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advice for my fictional state

zen

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My fictional state....lets call it Country D is set on developing it's own 'modern' supersonic fighter.

This being in the mid 50's.

And thus is seeking advice on how to proceed.

Does it focus on an Avon-sized engine? Or something larger or smaller?

It's efforts in radar and electronics are weak, where could they look for assistance?

It has no missile effort yet, but the pressure is certainly building on either sourcing a license or developing it's own.
 

starviking

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Would really need some info on the type of fighter, and the tactical and strategic forces facing Country D. Looking at the real 50s, there were a whole host of supersonic fighters of all shapes, types, and sizes.
 

Kadija_Man

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I would recommend designing to accept several different engines. Avon, Sapphire, etc. All had similar thrust and were (nearly) equally reliable (depending on where the intakes were placed versus where the cannon muzzles were). If possible, design it to take a larger sized engine easily. Do not force the exhaust through frame ring (a'la Vigilante) as this will limit increasing the size/number of engine(s) in the future. If possible, make the wings attach either above or below the engines. Mid-wing design makes it extremely difficult to increase the size of the engine(s) as well. It also complicates the wing design.
 

zen

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Good points and questions.
Country D sites across the centre of a small island continent (formed out of Queen Maud land) physically larger than Madagascar. The southern part is newly independent from the British I'll refer to it as Country T and the North is a series of small states some under communist influence.
Both from north and south historically invasions have been attempted.
Across the straits (think slightly wider than the Mozambique straits) lies independent Natal, Zululand, Basotholand and the Kilwa Sultanate.
Across the northern straits is Madagascar. In this history divided between the restored Merina Kingdom and a state in the southern part now communist formerly a Sultanate.

In the lead up and post Suez the writing is on the wall for the regions politics.
Being independent of European colonial powers Country D needs fighters to intercept Bombers flying from any of these potentially (though not all at the time) hostile neighbours.

Oh yes points to make about County D:-
They have the resources
They have a large population including a substantial well educated section.
They have a professional military
They've fought and traded with European powers since Vasco de Gamer sailed up looking for China.

And last major point they are not Africa, and even though genetics show large swathes of the population are related to the Bushmen, they've developed in far different ways.
Civilisation on the continent goes back thousands of years.
 

Michel Van

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Interesting concept
Another larger Island south of Madagascar do alternate Plate tectonics.
The Dutch, the French and Britain must have done hell of fight to own it as colony in 17-18 century

Now we establish the background and Political frame work let's look on fighter Design.

what the D Air force want is a long range interceptor with Guns and Missiles and good Radar system in nose
and with lang range we talk about distance of 800 to 1500 km
best with two engines so in case of one engine failure, the Fighter get back home
What comes in mind is the English Electric Lightning, the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow or the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.

As template of good indigenous Aircraft manufacturer take
Sweden with Saab
France with Dassault

oh by the way, zen
do you know https://www.alternatehistory.com ?
 

zen

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No I wasn't aware of that site, thanks for the link Michael Van! :)
 

zen

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I was thinking a GCI machine along the lines of the Mirage III, F104 Starfighter, or Mig21
 

Kadija_Man

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Of those three, the MiG21 is the simplest. The F-104 and Mirage III are approximately equally as complicated (with perhaps the F-104 topping the two). The F-104 required fairly extensive training to fly properly as the Luftwaffe discovered much to their disgust - but in part that was because they changed it from a light interceptor for high level intercepts to a low-level strike aircraft.

The Mirage III was easily manufactured as Australia, South Africa and Israel discovered. It lacked a sophisticated radar though and it's missiles were, well, "adequate" just describes it. It had two reliable guns (DEFA) and was quite maneuverable, particularly when compared to the F-104. It's engine was relatively simple but lack much room for improvement, hence the creation by the Israelis of the Dagger/Nesher/Kfir series.

Out of the three, I'd say the Mirage was the best choice. It could be adapted to be a fighter-bomber and was adequate as a fighter.

Perhaps you should look at the Saab Draken as well? Roughly comparable but a much heavier armament and better engine. A twin engined development would be interesting.

Then we start getting into heavier aircraft - the F-101/F-4/F-106/Su-11/Su-15 style of aircraft? Of those, I'd place the F-4 first and foremost, followed by the F-106 and then the F-101/Su-11/Su-15.

