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odysseus1980
Post subject: Some Thoughts about What If British AircraftsPosted: April 8th, 2013, 9:51 am
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Just writing my thoughts about all these What If Britsh Aircrafts we have.All are marvellous,well done to all who spend their time to find blueprints,information about them and most improtnly designed them to FD-scale for Shipbucket.

The question is simple:Which of all these aircrafts are plausible and could be built?Are there some possible export customers?Like Commonwealth or even NATO members or other?

-BAC TSR.2 Eagle : Among the best aircrafts designed in Britain according my opinion.I have already wrote in my Worklist the export customers about that.

-Westland Westminster:A very elegant helicopter,pure British design.The main problem was the thristy Napier engines,giving the helicopter range equivalent with a piston powered helicopter. I think that the easy solution could be to purchase the license of the General Electric T-64 and intergrated to the helicopter. Itshelf the Westminster looks like the Mi-8,so what about a variant with ramp-door like the Mi-17?Perhaps Britain would not need Chinooks if they had a Westminster with adequate range and load. Also this British T-64 would be useful for another British helicopter,the Rotodyne (more for this below)

-P.1154/P.1216 (Name?): Another good British design,victim of politics.But this is not the point here.Yes,RN and RAF needs were different,but they had Harriers which had more commonality that the P.1154.How this was achieved?By Goverments pressure or RN and RAF decide it together?Why do not the same about the P.1154?
Now the P.1154 will perhaps found some export customers,but UK would have a supersonic VSTOL aircraft which will serve until 1990's at least.And then the P.1216 would be built,giving Britain a much better and capable aircraft from the F-35 Lighting.For RN 2 of the large aircrafts they had are enough for the P.1154 and the Invisible class for the Harrier.Perhaps the P.1154/P.1216 could be used from the Invicibles as well,so we can have 6-7 of them.Also here in Shipbucket ther is another CV about 270m,appears in AU Indonesia by Vossiej.My RN has 2 of these for P.1216.

-Fairey Delta (all):I do know if they could be built,but I have read that the Delta I reach 1.8 mach and the pilot decreased speed due to fuel shortage.This is a serious problem,not sure about the larger Deltas if they had adequate range for an interceptor.

-English Electric Lighting: The F.6 was that which the Lighting should be from the beginning.The aircraft had tremendous climb rate and outperformed most aircrafts of its era in air-fights.One serious problem were the Britsh missiles (the red Top can be describe as "satisfactory",but its predessesor was not.The solution is easy:Lisences from USA and France.(I have found a Lighting carrying 2 R.530 in the fuselage of Irish Air Force).

-Fairey Rotodyne:Its main problem was noise,really LOUD.Even hearing it in from video youtube is loud (those tip jets),imagine to be nearby.The Napier Eland was not the best engine to have,so the British T-64 (or the engine the AU Kaman Rotodyne has) could be replace the Eland.I think that this noise could be eliminated by connecting the main engines to the rotor and throw away the tip-jets (besides noise they really drink fuel).The main engines would rotate the main rotor until the helicopter reach an altitude and then converted to turboprops while the rotor retains self-rotating disconnected from power.Just a thought,I am an enginner but not specialised in aircrafts.

-Short Belfast: A British heavy lifter which could be built in larger numbers (40-50 at least).Together with the Rotodyne described above Britain would not need C-130s.

-Avro 770 series:Perhaps as a freight aircraft,a comparison with Belfast should be done.These lost from the Nimrod,which was British,but i do not think the Nimrod was the best solution for patrolling Britain's waters.

-Vickers VC-10:One of favorit aircrafts since I was a kid,I just like those elegant lines.The question is what else could be built on that airframe.An MP variant,an EW variant even an AWACS (with the radar from the Sentry,Britain could cooperate with USA to develop it to save some money).Do not forget that the Nimrod AWACS cost 1 billion pounds without going anywere,so money excist.

-Tornado:Very good to do what it was designed for,IDS/ECR and attack missions.The ADV was a failure as an interceptor,due to enormous wing load,but the ADV appeared due to cancellation of the TSR.2 and other projects.

-British Phantoms:The modifications to intergrate the Spey affected the aerodynamics so much that the Spey-Phantoms were slower and had smaller range from J79 powered.Again a "must" due to the cancellation of the P.1154.

-Westland Sea King:Does a British what-if similar helicopter excist?

