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TSR2 (Signed prints available.)

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TSR2 (Signed prints available.)

Old 5th Jan 2008, 18:26
  #41 (permalink)  
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I am also one of the lucky ones to have seen it fly more than once, also as a schoolboy. The first time was from my classroom window, and when I explained to the teacher what was going on (new secret jet's first arrival at Warton from Boscombe on final aproach with a Meteor chase), she let the whole class stand by the windows to watch.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 03:53
  #42 (permalink)  
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I saw the Duxford example for the first time today...I was a little surprised at how big it actually is. I'd love to have seen the cockpit but alas that's not possible, managed to get some good pics of it despite the lighting and crowded hanger. Was this the flying example or one of the 2 that didn't get airborne?

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Old 7th Jan 2008, 05:14
  #43 (permalink)  
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Here is what a fellow ppruner thought of the TSR2, and yes it made me friggin laugh. ~ Shamlessly cut and pasted from a thread in D&G

Ahh, the old TSR2 chestnut...!


I was waiting with baited breath for this one to pop-up!!!
Let me, if I may be so bold, to express my opinion on the matter of the infamous claims of "superiority" of the TSR2 over, well, every aircraft that has ever existed.
Firstly, I would like to retort in Haiku:

Fabled British Plane,
Uglier Than Sin Itself,
Total Piece Of Sh!t

And, if the meaning of the Haiku is too obscure for some, here is a metaphor I think is very appropriate: About 40 years ago, whilst out fishing in a tinnie in Port Phillip Bay, I caught a Blue Whale using 10 pound line and a hand reel. You may not have seen this but, trust me when I tell you (and my friend's brother Davo who was on the tinnie will back me up) it was without out a doubt the greatest fishing event EVER. Okay, now when I say I caught the whale, whilst not ever actually landing it on the tinnie (the fisheries department came along just as I was hauling it in & demanded I release it immediately) it was as good as in the boat. And when I say I hooked it, well, it never actually took the bait, but it gave it a loooong hard look. And when I say it was a blue whale, well, it er, umm... looked like a blue whale. It may have in fact been a flathead... but it was (may have been) a BIG one!! TRUST ME!

My point is this. Everyone has a "one that got away" story that grows in stature as the years pass. The TSR2 story seems to posess an especially exaggerated list of capabilities. I understand the fervour and national pride stirred up in people when it comes to home grown products, but, there has to be a "realism" element in assessing an aircraft that never proceeded pass the prototype stage!!. Yes I know it was politics that eventually killed the thing but come on, there wasn't any shortage of problems with it either!! Undercarriage, engines (serious problems with the Olympus fit in the TSR2 from memory) and as a result an almost entirely theoretical list of specs.

DISCLAIMER: I have flown the Pig hence have a soft spot for it, & of course I never flew the TSR 2. (nor do I know anyone who did). Also, I am no Aero Eng or TP but I reckon I'm a good judge of "horse flesh", and the old adage that "if it looks good it flies good" is true more often than not. Based on this and an up close and personal inspection of the airframe at Duxford Air Museum I feel confident in saying that the TSR2 was/would have been a total frickin' dog!!.

For a tactical/interdiction strike aircraft this thing was ENORMOUS...
* with a hideous slab sided rectangular fuselage and the smallest freakin' wing area for an aircraft of its size I have ever seen!!
* For its size (about 20% larger than a Pig) its internal weapons bay (an overly complex arrangement if ever there was one) was quite small.
* The tiny wings probably resulted in a wing loading higher than that of an F-104 (and we all know how well that turns!) and were clearly incapable of carrying large external stores, IF anything at all.
* Landing Gear?? I think you could have completed a Rubik's cube before the complex arrangement would have retracted.
*The Olympus engines, impressively large and powerful as they were, would have chewed through the juice like a fat chick with a Maccas shake and
any substantial fuel reserves (which I don't think it had) would have been for nought.

Anyway, the TSR2 is dead... Long live the TSR2!!
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Old 15th Jan 2008, 20:42
  #44 (permalink)  
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I was impressed by the example at Cosford - it makes a Tornado look like a silly toy.

