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Tornado F.2/3 tanks (Geek corner!)

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Tornado F.2/3 tanks (Geek corner!)

Old 30th Aug 2014, 11:21
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Tornado F.2/3 tanks (Geek corner!)

There are pics of the Boscombe F.2 with belly tanks on the shoulder pylons. (also BAe's F.2 with Kormoran missiles but that's another topic!). Does anyone know if the F.3 was either capable of carrying shoulder tanks or ever did? Was it trialled by Boscombe on the F.2 but never cleared? Was it cleared but never needed? Was there any significant difference between the F.2 and F.3's plumbing to allow the F.2 to carry shoulder tanks but prevent the F.3 from doing so? Obviously the short lived EF.3 had ALARM on the shoulder pylons, but this doesn't indicate if the station was wet or not.

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Old 30th Aug 2014, 12:45
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By strange coincidence, being discussed as we speak on Britmodeller:

Tornado F.3 question (drop tanks) - Modern - Britmodeller.com
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 12:57
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Yes... F3s carried the BIG tanks - 'Hindenburg's?' - on the inboard wing pylons and were cleared to fly with the smaller 'GR1' tanks on Left and Right Shoulder Pylons, not Centre-line. If the Shoulder Pylons were fitted the Skyflash/AMRAAM Lau could not be used.

We had a small number of Shoulder Pylons - without ERU fitted - in the Role Bay @ Coningsby sat on wooden battens and covered in plastic sheeting that we had to hide for Harry's inspection... when he could be bothered to coming up our way after coffee and biccies in the Engine Bay; never used in my two years there...
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 13:09
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Heavy Ferry configuration, or 'Configuration 4' in the Release to Service, consisted of 2250l tanks underwing and 1500l tanks on the shoulder pylons. AIM9s/ASRAAM could still be carried on the stub pylons and, from memory, Skyflash/AMRAAM could still be carried on the underfuselage pylons (although I may be wrong on that or perhaps the fins had to be removed).

The Boscombe Down trials on this configuration were flown on F3 ZE155 (AS 011) in October and November 1989. There was one interesting anomaly in this configuration in that if the yaw damper function of the CSAS (flight control system) failed in 58 or 63 wing at high Mach number then the aircraft exhibited a divergent Dutch roll oscillation. When this was first seen, fortunately the yaw damper reselection was successful at the first attempt and the oscillation damped out otherwise I suspect there would have been an ejection. And for the F3 guys, that is why it was prohibited to deselect the YD through TRAIN mode in this configuration.

BAe did fly an F3 unrefuelled across the Atlantic in this configuration (I think Gander to Machrihanish).

Geeky enough?
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 13:23
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In August 2005, XXV(F) Sqn attempted to transit 3x Tornado F3 direct Leeming to Akrotiri configured with 2 x 1500lt tanks on the shoulder pylons and 2 x 2250lt tanks fitted to the underwing pylons. Getting airborne from Leeming at 30 minute intervals with the 1500lt tanks empty, the F3s filled to full from a VC10 operating a tac towline just south of the Isle of Wight before entering French airspace at Drake.

During the transit over the Med, stronger than forecast headwinds meant the F3s would not make Akrotiri with the mandated Fuel on the Ground, so all three dropped into Souda Bay for a quick refill (not all the external tanks) before continuing to Cyprus.
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 14:36
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As per usual, PPRuNe comes through and puts the question to bed very nicely, massive thanks!
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 14:37
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attempted to transit 3x Tornado F3 direct Leeming to Akrotiri
the F3s filled to full from a VC10 operating a tac towline just south of the Isle of Wight
That's not really "direct Leeming to Akrotiri", more like "attempted to transit 3 x Tornado F3 direct from just south of the Isle of Wight to Akrotiri".
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 14:43
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Originally Posted by Martin the Martian View Post
By strange coincidence, being discussed as we speak on Britmodeller:
I'm one of the Britmodeller banned!

