Merv_P

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Fascinating stuff, and a good find; thank you. I was surprised to see a female author (Molly Neale) - I assume women aviation journalists were pretty rare in those days?
 

RP1

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An RFI: Are there any 3-view drawings and/or dimensions for the boxy little Ground Support Vehicle for the TSR.2? I am trying to make one as airfield clutter for CG images.

RP1
 

KJ_Lesnick

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I think I posted this in another thread, possibly on another board, but the TSR-2 featured an automatic flight control system that could completely fly the plane through it's entire mission automatically if I recall. Somewhere though this was taken out -- when and why?
 

PMN1

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What did the downward turned wingtips do for the aircraft?
 

AeroFranz

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Downturned tips usually 'fine tune' flight characteristics of the aircraft. Wing dihedral increases lateral stability, anhedral decreases it. Downturned wingtips act like a small amount of anhedral, since they affect only a fraction of the span. The TSR2, being a high wing aircraft, probably has a lot of built-in lateral stability. The downturned wingtips might make it a little bit more responsive around that axis.
This is but one of the possible explanations. Maybe someone has a better theory.
 

blackkite

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Oh I see! Does downturned tips also has the function for some kind of winglet to reduce wingtip eddy making Resistance?
 

Abraham Gubler

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blackkite said:
Oh I see! Does downturned tips also has the function for some kind of winglet to reduce wingtip eddy making Resistance?

No the intention is not to counter wingtip vortices, which reduces drag, but to improve stability.

I stumbled across these pictures in a Bill Gunston article about TSR.2 from the early 80s; Airplane magazine from memory (I don’t have it with me right now) that my grandfather had stored away in a box of stuff.

They show the design progression of the TSR.2 from the original English Electric “Super Canberra” bomber. Early versions had the entire wing configured with negative dihedral but this was changed to the final wing tip anhedral because of airflow interferance with the horizontal tailplanes. Since the later where tailerons this was a major problem.

I guess most people reading this forum would be aware of this but the TSR.2 was an almost ideal aerodynamic design for its low level strike and with great avionics for the time, so superior to the F-111 and potentially actually able to enter service in 1968/69. Balancing this out in cross Atalntic stakes the TSR.2 design is very much, intention or not, a low altitude Anglo version of the NAA A3J (A-5A) Vigilante, which did just about everything the TSR.2 did first.

Anyway enough ramble here are the pictures.
 

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Triton

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British Aircraft Corporation TSR.2 advertisements.
 

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Triton

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Full-size wooden mock-up of two WE.177B nuclear bombs and bomb carrier inside a TSR.2 bomb bay. Note the close fit of the weapons and the dishing in the bomb bay doors added to provide clearance for the fin tips.
 

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Triton

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Development timeline leading to the BAC TSR.2. Some of the same designs previously posted by Abraham Guber, but with dates and descriptive text.

Source: "TSR-2 Born to Bomb" from unknown publication
http://carter.id.au/aircraft/tsr2.html
 

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Barrington Bond

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FAST Collection, Farnborough.

Iron Bird.
 

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foiling

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From "Take Off" magazine, UK mid-80s - if I recall correctly

You are spot on. Luckily I don't have too many mags, so found the very issue: "Take Off #11" (1993)
 

Triton

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Is the name "Eagle" for the BAC TSR-2 speculation and/or enthusiast invention? Is there a possibility that the TSR-2 might have been given a "V" name and have been part of the V-bombers since it could deliver tactical nuclear weapons? Would the aircraft's designation have been GR.1 for "Ground attack/Reconnaissance"? TSR.1 for "Tactical Strike/Reconnaissance" Mark 1 or SR.1 for "Strike/Reconnaissance" Mark 1? Do I understand correctly that TSR-2 was a designation given by BAC to the aircraft? Or would the aircraft have been given the designation TSR.2 by the Ministry of Defence?
 

uk 75

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The only official sources I have seen, notably the most recent, a document on
Britain's nuclear forces prepared for the incoming Wilson administration in 1964
in Peter Hennessy's "Secret State", always refer to the aircraft as TSR2.

Unlike the F-111, for which the name "Merlin" was selected before cancellation,
TSR2 had not got as far as receiving an Air Staff approved RAF name. Nor had
BAC given it one for marketing.

By 1965 the plane was so famous as TSR2 I think that just as the RAF did not give the
VC10 an in-service name it would not have done with the TSR2. However, everyone has
their own pet theories on this one.

TSR 2 was to replace Canberras and Valiants in the NATO, CENTO and SEATU operational theatre nuclear role. Although it might have gone on to replace the Vulcans and Victors allocated to NATO SACEUR, this had not been approved up until cancellation, so remains speculation.

Hope this helps
(see you on Thursday at the HS1154 lecture!)
 