This does a disservice to the Tornado (and, I feel, its crews). The Tornado has been the backbone of the RAF's attack capabilities for over 25 years now and it remains a highly capable platform, able to deliver effects at distance. It also still has room for upgrades as recent press announcements have shown.

Much as I would love to dream 'what if' over the TSR2, I don't see how it could have been a viable aircraft from the late 70s onwards. Speed isn't everything - an aircraft needs to be able to manoeuvre a little a low level if that's where it does its business. I bet even a Tornado would run rings around a TSR2!

Don't forget as well that Tornados have been on ops continuously for over 15 years, with only one loss (and who's fault was that?)
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Old 16th Jan 2008, 23:41
  #45 (permalink)  
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The tubes to send TSR2 prints will be with me next week. I can take orders now and I will put up the details where to send your cheques. The cost is £36 including postage and packing.

You can see a pic of the print higher up this page.

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Old 23rd Jan 2008, 11:20
  #46 (permalink)  
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The postal tubes have arrived.

For those wishing to order the signed TSR 2 print can do so now by sending a cheque for £36 inc p&p and made out to the Pprune Fund. Please don't forget to include your own address! (people have!!)

5 Station Approach, Belmont, Surrey SM2 6BW.

Once I have your order I will send it off in no later than 5 days.

Thanks very much


Btw. If you haven't noticed the pic of the print it is further up this page.
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 22:12
  #47 (permalink)  
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I've just been down to Cosford, for another look at the real thing, still looks great.

But, I did notice that the nose leg had 2 sets of torque links, just like the F4K, which I used to work on back in the old days.
Now I am not suggesting that there was to be a Navalised version, but does anyone know if the TRS2 had a double extention leg? I have neither seen nor read about such a feature on the plane, could it have been to assist short field performance?


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Old 2nd Feb 2008, 20:51
  #48 (permalink)  
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Our lectures at the time pointed to Sunny Jim being threatened by the US government not to make this aircraft and buy one of theirs of the shelf I think I remember the F4 or F1-11 , no doubt some body will correct my old political lessons.
and McNamarra - that's who! And the F-111 was still just a set of draft blueprints (or daft blueprints)

FliegenMog... Rubbish man!

Obviously you know nothing about aircraft, let alone aerodynamics.. And neither do some of the other 'armchair experts'...

Just the mere supposition that you can judge an aircraft by looking at it shows that, let alone some of that daft suggestions in your diatribe...

So all that effort was spent by the World's most advanced aircaft industy at the time, and Mr FliegenMog knows better after 2 minutes looking at it

Funny then that many of it's designers managed to make the EE Lightning a remarkable interceptor, notice any similarity in lines?

Small wings, yes! For gust alleviation, but with the most powerfull blown flap system ever put on aircraft for short field take-off!
Slab-sided fuselage (he doesn't say what's wrong with that)... nothing, High bending stiffness and lots of fuel capacity, as well as room for a long u/c
Complicated undercarriage? Yes, and precisely 4 test flights to get it working Ok, not bad eh (the rushed political climate probably being the main problem, n'est pas?)
Range? Find it strange then that the Olympus went on to become the only supersonic - supercruise engine (in Concorde) that could make the Atlantic run... ring a bell?

Maneouvre someone said... what the dickens for.

And on and on... I have read some tripe before, but have not come across the suggestion elsewhere that 'technically' this was looking like a problem plane... why here, where peeps should know better.

And the 'total' project budget was £750m, not current spend to the day it was cancelled.. putting a very different perspactive on what that cancellation actually cost, with F-111 cancellation fees - and all for no gain to the RAF's capability for many years to come. £750m, £1bn, a bargain by any standards... badly let down by Mountbatten as well as the Aussies short sight (which they paid for later in spades, and years and years and years waiting for an F-111 that actually worked)

As for 'complicated', I seem to remember that the Spitfire and Supermarines had to endure that insult quite a bit during its pre-production era.. being compared to the Hurricane simplicity (the Spitfire's wing was a marvel, right through to the final variant). Fortunately we had one or two men of wisdom around then, to save the day and get that wing into production.

