English Electric P.8

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
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22 April 2012
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English Electric P.8, single seat, with an area-ruled rear fuselage and fuselage mounted main undercarriage and a Blue Vesta mounted on each wingtip. A rejected proposal for F.155T, the requirements for which it came nowhere near meeting, despite being well received.

In an alternate universe it may have become a later Lightning variant and been procured following on from the early P.1 variants.
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It is covered pretty well in British Secret Projects: Jet Fighters.

P8 was EE's F155T proposal, basically an improved Lightning. Single and twin seat versions were considered, the submission was single seat.

Later, VG Lightning derivatives were proposed, but these were not P8.
Here's a drawing of P.8, despite its crudeness its actually from the brochure.


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Updated with better copies 13/10/07


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Last drawing.

English Electric's P.8 was by far the most realistic F155T project; achievable, and affordable. Therefore it didn't make it past even the first consideration, neither did the Fairey Interim Fighter (based on ER.103) project or the Hawker P.1103 which were arguably similarly realatively sensible.

[Edited for better copy of drawing 13/10/07]


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Errr correct me if I'm wrong but the 55ft length figure is caused by the airdata probe.
The Naval VG variant of the Trainer had a folding probe that took its length back down to 50ft if I remember correctly.

P.8 did interest the RAF, they just thought it not ideal for F155T, which required the ability to tote the Red Hebe AAM and the second crewman.

Of the two P8 and P1103, the P.8 is closer to the then existing hardware. Frankly it was in everyones interests save the Treasurey to fund the new fusilage even with the existing systems inside.

But then so was the P.6 a better option than the existing Lightning we know.

Interesting to look at the cutaway, showes potential in the design for a 'solid nose' if EE had been disposed to consider it. I have read somewhere they did look at that in the 50's long before the VG studies.
There was an article about the P.8 on http://www.concentric.net/~Rojo1/,
a very good site, unfortunately just a dead link in the moment, and it seems to be
unsure, if site will be available again.
So I post the What-If colour profiles here, in low res.


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so i would be right in thinking that, had the P.8 reached the hardware stage, it would have sported an enlarged fin, like the later lightnings?

Certainly, and better visibility, Roy Boot (I think) was emphatic it needed both.
If the P.8 had been chosen as the F.155T interceptor, would EE still produce *Lightning* as a point defence interceptor? ???
Only P.8 did not have rocket engine.

Powerplant: 2 × 126 RB.maximum thrust 2 × 13400 lbs (2 × 59.6 kN)
wingspan 38.36 CFT (11.7 m), length 50.4ft (15.3 m)
wing area: 471 CFT ² (43.8 m ²)
the relative thickness of the profile of the wing at the roots of 5.3% endings have 2.4%
Weight:total flight 31768 lbs (14409 kg)
Flight characteristics:maximum speed: Mach 2.0 2.5.
Armament: 2 × Blue Jay MK. 4 or 2 × 24 UNGUIDED ROCKETS calibre 2 "(50 mm)



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