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Author Topic: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK  (Read 24813 times)

Offline Archibald

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Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« on: January 27, 2007, 10:18:46 am »
Hello!

According to Joe Baugher, it seems that Great Britain had interest in the Crusader before chosing the Phantom F-4K.
What I don't understand is why they were interested in the two seater variant ?  ???
The plane was to be powered by a spey engine, as the F-4K. 
Any 3-view of the project ? dimensions, performances ?
What radar for the plane... something similar to the Lightning (AI-23+ Red Top or its Blue Dolphin SARH variant ) or Phantom (american radar with Sparrow) ?

I plan to built a two seat multirole Crusader  ;) .  Such plane could have been interesting, too for the Aeronavale instead of standard Crusaders)

PS I already now that Short was to build the aircrafts under licence
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Offline Jemiba

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2007, 12:52:38 pm »
Until axing the last fixed wing carrier, the RN used just three types of single
seater jets, IIRC, the Supermarine Attacker, the Scimitar and the Hawker
Seahawk, and these were mainly attack aircraft, not interceptors . Maybe
the Royal Navy had, earlier than others, realised, that modern radar systems
couldn't be handled single handed ?
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline TinWing

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2007, 01:46:24 pm »
I can see why this proposal was dropped.

The RN needed a fighter with more capable avionics than the baseline F-8E, hence the two-seater.

Unfortunately, the TF-8 amounted to little more than a conversion trainer, and the F-8 had very little space for a bigger radar set to begin with.  Then, factor in the larger redesigned intake for the Spey turbofan - and I assume that the proposal remained single engined?

Did the AI.23 radar possess sufficient performance to warrant a second crew member?  Probably not?  Would the AI.23 have fit into a standard F-8 radome?  Perhaps?

As things turned out, the UK invested in re-engining the Phantom instead, but kept the American radar.  Why did they keep the radar but swap the engines?  Maybe it was a matter of timescale, or budget?

Offline Archibald

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2007, 02:01:20 am »
I'm sceptic, too, about the two seater... why an operational two-seater Crusader ? (a part from training)

IHMO, I just see two reasons for having a crew of two. 

- you need a crew of two because the weapon system is too complex for a lone pilot (Tomcat and Phantom worked like this...and the Sea Vixen, too!).
On the british side, the Lightning was single seater, the Sea Vixen two seater, both having the same weapon system  ???

or

- you need a crew of two for ground attack (to avoid problems encountered on the Mirage IIIE and F-105, the pilot had too much work on A2G mssions).



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Offline Jemiba

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2007, 05:51:57 am »
I think, the weapons systems of the late fifties/ early sixties
could be handled by a single pilot, although probably often at
the expense of the situational awareness.
But to my opinion, decisions in the military world are often
influenced by traditions and Carrier based RN fighters were
for many years two seaters. Exceptions from this rule were
foreign designs, procured to fill an urgent need (F4F Wildcat,
F6F Hellcat, F4U Corsair) or stop gap measures like the Sea
Hurricane and Seafire. The Fulmar and the Firefly, later the
Sea Vixen .. all two seaters, and even the dedicated interceptor
variant of the Scimitar, the Type 556 was designed as a two
seater.
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline alertken

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2007, 09:01:43 am »
Why did (UK) keep (F-4C) radar but swap the engines?
1959, RN Chief of Defence Staff, intending to put survivable kit on his 3 Strike carriers (Ark, Eagle, Victorious: Scimitar/Sea Vixen FAW.1, and Buccaneer S.1 with Red Beard B nuke), then replace them with (to be) CVA-01/02/03. He extracted funds for Vixen FAW.2, and Bucc.S.2 (and started the process that ultimately became WE177A(N) nuke). That put (dry)Spey centre-stage. RR set about trying to get reheated Spey funded. Much scheming of Brit-kit F-8, A-6, F-4. All, as is, could have been shoe-horned onto CVA-01, so the case became the bolter. FAA concluded J79, missing the wire on Ark Small, could not stagger aloft. 1/2 sec slam reheat would permit F-4 operation, so that was the selection factor for Spey 201/F-4K, 1963. FAA wanted nothing else made in Britain, because FAA was fed up with waiting. USN-standard would do nicely, thank you.
2 engines/2 bodies because the ocean is big and FAA's Brit equipment was historically unreliable.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 01:16:22 am by alertken »

Offline TinWing

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2007, 11:31:12 am »

On the british side, the Lightning was single seater, the Sea Vixen two seater, both having the same weapon system  ???