Had our ministers any cojones they would have called McNamarra's bluff (as well as Mountbatten's), told them their F-111 was a load of tosh, far too complicated with swing-wings and all that (required a TOTAL re-design before a few years were out, due fatigue) and sold the TSR2 to them...

The story is simple, not complicated... US war debts used to blackmail a weak Wislon govt. (despite giving them our gas turbines even before getting them airborne, the cavity magnetron*, all our Tube Investments research, the list goes on). Hell, they even broke agreement after agreement post war on atomic research, even tried to patent gas turbine fuel management parts that they'd been given British blueprints of...

Heh, hee, not that I've anything against any Americans mind you, just their country's continued devious business practices (entrepreneurial free trade paradise? yeh, right. one-way free-trade!!)

PS We love you really

*An early 6 kW version, built in England by the GEC Research Laboratories, Wembley, London, was given to the US government in September 1940. It was later described as "the most valuable cargo ever brought to US shores" (see Tizard Mission). At the time the most powerful equivalent microwave producer available in the US (a klystron) had a power of only ten watts. The cavity magnetron was widely used during World War II in microwave radar equipment and is often credited with giving Allied radar a considerable performance advantage over German and Japanese radars, thus directly influencing the outcome of the war.

Last edited by HarryMann; 2nd Feb 2008 at 21:23.
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Old 2nd Feb 2008, 21:14
  #49 (permalink)  
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Unfortunately Mountbottom's links to the Royal Family tended to sway political opinion. Wrongly!

He was so keen for his navy boyfriends to get CVA-01 that his anti-TSR2, pro-Buccaneer stance became almost a personal crusade.

'Over promoted charlatan' was one of the kinder phrases used about him....
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Old 2nd Feb 2008, 21:21
  #50 (permalink)  
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Apparently quite good in India as Viceroy?

But my dad was in India during the war (and did quite well too), my mother, bless her, used to say (in times of stress) ... ' he should have **** stayed there'

Mountbatten likewise...

.. and that same fight between the Navy and Air Force nearly cost us a proper airforce about 50 years earlier then the TSR-2 debacle. Again, we have been blessed with just a few very wise men at critical times in our history... who thank goodness have not been swayed by political concerns, but by public and national imperatives.

Where are they today though... ?

Last edited by HarryMann; 2nd Feb 2008 at 21:33.
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Old 2nd Feb 2008, 23:41
  #51 (permalink)  
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Yes! But who wants a print?

You can then write on the reverse how much of a tart Mountbatten was in selling us and it short! Just like he did as 'Commander' of the farcical raid on Dieppe when his pre-planning did NOT include the fact that tanks cannot tackle shingle beaches, and cost the lives of hundreds of Canadians and Commandos.

When Roland Beamont signed the prints, I talked to him about the sell out and he was singularly very angry about it. The main target for his angst was Jim Callaghan and Denis Healy, with Roy Jenkins running a close third. Running sharply behind was Mountbatten for whom he had nothing but contempt.

He loved that aeroplane and thought the honour of being the test pilot for it better than anything anyone could have ever asked him to do.

Its written in history now and he can rest knowing that he did a helluva a job in getting it to Mach2, although he reckoned Mach5 was just a few weeks away when they pulled the plug.

His siggy will be worth a lot in years to come and I have enough prints left to give your grandchildren a good reward in their later years. Only 400 were printed. £36 inc p&p is a very fair price.

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Old 3rd Feb 2008, 00:15
  #52 (permalink)  
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Its written in history now and he can rest knowing that he did a helluva a job in getting it to Mach2, although he reckoned Mach5 was just a few weeks away when they pulled the plug.
I'm a great fan of the TSR-2, but never in a 100 years did Roland Beaumont say that.. Mach 5

It was an aluminium aircraft and would lose all strength and almost melt!

XR 219 did 13 or 14 test flights in all, and AFAIK went supersonic once on a ferry flight to Warton, achieving circa M 1.3 as only one engine would come on to full reheat.

