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TSR2 at 50

Old 26th Feb 2015, 04:05
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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CS,

Thanks for the link. Fascinating reading, particularly concerning the electronics. I found this piece of information on the side looking radar to be staggering (p 140):

Since SLRs utilise the forward motion of the aircraft to scan the ground, the picture must be built up by a series of adjoining strips or lines on the CRT display, each representing the returns from an individual or group of transmit pulses. These lines must be integrated continuously to show the complete map and in the case of the TSR2 this was to be done by exposing the lines on the CRT to a photo sensitive strip of film which was being moved past the CRT and then instantaneously developed by a series of chemicals in bottles attached to the display. The complexity of the mechanisms which must have been required to operate this system in the ambient conditions of the cockpit is remarkable.
The last sentence was, I feel, written somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Instantaneous development of films in a high-speed, high-G, low-level environment. What were they thinking of?

I was lucky enough to hear Bee Beamont speak about the TSR2 at our UAS Annual Dinner in the late 60s. A very impressive talk.
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Old 15th Jan 2017, 11:50
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by threeputt View Post
Just before joining up at OCTU RAF Henlow, in '67, I heard a rumour that a TSR2 fuselage was stored in the hangar on the grass airfield. Never confirmed it. What happened to the TSR1?


3P
I joined through RAF Henlow in 1974, there was a TSR 2 in the Hangar then. We all thought that it looked awesome. JR
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Old 18th Jan 2017, 12:17
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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TSR2

PROON is right about TSR2. Like many, I thought it was unfairly scrapped by a new Labour government at that time. However, there is a very interesting RAF Historic Society publication which had looked in depth at this programme and its challenges. Having read it, it is clear that what started as an overly optimistic requirement, in terms of speed, range, mission capability etc was rapidly facing so many technical and financial problems that it was difficuult to see it making it into operational service. Flight development was not progressing well and there were problems with engine development. One interesting problem highlighted was that of extreme difficulty in installing the engines. A decision had been made to install them horizontally. Problems with the increasing nacelle envelope, due to increasing fuel space requirements meant that it was taking many days with many hard fouls to get the engine installed. None of these problems appeared to be being resolved, and the predicted reliability of the Olympus 22R engines would have resulted in a massive maintenance penalty and likely high number of un-serviceable jets. When the Austrailian AF decided not to but TSR2 in favor of F111 increased meant that the programme cost was rapidly becoming completely un-affordable. Its ultimate successor MRCA Tornado has proved an excellent jet, with very few major limitations. At best, we may have produced a handful of TSR2. With Tornado, almost 1000 were produced and even now are operating at the front line of RAF operations.
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Old 18th Jan 2017, 14:27
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Was the rear canopy designed by a Sea Vixen looker?
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Old 18th Jan 2017, 16:02
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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A fairly frank (and very accurate) account of the TSR2 programme (and why it would never have been completed) can be found in Derek Wood's excellent book "Project Cancelled".

In summary - the objective was well beyond the available science (neveer mind the engineering) at the time.

PDR
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Old 18th Jan 2017, 16:11
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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it was an outmoded concept from the Trip Wire all out nuclear response age, it was over complex and over complicated, a committee designed solution to a problem that had ceased to exist.

It was massively over budget, and IF it had continued would have wreaked havoc on the RAF equipment programme as you would have had no Phantoms, no Buccaneers and no Tornado's, just 50 VERY expensive free fall nuclear delivery platforms.
PPRuNe is right about TSR2. Like many, I thought it was unfairly scrapped by a new Labour government at that time. However, there is a very interesting RAF Historic Society publication which had looked in depth at this programme and its challenges. Having read it, it is clear that what started as an overly optimistic requirement, in terms of speed, range, mission capability etc was rapidly facing so many technical and financial problems that it was difficuult to see it making it into operational service. Flight development was not progressing well and there were problems with engine development. One interesting problem highlighted was that of extreme difficulty in installing the engines. A decision had been made to install them horizontally. Problems with the increasing nacelle envelope, due to increasing fuel space requirements meant that it was taking many days with many hard fouls to get the engine installed. None of these problems appeared to be being resolved, and the predicted reliability of the Olympus 22R engines would have resulted in a massive maintenance penalty and likely high number of un-serviceable jets. When the Austrailian AF decided not to but TSR2 in favor of F111 increased meant that the programme cost was rapidly becoming completely un-affordable. Its ultimate successor MRCA Tornado has proved an excellent jet, with very few major limitations. At best, we may have produced a handful of TSR2. With Tornado, almost 1000 were produced and even now are operating at the front line of RAF operations.
I can't help but think "F35" when reading those comments.
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Old 18th Jan 2017, 17:07
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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never mind the budget either ..............
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Old 18th Jan 2017, 18:30
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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The F-35 of its day

I know, I'll get my coat.
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Old 19th Jan 2017, 12:19
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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The abiding memory of much of the reading I've done is that requirement for rough-field performance, and how much of an expense/compromise it caused.

