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Author Topic: The other Lightning  (Read 6851 times)

Offline Hood

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2018, 09:02:37 am »
The hindsight factor is strong with this one.

This basically forgets that the P.1 has origins going back to 1948. At that time this was a supersonic research aircraft, Petter was trying to find the best solution he could with the knowledge of the time. To him stacked engines were logical to reduce the frontal area and supersonic drag and the nose intake was believed to be the best low-risk solution to getting enough air into the engines and avoiding shockwave problems. The engines he was planning for was a variant of the RA.4  (the first Tyne).
The P.3 with side intakes was never chosen and was studied during most of 1951. We can surmise whatever the results of tunnel tests were, the nose intake must still have seemed the most optimal solution, perhaps the battles with the MoS over the tail layout took priority of effort and EE wanted to avoid another clash over intakes? Its noteworthy that side intakes were discussed again in 1954, but by then the P.1s were under construction.

The conical nose intake on the P.1B was the company's idea from 1951 to enable performance to reach Mach 2. So whatever side-intake P.1s were studied were probably limited to the Mach 1.5 of the P.1 nose intake version we know today. Petter certainly didn't feel confident enough about side intakes to suggest them for a Mach 2 development.

Online zen

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2018, 09:19:43 am »
(sigh)
So lets reiterate.....

By the mid-50s or so, EE was pushing a developed Lightning with a ventral pack 'system', and by the late 50's this was certainly around in mockup form if not actually flown. It had certainly been tunnel tested, and I think the results fed back into what became the design of the larger ventral pack.

Not quite the same as the later curvy ventral tank and ADEN pack, but what is notable about this and that AND the early 60's Spey VG option is that all these packs certainly drive up the cross sectional area at precisely the locations that are most vital to keep as narrow as possible to conform to the 'area rule'.

Hence why I question why the side-by-side option was never explored.

Perhaps there was a institutional stubbornness and there certainly was a financial one to not change things too much from the funded research machine.
Which would have been fine had this stayed on the drawing board and say Fairey received orders for a Fighter Delta II instead.

It's a case of spoiling the ship for ha'penthworth of tar.

Offline CJGibson

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2018, 11:42:02 am »
Side-by-side was explored - in the multi-role PL.1.

Chris

Online zen

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2018, 02:22:53 pm »
Side-by-side was explored - in the multi-role PL.1.

Chris

Ahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that is intriguing.

Offline Foo Fighter

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2018, 11:49:18 am »
Not heard of that one, anything you can repeat?

Online Arjen

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2018, 05:54:11 am »
English Electric PL.1 is described in Chris Gibson's 'Battle Flight' pages 161-162. Based on the Lightning T.5, with a substantially lengthened ventral fairing and twin-wheel undercarriage that needed underwing fairings to accommodate the gear.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 01:41:06 am by Arjen »

Online zen

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2018, 02:24:34 am »
English Electric PL.1 is described in Chris Gibson's 'Battle Flight' pages 161-162. Based on the Lightning T.5, with a substantially lengthened ventral fairing and twin-wheel undercarriage that needed underwing fairings to acommodate the gear.

But looking at the book (great work there Chris) I don't see any reference to a side by side engine arrangement. ......

Online Arjen

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2018, 05:29:39 am »
True.
1) Here's what happened in my head: I saw PL.1 mentioned a few days ago, knew I had seen it in Chris' book. Side by side rung a bell, left it to simmer for a few days - found PL.1 yesterday with side by side crew - thought I had a match. Reread this thread, saw it was about side by side engines - sorry!
2) EECo did do side by side engines in the TSR.2 saga, its P.17 entry eventually leading to a P.22 interceptor derivative (see Battle Flight)

Offline kitnut617

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2018, 07:03:03 am »
English Electric PL.1 is described in Chris Gibson's 'Battle Flight' pages 161-162. Based on the Lightning T.5, with a substantially lengthened ventral fairing and twin-wheel undercarriage that needed underwing fairings to acommodate the gear.

But looking at the book (great work there Chris) I don't see any reference to a side by side engine arrangement. ......