Of course, you might like to go with something you've designed yourself?
 

Michel Van

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zen said:
I was thinking a GCI machine along the lines of the Mirage III, F104 Starfighter, or Mig21
F-104 Starfighter is good fast high altitude Interceptor
But outside it comfort zone, it's Dangerous to fly Aircraft.

The Mirage III, Saab Draken and Mig-21 (also F-106 and F-4) can do multitude of various intercept missions, were the F-104 try to kill it own pilot.

Next to that is complexity of Aircraft, special for maintenance, the F-104 and F-4 (F-106 also?) were nightmare for the crews
The Mirage III, Saab Draken and Mig-21 were not only easy to handle aircraft, but also easy on maintenance !
 

zen

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So my thinking here is a native development, not a foreign purchase.

Unfortunately France, since WWII and Country D liberating Madagascar, doesn't like Country D much at all ( going back to a failed attempt to invade them during the 1800's).
This also makes relations with the British difficult, (even if they did give the nod to madagascar), as they backed their southern neighbours/British colony/now ex-colony ( formerly Dutch/ formerly Portuguese) Country T.

So while post war some exchange of technology and uk purchases have occurred, giving Country D access to things like jet engines. It's not so clear that British aircraft like Lightning or earlier Javelin would be allowed.

So yes Sweden might be a possible source, possibly part of relations going back to Swedish pirates during the 1700's.

The Swedish option is an interesting one to ponder as this could influence both sides and see certain Swedish projects move forward that otherwise got dropped.

So a development of a jet engine is part of this process. Likely at least 3 scales. 1350mm (53.2'), 900mm (35.4') and 675mm (26.6'), which corresponds to the 450mm 'metric cubit' units of measurement they use. Though a fourth at 1125mm (44.3') is possible as well.

Radar is more likely a valve based system though maybe a TWT type. Their efforts lag western powers.

This also impacts their missile efforts.
Likely these are beam riders and infrared guidance.

Guns however is something they 'do', and their 25mm, 37mm and 48mm cannon are equal to anything around. Likely the smaller calibre is the preferred option.

At least two aviation firms work on military aircraft, Tchang Aviation and Qurn & Goarant.
 

Grey Havoc

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What about the Grumman Super Tiger?
 

Archibald

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So my thinking here is a native development, not a foreign purchase.
I would say that delta without FBW is not worth it (and I say that as an aviation buff from the land of the Mirage III).

either an airframe like the Mirage F1 (high wing, low tail) or F-11F Super Tiger. Just avoid T-tail like the F-104 and it will fly fine.

As far as jet engine goes - to go mach 2 you need at least 12000 pounds of thrust with afterburner.

Radar and missiles ? by the late 50's their "efficiency" was still relative, even for the mighty Phantom.
- Short range IR missiles liked to chase any IR source including the sun.
- Medium range AAM, either early Sparrows or R530, were hardly better.
The isarelis scored 90% of their Mirage III kills with the guns.
 

overscan

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Archibald said:
So my thinking here is a native development, not a foreign purchase.
I would say that delta without FBW is not worth it (and I say that as an aviation buff from the land of the Mirage III).

either an airframe like the Mirage F1 (high wing, low tail) or F-11F Super Tiger. Just avoid T-tail like the F-104 and it will fly fine.

As far as jet engine goes - to go mach 2 you need at least 12000 pounds of thrust with afterburner.

Radar and missiles ? by the late 50's their "efficiency" was still relative, even for the mighty Phantom.
- Short range IR missiles liked to chase any IR source including the sun.
- Medium range AAM, either early Sparrows or R530, were hardly better.
The isarelis scored 90% of their Mirage III kills with the guns.
Tailed delta is a decent alternative and looks period appropriate.
 

zen

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Refinement then....
Requirements
Mach 1.5 or above with a ceiling over 50,000ton and zoom climb over 60,000ft
Radius of Action in intercept of 150nm
CAP endurance 2hrs
Armament of two domestic sourced 25mm cannon and provision for two AAMs in development.
AI radar for detection of target at 10nm+
Single or twin engines
Secondary Attack capability with pylon mounts fof bombs and rockets.

Tchang Aviation proposes compound 'crescent wing' wrapped around two 900mm engines.

Qurn & Goarant propose 'radical' canard using a single 1350mm engine.
 

