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Old 27th Dec 2012, 16:02   #21 (permalink)
 
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Put the Tanks' down Whitehall.

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Old 27th Dec 2012, 16:06   #22 (permalink)


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...the TSR2 might have been a good aeroplane, when the computer technology caught up! (sometime after 1980?)
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 16:12   #23 (permalink)
 
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Those involved in its few flights insist it was an amazingly capable aeroplane, but it looks to me to have a tiny wing; great for straight line speed but not so good for manouvering and STOL despite blown surfaces.
Unfortunately, an eminent TP of the era insists on talking opinionated nonsense about the lack of wing area on the bomber. It was intended to be a high speed, low level nuclear strike bomber first and foremost, with no real need for energetic manoevring. Whether or not STOL would ever have been used operationally, I doubt - neither was the STOL / rough field performance of the Jaguar (yes, that's what BWoS claimed!) ever used.

A pig to fly at low speed, I gather - but so was the Bucc below 300KIAS!

As for 1968; well, I think I should have chosen an easier degree at a nicer university. Aeronautical Engineering on the Mile End Road wasn't much fun - although the South Woodford halls were OK. The UAS was great fun though.

We were stuck with the 50:50 Phantom due to the incompetence of 'pound in your pocket' Wislon and his fellow travellers; however coming into service was the Jaguar, Hawker's little airshow jet, and the F-4. Plus the AFVG had been canned a year earlier, as had F-111K and it was to be another 6 years before UKVG became the Tornado bomber, so the RAF had no option but to acquire the Buccaneer - a decision which was to prove very sound in later years. So at least prospective fast jet pilots had a lot of interesting aircraft from which to choose!

Last edited by BEagle; 27th Dec 2012 at 16:25.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 16:40   #24 (permalink)
 
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Wasn't there allegedly an element of a certain other TP talking-up TSR2 because he'd hung his coat on it rather than on Concorde, which he thought would be cancelled?
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 16:47   #25 (permalink)
 
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The Speys were to improve the performance for carrier ops.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 17:22   #26 (permalink)

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My opinionated nonsense was based on the considerable AoA used for takeoff and landing at (light) flight test weights which to my way of thinking would have required a lot of runway to be available at operational weights.

So, opinionated - sure. Nonsense - not sure.

As to the original low level high speed penetrator operational requirement, with the full benefit of hindsight the viability/usefulness of such a role would probably be fairly low today.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 17:39   #27 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
The real question is whether the TSR2 would have been any good for any of the many roles for which it was intended?
Could I point the Hon Member to:

John Forbat's " TSR2 - Precision Attack to Tornado" ISBN 978 0 7524 3919 8

The book contains quite detailed descriptions of the TSR2 avionics and AFCS. The question one has to pose; and answer; is whether the system could have been made to work at all and if so could it have functioned properly in anything other than its narrow primary role?

If nothing else you should read Ch9 - The Central Processing System.

I fear that the introduction to service would have been long and painful and by the time that it was complete we may have found ourselves in something of a cul-de-sac.

YS
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 17:43   #28 (permalink)
 
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Once again, succinctly put John. I would just add that I think its usefulness would probably have been fairly low some twenty odd years ago - with hindsight as you rightly say.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 17:46   #29 (permalink)
 
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Binned the Harrier before the advent of the Internet, PPRuNe and That Harrier thread.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 17:54   #30 (permalink)
 
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And the Comet based Nimrod to save the bandwidth wasted on that in the past 2 years on PPRuNe!
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 17:57   #31 (permalink)
 
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At the time was anyone pushing for a more tactical air force that may not have been all that good in the delivery of nuclear weapons but more focused on the defence of economic interests against conventional forces?

In my mind is of course a reflection on the conflicts that have taken place since 1968 but also thinking about the development of the EH101 helicopter. The concept of which was from 1970's becoming operational 30 years later.. One wonders how far requirements changed or indeed if at that time anyone thought that they even might?
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 18:01   #32 (permalink)


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Could we have afforded TSR2 though?
Machining parts from solid billits of titanium is a damned expensive way to build any mechanical structure, especially when you (in some components) can get close to a 90% wastage rate before you account for quality control rejects.
It was one of the things that did for Westland a few years later: uncontrolled titanium wastage from the machining was completely unbudgeted for, simply because no-one had ever needed to account for raw material losses before. Aluminium and alloy was so cheap in comparison, that the wastage costs were relatively trivial and no-one thought to look at the costs
Westland lost out also because the scrap was nicked and passed on the the local caravan dwellers, but even if it had been recycled legitimately there still would have been a huge loss. Teledyne Wah Chang Albany weren't keen on taking it back, and paid a pittance for it.

I've often wondered whether the same error was initially made with TSR2, with no-one anticipating just how high the scrap rate would be from the maching processes

Last edited by Milo Minderbinder; 27th Dec 2012 at 18:02.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 19:05   #33 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
...the considerable AoA used for takeoff and landing at (light) flight test weights which to my way of thinking would have required a lot of runway to be available at operational weights.
What percentage of development thrust was used on those early flights - and was BLC used for landing? RB didn't seem to think it would have been much of a problem. Although the daft STOL requirement was Air Staff nonsense, in my opinion.