Additionally, the Olympus engines were in their very early stages of development, with all components still being debugge, especially the fuel control system and so were de-rated. As we know, they went on to become the largest gas turbine core engine anywhere in the world for a considerable time, with superb reliability, thrust to weight and excellent super-cruise fuel efficiency (due to that large core)...
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Old 3rd Feb 2008, 16:40
  #53 (permalink)  
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Very nice!
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Old 3rd Feb 2008, 17:49
  #54 (permalink)  
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I'm a great fan of the TSR-2, but never in a 100 years did Roland Beaumont say that.. Mach 5
Harry, you are quite right. What I missed out was the decimal points! It should have been Mach1.5 and Mach2. Sincere apologies to you and to him! I am now going to hide my blushes and the egg.
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Old 4th Feb 2008, 10:34
  #55 (permalink)  
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"It should have been Mach1.5" and it did so with it's airbrakes open (slightly) & was running away from the Lightning chase a/c - when I met RB (bless him) he reckoned it was the only aircraft to go supersonic with airbrakes deployed.
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Old 4th Feb 2008, 18:11
  #56 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Heimdall View Post
The Americans actively campaigned against the TSR-2 to try and protect their F-111 that was then under development.

Finally and probably most fatally, many senior officers in the RAF were opposed to the TSR-2 from early on in the programme on the grounds of cost. As time went on this group grew larger and larger until it eventually included even the CAS himself, ACM Sir Charles Elworthy, and it was he who eventually recommended to the PM that the programme be cancelled.
I believe that Bomber Command had 'role' offices for both TSR2 and F111 at the same time. The F111 was not seen as the white hope after the TSR2 was cancelled but as contemporary competion.

Those in either camp were convinced that their airframe was superior. Interestingly I met one of the F111 camp last week.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two for us traditionalists was the forward looking radar versus the SLAR. The latter promised high definition but not real time fixing. One problem with SLAR was radar prediction and the need to fly in a pre-planned fix box. If the aircraft was in the wrong place then the fix would be lost.

We were shown JARIC produced predicted fix-point photos. They were totally synthetic. They were models constructed from balsa, pipe cleaners etc and then photographed at the right angle.

For a tactical aircraft such need for pre-planned predicted fix points was a sever handicap. We experienced similar limitations on calculating NBS offsets in areas of poor mapping.

I think, retrospectively, that the F111 was the better approach.
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Old 4th Feb 2008, 21:52
  #57 (permalink)  
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Some memories of a remarkable test pilot and a remarkable aircraft
... more can be found here: http://www.hawkertempest.se/storybee.htm

To cut a long story short, it did get out in the shape of an aeroplane onto Boscombe Down airfield in about 18 months later than the original predicted date and by August 1964 it was ready to fly, there were an awful lot of technical difficulties that occurred on the way, some of them predictable due to the unbalanced design organisation, some not so predictable and one major area of problems, in the engine. We at English Electric had very strongly advocated the development of the Rolls-Royce series of engines for this aeroplane that was turned down by the Ministry. Basically it was done to provide work for the Bristol area and it was given to Bristol's to develop the Olympus, which they said was not going to be a new engine but a development but it was in fact a new engine.
In the stages of introducing it to the TSR a whole series of catastrophic failures occurred, at least 3 engines were blown up in the year prior to the first flight of the aircraft, one in the Vulcan flying test bed, and which destroyed the aircraft, so the ministry said bad luck, we can't afford another test aircraft, so you'll have to manage without one. When we got to the flight stage, the cause of these catastrophic failures was understood, but it had not been cured. I was given the interesting proposition of accepting for the first flight of this airframe, on my decision alone, there was a major meeting which this was debated all day and I was given the casting vote, as the pilot to say whether I would fly it or not and it was for an engine that had not got a certificate of airworthiness to fly. There were ways that it could just be flown with a certain high degree of risk, nobody would accept responsibility for it and I spelt out to the meeting exactly what risk we were going to take if we flew it and I said that in view of the mounting political pressures on this program, it might be considered acceptable to take this level of risk for one flight only. But if we do that then I would suggest that we program that we do not fly again until we have fully adequately modified engines for the programme. They said that's it and we flew the next day.