I would certainly hope that the Sea Vixen, with its enormous radome, had superior radar range and performance in comparision to the Lightning, with its tiny center-intake radome?

Offline Yildirim

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2007, 12:52:33 pm »
While the RN was looking at the F-8 Crusader, did they ever consider the Crusader III, or was that to far dead to be considered a viable project option?

Also, I thought the F-8's Variable-incidence wing's limit the placement of hard points to the fuselage, limiting its war load. The crusader doesn't seem to have much multi-role Potential.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 03:08:19 pm by hs1216 »
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Offline Archibald

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2007, 05:00:30 am »
The Crusader has died in 1959 after the USN chose the Phantom... Phantom selection (after the P.1154 fiasco) was in  1964.

Thanks for the explanations!!
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Offline Archibald

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2007, 09:27:08 am »
Currently building a two seat Crusader  ;)
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Offline Akaikaze

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2007, 08:57:04 pm »
While the RN was looking at the F-8 Crusader, did they ever consider the Crusader III, or was that to far dead to be considered a viable project option?

Also, I thought the F-8's Variable-incidence wing's limit the placement of hard points to the fuselage, limiting its war load. The crusader doesn't seem to have much multi-role Potential.

They did manage to put pylons and hard points on that wing, at least with the F-8J, capable of carrying a good load of bombs.  Not along the size of the F-4 or A-7, but a pretty good punch, none the less.
Speaking of which, I wonder if the A-7 was ever offered to Britian... :-\
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Offline Archibald

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2007, 12:19:24 am »
...which would have been quite logical, considering that the TF-41 was no other than an US licence-build spey. Be sure that british Corsair II  would have been powered by an unreheated F-4K engine...  ;)

Royal Navy A-7s build by short, and spey powered... :-*
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Offline alertken

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2007, 04:18:21 am »
A-7D/E also had Elliott Head Up Display. Was paper assessed in MoD 1966; DoD had set TF41/HUD against their offset commitment under the F-111K/&tc package, and would have extended its credit terms to any A-7(UK). MoD saw no requirement above Harrier, below F-4M; Feb.66 cancellation of CVA-01 left RN with Ark/Eagle (for a while)/Victorious, Bucc 2/F-4K, no need for anything else.

Offline uk 75

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2007, 05:05:38 am »
There is a short article complete with a rough drawing of a two seater Crusader in Air Pictorial's news pages in either 1962 or 63. I have got it somewhere in a huge pile of old cuttings, but anyone with a bound set of APs should be able to find it easily near to the front of the issue.

As has already been mentioned that RN wanted to be able to operate the Phantom so that it could continue to cross deck and interoperate with the USN with a state of the art aircraft.  When the USN moved to the F111B and then the F14 the RN would have found it practically impossible to follow. However, USN and US Marine Phantoms did operate from carriers through the 70s.

France operated the F8 successfully for years on its two carriers. I think if the RN had been less ambitious and settled for F8s it could have kept a three carrier fleet into the 80s, though it would still have had difficulty getting the money and men for new build ships. Equally, one can argue that Ark Royal and her Phantoms did such a good job in the 70s that this was probably the best the RN could get away with without losing the new Invincibles as replacements.

UK 75

Offline Yildirim

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Re: Vought two-seat F-8 for the UK
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2007, 06:40:21 am »
Just out of curiosity, was there ever any proposal to produce a naval version of Sydney Cammís Hawker P.1121 before it was canceled?  ???
"Madness," he murmured. I bowed. "But a great madness,"