Would Hawker's still-borne GOR339 contender, the P1129 have fared any better? Who knows; the Kingston design didn't fly whereas the TSR2 did.

Quote:
As to the original low level high speed penetrator operational requirement, with the full benefit of hindsight the viability/usefulness of such a role would probably be fairly low today.
As would, perhaps, be the usefulness of a little short range V/STOL jet capable of flying not very far carrying not very much?

By the way, you may also wish to review the Fairey Rotodyne programme which was making significant progress with noise reduction before it was cancelled in 1962, over 3 years before P1154, TSR2 and HS681.... The Rotodyne was not part of the same cancellation programme; indeed, it was doing so well that there wasn't a single complaint about 'noise' or 'smell' when it flew to Battersea Heliport 50 years ago - the only enquiries from the public were out of curiosity.....
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 19:13   #34 (permalink)


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The Rotodyne lost out on politics following the Westland / Bristol / Fairey shotgun wedding.
Only one of the Rotodyne / Westminster / Belvedere was going to get government development funding, and the Belvedere seemed the lowest risk. Or someone greased someones palm to keep the work at Weston, not Yeovil.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 19:16   #35 (permalink)
 
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Order more Canberras and Hunters.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 19:25   #36 (permalink)
 
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Buccaneer with Tornado or TSR2 avionics, TFR etc and I think we would have had a cracking aircraft and saved a bundle of £sd to boot,
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 19:25   #37 (permalink)
 
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BEagle,

"So at least prospective fast jet pilots had a lot of interesting aircraft from which to choose!"

I don't know when you were training, but in 1968-9 there was sod-all choice. People were leaving the RAF in droves from the JP training bases.

Of around 40 guys on the JP course I was on, only two or three would go to Valley, due to very serious cutbacks. Everyone else was 'doomed' to Oakington.

I didn't know at the time what he was doing, but after leaving the RAF one of the first people I met in Queen's Building (LHR) was my old boss at Leeming.

It was a grim time to have chosen the Royal Air Force as a career.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 22:07   #38 (permalink)
 
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TSR-2 primary role

As a Vulcan captain in the early 1970s I would very much rather have been flying the TSR-2, after which I had hankered futilely ten years earlier.

The primary role was to wander our great big aircraft at low level into Western Russia. Whatever serious defence we had against Russian SAM was bundled up in our AEO and his magic boxes. If we were to attack by night we would use terrain following radar, which offered a generous invitation to whatever radar-homing missiles they might have positioned ahead of us.

Day or night, missiles or no, the Russians had literally thousands of the AA armoured vehicles known as ZSU-23-4. I was not alone, I am sure, in feeling that our Vulcans would be swiftly shredded by the first of these weapon systems we met.

Now the TSR-2 might have taken ages to bed in its computing system - but it would have moved through Western Russia like s*** off a shovel. I suspect we and our Vulcans were wasting our time even attempting this exercise; in TSR-2s, on the other hand, we would have got to our targets with just two good engines and a Pilot Nav Card.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 23:28   #39 (permalink)
 
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TSR2 what if

Beags - I think your been a bit unkind to JF! - what ever your views on TPs sometimes they do have a valid point ! - TSR-2 in my opinion would have been great about 1980 - just when GR1 entered service. I met and had Lunch with RPB at his house in 1988 and he was still most enthusiastic about TSR-2 I also knew Jimmy Dell pretty well. What I have learnt with hindsight is just how close they came to disaster on a good few of the flights. I think they only flew 19-20 sorties RPB about 6-7 Jimmy Dell about 11 and Don Knight 2 - all from memory . The engines were powerful but very limited. When you look at a lot of the kit that went into TSR2 and then look at what ended up in Jaguar and F4 it really would be wrong to say TSR-2 was brilliant! The FGR2 INAS was never great and the early Jaguar Navwass probably cost a few pilots their lives. I've never found out if the GMR in TSR was any good - GR1 ended up with the Texas Instruments GMR and TFR I'm guessing because it was cheaper than Ferranti and perhaps an offset in costs from the F111 programme. Having almost finished (plug) my book on Tornado what we ended up with is probably better than we could have hoped for . Tornado a fruit of the 1970s with its trendy swing wing is arguably the best CAS combat aircraft in service today- due to a reliable airframe and smart weapons . The F3 ( and before some FAA persons starts ranting- be quiet) also became a capable aircraft - not an SU27 beater or F22 slayer but excellent as a long range interceptor. So in brief TSR2 would have been good but my guess it would have seen service in Gulf War one just as it retired and we would all be saying how brilliant it was !!!
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 02:55   #40 (permalink)
 
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Beags, to judge from your #22, it looks as though you share an alma mater with Caligula!
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