Well what you need then is a CAC CA-23

(look in CAC Post War Projects thread)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2018, 07:10:40 am by kitnut617 »
If I'm not building models, I'm riding my dirtbike

Offline CJGibson

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2018, 09:17:09 am »
Ah, I thought you were on about cockpits and intakes.

Chris

Online zen

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2018, 10:09:31 am »
Ah, I thought you were on about cockpits and intakes.

Chris

In a way yes. Because it's a lot easier to develop side intakes if the engines are side by side. Making room for a solid nose.
Your pictures of the PL1 clearly show the amount of increase in cross sectional area over the original P1B.

Offline kaiserd

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2018, 06:36:42 am »
Ah, I thought you were on about cockpits and intakes.

Chris

In a way yes. Because it's a lot easier to develop side intakes if the engines are side by side. Making room for a solid nose.
Your pictures of the PL1 clearly show the amount of increase in cross sectional area over the original P1B.

That doesn't necessarily follow.
From Chris's excellent book I can confirm that the PL1 was a (probably too-) late development of the Lightening and didn't feature side by side engines (and the non-swing-wing proposals all seem to not have solid noises).
As such it certainly doesn't represent an alternative path-not-taken substitute for the Lightenings that actually served with the RAF (which is what you appear to be seeking).

Online zen

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2018, 08:19:50 am »
It definitely follows that the stacked engines would make life far harder and risky to develop side intakes. The matter of intakes and their trunking is no trivial matter.

Wracking my memory I dimly reccal reading the list of EE project numbers ( EE aircraft from....I forget when to I forget) and no such side-by-side engine arrangement was explored.

This is the Alternative History and Future Speculation section.
It is entirely appropriate to set this thread here.
IF you want only history, you are in the wrong section and posting on the wrong thread.

Online zen

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Re: The other Lightning
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2019, 03:57:03 pm »
Further musings....

EE needs to come up with this alternative fairly early, ideally funding it instead of the P.1B or concurrent with it, lets call that the P.1C.
So ideally this is part of discussions on 11 July 1951 and ordered in 9 June 1952.
Why? Because by this time a belly pack for more fuel was already being mooted, raising cross sectional area. Arguably this is the moment when the question ought to have been asked.

It's this 'side-by-side' engine version that ought then to be ordered as 20 preproduction Fmk1 in Feb '54.

So right from the get go, the Other Lightning is THE Lightning.

In 15 Jan '55, we have F155T, and ideally EE would then propose the solid nose version rather than the conic centerbody circular inlet version for the P.8.
This would permit the accommodation of a 30" dish, possibly AI.23 again, though the Ministry might worry that at the time integration of an illuminator function was not proving easy on any radar and prefer AI.18.
However with such and the RB..126 engine, Area Ruling, and a second seat, this could meet the requirement.
With a interim, being the then, RB.133 Blue Vesta and AI.23 sans illuminator (arguing it could be retrofitted at a later date).

Even with the Sandy's paper in '57 this then moves forward as the primary defence interceptor. But it's a strong possibility that even after this event, work of the Solid Nose Lightning (SoNoLi) could continue, such is the benefit it would confer.

Type 588 studies would obviously include the use of VG on both nose inlet and SoNoLi designs.
Later in the middle of '63  this would become the basis of their tender to AW.406.
What is possible is it might have been proposed earlier in SoNoLi form to OR.346
Origins of this could be the effort to increase reheat chamber size for the projected RB.106 Thames and Bristol Zeus, which would be as applicable to the RB.162 Spey (which formed the powerplant for DH.127 and B.123).

Logically a variant with the RB.153 and some lift jets might make a brief tender to NMBR.3, obviously failing against the P1154.

Concurrently the PL.1 series study is more convincing with the 'side-by-side' engine layout, and a much simpler path forward for MRI than the convolutions that saw the Supersonic Trainer become the Jaguar GR.1
Arguably the RB.172 would be put forward against the use of Avon or the RR-MTU RB.153 engine.


If the engines can be removed vertically down out via hatches, maintenance gets a lot easier.
There's even a better argument for keeping the wing located undercarriage main gear to facilitate this ease of extraction.
Wing box being over the engines makes for quite an efficient structure.
But ideally a hard point along the centreline would permit a drop tank there or nuclear weapon.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 02:38:30 am by zen »