Final for today the Vulcan B.3:This perhaps could be built,the question is what else you could do it.Armed it with Sea Eagle or a British equivalent to the Tomahawk?Also I have my own all british SSM/ASM,the Sea Lance (you have already seen it in my AU Klasse 122TN).The B-52 is a good example of how a cold war bomber can stay alive.


Last edited by odysseus1980 on April 8th, 2013, 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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odysseus1980
Post subject: Re: Some Thoughts about What If British AircraftsPosted: April 8th, 2013, 10:45 am
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And a aviation joke for a little amusing after the "rainfall"

An young F-16 pilot flew around and very close to a B-52 showing off his aircraft.He tells by its radio to the bombers pilot:
"Everything you could do,I can do it better".
And the B-52 pilot answers:"Seriously?Do this"!
The bomber continued to fly.
F-16 pilot?"Well,what special did you do?"
B-52 pilot:"I just switch off two engines,kid"

From the hellenic magazine "Ptisi & Diastima",around 2008


Last edited by odysseus1980 on April 8th, 2013, 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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eswube
Post subject: Re: Some Thoughts about What If British AircraftsPosted: April 8th, 2013, 10:47 am
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I'm sure that British members could give You more detailed (and informed) answers, so now just few thoughts.
odysseus1980 wrote:
-P.1154/P.1216 (...) Yes,RN and RAF needs were different,but they had Harriers which had more commonality that the P.1154.How this was achieved?By Goverments pressure or RN and RAF decide it together?Why do not the same about the P.1154?
Harrier was built on the P.1127/Kestrel which was pre-P.1154 design. When Pegasus engine was built in late 1950s the P.1127 was made as a technology demonstrator, later evolving into Kestrel used for operational tests. P.1154 was to be a further step in that line - first of all it was to be supersonic (Harrier is not). Also, RAF and RN's wanted P.1154 to be a succesor to completely different aircraft. In RAF it was to replace Hunter as fighter/attack plane, in RN it was to be rather a F-4 Phantom equivalent for air defence. When the P.1154 was cancelled, UK government allowed RAF, as a "consolation prize" to continue development of P.1127/Kestrel as light attack plane (with lesser capabilities than expected from P.1154). Sea Harrier however was a result not of "RN and RAF deciding anything together". In late 1960s UK government decided that aircraft carriers are passe and to be scrapped. To retain at least come capability in that field RN begun designing of a small ASW carrier called euphemistically "through-deck cruiser" to hide it from politicians. Result of that design work was Invincible, and Sea Harrier was made for it in mid-to-late 1970s because Sea Lords had no better option - they could get subsonic, weakly armed plane or no plane.

As for Vickers VC.10 - AEW and MR variants were indeed being thought of, as well as Skybolt missile carrier (not mentioning double-decked passenger plane).

And regarding Vulcan B.3 - it was to be built specifically as carrier for Skybolt missiles.

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odysseus1980
Post subject: Re: Some Thoughts about What If British AircraftsPosted: April 8th, 2013, 4:29 pm
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Thanks a lot eswube for the information.

Ah,that Skybolt..What else UK could have instead of Skybolt?A development of Blue Steel with solid fuel rocket?

Does anyone has information about VC-10 AEW/MR variants?I want to try them in SB-scale.

P.S the VC-10MPA I posted some weeks before is my own,before knowing that this did excist in paper.


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Morten812
Post subject: Re: Some Thoughts about What If British AircraftsPosted: April 8th, 2013, 4:38 pm
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http://www.bisbos.com/air_canc_vc10.html

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Last edited by Morten812 on April 8th, 2013, 5:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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eswube
Post subject: Re: Some Thoughts about What If British AircraftsPosted: April 8th, 2013, 4:43 pm
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Trying to develop solid-fueled version of Blue Steel would be probably like trying to convert USS Nimitz into coastal submarine. ;)

Regarding VC.10
Chris Gibson, Vickers VC10: AEW, Pofflers and Other Unbuilt Variants:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vickers-VC10-Po ... 0956195105

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Bombhead
Post subject: Re: Some Thoughts about What If British AircraftsPosted: April 8th, 2013, 8:25 pm
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Great Pics Morton I hadn't seen these before. 8-)


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Morten812
Post subject: Re: Some Thoughts about What If British AircraftsPosted: April 8th, 2013, 8:39 pm
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Bombhead wrote:
Great Pics Morton I hadn't seen these before. 8-)

2 minuts on google... :D

VC-10 always been one of my favorites...

http://www.bisbos.com/air_canc_vc10.html

http://s362974870.onlinehome.us/forums/ ... pic=218962

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odysseus1980
Post subject: Re: Some Thoughts about What If British AircraftsPosted: April 9th, 2013, 5:27 am
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This last one has the same configuration with the ill-fated Nimrod AEW...For a Skybolt carrier I prefer the Vulcan B3.There is a black schem with a B3 carrying 6 Skybolts*.The most plausible VC-10 AWACS is that with the disc-radar.Also the MRs seem plausible to me.Could the nose from the bomber intergate the electronics of the MRs to provide better aerodynamics?
*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Avvulcan_2_9.png

What about other what-ifs I mentioned before?


