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On the 30th of May 1973 the First RAF Jaguar was delivered to the OCU and so began

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On the 30th of May 1973 the First RAF Jaguar was delivered to the OCU and so began

Old 28th May 2023, 15:42
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On the 30th of May 1973 the First RAF Jaguar was delivered to the OCU and so began

50 years of RAF service, both front line and in training support....


With a scant two days to run, I thought I better get a mention in for the old girl..... It started its service life in the RAF training engineers and is ending it doing the same.


The RAF's first Jaguar rolled off the line in 1972, and they entered service in May 1973 with XX111 being delivered to the Jaguar OCU at RAF Lossiemouth on the 30th of the month. It was, however, to be used for ground crew training initially and the unit did not start flying until September when further airframes arrived.





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Old 28th May 2023, 17:16
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Considering that what everyone bought was very different from what they thought they wanted when the design started it did remarkably well

And a very reasonable price as well............................
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Old 28th May 2023, 17:46
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It broke the rule of “If it looks right …” and did a bloody good job.
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Old 28th May 2023, 19:21
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I thoroughly enjoyed my brief time on the Jaguar.

It was a great little aircraft that was really very good for the roles for which the RAF used it.

My only - only - gripe about it was that it really was underpowered. I never flew the Omani version, so I do not know if that variant resolved the problem the RAF ones had - no doubt someone out there will know - but a wee bit more thrust both in military and burner would have been much appreciated, even at the loss of range/fuel consumption.

But a lovely aircraft to fly.
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Old 28th May 2023, 21:41
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I first flew the lovely Jaguar on 18 Oct 1973, as Flt Cdr on No I Sqn Jaguar OCU at RAF Lossiemouth. I then took command of 1 Sqn in June 1975. Over a year later posted as Flt Cdr on 41 Sqn at RAF Coltishall and finished my Jaguar flying on Mar 2 1979 with just over 1000 hours.
The aircraft fulfilled a vital role in the RAF at the time and was a delight to fly and operate ( as a pilot) but I remember by ground crew having mixed feelings trying to maintain her !
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Old 28th May 2023, 21:56
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And the usually affectionate jokes about the curvature of the earth, and saucers of mik at the front and litter trays at the back .........good old girl.
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Old 29th May 2023, 01:37
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Wasn't it intended (at one stage) to be an all-through trainer? From clean logbook to operational squadron?
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Old 29th May 2023, 05:33
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Originally Posted by X767
I first flew the lovely Jaguar on 18 Oct 1973, as Flt Cdr on No I Sqn Jaguar OCU at RAF Lossiemouth. I then took command of 1 Sqn in June 1975. Over a year later posted as Flt Cdr on 41 Sqn at RAF Coltishall and finished my Jaguar flying on Mar 2 1979 with just over 1000 hours.
The aircraft fulfilled a vital role in the RAF at the time and was a delight to fly and operate ( as a pilot) but I remember by ground crew having mixed feelings trying to maintain her !
"Mixed feelings " summates maintaining the Jag perfectly.

On the Line, very easy and somebody had obviously given some thought to access...the brake unit held on by a circlip was innovative shall we say, however, a wheel or brake change wasn't that simple due to no jacking points on the u/c. which tended to be time consuming Another little quirk was having to rotate the engine, mid lift in / out, which I never really felt comfortable with and, strangely, the very slender cable when doing a battery change.

For 2nd line, or Depth as its now kindly referred to, fuel tank access was "difficult "....however, a special, very special mention, goes to whoever decided it would be a terribly good idea to provide the titanium heat shields...., without pilot holes and oversized.!

Found the back seat rides to be very comfortable and stable at LL when flying in what would be termed " a good gliding day " conditions.

Overall, the Jag was a winner.
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Old 29th May 2023, 08:01
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie
Wasn't it intended (at one stage) to be an all-through trainer? From clean logbook to operational squadron?
No, it was originally intended to be an advanced trainer replacing the Gnat at 4 FTS and the Hunter at what became TWU.

This became just far too expensive both to purchase and to operate and so the percentage of single seat strike attack variants was increased.
Under the original plan of an AFTS and TWU 2 seater, the single seat variant would have been a small quantity sufficient only to re-equip the two 38 Group Hunter squadrons.