Kadija_Man

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How about teaming with either India or Australia to produce a domestic fighter?

With India, you have the HF-24 Marut. With the correct engines, it was intended to be Mach 2 capable.

With Australia, you can access indirectly either US or UK or French technology.

I suppose it all depends on how much money you want to spend. Light weight aircraft are cheaper but less capable. Heavy weight aircraft are more expensive but also more capable. The choice is yours.

You can either go with a domestic produced aircraft;
You can go with a joint produced aircraft;
You can go with a foreign designed/produced aircraft.

In the lightweight class you have a choice of the Gnat, F-5, MiG-21, N-102 Fang
In the medium weight class you have a choice of the Mirage III, the F-100, the CF-100, BAC Lightning, HF-24 Marut, F-104
In the heavy class you have a choice of the F-101, F-4, Javelin, CF-105, F-105, Su7/Su9/Su11/Su15
 

starviking

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Depending on the perceived threat warning time, something like the SR.53 or 177 might be suitable. Type A could have the turbojet/rocket combo, B the turbojet and more fuel.
 

Archibald

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When I red Tony Butler books 15 years ago, I really liked the type 545. A crying shame it never flew. Thanks for the drawings.

And D'OH for tailed deltas, forgot those ones.
 

zen

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Did someone say Crescent wing?
Yeap it bang on the button for the general trend of the times. A host of aircraft of the period have compound sweep back and it does deliver more benign characteristics.

Always liked the 545.
So TA's effort would be like that only with twin engines and a bigger radome.
 

zen

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I was thinking either like the vicker Supermarine offering or something like unmanned drones based on the Avro 730, which I can't remember the designation of.
 

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The trend by the mid fifties was for the 45° swept wing.


I keep seeing something like the Super Mystere, F-100 (perhaps with a redesigned radome like the Sabre Dog), F-8, Super Tiger, Su-7, Su-9, MiG-21 F-101, F-104, F-105, Lightning All basic 50's shapes.

The 50's tailless Deltas were underwhelming (Mirage I, F-102). You didn't get refinements (more power, area-rule) until very late in the 50's. It seems like unlikely that an independent industry would follow that path until after the later success of the Mirage III and F-106.


Maybe even consider something like the Yak-27 if locally developed because it'd have high adaptability for other roles.


For an independent development, I'd also think it'd be fine and totally appropriate if you ended up with something(s) that failed to meet your speed requirement. Something like a slightly enlarged Sabre Dog with twin engines providing more thrust than the original engine screams 50's to me, but would probably fall short on performance, which would follow early 50's period thinking (when this would presumably be developed to be ready by mid 50's) that they just needed more thrust to push max speeds up.

The engines themselves are an interesting question. If you could get a J57 it seems like a recipe for success.


A lot of designs like the F-86, CF-100, MiG-19, Su-7, HAL Marut, Hunter, Yak-25, G.91 etc were fine transonic fighter/interceptors that continued in service and remained relevant (if technically obsolete) well into the 60's which is another thing to consider.

Maybe you end up with two competing designs and both fall short (look at all the deadend projects the US, UK, France, and USSR took through prototype stages in the 50's!), but still represents a competent and reliable interceptor ala the supersonic Yak-27. Maybe you have limitations because of export restrictions on engines. Lots of ways to not get a top performing fighter in the 50's even if/especially if you're designing it oneself.

On the flipside, the Draken is sort of th exception to prove the rule, proving a very capable aircrwft outclassing many contemporaries.


ETA: just read down the thread. The type 545 is an excellent 50's design!
 

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Regarding engines, did WW2 happen in this timeline? If so, expat German designers are your best bet for indigenous engine development with something like an Atar.
 

zen

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I'm going on the basis of most of history happening as was.
Country D's greatest impact is in its region.
The 'liberation' of Madagascar from the Viche regime and returning the Merina Kingdom. Though France engineers a South Madagascar state that quickly falls to a Communist revolution. Later followed by the Kilwa Sultanate (Maputo in southern Mozambique).
Furthermore the independence of Natal and with it Zululand.
Also the support of Ethiopia against European powers.

Good points on state of aircraft designs at the time. I'm working on the pressure to develop this aircraft is the mid 50's as that's when Canberras are being released and the Valient is operational.
Uk backing of Country T (the southern part of the island continent) as colony and then ex-colony is as much of a threat as Communists or the French. Even they ended up as allies during WWII.

