Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
...the wrong decision you guys made in the late 60s was the one about leaving the British Commonwealth to join the European Economic Zone, or was it the Common Market ( what did you call it before this more modern pseudo-federation?) That single mistake pretty much changed the course of history from one where Britain was at the middle of everything with friends all over the world, to one where it has become a small group of islands off the west coast of a mainland populated by reformed enemies.
BEagle (others may find the detail that follows a little tiresome)
As would, perhaps, be the usefulness of a little short range V/STOL jet capable of flying not very far carrying not very much?
Interesting comment - which may say more about the holiday you are having than the actual aeroplane.
The very first GR1s that entered service in April 1969 had a spec requirement for an unrefuelled ferry range of 2000nm. This was demonstrated. When it came to delivering prod aircraft to Gutersloh from Dunsfold in the early 70s with the original engine I used to go from a VTO for no better reason than one could. BTW at that time HSA were paid £750k per copy. Remarkable really when you think it was also the first RAF aircraft with an INAS, moving map and HUD.
The wing gave us trouble in that the spec called for 6g at 10,000ft 16,800lb and 400kt. We could only manage 5 unless we put the nozzles down when it was easy to reach the 6. However the Dunsfold pilots ever thinking of their mates said that was cheating, So they insisted the wing was dressed and modded to achieve the extra g. Which was done.
Since over the years more than 800 airframes were delivered to 6 countries and 7 air arms I guess some people checked the facts. When it came to the final big donk which was flat rated to an OAT of 50degC (!) I simply could not believe the changes from the 1964 low thrust 1hr life (nozzles down) 25hr life (nozzles aft) engine that I had started on.
As it happens some recent Flight International correspondence refers to Harrier myths that would not go away despite being quite incorrect.
"One wonders how far requirements changed or indeed if at that time anyone thought that they even might?"
When we get tired of this thread re 1968 how about re-mustering it for 1986, the first time I saw mention in the press about a new Eurofighter thingy?
In light of world events since the late 80s, what would we have done differently then? (Probably most of the above comments would suffice).
Well maybe except that the Eurofighter is at least home grown and i'm not sure we scrapped an alternative Brit type in order to get it.... So aside from all that... Actually that question of mind came from a royal aeronautical society lecture by David Gibbings who - amoungst other things - was reflecting upon the EH101 helicopter project.
Cutting a long story short it was a concept that was borne out of an anti-submarine requirement in the 1970's, a threat which had arguably passed by its inception. That and the rapid rate of development in electronics and you have things that are a little long in the tooth before they are ever brought into service.
Upon reflection one wonders if that may have been the case with TSR2, given the all things to all men type role - although it is 1968 and I imagine unable to be rekindled by this time?
edited to add quote
Last edited by Pittsextra; 28th Dec 2012 at 16:23.
Hi SOSL Yes I agree it was jobs for the boys to a certain extent,and I have often wondered if an american phantom would have been able to launch/bolter from our carriers...any comment from the boys in dark blue ?? You only have to look at the land on footage/bolters from the 'sailor' series to see how tiny our flight deck was
Although the MRCA was later than the TSR2, and somewhat shorter legged, the overall result (IMO) was an excellent all weather tactical Strike/Attack platform, that has (several) war credentials to show for it. The decade or so delay from TSR2 allowed the Tornado to be a multinational project that benefited greatly from the dawn of the digital age and became an almost unimaginable step forward in IMC Strike/Attack capability. The answer to the question is, most things worked out well till 1990. The Tornado will go down in history as a great workhorse that we almost got by default.
Last edited by Onceapilot; 28th Dec 2012 at 20:34.
So, if you could could get hold of a 1968's time frame carrier, say Ark Royal and some Phantoms & Bucaneers would they be (have been) any use in the recent Libya, Gulf1&2 or Falklands conflicts (peacekeeping?). Of course not to forget the good old (new when I knew them) Gannet. Regards for the new year,John.