2 as terrain-hugged its way at ultra low level, very smoothly, across the Pennines?
I'm sure TFR didn't make it into TSR-2. When Bee did his low level trans-Pennine flight he flew visually, it was a daylight flight after all and I believe he was accompanied by Jimmy Dell in a Lightning T5, so the terrain-following wouldn't have been too severe.
The TFR programme did continue for a while after the demise of the great white beast but it ultimately came to nothing despite having some pioneering display techniques.
Bit along the lines of the Nene thread but the actions of the "Government " on aviation will always be source of amazement!
Aerodocks at Southampton developed a system of aircraft recovery based on the hovercraft principle. Very clever ( well I though so! ) consisted of a series double floored 8 foot square" boxing rings" that were about 2 foot thick with plates on all four sides. Each unit had a mounting for a Coventry Climax engine ( I think!) driving a big fan on the top of each unit. You decided how many units you needed for the weight of the aircraft and then bolted 2, 4 or 6 of them together with the side plates removed where the squares butted together and mounted a Climax unit on one of the units. A skirt went all round the perimiter and "voila" a hover craft.
I was working as one of the aeroplane interface consultants getting weights, where to lift etc!. The lift was actually done by airbags on the platforms. The first demo was on a Hermes (??) at London., across a ditch, which was of course the sales pitch that we could cross any kind of terrain ( and water)
Then I got a call to go to RAF Henlow.
I got here and there was nothing spectacular, it was an RAF grass airfield with light aircraft and gliders. We all met and went across the airfield with all our machinery to a couple of hanger right on the far side or the airport.
Well what a sight. In one hanger was a complete TSR2 and the other hanger had a guy breaking up Shackletons ( I think !!) Well we did our party piece and lifted the TRS2 on the 2 hover platfroms, 1 under each wing, and transported it to the main airport area where it was loaded onto a low loader and sent the a RAF museum ( was it Cosford?).
The aircraft was complete and looked suberb. Another "Labour" victim!
I was tolds that particular one had flown and I have no idea how it got the Henlow but I am sure some pruner will know
That the nice thing about PPRuNe you can come up with long forgotten tales and some will always fill in the gaps !!
Doubtful that the one you lifted (great story by the way, never knew about that equipment!) actually flew. The one at Duxford (XR222) never flew for sure as she was number 4 off the production line. The one at Cosford (XR220) was number 2 and stood ready to make her first flight when the cancellation announcement came through. The flight crew actually went out to the aircraft to see if they could still fly it but apparently others prevented this. The only TSR2 that ever flew was shot to pieces on a firing range, bl@@dy shame!
I watched you load the TSR-2 onto that wagon and I took pics. It was XR220, which is now restored at Cosford, and it never flew. I have more pics which I'll scan and post later, if I can find them, so check back here for the URL. Great story too! Incidentally, it was July 1975!
GTTS- I remember reading somewhere that the RAF were considering a hovercraft based recovery system similar to the one you describe, however in this article it said that the aircraft would taxi onto the hovercraft, then move off to dispersals. It was to be used in rough/unprepared areas. Is it the same system?
Great story though-wonder what would have become of Britain's aero industry had the government not killed it off in the 60's?