When the NATO switch to flexible response and perceived prolonged period of conventional warfare was introduced Royal Air Force Germany was faced with the problem of being a nuclear only strike attack force with no conventional capability whatsoever (the BI8 and BI6 squadrons trained on conventional weapons delivery purely for out of area deployments)
the Jaguar was seen as a way of significantly increasing strike attack capability quantity by replacing the interim F-4M Phantom FGR2 squadrons that had always been intended as a Lightning replacement.
Thus a two seat radar equipped all weather strike attack jet was replaced by an under powered single seat non radar equipped adapted advanced trainer.
This was hastily rectified when the RAFG Jaguars were replaced by Tornado IDS originally intended as 1 Group Vulcan replacements, thus reintroducing a 2 seat radar equipped all weather day/night capability.

Milk anyone?
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Old 29th May 2023, 08:28
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie
Wasn't it intended (at one stage) to be an all-through trainer? From clean logbook to operational squadron?
To quote Bill Gunston:-

"It was the outcome of two utterly disparate requirements; one by France that wanted the simplest possible subsonic trainer and light attack aircraft using front line airstrips and the British who wanted an expensive trainer to thunder off 10,000ft runways and reach at least M1.8. ... the result was an aeroplane with 2 tiny engines, and a span 10ft less than a Spitfire that could carry more bombs from the UK to Berlin than a Lancaster and deliver them accurately."
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Old 29th May 2023, 08:40
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
To quote Bill Gunston:-

"It was the outcome of two utterly disparate requirements; one by France that wanted the simplest possible subsonic trainer and light attack aircraft using front line airstrips and the British who wanted an expensive trainer to thunder off 10,000ft runways and reach at least M1.8. ... the result was an aeroplane with 2 tiny engines, and a span 10ft less than a Spitfire that could carry more bombs from the UK to Berlin than a Lancaster and deliver them accurately."
I absolutely loved reading whatever bill Gunston wrote, but he is wrong here! There is no way on earth that a Jaguar could carry 22,000 lbs of bombs to Berlin from the UK, or indeed from anywhere to anywhere...

With wing fuel tanks, an ecm pod and a chaff flare pod and maybe an AIM-9 it could carry precisely TWO 1,000 lb bombs to Berlin.
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Old 29th May 2023, 09:00
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"There is no way on earth that a Jaguar could carry 22,000 lbs of bombs to Berlin from the UK, or indeed from anywhere to anywhere."

A Lancaster couldn't carry a Grand Slam all the way from the UK to Berlin either - they had to take fuel tanks out of the Specials they built to carry it. Normal max was 12,000- 14,000 lb of bombs

I suspect Bill G was stretching the payload/range of the Jaguar but generally he was making a valid point
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Old 29th May 2023, 09:50
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"I absolutely loved reading whatever bill Gunston wrote, but he is wrong here! There is no way on earth that a Jaguar could carry 22,000 lbs of bombs to Berlin from the UK, or indeed from anywhere to anywhere..."
​​​​​​Typical main force Lancaster load to Berlin in late 43, was a 4,000lb cookie and around 1500Ib mixed load of incendiaries.
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Old 29th May 2023, 11:43
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Rolling 20 – The Lanc bomb load varied a lot depending on the target and effect required.

For Industrial/Area targets – Codename ‘Cookie’ or ‘Plumduff’ - 1 x 4000lb HC ‘Cookie’; 3 x 1000lb HEs; and six Small Bomb Containers (SBCs) each containing either 236 x 4lb or 24 x 30lb incendiaries. Total – c12 500lb max.

For ‘Area Bombing - Heavy Industrial Areas’ – Codename ‘Plumduff-Plus’ – 1 x 8000lb HC bomb (‘Blockbuster’); 6 x 500 lb MC or GP bombs. Total – 11 000lbs

For Factories/Rail Yards/Dockyards – Codename ‘Abnormal’ – 14 x 1000lb MC bombs. Total – 14000lbs

For ‘Area Bombing’ - Codename ‘Usual’ – 1 x 4000lb HC ‘Cookie’; and 12 SBCs each containing either 236 x 4lb or 24 x 30lb incendiaries. Total – c15 500lbs

For ‘Tactical Targets’ (V-Weapon Sites/Radar Sites/Gun Emplacements/Armour Concentrations) – Codename ‘No Ball’ (V1 sites) - 1 x 4000lb HC ‘Cookie’; and up to 18 x 500lb MC or GP bombs. Total – c13 000lbs

Source: ‘The Lancaster and Manchester Bomber Archive

I doubt if you could even get the venerable Jag to taxi with half of that load! And I certainly wouldn’t want to ‘bend down’ to give it a push… I'll get me coat...
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Old 29th May 2023, 12:00
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Although the RAF only ever wanted it (to begin with) as an Advanced Trainer, her heritage goes back through the Breguet 121 and the 1001 to the Taon - Breguet's entry into the NATO Light-Weight Strike Fighter competition that was ultimately won by the Fiat G91. Those early branches went off in another direction to produce the Etendard, which was chosen instead of the Anglo-French project to operate from French carriers. Wouldn't have fancied catapult launches in a Jag, from what I've heard of the available power (or lack thereof).
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Old 29th May 2023, 12:26
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Originally Posted by pr00ne
I absolutely loved reading whatever bill Gunston wrote, but he is wrong here! There is no way on earth that a Jaguar could carry 22,000 lbs of bombs to Berlin from the UK, or indeed from anywhere to anywhere...

