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best machine the RAF never had

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best machine the RAF never had

Old 24th Apr 2012, 07:57
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best machine the RAF never had

In a similar vein to : If you could reintroduce into service an upgraded new build of a proven design.

My vote would go for 'best machine the RAF never had' goes to the Viggen.

In the early 70s we could have been buying Viggens in the place of:
Harriers, Jaguars, and perhaps some F4s, while replacing Lightnings.

Looks good in RAF markings I think





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Old 24th Apr 2012, 08:35
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F-15E. Not many nuts you can't crack with those things.
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 08:47
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From the rotary POV:

CH-53

Blackhawk
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 08:50
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F14D with all the development bits, F15E performance, but flexible.
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 08:56
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TTH,

Two good 'picks'.

I shall be up close and personal (I hope) with a CH53 in Germany next month but didn't Wastelands acquire and register a Blackhawk some years ago and wasn't that supposed to have been evaluated for use by the Brits?

A couple of years ago, I saw one of a pair of Mi17s which were in this country to train crews for an 'allied air force'. It looked like an overgrown Whirlwind but was said to be reliable, very functional (agricultural was also used to describe it) good to operate, carried shed loads of kit over a good distance and relatively easy to maintain. Perhaps, therefore, Mi17s instead of - dare I say - Wessex?

O-D
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 08:58
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This is the main candidate

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Old 24th Apr 2012, 09:18
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From the rotary POV:

CH-53

Blackhawk
HH53H, in particular.
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 09:26
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didn't Wastelands acquire and register a Blackhawk some years ago
.. indeed they did O-D.

Even better, it was fitted with RR engines rather than GE (the RTM 322, as fitted to Merlin - but only 2! ). And of course with anticipators a la mighty Wessex, droop was virtually eliminated. (technical term, plank drivers!)

S-55 + RR engine = Whirlwind

S-58 + RR engines = Wessex

S-61 + RR engines = Sea King

Three excellent helos in their time - so whatever happened to:

S-70 + RR engines = ??????? hence
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 09:43
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Best aeroplane we never had.....

I agree with typerated - the Viggen would have been superb in RAF service.

I also made a model of one in RAF markings about 40-45 years ago!

But the true answer is as sisemen suggests - the superlative murdered-by-Mountbottom TSR2.
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 09:56
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New build Hawker Hunter, modern engine, off-the-shelf digital cockpit. Ideal low cost solution for the asymmetric engagements we specialize in these days. Using 100 million buck, latest generation, multi-role jets to put holes in mud walls is not cost effective in my mind.
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 10:01
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Interesting point - I wonder how much it would cost to new-build a hunter with modern engine and glass cockpit? Would it be relatively cheap as you would probably expect, or have prices inflated so much that it wouldn't be cheap at all in modern terms?
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 10:06
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I think a modern day cheap and cheerful Hunter is called a Gripen.

If we had bought them we might have a frontline Sqn strength in double figures!
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 10:24
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From the rotary POV:
CH-53
Blackhawk
Seconded!

The Blackhawk was considered in the early 1980s as a replacement for Puma and Wessex. With the RTM engines (demo'd at Farnborough) it would have been a fantastic aircraft and made life much more straightforward.
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 10:56
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P3 Orion.

(And we might get them anyway, one day!)
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 11:09
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tth: why no WS.70? This is complicated so pay attention at the back.
After Falklands UK settled on: retain Puma, add Chinook, buy Merlin. An RAF medium lift transport was mooted and a Lynx derivative, WG30 was schemed. Euro-folk in 1985 were scheming NH90 and Westland joined in, 9/85... precisely as BAe signed Saudi alYamamah (to be:1), which was to include some rotorcraft. But WAL was in parlous financial straits.

(To be) Eurocopter and (UTC) Sikorsky saw WAL as entree to some of the Saudi/BAe. chopperwork, so put up:
- the European Option: full share in NH90 and in antiarmour Agusta TONAL: please wangle current Aerospatiale/Bolkow types into Saudi;
- the US Option: UTC offered licenced WS.70+RTM322...not for RAF, but to a perceived Requirement for 100 for Saudi+Iraq.

After Mrs.Thatcher's Cabinet was shaken by the Westland Affair, in 4/86 UTC(Sikorsky)+FIAT(Agusta) bought 29.9% of WAL, who left the 2 Euro-projects. A prototype WS.70 flew and was pitched to Saudi...but that prospect lapsed in the whirl of embargo and worse surrounding the Iraq/Iran War. Iraq took a bunch of Bolkow Bo.105s; Saudi took 21 US-built H-60. In 1993 UTC's WAL equity passed to GKN. RAF gently built up the Chinook fleet and waited just as patiently for Merlin as France and Germany did for NH90. US-built H-60 was sold to everybody+dog.
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 11:22
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MRA 4 - taking cover!
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 11:39
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Thank you tornadoken. Not entirely sure I get the picture, but roughly translated for simple driver airframe = shafted by politicians and big business!

WG30 - wasn't that the one we finished up paying India to buy from us!!!!
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 11:42
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How about the Apache?
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 11:59
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Them's fight'n words, Matt ....
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 11:59
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Rafale?
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