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.
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
Voila! One U.S. Marine F-4B aboard H.M.S. Ark Royal. They'd been cross-decking with the Forrestal in the med. This one went U/s and was put in the hanger. It emerged with 892 squadron tail markings.
Last edited by RedhillPhil; 29th Dec 2012 at 11:16.
If I may return to the reasons for cancellation of the TSR2...some years ago, Radio 4 broadcast a late night series called "The Benn Tapes", presented by Tony Benn who had kept a diary, and then taped records, every day during his time in office. He described the circumstances resulting in the cancellation of the TSR2; since one of my relatives had been involved in the mechanical design of the sideways looking camera for that aeroplane, I sat up and took notice of what TB was saying.
The gist of it was that the Treasury had told the Cabinet that the country was broke and needed to borrow money...(nothing's new, is it?) So an approach was made to what was then called the World Bank...who said they'd have to ask the Americans. The Americans, in their turn, said we could have the money...providing we cancelled Concorde (thus leaving the SST field open for the Boeing aircraft). However, the contracts between the UK and France were copper bottomed water tight and there was no chance of effective cancellation...this was because HM Government had wanted to guard against the French getting cold feet! Once the impossibility of cancelling Concorde had been admitted, then the fall back position was for TSR2 to be cancelled, leaving the F-111 unopposed, and this is what happened.
After explaining this, TB went on to say that the true tragedy was that UK plc was actually trading itself out of the mire unassisted, and the loan that the Treasury had said was essential was never needed.....so the cancellation was for nothing, in the end.
Nice photo Phil So I suppose my next logical question would be - could the US Phantoms operate from our carrier with any sort of useful load other than a belly tank ??
U.S. F-4s could be launched with a typical F-4 load but.....only on the longer(200') waist cat. Now, in an interesting piece of selling coals to Newcastle there was talk of McDonnell modifying the Phantom to be able to operate from the "Essex" class ships. These were comparable in size to Ark Royal. The modification(s)? Fit the F-4K's extendable nose leg and Speys. Talk was that this was to be designated F-4L. I think it was dropped because the F-14 and 15 were on the horizon.
Heathrow Harry...if you have any inside knowledge I would be interested to hear it! TB's explanation was succint and logical, with the original contemporary recordings he made. Of course, it could all be nonsense...but I can see no possible advantage to him if it were. The programme to which I refer is nothing he "says now"...it was a long time ago,but has stuck in the mind.
Reference TSR 2, see here* pages 33-44, but especially 40-44.
As stated the TSR 2 was a Canberra light bomber replacement, not a strategic bomber replacement and, with the cost going through the roof and the pull back from east of Suez on the cards, cancellation was inevitable - as was the subsequent cancellation of the F-111.
* RAF Museum - "TSR2 with Hindsight". Edited by Air Vice-Marshal A F C Hunter CBE AFC DL
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
JF, thanks - a gent as ever! Your PM made interesting reading and the point about specification writing was indeed very sound.
In my small area of providing a military aircraft system to a couple of customers, I insisted that we involved the end-users at an early stage, to ensure they received the system they needed. However, I also came across engineers who wouldn't listen to the voice of experience - a typical example being 3 functions being controlled by one 2-position push button. They wouldn't accept that this was silly, insisting that software would take care of 2 functions and only 1 alternative was needed. But we've since seen that the software doesn't always work as expected.......
They were the sort of engineers who, I'm sure, would be happy to fit a software controlled fire extinguisher....
Re. a couple of projects about which we disagree:
- ORAC's link to the TSR2 debate reveals Jimmy Dell's comment that initial climb angle (and hence body angle) was quite steep in order to remain below the undercarriage limiting speed. He raised no concerns about AoA and mentions that the aircraft handled well in the circuit and on the approach, concluding that, "as a flying machine, we did indeed have a world beater in our stable".
- Reading more about the Rotodyne, cancellation was due to lack of funding following problems with RR delivering the Tyne in time for contractual deadlines to be met. The RAF was diffident, considering that the Andover would be sufficient and BEA wouldn't commit without a military order. The prototype's noise problems had been overcome by the time of the Battersea demo flight and the production version promised even further reductions. There were no 'gearbox' issues; the aircraft did not have a main rotor gearbox by virtue of its tip-jet design and the cyclic/collective swashplate worked as advertised. I remain convinced that Rotodyne would have given the RAF vertical lift capabilities in excess of the Chinook some 20 years earlier - and civil flights between a wide range of small regional airports would have been possible.
I do agree about the AW681 though! As for P1154, it could not have been used from deployed sites in the same manner as the Harrier and PCB would have destroyed any 'natural' runway surface. In the end it wouldn't really have offered any significant advantage over a conventional second generation fighter-bomber, given that its V/STOL capabilities were becoming rather irrelevant. So the decision to go for Harrier at one end and F-4 at the other was undoubtedly correct at the time. Perhaps if P1121 'Hurricane 2' hadn't been killed by Duncan Sandys in 1958, the RAF wouldn't have needed to select the American design 10 years later?
The prototype's noise problems had been overcome by the time of the Battersea demo flight
Apparently down to the level of a DC-8. Only you don't operate DC 8s out of city heliports. Having said that Beags, given an Osprey length of gestation with better powerplants and lower structural weights..........
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Ah yes, the old DC-8 analogy. I'm not sure which aspect of DC-8 operation was used for comparison, but as you and I will recall from our university days, Haraka, the noise made by Heathrow-bound DC-8s, B-707s, VC10s and particularly Tridents even as far out as over Brompton Road was greater than the background traffic noise - but not so today!
The proof that noise was being dealt with satisfactorily came from the Battersea Heliport flights; zero complaints and only 2 calls from curious members of the public who wondered what was going on.
Derek Wood's Project Cancelled contains a number of significant errors about the Rotodyne; James Hamilton-Patterson's Empire of the Clouds also perpetuates the myth that Rotodyne was cancelled at the same time as TSR2, P1154 and AW681 rather than 3 years earlier......
Still, when the genpub are content to be deafened by the racket inside a London Underground train , yet whinge about the slightest noise made by an aircraft overflying the city, scientific noise measurement and silencer technology will always be defeated by rumours and false speculation....
It reminds me of the Concorde boom trials over the Irish Sea and off the coast of Cornwall. Some grumblers had decided that their local church would be damaged by the distant sonic booms. So the church was duly instrumented and observations made. As Concorde's distant boom was heard, the needles indeed twitched. "See, told you so!", claimed one of the agitators. Then someone slammed the church door....and the needles went to full scale deflexion....
Last edited by BEagle; 30th Dec 2012 at 10:42.