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Armstrong Whitworth AW.681 / HS.681

hesham

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Jemiba said:
That's what I've found in Derek Wood's "Project Cancelled" :
1 - The HS(AW) 681 with four RB.175, using deflectors and a rotating cascade
2 - The HS(AW) 681 with four Medways and 18 RB.162-64 lift engines
3 - The AW 682, a civil freighter development with four Pegasus without vectoring
4 - The HS.802, the last attempt to safe at leat some of the development work,
by mating the the 681 fuselage to the wing of the Comet 4 .
Hi,

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1963/1963%20-%200370.html
 

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uk 75

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Because of the similarity of role, the Il76 transporter and the Japanese Kawasaki C1
looked similar to the AW 681. The new A400M and the Japanese new transporter also
have similarities.

If the British could have resisted the temptation to include untried gimmicks like
the vtol and stol jet packs or thrusters and concentrated on a straightforward
Medway engined version earlier, the AW 681 might have emerged as a jet
transporter for the 70s.

In practice, the C130 was the right plane for the job.
The C17 is derived from the US attempt at a C130 replacement. Its only a shame
that its taken so many years and so many pounds/dollars to get the mix of C17s
and C130s right. Cannot help thinking that A400M might go the same way as the
681 as it is an expensive way of meeting a requirement already met by US equipment
at a time like 1965 when Budgets are tight.
 

JFC Fuller

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I did read in Flight Global at one point that about 30 aircraft would have been ordered.

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1963/1963%20-%200379.html?search=AW.681%20thirty
 

AeroFranz

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uk 75 said:
In practice, the C130 was the right plane for the job.
The C17 is derived from the US attempt at a C130 replacement. Its only a shame
that its taken so many years and so many pounds/dollars to get the mix of C17s
and C130s right. Cannot help thinking that A400M might go the same way as the
681 as it is an expensive way of meeting a requirement already met by US equipment
at a time like 1965 when Budgets are tight.
I beg to differ on the statement that US equipment fulfilling the role already exists.
The A400 has a much larger cross-section than a C-130. Right now the Air Force has nothing sized to carry whatever will replace FCS, and C-17 would be overkill.

AJACS, MACK, Speed Agile, JHL, JFTL (or whatever they call it this week) are only paper airplanes, and VERY ambitious at that. It's not sure that any will ever turn into hardware.
Plus, how many times in the past 60 years has the air force tried to replace the Herc? The closest they came to it was, as you hinted, the AMST program nearly 40 years ago.

Politics aside, A400 is a good match for the mission. Another contender could be the recently announced C-17FE, the slimmed-down version of the Globemaster targeted at civilian use.
Ares blog post:
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3A27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3Ae3f52837-944b-44ca-9ef2-3a083b08af8d

It has the same wing, engines and tail as the -17 but slimmed-down fuselage for lower drag (and lower fuel burn, weight, etc.). It's still bigger than strictly required for something weighing 30-32t, but it's a closer fit, and might be politically acceptable. We only know too well the interest in keeping the C-17 line open.
 

JFC Fuller

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I found this interesting piece in a 1962 Flight Global article:

'The AW.681 over-comes the difficulty by being powered by four Bristol Siddeley BS.100 lift/thrust engines with rotating nozzles, hung in nacelles under the swept wing. The total thrust of some 120,000lb, swivelled suddenly down at the unstick point, should enable the 681 to take off at maximum weight in some hundred yards, and the aircraft might rise vertically at reduced weight. Cruising at some 500 mph should be possible on two engines.'

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1962/1962%20-%201697.html?search=AW.681%20BS.100

Certainly an interesting solution, I wonder why the BS.100 idea was dropped?
 

robunos

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Ceryainly an interesting solution, I wonder why the BS.100 idea was dropped?
alertken will probably have the definitive answer, but my guess is the old bogeyman, Rolls-Royce,
as in "why use 4 of those smelly Bristol-Siddeley jobs when you can have 4 of our shiny Medways
AND 18 (count 'em) of our RB108s, Mr Minister,", in other words, RR used their political clout to
get their products onto the HS.681.


cheers,
Robin.
 