Barrington Bond

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RAF Nuclear Deterrent Forces – Humphrey Wynn Ch XXVIII Page 516

“The TSR.2 is a tactical support [sic]and reconnaissance aircraft. The specification was originally based on General Operational Requirement No 339. In the course of study it has been found technically possible to incorporate in the final operational requirement modifications which will greatly increase the usefulness of the aircraft in limited operations and for close support of the Army….While the TSR.2 will be capable of performing the roles of all the various marks of Canberra, it will by reason of its greater flexibility and higher general performance be far more versatile and more in the nature of a general-purpose tactical aircraft.”

When the new aircraft was thus announced by the Minister of Supply the name TSR.2 was used for the first time to describe what had hitherto been referred to as OR.339¹ and before that (up to mid-1958) as GOR.339. TSR2 was a specification number given to the project by the MoS; the Air Staff had originally expected that it would have a number similar to that given to the V-bombers (B.35/46) – eg, B.-58², but TSR.2 was the designation applied to it and by which it became universally known. Its operational requirement number, however, changed – the Air Staff deciding in February 1959 to call it OR.343; and this Requirement, for a “tactical strike and reconnaissance weapon system”, was issued on 8 May 1959.

¹ The OR reference seems to have persisted, for on 5 Aug 60 A/ACAS(OPS) minuted DLFP: “Would you please note that VCAS wishes the future MR Tactical Strike Aircraft to be referred to… as the TSR.2 and not GOR.343. The former name is now known to Ministers and reference to GOR.343 creates confusion” (ID9/940/10). “The MoS… referred to it as TSR.2 and explained that this was an unclassified description popular with the politicians” (RAF Buccaneer ASR343 – Historic Diary AHB II/129/2/2).
² APS to S of S/MOD, 31 Dec 58 (Reqt for a Tactical Strike/Recce Aircraft (ID3/945/2, Pt 1)).
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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It has been suggested that the Canberra was the "TSR" so TSR.2 meant "Canberra replacement". Never seen proper evidence for this however.
 

Barrington Bond

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I'm sure I read somewhere that the Fairey Swordfish designation was also TSR2 ;D

Regards,
Barry
 

robunos

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I'm sure I read somewhere that the Fairey Swordfish designation was also TSR2

You're right.... but in this case it's Torpedo Spotter Reconnaissance... :D ;)


cheers,
Robin.
 

danielgrimes

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Evidence (of the Fairey Swordfish link):

http://www.stevebroadbent.net/259c.pdf

this is Robert Nashes memoir on Steve Broadbent's site. As outlined in the document, Robert designed the cockpit and on the formation of the drawing office on 1 July 1960, was informed of the nomenclature by his boss. I'd consider a secondary source for history professionals!

V-Bomber naming was a grey area. Alliteration was the name of the game in the 1950s, and following Vickers decision to call their bomber the Valiant, Avro were going to call theirs the Albion, but I think the term V(engence) bomber was then coined (probably in a political speech?). The die was thus cast for Avro and HP.

In terms of the GR.1 designation etc, I stand ready to be corrected, but it isn't easy to see any long term logical pattern in type destination by the RAF. And using the Vulcan as an example, there are/were no two Vulcans the same - for example - the first 20 B2s were B1s with B2 wings fitted at a late stage leading to some documents giving a different designations of these B2s, and later blue steel capable B2s being termed the B.Mk2S in done documents (and what about capitalisation and full stops and 'Mk' !!!)

Regarding the 'Eagle' name, I believe there's a document from the period that 'reserved' several bird names for use as aircraft - Harrier, Perigrine, Eagle, Falcon and Tercel. I believe the P1154 was to be the Harrier. The internet types appear to have named the TSR2 as the Eagle (and the P1216 as the Peregrine!)
 

Maveric

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...from Klassiker der Luftfahrt
 

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CJGibson

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Further to speculative aircraft names, the Controller, Aircraft was using the name "Havian" to describe the aircraft of the Jaguar/MRCA/Hawk era. I did wonder if there was an equivalent term for the TSR.2/P.1154/HS.681 era.

I never did find out what Havian actually referred to.

Chris
 

DamienB

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Oh dear, oh dear... Aeroplane Monthly's February 2012 has the TSR2 as the subject of one of their 'Database' articles.

Unfortunately, the article is littered with errors (and spelling mistakes):

Apparently the TSR2 was powered by the Olympus 302 (!); Freddie Page was appointed project leader by the government rather than BAC themselves; TSR designation is noted as being made in 1960 rather than 1959 wrongly explains the '2'; claims Vickers wanted to use Brooklands for first flight (never on the cards - Wisley was their choice) and perpetuates a wholly inaccurate account of the arguments about first flight location; reheat system was 'complex' (by far the simplest part of the engine); ejector seats capable up to mach 2 (not even close!); terrain following radar was apparently Blue Parrot (that's the Buccaneer radar, not a TFR); what on earth is the lateral oblique radar?; the C in ECM apparently now means 'communications' rather than 'counter'; pic on p80 miscaptioned as being flight 5 is flight 7; pic at top of p82 miscaptioned as pre-flight attention (but she's tied down!); "all engine problems cured" in January 1965 (not so!); flight 7 saw successful undercarriage retraction (no it didn't, it went wrong - flight 10 was the first successful retraction); one landing was on foam (actually four did); flight 16 had 'several' rolls (pretty sure it was just one, which was foolhardy enough on its own); undercarriage tie struts 'eliminated' vibration problems (not entirely); TSR2 was cancelled 'without prior warning or consultation' (what, apart from the three months worth of consultations and discussions with BAC about getting the price down?). There's more but I've had enough...