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Hood
Post subject: Re: Some Thoughts about What If British AircraftsPosted: April 10th, 2013, 9:38 am
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Well I'm going to give you my gut opinion on these aircraft, all what-ifs have an element of unknown about them, especially paper designs that never flew at all.

BAC TSR.2: (I won't call it the Eagle because there is no proof of that being an official name, TSR.2 was cancelled before the naming panel would have even sat down to ponder choices). I believe that had all the potential to be a great bomber, BUT the electronics had the potential to be a nightmare too, its hard to image the RAF getting any until around 1967-68, possibly ironing out the snags into the early 1970s and then probably stripping out the analogue systems in the late 1970s at even more expense. Tornado was long in development but when it arrived it was the latest standard, by 1970 TSR.2 would have still had 1960-era analogue systems with digital converters etc. Exports unlikely anywhere except Australia (if political intrigue from UK and USA hadn't killed it), other export unlikely due to security issues, nuclear capability, cost and US interference. Had Tornado not existed what Germany and Italy would have brought as a strike aircraft and what Britain would buy as a long-range fighter is up for grabs. Cue American imports or some kind of Franco-German-Italian design.

Westland Westminster: Westland seemed sure about low running costs for the civil Westland with the Napier Eland. The basic Sikorsky S-64 transmission was probably an Achilles heel too. The main problem was lack of interest, the helicopter had no real interest from BEA at this time, despite earlier plans, and the RAF weren't so bothered either and what official interest there was, ended up direced at Rotodyne. Westland designed other helicopters, some of them tandem-rotors like the Chinook but in the late 1960s the MoD ordered Chinooks, only to cancel the order due to budget cutbacks (also paying cancellation payments) and then re-ordering them again in 1978 at increased cost. What killed the Westminster was the lack of interest, had Rotodyne not existed then maybe it would have been brought. Even so there was a twin-rotor bias at this time for heavy lift, but it certainly could have avoided buying Puma in the early 1970s.

P.1154/P.1216: P.1154 was pie in the sky. It was impossible for the RAF and RN to combine two different fighter needs into one common airframe. At the time buying Phantom for the RN made the most sense. At that time the Invincible Class was merely an escort cruiser design, CVA-01 was the carrier of choice, a proper carrier capable of handling proper jet fighters. For the RAF the Harrier was small and easy to operate in the field. P.1154 with afterburning nozzles, meant hot-air ingestion and serious ground erosion (not to mention melted tarmac and similar problems on carrier decks) which would have been serious problems for VTO. STOL was perhaps more likely but Jaguar was probably far superior in actual load-lugging capability. Derek Wood felt the earlier P.1150 might have been better as it shared more structure and the Pegasus engine of the P.1127 and had a sufficient Mach 1.2/1.3 dash speed. Exports unlikely, Harrier didn't sell that well and I've never seen mention of any US interest in P.1154. P.1216 was the culmination of a whole series of similar designs during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It built on technology from the P.1154, but it needed a new engine (the RB.422), carbon-fibre fuselage with lithium-based aluminium alloys and superplastic formed/diffusion bonded titanium parts (as used on Eurofighter). It could have been as good as any 1980s fighter but lets be honest a very expensive project that might have not entered service until the late 1990s and one that needed UK/US collaboration, which wasn't forthcoming. It was not a serious rival to the European EFA or the US thinking that eventually led to JSF. I still feel supersonic VSTOL aircraft are a pointless exercise, a hang-over from the heady days of the 1950s. The F-35 doesn't really need a VSTOL variant, it adds nothing but cost and complexity.