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alertken

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Robunos: RR had no political clout in 1963 and was seen by BSEL as windfall ripe for plucking. RB141 Medway had been initiated 1956, was Camm's 1958 choice for his P.1129 bid to (TSR.2), and in 1961 was baseline, as Allison AR.963G, for Boeing 727. But they all lost, leaving RR with little but the liftjet notion for the plethora of V/STOL schemes enthusing new W.German Aero/military. But US MWDP preferred swivelling BE.53, funding it 6/58 as providing propulsive credibility for NBMR.4 transport, tendered 1959 and NBMR.3 strike/fighter, tendered 8/61. On 5/3/63 airframe ITP (not engine) for OR.351 and UK choice for NMBR.4 was won by HS681, 2 pods x9 RB162 and bid with BS.53 Pegasus (SLL's Flight BS.100 is wrong). On 18/2/63 P.1154 won airframe ITP (not engine) for OR.356 and UK choice for NBMR.3, as bid with new PCB BS.100, then UK's most powerful scheme ever. Facing bankruptcy, meagre Spey sales to HS121/BAC111 more a pain than a boon, RR had added deflection to RB142 Medway/HS681 and Twin Spey/P.1154. That merely delayed BS.100 ITP to 25/3/63. RR had just one card: since 1959 RN had dreamed of wet Spey in F-4B. Single-engine P.1154(RN), doubtless to suffer junior industrial priority to P.1154(RAF), was a barnacle, imposed by UK Minister Thorneycroft, copying McNamara's one-type good, land/sea, TFX.

Clout may not be the right word, but Ministers judged RR's continued independence to be in the National Interest. The HS681 model on HSAL's stand when September,1963 Farnborough Show opened had shrouded nacelles until selection of Medway was announced. Thorneycroft ordered 52 Spey/F-4K 27/2/64. After 6/4/1965 BSEL had only Olympus 593 (and Ministers had tried very hard to chop that), and would fall to RR, plucked by Spey volume, in October,1966.
 

JFC Fuller

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Ken, thanks for that, I am still curious about the fight article though as it is very specific and thrust figures mentioned match the BS.100
 

Caravellarella

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Dear Boys and Girls, here is an article in French about the Hawker-Siddeley HS681 STOL tactical airlifter "project". The article describes the use of blown flaps, slats and ailerons.....

The article comes from the 1st December 1963 issue of Aviation Magazine......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

Stargazer2006

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Jemiba said:
4 - The HS.802, the last attempt to safe at leat some of the development work, by mating the the 681 fuselage to the wing of the Comet 4 .
Here is a picture of it:
 

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Stargazer2006

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Armstrong Whitworth AW 681 STOL military transport project.
RAeS (NAL) photo from The Aerospace Professional, September 2011
 

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TsrJoe

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i have a note in the files stating the name 'Aldershot' was to be allocated for the HS.681

cheers, Joe
 

Lee Pinfold

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Hello,

I have recently acquired some drawings that appear to be of the Armstrong Whitworth AW681. I can only imagine that the drawings were undertaken at the Coventry factory where the aircraft was proposed to be built until the project was scrapped in 1965.

Pics can be viewed here: http://s56.photobucket.com/user/artd3co/library/Armstrong%20Whitworth%20AW%20681

I've done a little online research regarding the artist, A. G. Clench but have yet to find anything about him. I could not also find any similar drawings to compare these to.

Any additional information anyone out there may be able to provide me about the drawings/artist, etc would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers...

Lee
 

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Lee Pinfold

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Hi there,

Am I right in thinking that you have attached my post to the end of an old thread? I would have liked to have a bit more exposure. Do you think that it will attract much attention here?

Cheers...

Lee
 

overscan

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It's normal to associate posts with existing topics - the forum is a combination of discussion and database. This is also the correct section for a real project by a mainstream aircraft manufacturer - Alternative History section is for "Discussions on what might have been in the past or what might be in the future" e.g. "What if the P.1154 was built - how would history be different".
 