With wing fuel tanks, an ecm pod and a chaff flare pod and maybe an AIM-9 it could carry precisely TWO 1,000 lb bombs to Berlin.
what if it taxied? Dover-Berlin... its 646 miles, baby ones, 11 1/2 hours at car speeds, so say, double that... tea stops, supper, snacks, rest room, etc... run of euro diesel, they will take a credit card... it'll fit under most bridges, after the first one, it certainly will after the first one. Not much longer than a Lanc in '43, a fair bit safer, and no chance of getting a speeding ticket with the amount of thrust that was put into the Adour's.

I think it was a pretty aircraft, a fitting follow on for the Hunter, and then you are back to Sea Furies and Mk IX's to find a really pretty plane. Or the B version DH-98's. It's litter lived on, kind of in the Japanese T-2 trainer/F-1 something or other which were euthanised in 2006 anyhow.

One of these is not like the other...
two have electrics that were fitted to my XKR,
one has pedals from a well known 4WD and a drink holder, and the last one is for dictators afflicted with ADHD and antisocial tendencies needing practice at conducting war crimes.






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Old 29th May 2023, 13:38
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Originally Posted by OJ 72
Rolling 20 – The Lanc bomb load varied a lot depending on the target and effect required.

For Industrial/Area targets – Codename ‘Cookie’ or ‘Plumduff’ - 1 x 4000lb HC ‘Cookie’; 3 x 1000lb HEs; and six Small Bomb Containers (SBCs) each containing either 236 x 4lb or 24 x 30lb incendiaries. Total – c12 500lb max.

For ‘Area Bombing - Heavy Industrial Areas’ – Codename ‘Plumduff-Plus’ – 1 x 8000lb HC bomb (‘Blockbuster’); 6 x 500 lb MC or GP bombs. Total – 11 000lbs

For Factories/Rail Yards/Dockyards – Codename ‘Abnormal’ – 14 x 1000lb MC bombs. Total – 14000lbs

For ‘Area Bombing’ - Codename ‘Usual’ – 1 x 4000lb HC ‘Cookie’; and 12 SBCs each containing either 236 x 4lb or 24 x 30lb incendiaries. Total – c15 500lbs

For ‘Tactical Targets’ (V-Weapon Sites/Radar Sites/Gun Emplacements/Armour Concentrations) – Codename ‘No Ball’ (V1 sites) - 1 x 4000lb HC ‘Cookie’; and up to 18 x 500lb MC or GP bombs. Total – c13 000lbs

Source: ‘The Lancaster and Manchester Bomber Archive

I doubt if you could even get the venerable Jag to taxi with half of that load! And I certainly wouldn’t want to ‘bend down’ to give it a push… I'll get me coat...
Cannot see what the Lancaster could carry to Berlin from your post.
I was replying specifically to what the Lancaster could be expected to carry to Berlin, not in general.
It doesn't take into account, range, weather and routing to target.
I would rather use first hand material from squadron records for a specific target , ie Berlin, than some generic info.

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Old 29th May 2023, 14:13
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I was at RAF Leconfield in the 70's, with 60 MU doing Lightning Majors on F6's. Across the hangar they were doing a Mod's program on Jag's. The Jag was a pretty little aircraft and the Lightning made it look like a dinky toy but the Jag made the Lightning look prehistoric.
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Old 29th May 2023, 14:14
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Rolling 20 - From Martin Middlebrook ‘The Berlin Raids’ ‘…the Lancasters of 1 Gp carried the greatest load per aircraft: 4.17 tons…’.

Which, if Google is to be believed, equates to
8 340lbs per aircraft!

Cf a Halifax 1.52 tons to Berlin (c3000lbs) and a Stirling 1.43 tons (2 860lbs)!!!
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Old 29th May 2023, 17:22
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Perhaps we can wander back to the main topic? I wouldn't have mentioned the Lancaster bit - at least I didn't quote Gunston's views on the French - this thread would have been straight to Jet Blast............
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