Perhaps understandable, to a degree, given the nuclear era and the expected targeting of air bases by the Soviets. Nevertheless, subsequent aircraft (MRCA, for one) didn't go after the same requirement.

The mention of a hovercraft trailer brings to mind something else: was there not a VTOL platform also associated with the TSR2 programme?
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Old 19th Jan 2017, 12:42
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That was the Short P.17D designed to lift the E.E P.17A submission for the original "Canbera replacement" idea

The lifting platform had 44 (forty four) RB108 vertical lift engines , PLUS 16 x RB108 tilting lift engines PLUS 10x RB 108 or RB 105 engines with 60 deg of deflection

70 engines - now there was British imagination at a low ebb.................... would hvae been great for Rolls tho'.............

The P17A was actually a much more affordable design than the TSR-2

Last edited by Heathrow Harry; 19th Jan 2017 at 17:05.
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Old 19th Jan 2017, 15:23
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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The order to destroy everything created thus far seemed a little vindictive....
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Old 19th Jan 2017, 17:41
  #52 (permalink)  
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ColdCollation, the next new bomber after the TSR2 was the Harrier that also met that requirement. Essentially this off-airfield or MOS operation was a 50s/60s fashion that pre-dated the June war and the Jaguar after that also had to have an austere runway capability.

The V- bomber disperse plan also fitted this concept with an essential difference; it was for a single Strike mission which could be mounted from bare-base by self supporting detachments. As mentioned above, the off-base logistics support for sustained operations was not cheap. Austere then gave way to post-67 war hardening.
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Old 19th Jan 2017, 20:40
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Fakepilot,

There was no such order.
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Old 19th Jan 2017, 20:48
  #54 (permalink)  
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So who didn't order the destruction?
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Old 19th Jan 2017, 20:49
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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ColdCollation, the next new bomber after the TSR2 was the Harrier that also met that requirement. Essentially this off-airfield or MOS operation was a 50s/60s fashion that pre-dated the June war and the Jaguar after that also had to have an austere runway capability.

The V- bomber disperse plan also fitted this concept with an essential difference; it was for a single Strike mission which could be mounted from bare-base by self supporting detachments. As mentioned above, the off-base logistics support for sustained operations was not cheap. Austere then gave way to post-67 war hardening.
NATO war plans for continental Air Ops in the lead up for WWIII were the same as the V-force up to 1968 and that was single strike missions from dispersed basing. This was because NATO's overall war plan was all out nuclear from the start of any hostilities. The Harrier (and Jaguar to some extent) OR were written to that requirement. The move to hardened shelters was in light of what happened in June 1967, but was mainly driven by the move to a flexible response policy by NATO in 1968. This required operations to be totally non nuclear for a number of days in the face of around 2000-3000 WP fighter-bombers and light bombers plus non nuclear missile attack.
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Old 19th Jan 2017, 21:11
  #56 (permalink)  
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So what drove the Harrier, Jaguar requirement? As a non-nuclear bomber, why did we need the Harrier?

The V-Force anticipated dispersal prior to hostilities but would only have retaliated had the USSR used nuclear weapons. The Canberra had an interdiction role, again this was a conventional weapon. No, I submit Tripwire was at two levels.
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 11:24
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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IIRC Harrier came out of the NATO study that led to the G-91 - if short dispersed t/o strips were good what about no strips at all? Then as the R&D progressed (P.1127_Kestrel_ harrier) it built up a momentum of its own

Jaguar was going to be a TRAINER with some limited strike capability in an emergency
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 11:31
  #58 (permalink)  
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HH, true, but I was alluding to the fact that the Harrier etc were designed as bombers in a conventional war phase pre-tripwire
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 11:40
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Tovarich pr00ne wrote:

There was no such order.
Presumably Healey, Brown, Wislon or another of your leftie fellow-travellers told you that?
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 12:06
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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The very good 'TSR2 with Hindsight' document linked earlier says this:

Ivan Yates of English Electric,. BAC and BAe, reported that he had had an absolute denial from Denis Healey himself, which he accepted,
that he had given the instruction to destroy all trace of TSR2. Given
the structural and organisation ‘shambles’ of the project, it was
conceivable that almost anyone within it might have given the order.
Logically, somebody evidently gave an order; it just wasn't specifically Healey.
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