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Fariey Delta II Scenario

zen

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Request for a pure research machine April '49.
May '50 ordered prototypes. ER.100
Contract placed October ER.103
Gannet Superpriority delayed work.
construction summer 1952.
First flight 28 Oct 1955.

Assuming a supersonic fighter is produced based on this research.
 

Archibald

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it should sell well considering the Mirage III build 1400, both F-5 and F-104 sold 2300. Radar and missiles from OTL EE Lightning are good enough. Two seats recon and ground attack are obvious developments.
 

zen

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Indeed, either with the Gyron or Olympus this would fullfill the role the Lightning was ordered for.
Or with the Avon.
Let's start with somehow not having a delay due to Korea.....
This ought to mean construction starts say late '50
first flight say '53.....
Proposals ER.103 B and C offered earlier.... still in '53.

Let's assume a final variant ER.103D, comprising the enlarged wing and fuselage for Gyron, Olympus and even Conway, AI.23, Firestreak AAMs, and a pair of ADEN 30mm cannon. Offered '54

Initial order for 3 of the new type to fly with the new Gyron or Olympus engines.

Ordered 20 pre-production machines in '54

First flight '57, "too far gone to cancel" by Sandys.

50 production machines ordered '56, first flight late '59. Delta II F mk1 enteres service between late '59 and early '60.
REvised F mk1A for most of the first ordered machines.

F2 ordered '58 44 machines.

F3 70 aircraft
 

Archibald

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Actually superior to a Mirage III and much closer from a F-106. Best case: multirole like the former, performances of the later.

A multirole F-106 would be one hell of an amazing aircraft. The nice thing with a delta wing is that there is plenty of room to hang A2G weapons. The F-106 was never a ground pounder, not even in Vietnam (the one and only Century fighter not directly engaged in that war).

The Mirage III sold like hot cakes and build in a crapload of different variants, yet it was really the smallest package around the Atar, which was more rugged than advanced technology, hence range suffered. A larger aircraft, still multirole but with a more advanced engine would be a world beater. Could sell in very large numbers, very much a Hunter successor.

I can see it eating the F-104G and Mirage III market - 2500 and 1400 aircrafts, from memory. Nearly 4000 aircraft, if it takes 1/3 of that, that 1300 machines. Which bring us back to the Mirage III once again.
 

sferrin

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Archibald said:
Actually superior to a Mirage III and much closer from a F-106. Best case: multirole like the former, performances of the later.

A multirole F-106 would be one hell of an amazing aircraft.
And it even had internal bays if they wanted to stuff nukes in there. (Bombs that is.)
 

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zen

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So we know Fairey did propose a multirole variant of the Delta III, wrapped around Olympus engines. Early stages of GOR.339

Logically then they ought to do so with this Delta II.
Which would potentially handle the MRI mission, nuclear delivery at tactical ranges over 250nm.
Using Conway or Medway.
As with a belly tank it might make the 600nm range with tactical nuke.
This might pile demand for Shorts lift jet sled....?
Which might pointlessly suck up cash and time and resources.
Then there is the option of a dedicated recce variant.
We know the Vigilante performed quite well in that sort of role. High altitude at mach 2 recce.

A canard variant might be offered to the RN
. .....not that I'm saying it would succeed.

So UK production for domestic use could number nearly 1000 machines...

However it does run counter to the low level mission. This is not ideal for that to say the least.
But for medium and high altitude bombing, SEAD and DEAD roles, variants could deliver.
A good compliment to the Buccaneer in fact.....

More thoughts.....
This get awful close to the Delta II 'interim' offering to F155T.
RAF might try to slip this past by accepting cancellation of the full spec Delta III but demanding radar guided AAMs for this Delta II. ......
Meaning the funding for AI with illuminator and either Fairey's SARH AAM or the scaled Red Hebe....

Increasing power of the Gyron, Conway, Medway and Olympus would only drive this thing at higher accelerations or allow it to gain greater weights. Large drop tanks for example.
 

zen

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An alternative path is that Fairey offer a Delta II to the F.177 as their second submission, likely using Gyron Junior or Avon.
Assuming it's chosen, it would reach prototype before the rocket motor is dropped for a straight jet fighter.

This is closer to a direct Mirage III competitor.
 

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Fairey ER.103 is as far from a production fighter as Mirage MD550 was to the Mirage IIIC, and none of Fairey's proposed derivatives look convincing. You'd need new intakes and area ruling to get something worthwhile out of it. Then it'd kind of be a Mirage, with different radar and missiles and a somewhat better engine. RB.106 would enable an even hotter fighter, but most likely it would be more expensive than the Mirage - Red Top was costly, RB.106 would be significantly more expensive than ATAR....
 