I'm working on the idea they have licence built centrifugal jets.
So while some Germans might be involved, but this country has the educated population to resource personel for the task.
Certainly would be interesting if say the 35' diameter proved a successful engine. If say this was exported and licensed to India for example especially if this is used in the Marut.
 

zen

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What would be the effect of say buying Swedish aircraft?
Could that exert influence and drive forward certain Swedish projects?
A36 for instance or the later light attack machine....

What is the effect of a Indian Marut being the high performance machine they intended it to be?

What would be the effect of say buying Oerlikon SAM systems?
Or instead the Yugoslavian Vulkan R25 system?
 

Michel Van

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Indian HF-24 Marut was good multi role Combat aircraft build by team around german Kurt Tank
but Marut had one major problem it's weak engine
It got a India build Bristol-Siddeley Orpheus with thrust of 20.11 kN, but needed a more powerful engine with 40 kN of Thrust
Rolls-Royce wanted to Improve the Orpheus but India government refused the offer...

Saab would benefit if Country D would buy Saab 35 Draken in begin of 1960s
This early version of Draken J 35A has French Cyrano Radar system of Mirage III
so why not French rockets, the Matra R.511 or later R.530 air-to-air missiles ?

But at that point Dassault and Marta would Offer Country D
A nice package deal: missiles and Mirage III aircraft and as Bonus a good financial assistance to poor politician of Country D ;)
oh by the way Lockheed is also good in that Game...
 

zen

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So while the Orpheus was I think 32 or 33' it was chosen for the Marut I suspect due to availability and the need to get a version flying.
They did later look at the E300 from Egypt but politics got in the way.

But if say Country D has a 35' engine of say 8,500lb dry thrust and over 13,000lb reheated . Then if India can get it....
They had quite some plans for the Marut.

A Swedish connection might start with the Tunnen progress to Lansen and beyond to Drakken.
But the French are not likely to play ball....
 

zen

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Another thought Lockheed had a notably attractive development of the F104....called the Lancers I think I'll check in moment.
If Country D is persuaded (bribed) into buying license build Starfighters, it could pay them to drive that development forward.
 

Apophenia

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Michel Van said:
...Rolls-Royce wanted to Improve the Orpheus but India government refused the offer...
That would be Bristol Siddeley's Orpheus BOr.12 SR (Simple Reheat) producing 8,170 lb thrust each in afterburner ... so roughly the dry power that zen was looking at.
 

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CL-1200 Lancer is quite a lot later (1970 - 1974) but there were improved F-104s before that.
 

kaiserd

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From the details you’ve provided sounds like your fictional state is probably making a mistake trying to develop its own fighter. Any pre-existing aircraft industry with a record of developing modern jet aircraft (trainers, etc?). Any pre-existing jet engine industry?
If looking to build up such an industry then license production of an existing design with substantial technical assistance from the providing country’ manufacturer would appear to be a far more sensible use of the fictional country’s time and money. The alternative is extremely risky and most likely end in expensive failure.
The specification you’ve stated appears to be more focused on an interceptor/ air defender than a tactical fighter-bomber so that would impact the design you’d go for.
You’ve mentioned the country’s Bad relationship with France and so-so relationship with the UK but not seeing an indication of its relationship with the Cold War superpowers.
Bluntly it is the latter that will largely influence what aircraft can be gone for.
For better or worse if the US views you with suspicion and your not on particularly good terms with the French or UK then you’re likely to be stuck with the MIG-21 in this time period.
License producing MIG-21s may be your best bet to get to a place where you could realistically design and build your own fighter. However if your cut-off from alternative sources of fighter engines that may prove difficult (as was the case for China)
 

zen

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Yes it has it's own industry.
Part of it industrial base,it has the resources and the people.
Yes post war it gained licence to build centrifugal engines.
Scale.
The island continent is somewhere between twice the size of Madagascar to that of Western Australia. Approximately the size of the British Isles and France and Germany and Spain put together.
Temperate climate and fertile soils. Multiple large rivers flowing with fresh water. Shallow seas around.
Europeansin contact since Vasco de Gamer, stopping on the way to India and China and the spice islands.
Country D has organised society and military.
Defeated overconfident Europeans to dominate the center of the landmass.
 
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