Fairey Delta 2 and 3: Delta 2 was good, but it was a research aircraft built around the Avon jet engine. It had no fighter potential without totally redesigning it. So a British Mirage was not as simple as some would suggest. Also again there was no official interest in a Mirage-type fighter within the RAF. The Delta 3 was a beast, two Gyron jets and two Sceptre rockets, this beast was a seriously powerful aircraft, designed for Mach 2-2.5, only its structure was limiting the top speed, it could have probably reached Mach 3 with the proper materials. But, the radar and missiles were not great, Red Dean was a radar-guided all-aspect weapon but massive. British missile technology was not great and whether this missile would have been any good is debateable. With Firestreak the Delta 3 was nothing more than a more powerful two-seat Lightning. It would have been obsolete before it even flew, certainly no match for later 1970s aircraft and would have been retired in the 1980s like the Lightning. Phantom would have been better all-round and had Sandys not scrapped it in 1957 it wouldn't have got much further beyond 1960.

English Electric Lighting: Has its faults but was awesome, as a point-defence interceptor it was perfect. As the Soviets turned to stand-off missiles it was less useful. The planned automatic interception system was never declared operational, radar wasn't great, Red Top was ok but Firestreak was superior to Sidewinder in being able to engage supersonic targets from all-aspects. Never had the radar to support the planned radar-guided Firestreak variants.

Fairey Rotodyne: Noise was a problem but the Battersea trials in 1960 didn't reveal much of a problem. The Eland wasn't great but the bigger production variant would have had the Rolls-Royce Tyne and separate gas-generator turbines. The tip-jets were only used for ascent and descent, no real fuel problem. The problem was the Rotodyne was a flying proof-of-concept, yes it worked but it took time and money to get right and the merger of Fairey and Bristol helicopters and Saro into Westland caused delays and internal rivalries. The airlines were not serious, the RAF lukewarm and the MoS not too eager either. Export deals were agreed but for the full-scale version. The US customers, used to the US industry, expected it to appear within a year, it still hadn't within two so they pulled out. The production Rotodyne Z might not have flown until 1963. Civil exports were unlikely, city-to-city helicopter services never really took off anywhere despite the heady 1950s optimism. Militaries might have brought it, but it was a large and expensive bit of kit at a time when Vertol were rolling off hundreds of Chinooks for Vietnam.

Short Belfast: I agree should have been more built. But in reality the aircraft should have been the Handley Page HP.111C based on the Victor bomber. That was the design chosen by the RAF but the government, concerned with unemployment in Northern Ireland continued to prop-up Shorts and gave them the job. The Belfast was ok but less than ideal. Saying that the HP.111C would have only been ordered in small numbers and probably retired in 1975 to save money too.

Avro 770 series: The RAF wanted to replace the Shackleton, but not did not want to buy the Breguet Atlantic. They wanted something better, then wanted something equal to the Atlantic and then went high-end again. Nimrod was ideal for the GIUK gap role, good speed and loiter and even a strike role. Better than the P-3, the MRA.4 should have been better and we could have had it now rather than relying on a couple of C-130s flying about hoping to spot subs by eye. Might as well buy some bloody Catalinas!! :cry:

Vickers VC-10: There should have been earlier air-air VC-10 tankers and an AEW based on it. Skybolt missile carriers were going no-where past 1962.

Tornado: The ADV is NOT a failure as an interceptor! It did what it was designed to do, destroy long-range Soviet bomber way out to sea before they can launch their stand-off missiles. It didn't need to dogfight, it was designed to loiter and engage at long-range. Let the Jaguar and F-16s in Europe do all the dogfighting. Had Tornado not existed then Britain would have brought F-15s at seriously high prices, but Britain (and Europe) did not want that. They feared the US would destroy the European aircraft industry if Britain got a licence-deal to assemble F-15s. The cost was high too. F-14s even higher. Perhaps an improved Anglo-French Mirage 2000/ 4000 could have been developed though. The ADV was the perfect tool and Britain could actually afford it too.

British Phantoms: Agreed. Stupid decision to safeguard British jobs.

Westland Sea King: No, Westland made the shrewdest move of all the British firms in getting that Sikorsky licence-deal. Sea King was perfect and earned lots of export £s too.

Vulcan B.3: Could have been done, probably as a rebuild rather than new airframes. After Skybolt there was not much choice of long-range weapons. Polaris was the best choice. Blue Steel was never what it should have been and plans for longer-range and low-altitude versions never got very far. It's hard to see much future for the Vulcan and its amazing really they lasted until the 1980s. Long-range but by then past their prime with 1950s tech. An awesome plane but even the most greatest of aircraft has to exit the stage at some point.

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