This was via ARC.
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 15:52
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In my early days on the FunBus, I recall doing some trial support for Boscombe. They were flying an F2 in a 4 tank fit and wanted to try some AAR.... If I recall correctly, we had to go down to about FL150 and use no more than 20 AoB - even then it really struggled trying to stay in contact.

I'm not sure which tanks the F2 was carrying, but I don't think that they were Hindenbergers?
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 15:55
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Do any of these tanks involve the name Bristol Composites?
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 17:38
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Original fit codes were:
K = Clean
L = 2 x 2250L
M= 2 x 2250L + 2 x 1500L ferry fit.

IIRC, when they did the figures for the Cyprus transit the fuel figures, due to routing as the weight meant they were unable to reach the required airways minimum FLs for the most direct route; the ideal fit was 2 x 2250L + 1 x 1500L; but this had never been investigated or cleared and the money wasn't available to trial the fit.

The dearth of tankers meant that the IOW top-up was the only option for some planned dets, the other option was to stay at home.
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 17:48
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Wasn't Kilo Fit 2 x 1500L for the F3?
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 18:28
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K = clean, M = 2x 1500l on inboards, L = 2x 2250l on inboards. 4-bag fit colloquially known as 'Hippo' fit on XXV(F)...

Can't remember if 3-bag fit was cleared on the F3, certainly good to go on GR4.
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 18:46
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TVM, ORAC and Frodo.

Memory banks have obviously tilted since I last scrambled an F3.
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 21:48
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3 bag fit and a 1 bag undefuselage was authorised on the F3 - I seem to remember the latter being called 'stupidy fit'!

LJ
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 21:53
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Original fit codes were:
K = Clean
L = 2 x 2250L
M= 2 x 2250L + 2 x 1500L ferry fit.
Wrong!

K=Clean
L=2 x 2250L
M=2 x 1500L

I seem to remember that 'stupidy fit' may have been 'N', but I may be wrong?

M fit was subsonic (apparently ) and L fit was definately supersonic. I seem to remember a M fit tank losing its front nose cone on a few occasions!

LJ
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 22:20
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D

I think you're right on that.

LJ
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Old 30th Aug 2014, 23:32
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The K/L/M fits were the NATO codes to enable all AD ac to operate anywhere and just check-in with their TyCo (+ weaps + fuel capabilities). For a long time classified, the use of TyCos across NATO stopped (officially at least) when the document containing them was withdrawn (well before the OSD of the F3) - its replacement simply didn't have them, but the CRCs still used them. The following list is quite old now:

A. F16 Clean
B. F16 Centreline Tanks
C. F16 Wing Tanks
D. F16 Centreline + Wing Tanks
E. F14
F. F18
G. Hawk
H. F5 Clean
I. F4F
J. SHAR 2 x 90Gal Wing Tanks
K. F3 Clean
L. F3 2 x 2250 litre Wing Tanks
M. F3 2 x 1500 litre Wing Tanks (ferry)
N. F15C Clean
O. F15C Centreline Tanks
P. F15C Wing Tanks
Q. F15E Conformal Tanks
R. F3 1 x 1500 litre Centreline Tank

As I say, obsolete for some years now, hence nothing about Typhoons etc.

STH
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Old 31st Aug 2014, 13:32
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BEags,

I think that the Tornado to which you refer may have been ZD902, a highly modified F2A that was called TIARA (Tornado Integrated Avionics Research Aircraft). Much of the trials equipment was carried on the shoulder pylons in one or two modified German 1500l tanks, and sorties with them could be flown with or without underwing fuel tanks. We often flew it with 1500l fuel tanks on the inboard pylons but I cannot remember it ever being flown with 2250l tanks.

STH,

I seem to remeber that in days of yore the RAF F4 codes were A, B, C and D for 0, 1 (centreline), 2 (underwing) or 3 external fuel tanks. And for 'R' for the F3, perhaps the single underfuselage tank was on one of the shoulder pylons. I don't recall the F3 ever having a centreline pylon like the GR1/4 has (although I could be wrong).
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Old 1st Sep 2014, 00:20
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Hence R/T calls such as "Lima 4,2,+, Tiger fast 60"

Or have I got that wrong?
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