It finally dissolves into this: "Documents which may, or may not, give the exact reasons for the cancellation are still hidden away in the archives, and remain untouched because of heavy-handed embargoes." Said documents are available quite freely in various archives and spell out the reasons over and over again. Cost.

Sadly the whole article perpetuates the 'wonder jet' myth, inflating capabilities, ignoring items that were cancelled during development, and brings nothing new to the table at all. A real wasted opportunity and very odd considering the new reference material available in print from myself and others in the last year or so.
 

JFC Fuller

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Unfortunately, I suspect these myths will continue for some time. There are some books out there that state that Sandy's cancelled TSR-2. On the bright side there do seem to be a few less lunatics claiming that Harold Wilson cancelled it because he was a KGB agent. I would just like to say that your TSR-2 book is one of the outstanding pieces of aviation technical history produced in the UK in recent years and I for one am most grateful for your efforts.
 

pathology_doc

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sealordlawrence said:
There are some books out there that state that Sandy's cancelled TSR-2.

On the bright side there do seem to be a few less lunatics claiming that Harold Wilson cancelled it because he was a KGB agent.

To the first - given Sandys' reputation for "cancellitis", one could be forgiven for believing this if one didn't know one's history. After being a bit better read? Not so much.

To the second - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Now that's one I haven't heard before!

Lovely airframe - pity about the engines and systems. :p
 

DamienB

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sealordlawrence said:
Unfortunately, I suspect these myths will continue for some time. There are some books out there that state that Sandy's cancelled TSR-2. On the bright side there do seem to be a few less lunatics claiming that Harold Wilson cancelled it because he was a KGB agent. I would just like to say that your TSR-2 book is one of the outstanding pieces of aviation technical history produced in the UK in recent years and I for one am most grateful for your efforts.

Thanks chap - much appreciated.
 

Zeppelin

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Hi, Has anyone read and have comments on the James Hamilton-Paterson book, Empire of the clouds. One of his last chapters broaches the TSR2 project, covering the background around the TSR2's test pilot Roland Beamont positive appraisal along with John Farley's (Harrier Test Pilot ) criticisms and suggestions on possible technical reasons for the project cancellation. One being the high supersonic, low level, long range nuclear delivery spec, driving the design of the negligible wing area, creating a F-104 starfighter like configuration, resulting in a appalling take off and landing performances. High angle of attack required, plus the test flights were all done with little true operational loadings.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsgIcURRN7M
Poor flight manoeuvring would have made evading soviet aircraft or missiles impossible. I guess the pilots would have trained constantly just to floor it at treetop height. If it was to handle like an F104, It's cancellation probably saved it earning the same F104 nickname, and the lives of RAF crews.

Regards to All
 

DamienB

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There are quite a few factual errors regarding TSR2 in that particular book. As it's not a book about the TSR2, which is a mere side-story for a few pages, I've not considered it to be a real issue in judging the book as a whole.

John Farley is a chap I have a great deal of respect for and has mentioned the TSR2's lack of wing area in a few discussions on the type; however the flaws he mentions (long take-off distance, long landing distance, lack of manouevrability) aren't the criticisms I'd make of the final design. The revised (relaxed) spec still had STOL capability of sorts - getting it in and out of a 1,000 meter poor quality runway with a useful war load wasn't to be sniffed at (if BAC coudl have managed it - as their own predictions were nearer 1200m). Manouevring to avoid missiles - well, the idea was never to get shot at, not to be doing fancy flying if you were. Look-down/shoot-down radars in fighters came much, much later and no fighter of the time would have been able to keep up with a fleeing TSR2 at low level in turbulence.
 

Gridlock

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sealordlawrence said:
Unfortunately, I suspect these myths will continue for some time. There are some books out there that state that Sandy's cancelled TSR-2. On the bright side there do seem to be a few less lunatics claiming that Harold Wilson cancelled it because he was a KGB agent.


I'm going to annoy you by being a new type of lunatic, who claims that one was flying later than acknowledged :D


But as yet a lunatic with no evidence, of course.
 

pathology_doc

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Gridlock, would you be the sort of lunatic who'd also back the secret export of an Avro Arrow to the UK before the hammer came down, in such a manner that it's still hidden away somewhere? Having one surface in the UK and wind up parked next to the TSR.2 would be the ultimate monument to cancelled projects.
 

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