Well.. the flying….. a fantastic aeroplane, you would expect it with the aerodynamics and controls and basic control systems were the product of the English Electric supersonic team at Warton, and they got it absolutely right again. To quote the words of my friend and deputy Jimmy Dell who flew it with me, "this aeroplane flies just like a big Lightning", fantastic, it was a wonderful experience; we were only allowed 23 flights in it. Because of the difficulties, with technicalities and so on. We weren't able to retract the undercarriage till the 10th flight, that limited the test flying enormously, on the 10th flight we got the undercarriage away properly, did two cycles. On a conventional programme we would probably have been required to land, put the aircraft up on jacks check the recycling of the gear, see that everything was fine, then prepare it to fly again. But no, after getting the gear to work twice, with all lights working right, I went straight out to the far extent of the test programme at that time. It had a flight resonance clearance of 500 knots for that state of the flying; I took it out in stages to 500 knots on that flight. The first time we had got the undercarriage up and it was simply superb and I was so confident in it, I ended up over Boscombe Down, the weather was very bad and I had got Don Bowen in the back, not quite sure what was going on, Jimmy Dell was flying chase in the Lightning, trying to keep up with me in the rain, low cloud etc, and I brought it round Boscombe's circuit thinking this aeroplane is designed to contour fly at high speed so let's see what it does. I brought it down Boscombe Down runway at 100 ft at around about 450 knots and the precision, it had beautiful control, I was able to relax and take my hands off the controls if I'd wanted to, and it was perfect. We were on to what appeared to be a magnificent technical break through which should have gone into service with the RAF in the 70's and provided them with an aircraft that with updating would have been in service today and would have had all the abilities and the modern developed equipment of the Tornado but it would have much further range and a lot faster
Wing Commander Roland Beamont

Who by that time had been chief test pilot of both the EE Canberra and the EE Lightning, two exceptional aircraft, with this was the third of that generation, albeit forcibly turned over to a hotchpotch organisation led by Vickers who knew nothing about supersonics... fortunately they got their heads down and worked together, producing something so good that idiots could only take their spite out on it, rather than genuinely criticise it.

This was 1965... after only a dozen or so test flights ... By the time the F-111 had been redesigned, first to prevent intake surges on approach (that proved lethal) then to give it a fatigue life measured in days rather than a few hours, where were we exactly? 1980? 1984?

So remind me exactly how many years had transpired by the time that F-111 radar could be actually used in anger, should it have become necessary?

I should think quite enough time to have re-assessed navigational matters... though I admit that is not a sphere I have any great knowledge of, but the TSR-2 was a pretty healthy size; indeed, didn't it have good provision for a forward looking radar too, purportedly for terrain following?

Last edited by HarryMann; 4th Feb 2008 at 22:43.
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Old 4th Feb 2008, 23:29
  #58 (permalink)  
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I believe that Bomber Command had 'role' offices for both TSR2 and F111 at the same time.
and just so that there's no mistake... Whitehall also had two camps on this, with the Americans ensconced within govt circles, briefing ministers
on F-111 with patently false promises.

What a disgraceful state of affairs that Wislon govt. got itself into... so called socialists selling out the working man, many who'd been slaving on overtime for months to get those things out the hangar and into the air.. just look at the risks Beamont and his team took to get it airborne and prove it was better even than anyone could imagine - lives and reputations on the line even.
And of course, a brilliant design team thrown to to the wolves, with all those promises broken... amalgamate, get together on this one with those pals down the road from Vickers and you'll have the contract for this TSR thing -
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Old 5th Feb 2008, 04:45
  #59 (permalink)  
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When I was a nav student at Gaydon I lived in MQ at Church Lawford. Across the road lived an engineer who was part of the TSR2 armament team. After it was cancelled all you had to do was mention it and he would rant and rave, almost cry and be depressed all day. His wife hated me. He introduced to Hifi, my wife has hated him since.
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Old 5th Feb 2008, 09:04
  #60 (permalink)  
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Sad... that's what it did to a lot of very skilled workers I think?

The start of the demise of UK engineeering plc... well before the motorcycle industry laid down the markers for what was to come...

Last edited by HarryMann; 5th Feb 2008 at 19:43.
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