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Author Topic: Biggest mistakes in aviation? Which projects should have been built?  (Read 118837 times)

Offline pathology_doc

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Re: Biggest mistakes in aviation? Which projects should have been built?
« Reply #300 on: April 13, 2017, 01:50:12 pm »
What about -
The British government and RAF settle on freezing the GOR.339 program based on the English Electric P.17A design of Freddie Page and begin testing and development, with the intent for production.
So as to save time and money, the program is expedited in terms of its need for production and operational service, the British government in conjunction with the RAF, agree that the TRS.2, as it would become known, initially use off-the-shelf components where possible, and adding more advanced engines and avionics later.
So it came to pass, that the first batch of TRS.2's are powered by two Rolls Royce RB142 afterburner engines, with engineering and building parameters allowed for the easy installation of the more powerful Olympus turbojet when fully developed and tested!

Question to forum, if I may?
Can anyone give an indication of when the English Electric P.17A design was finalised and the time it took refining the 'actual' BAC 571(TRS.2) design that we know?

Regards
Pioneer

TSR.2's problem was always politics - if EE had been permitted to bring Vickers on as merely a component builder and second-source contractor and to use the engines it wanted, the project might at least have come in with lower costs and fewer delays. The big problem as I understood it was the lack of integration because each company was designing half an aircraft and trying to make it fit together, while making terrible compromises on the back end because of the Government's mandate of engine choice.

A lot of the technical challenges would still have cropped up, but the issues of company vs. company and companies vs. Government wouldn't have clouded the issue. This of course leaves out the problem of the RAF not really being sure (IIRC) what it wanted TSR.2 to actually DO, but they would at least have had their strike aircraft at a more affordable unit price and it would have matured just in time to be equipped with the laser and optical guidance systems needed to drop conventional weapons with something approaching precision.

Offline steelpillow

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Re: Biggest mistakes in aviation? Which projects should have been built?
« Reply #301 on: May 15, 2017, 04:23:27 am »
Nice thread this.
My own submission: the British War Office and Admiralty should have bought the Dunne D.8 and its planned Armstrong-Whitworth successor in quantity as a training aircraft. We lost huge numbers of trainee pilots on recycled antiquated death traps, mostly stalling or flying into the ground on the trainee's first few flights, and huge numbers more in their first few days on the front because they could not use their aeroplanes yet. The D.8 was inherently stable, incredibly easy to fly, and would refuse to stall on the landing run. It also had a robust undercarriage designed to take punishment.
Its adoption as a primary trainer would have doubled the number of pilots reaching the front, along with the number of hours' (often minutes) experience for each pilot. Huge numbers of lives and machines would have been saved throughout, more than compensating for the purchase cost.
As a spinoff, its tailless swept aerodynamics would have almost certainly inspired other designers both in Britain and abroad, and we would not have had to wait until the Me 163 Komet for the world's first such production machine.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 04:25:35 am by steelpillow »
Cheers.

Online Empire

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Re: Biggest mistakes in aviation? Which projects should have been built?
« Reply #302 on: May 15, 2017, 07:11:16 am »
The Boeing Bird of Prey to replace the F-117! It had one of the lowest Radar Cross Section (RCS) for its time and supposedly tested day light stealth! Just a few modifications would have been needed to turn it into a stable bombing platform. Well ok maybe not a few modifications thrust vectoring, wing redesign,  fly by wire, radar, engine and FLIR.  Would be nice if they had a few air frames hidden  away at area 51 as a Silver Bullet Force! Much like the F-117 program started out as until congress made them buy 59 Night Hawks. The F-118 Silent Bird.

PS by Dragon 029
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 11:11:58 am by Empire »

Offline pathology_doc

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Re: Biggest mistakes in aviation? Which projects should have been built?
« Reply #303 on: May 15, 2017, 08:18:59 am »
Nice thread this.
My own submission: the British War Office and Admiralty should have bought the Dunne D.8 and its planned Armstrong-Whitworth successor in quantity as a training aircraft. We lost huge numbers of trainee pilots on recycled antiquated death traps, mostly stalling or flying into the ground on the trainee's first few flights, and huge numbers more in their first few days on the front because they could not use their aeroplanes yet.

In which war?

« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 02:00:05 am by Jemiba »

Offline uk 75

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Re: Biggest mistakes in aviation? Which projects should have been built?
« Reply #304 on: May 20, 2017, 07:11:00 pm »
I think the decision to not build the RN Malta class and instead
convert Victorious and build Ark Royal and Eagle.
It was already apparent at the end of WW2 that planes were
going to need more space.  Ark Royal and Eagle names could
have been given to Malta and Gibraltar.
The two ships would have not come into service until thevlate
50s but would have operated a phantom and buccaneer air
group from 1968 to 1991.

Offline uk 75

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Re: Biggest mistakes in aviation? Which projects should have been built?
« Reply #305 on: May 20, 2017, 07:18:18 pm »
Also on the Royal Navy. The Shorts Seacat 2  missile looked so sensible as a
straightforward new missile on existing Seacat launchers. It would have been
similar to Rapier in capability.

Offline pathology_doc

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Re: Biggest mistakes in aviation? Which projects should have been built?
« Reply #306 on: May 23, 2017, 05:26:20 pm »
I think the reason we all find this so satisfying to talk about is because of the nature of the British cancellations. Many of the US projects that never made it into production at least got to the prototype stage, where they demonstrated their inadequacy against the eventual winner, or they were killed when they were largely still a paper project.

To be consigned to the dustbin of history when your airplane has barely flown as a prototype (Arrow, TSR.2) - or worse, when it is still an unfinished prototype (P.1121) - or still worse, when it is not only an unbuilt prototype but a small set of partially built pre-production airplanes or tooling sets ready to go (thin wing Javelin, also SR.177 IIRC ) - is not only an injury but an insult. Worst of all is to be canned at this stage in favour of an airplane which is then likewise cancelled (thin wing Javelin, Arrow).

The flip side of course is those airplanes which turned out to have been completely unnecessary. For the RAF to cover its bases by ordering both the Vulcan and the Victor was understandable in light of the huge leaps they represented,  but in view of their success the Valiant was a waste and the Sperrin a worse one. What might Vickers have built with the Valiant's resources (a functional Red Dean?). What might Shorts have built with those of the Sperrin (teamed with SR and got the SR.177 in metal before the Sandys axe fell?). Chris Gibson argues that with Firestreak never having been shot in anger the Red Top was unnecessary, and in retrospect he is right. But tell that, in 1965, to the crew of a subsonic fleet interceptor who badly need a snap-up in-your-face missile to use against threats for which successful prosecution of a tail chase is impossible - and for whom failure means the nuclear obliteration of their battle group and nowhere to go home to.

Everything is easy with the retrospectoscope.

Offline steelpillow

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Re: Biggest mistakes in aviation? Which projects should have been built?
« Reply #307 on: May 24, 2017, 02:44:47 am »
I think the reason we all find this so satisfying to talk about is because of the nature of the British cancellations.

This forum draws its membership from all over the world and this thread draws its examples likewise. Why should the non-Brits among us be particularly drawn to the British experience?

Oh, and in answer to your own earlier question, FYI Armstrong Whitworth were gearing up to manufacture the Dunne safety aeroplane in 1914, when the First World War broke out. There is some discussion of that in the J W Dunne projects topic.
Cheers.