Jemiba

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You originally posted in the "Alternative History and Future Speculation" section, which would suggest,
that those drawings were pure speculation, without relation to a real project. Here they are in a direct
context to that project and to my opinion, the ".. Projects" sections still are the most interesting ones
for most of our members, so read by most of them. That's no guarantee, of course, that you'll get an
answer about that artist, but chances should be at least the same, I think, than in another section.
But maybe you could start an additional thread in "The Bar", asking explicitly for information about
A. G. Clench ?
 

JFC Fuller

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Thats the Pegasus version as opposed to the finally selected Medway variant right?
 

Stargazer2006

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Very nice! Thanks for sharing and welcome to this forum, casual observer.
And thanks to PaulMM for the great cleanup job!
 

hesham

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Here's an edited copy from the Photobucket original. Great quality for a digital camera photo, and beautiful artwork. Thanks for sharing!

Fantastic artwork my dear Paul.
 

uk 75

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Belated many thanks for posting these images. I am always on the hunt for info about this machine.
 

Stargazer2006

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Very nice images, thanks PaulMM. Love the artwork and feel of these old brochures.
 

overscan

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casual observer said:
Hello,

I have recently acquired some drawings that appear to be of the Armstrong Whitworth AW681. I can only imagine that the drawings were undertaken at the Coventry factory where the aircraft was proposed to be built until the project was scrapped in 1965.

Pics can be viewed here: http://s56.photobucket.com/user/artd3co/library/Armstrong%20Whitworth%20AW%20681

I've done a little online research regarding the artist, A. G. Clench but have yet to find anything about him. I could not also find any similar drawings to compare these to.

Any additional information anyone out there may be able to provide me about the drawings/artist, etc would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers...

Lee

Had a look and haven't found anything on Mr Clench either.


If you want to know more about the AW.681 / HS.681 I recommend Mike Pryce's 8 page article in Air Enthusiast July/August 2006. Low res scans attached. Many of the images come from the Ray Williams Collection, if anyone knows more about your artwork it's probably going to be Ray Williams, if he's still around.
 

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hesham

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Wow,amazing find my dear Paul.
 

overscan

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hesham said:
Wow,amazing find my dear Paul.

Well, its hardly a "find" to locate an article specifically about a project in a magazine.


Anyway - the scans are to show what is in the article, but the text should be difficult to read.
 

hesham

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That's right my dear Paul,


and I suggest to divide each page into two pieces,it will be easy to read.
 

overscan

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hesham said:
That's right my dear Paul,


and I suggest to divide each page into two pieces,it will be easy to read.

The whole point was to not scan it at a readable size. We don't scan whole articles in general.
 

Kiltonge

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Had the type entered service I think it would have been found to bulk-out very quickly; a 43.5ft parallel cabin length constrained by the internal rear pressure bulkhead, whereas the C-130 uses the rear ramp as the pressure door so that the tapered tail volume remains usable at altitude.

I'd hazard a guess that it would have served into the mid / late 1980s and then been replaced by C-130s anyhow, due to economy of operation.
 

uk 75

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The C130 remains the best airlifter in this class.
681 was a brave attempt to push the envelope of what could be done, but as the thread on the AMST programme of the 70s shows, the costs outweighed the benefits.
That said, the vision of an RAF with TSR2s and 1154s supported by 681s and 129s remains a tantalising one. It epitomises the naive optimism of the times.
 

overscan

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Had a look and haven't found anything on Mr Clench either.


If you want to know more about the AW.681 / HS.681 I recommend Mike Pryce's 8 page article in Air Enthusiast July/August 2006. Low res scans attached. Many of the images come from the Ray Williams Collection, if anyone knows more about your artwork it's probably going to be Ray Williams, if he's still around.

Tony Buttler says to contact the Midland Air Museum, they have a number of ex-AWA/HSA people there who might be able to help regarding the provenance of the artwork and might appreciate a copy for display at the museum by their AW.681 model.
http://www.midlandairmuseum.co.uk/contact.php
 
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