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GR4 Supersonic ?

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GR4 Supersonic ?

Old 24th Aug 2013, 10:24
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GR4 Supersonic ?

The Boss of XV Squadron made a comment this week on [email protected] that got me thinking ...

Highlight of today? Supersonic flight in the climb - doesn't happen often in a Tornado! No banter required from my Typhoon pilot followers!!
So what are the conditions to get a GR4 to drop one in the climb ...

I'm assuming it wasn't a problem for the old F3 Tonka

Best ...

Coff.

Leon ... Expert comment ?

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 24th Aug 2013 at 11:45.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:20
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Clean jet, wings back, burners in... simples....
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:55
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you forgot eject the nav, or at least his pies and sandwiches.....
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 12:14
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OK ... so not that complicated/troublesome ... just that the Boss of XV doesn't get to fly a clean aircraft that often then
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 13:24
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When 20's Hunter 9s popped over to Seletar for major servicing, they were stripped. No tanks, no pylons, and even the Sabrinas were removed. There was then a roster for who got to play with it during the delivery flight - which seemed to last about 20 minutes IIRC.

Not sure whether supersonic was involved, but I would guess it might
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 16:30
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Depends if it was an up climb or a down climb.

Did he mention how the ramps worked??
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 16:30
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I was working on the very sqn where it happened. It had a clean ish fit.... No inboard wing pylons (and therefore no underwing tanks), no shoulder pylons, no centreline pylon, no refuel probe. I'm guessing only the outboard wing pylons are left on to reduce fatigue from wing flex?

It was an unusual experience not banging my head on a pylon as I crawled underneath the aircraft.

Last edited by gr4techie; 24th Aug 2013 at 16:33.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 16:40
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Had a clean Jag depart Gut no drops or pylons after we had done an engine change, put the ladder and chocks in the Landy, drove in and called Bruggen to tell them he was enroute to be told at the other end he was taxying in. Wondered why we could hear the reheat for ages and a big smile on the pilots face, first time probably he had been in a "fast jet"


..

Last edited by NutLoose; 24th Aug 2013 at 16:40.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 17:08
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'corse it can. It's just that the operational fit requires all sorts of dangly bits with all their drag. Take them off and it's just a draggy F3. F3 could do it easily (even with some of it's draggy bits and the GR certainly can. Is it realistic? Well, yes. If you've done your mission and you need to escape (and you have the fuel) it's completely practical to clear the wings and run. The engines aren't that different and the airframe on the GR is only slightly draggier (what a great word!)
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 18:22
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Supersonic was part of trip 3 (I think it was 3) at TTTE (Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment). Low level, over sea, most frames went supersonic easily but they had no pylons at all so no baggage (other than the talking baggage ). They also had less powerful engines than the sqn jets, never mind the GR4.

Sqn GR1/4 was a different thing though, >1.5kkg of pylons alone, never mind the drag from whatever hung on them. Still, with the single-crystal turbine blades and a bit decent trimming, I managed 590kts in dry power in one once, tanks, pods & all. She would go supersonic in reheat, but then stepped sideways when the fuel tanks started protesting so no real idea of max speed in B11 fit.
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Old 25th Aug 2013, 00:48
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I remember picking a new aircraft up from Warton and being most impressed with the performance, being used to the Batch 2 101 engined ac we had on the squadron. The climb into the Lichfield Corridor at FL180 happened rather quickly and I forgot to select Mach in the HUD. As the speed picked up through 420 kts, I selected Mach to see it clicking over from .98 to .99. Oops. I remember my TTTE supersonic run at 500 ft over the North Sea which seemed to hit a brick wall at well under 700kts which was really disappointing but it did make a really good noise in the cockpit.

Some earlier pre-mod GR1s had a 560ish kt limitation on the SPS Bay doors as I discovered to my cost one night trying to make our TOT at Tain and the 40 000 left hand panel probably still lies on a Highland hillside gathering moss. I told the Boss that I might not have secured the panel properly on the aircrew turnround in Machrihanish, believing that to be better than telling him the truth. Christmas Dinner for me that year was taken in the Airmen's Mess, not that SDO was ever to be used as a punishment. The 27 Sqn display pilot also discovered the problem a few years later during a practice over Marham but I think he lost both panels.

My recollection from Goose Bay was that the GR1 would start going sideways at around 640 kts with the tanks, outboards and CBLS on (if that is B11 fit) so the 600 kt VNE seemed appropriate.

Happy Days.

Well... apart from 25 Dec 85!
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Old 26th Aug 2013, 16:32
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Early in the MRCA program, there was a 'supersonic' underwing tank with a smaller capacity than the one that entered service. Can't remember the details now, but it was flown on some of the development aircraft.
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Old 26th Aug 2013, 20:53
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Originally Posted by XV277
Early in the MRCA program, there was a 'supersonic' underwing tank with a smaller capacity than the one that entered service. Can't remember the details now, but it was flown on some of the development aircraft.
And yet it's the smaller tanks that are subsonic now; the larger 'Hindenburger' tanks have a supersonic clearance.

Perhaps that smaller one you mention never made it to sqn service.
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Old 26th Aug 2013, 22:12
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Originally Posted by just another jocky View Post
Perhaps that smaller one you mention never made it to sqn service.
It didn't, at least not in the RAF (It was an IDS/GR1 tank). Don't think the Germans or Italians used it either.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 11:30
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GR4 release to service

So back to the point - the F3 was cleared to Mach 2 plus because the ramps worked - I was under the impression the GR4 no longer had movable ramps and was therefore subsonic ? - just curious
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 11:54
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I've taken the GR-4 supersonic, also took F-111 supersonic (twice) - that is M2...both were lots of fun, but F-111 supersonic lasted longer...
Never released a weapon at supersonic speed in the GR-4 though. . ..F-111 did on more than one occasion!
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Old 30th Aug 2013, 23:42
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What's the normal operating height for a GR4 then? ... I normally see them pootling around at FL240 to about FL280. Earlier this week one was at FL380 over Anglia, and I don't recollect seeing one that high before.
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Old 31st Aug 2013, 01:52
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Where's Anglia?

-RP
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Old 31st Aug 2013, 12:31
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Sorry Coff, missed my call! (Been busy)

As others have said, a clean GR4 is supersonic capable. The big tanks are 600kts/M1.2 capable (and more if you ignore the RTS!!) and the little ones are subsonic only (again, I know they will go supersonic!). The problem with the GRs is that they start to hit a brick wall around 1.2M without the ramps being enabled - they are fitted for but not with (that said, from the F3 'reduce to produce' there would be plenty of spares).

The good old Tonka will make it up above 40k but doesn't like it when you turn as the wing loading is too high and the RB199 was optimised for low level.

LJ
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Old 31st Aug 2013, 12:38
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If anyone wants to give this a lash over my house , the kids will be thrilled.

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