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TSR2 (Signed prints available.)

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TSR2 (Signed prints available.)

Old 12th Dec 2007, 18:17
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TSR2 (Signed prints available.)

Came across this while surfing the 'net,


She was beautiful. Makes me wonder what might have been if the political circumstances had been different.
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Old 12th Dec 2007, 18:54
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Thanks for posting the link!
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 09:00
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Thats great!

I've been searching for any video that showed the retract sequence for a long time so that I can get something just about realistic for the model I'm building.
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 10:53
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Nice video, but I find it a pity that the end bit shows Lightning XN771 being broken up (presumably at Shoeburyness) and not the TSR2.
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Old 13th Dec 2007, 23:44
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That brought a tear to my eye!
Thanks for posting..great stuff.
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Old 14th Dec 2007, 10:51
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By Hell MJ. That is one hell of a dramatic photo. She looks full of menace. If I saw that coming towards me in anger it would definitely need a change of underwear.
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Old 14th Dec 2007, 12:06
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Yeah I can just picture it; gear up and plumes of black smoke from the back end.
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Old 14th Dec 2007, 14:55
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Here's how the second prototype ended up:

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Old 14th Dec 2007, 18:37
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Mike Jenvey

Great Photos.

The TSR may have made a fine platform for a supersonic business jet

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Old 14th Dec 2007, 18:41
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I heard that the second prototype was programmed to fly the morning of the day that it was annnounced that the project was scrapped. The was a small problem on the pre-flight and it was delayed until the afternoon. Too late, it never flew.
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Old 14th Dec 2007, 19:41
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When Dennis Healy pops his clogs I'm going to visit his grave..... with a full baldder!
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Old 14th Dec 2007, 21:23
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A full what !!!!
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Old 14th Dec 2007, 21:24
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Makes me wonder what might have been if the political circumstances had been different.
Her wings would have numerous hard points added and she'd be flying low level subsonic missions.
Perhaps the cancellation was a more dignified end... Ironically.
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Old 14th Dec 2007, 21:50
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Great shame that the TSR-2 never made it into production-thanks to short sighted narrow minded bigots, sorry political masters!
Another nail in the coffin for the once great British aviation industry.
Concorde and the TSR-2 stymied by politics, corruption and slick salesmen.
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Old 15th Dec 2007, 08:16
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Like many other people I wish the TSR-2 had made it into operational service. For one thing if the TSR-2 had gone ahead as planned, I doubt the Tornado would have been developed, consequently, there would have been no Tornado F3 and instead the UK government might have opted instead to licence build the F-15 or F16, a vast improvement over the inferior F3. However, it's also rather simplistic to just blame the various politicians involved, particularly Dennis Healy, for the aircraft's cancellation. With very few exceptions, I loathe almost all politicians of any shade but many, many other factors also had a major contribution to the TSR-2 cancellation.

For a start the aircraft was far, far too complex and tried to be all things to all men – who today would really consider trying to design a 110,000lb aircraft that could operate from a 3,000ft hard grass strip with a full weapons load of fuel and weapons, fly in all weathers, day or night, at transonic speed at 200ft and a Mach 2.25 speed at 50,000ft, have a high-low-high radius of 1,000nms and be capable of carrying a 10,000lb internal payload – madness! Both the MOD and industry were responsible, the first for allowing all the various proposals to be carried forward and the second for agreeing to them and then also adding a bit extra, without really quantifying the risks and additional costs involved.

Poor project management, partly the result of the forced merger of various aviation companies, allowed costs to run completely out of control. What started as a £16M project rose to an estimated £740M and would probably eventually exceeded £1B and have crippled the rest of the Defence Budget as a result.

Too many fingers were in the pie. This included firstly the Ministry of Supply (later the Aviation Ministry) as well as the Air Ministry and industry. This resulted in far too many committees, sub committees and sub-sub committees with the authority to make changes to the design, without having to also take responsibility for the additional costs and complexity involved.

The Americans actively campaigned against the TSR-2 to try and protect their F-111 that was then under development. They targeted Australia, the only potential export customer for the TSR-2, with all kinds of spurious claims about the superiority of the F-111 and, as Australia was moving away from close ties to the UK and was keen to establish a closer relationship with the USA, they fell for it and brought the F-111. The F-111 entered service with Australia six years later and at three times the original cost – a bargain.

The CDS at the time was that over-promoted charlatan Lord Louis Mountbatten, probably the worst CDS of all time and he has some stiff competition in that department from some of the RAF and Army incumbents over the years. As CDS Mountbatten should have remained neutral to the TSR-2, instead he actively rubbished the aircraft at every opportunity, particularly to a visiting delegation from Australia. In this campaign he was assisted by the MOD Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Solly Zukermann.

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. Perhaps the RAF has learned something from the demise of the TSR-2, particularly the need for everyone to be ‘onboard’ a project from the start right through to the end and for the dissenters to be actively sidelined.

I’ve read all the books available about the TSR-2 and, whilst they all have some interesting thing to say, they all lack some of the background detail. In my opinion if you want to read the definitive book on the TSR-2 try and get hold of a copy of ‘TSR-2 with Hindsight’ published by the RAF Historical Society in 1998 ISBN 0951982486. This publication records the proceedings of a seminar at which political, military and industry figures closely involved in the TSR-2 programme freely express their views on the aircraft and why it never entered service.


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Old 15th Dec 2007, 09:09
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If only...

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Old 15th Dec 2007, 11:46
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Those who supported TSR-2 should have observed events at Avro Canada before 20th February 1959 ("Black Friday").

The remarks attributed to Sir Sydney Camm that ALL aircraft possess four features, span, length, height and politics and that TSR-2 simply got the first three right could equally have applied to the Avro Arrow.

The "winner" of the TSR-2 fiasco was of course the Blackburn Buccaneer.
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Old 15th Dec 2007, 19:53
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Referring to the cancellation of the TSR2 and others in 1965 ....

"FORTUNATELY this wholesale bout of cancellations brought to an end 10 years of the worst mismanagement of the RAF's equipment and of the British aircraft industry that could possibly have been arranged"

Sir Stanley Hooker - Not Much of an Engineer (p148 paperback edition).

According to Sir Stanley (who should know) some of the requirements for the TSR2 were far, far too complicated.

As Heimdall says - there was much more to it than a few political decisions.

Did you know that Sir Stanley fought Reginald Maudling in 1957 to save the Olympus engine - the government CANCELLED it to use the Conway ONLY.

Bristol developed the early Olympus at their own expense!

Last edited by Viola; 16th Dec 2007 at 12:07. Reason: proof reading
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Old 15th Dec 2007, 20:06
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The TSR we could afford (in front of the one we couldn't)
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Old 15th Dec 2007, 20:42
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I thank you for posting the link.........just a reminds me that we did once have a aircraft industry.

As a learned poster has already hinted - I wonder where we would be now regarding aircraft for the Royal Air Force .......perhaps best summed up by the backing track to the video.........Mad World
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