CNH

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The Fairey Delta: wonderful machine; military value negligible. We were into SAMs for interception, and there was the Lightning, well advanced.
So what role would a Delta have served for the UK?
 

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I've always had a soft spot for the Delta II, but a realistic AU scenario is hard to obtain.
Any AU scenario often gets sidetracked by the "it looks like Mirage therefore would sell like hot cakes" line of argument which often misses the nuances.

The EE P.1B began life as the P.1 and required a degree of redesign and refinement to make it into an operational fighter. The Delta 2 could have had similar tweaks to engine, intakes and wings to make it into a production fighter.
But at the time interception was the main concern for the RAF, time to height was the key parameter. The Lightning offered exceptional climb, the ER.103C required additional rocket engines to come close to attaining similar climb performance. Plus there was the P.177 vying for the same point-interception duty. Fairey, probably not unwisely, saw the all-weather F.155 requirements as being the more productive avenue to use the experience gained on the Delta 2.
Had there been three AI.23/Red Top point-defence interceptors in development (four if you include P.1121) it is certain that only one would have emerged successfully from the 1957 defence cuts. What could the Delta bring to the table to appear superior to the P.1B and P.177? There was no real drive from the Air Staff for a new ground-attack aircraft, but even if there had been, the P.1121 already being optimised for those roles and would have been hard to beat. The MoS may also have been sceptical of Fairey's ability to redesign the Delta 2 into a fighter in the required timescale and their production facilities to produce them alongside them Gannet.
 

zen

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The thing is Fairey hit a delay due to Korea and superpriority. Otherwise this would be ahead of the P1 and P1.B.

The Gyron powered offering seem to have high rates of climb and by F.155T the interim Delta II derived offering is certainly large enough to fit AI.18.
 

alertken

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Zen's Korea point.

US/UK/France by 1952 had digested 1944 German technology. Remember how that was done. NASA/ONERA/RAE's Ministry masters dished out Experimental budget for lines of enquiry they thought might fly. France gave Gerfaut to Nord, Durandel to Sud, M.D.550 to AMD; MoS gave sharp sweep to idle, empty EE, delta to idle empty BPA, Fairey, Gloster; Lippisch was doing Convair's delta. No-one knew what would be the next big thing, but everyone knew Stalin would be unready to be a pain until about 1955. Everyone except Mao and Kim, so Korea was a shock. Stalin might try his luck in N.Germany quite soon.

Vast cascades of MSP-$ for anything fit to fight NOW! AMD to Mystere IV, Gloster to Javelin (got that wrong, then), Fairey to keep the sea lanes open, with Gannet (253 were US-part-funded!)

1953. Korean stalemate. Stalin dead, his successors maybe saner. Breathing space, no imminent invasion. Bomb. IR/ICBM. Vague notions of Weapon Systems. Grotesque expense of new kit.

1954-56, gentle drip funds which led to (to be) Lightning (and Mirage III). Priority on Bomb and Bombers, Blue Steel...advice to UK Ministers that the electronics industry could not sustain all this and build consumer goodies that could generate wealth to pay for Defence. Ration. Priorities. Pain. Confusion. Forget about re-running Battle of Britain. All-Regular, so small RAF. Fighter Command's aircraft and SAMs to cover Bomber Launch, that's it. RAE+RAF advice to Sandys, 1/57, was no fighters. None. Warning and dispersal would preserve the Bombers. Yet he chose not to cancel the 50 (to be Lightning F.1) on order - he kept them as border guards v. snoopers. RAux.AF lapsed, 3/57; most Regular fighter units disbanded when their US-part-funded Meteor NF/Javelin/Hunter needed Majors and/or kit upgrade (UK was cut off from MSP-$, 6/54). Delta III deleted 4/57. SR.177 lingered to 12/57 because we thought Japan/FRG might be interested.

Instead of bewailing no attempt to educate Fairey in Systems Integration (why would they have been any better than our proven fighter stable, Supermarine, who abjectly failed?), we shoud be relieved that Lightning survived.

So: how come none of the above for AMD? If they could do Mirage III so well, surely Fairey could have done a multi-role, affordable, operable Delta 2-derivative?

Let us not speculate on the relative political clout of Marcel D. v. Sir R. Fairey. I suggest it was simple resource priority: UK decided in 1947 to do Bomb+Bombers for Service by 1955. France did not assign Highest National Priority to ditto until 10/56.
 

zen

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The irony is Fairey had some appreciation of guided weapons after Fireflash. Yet spurned for Red Hebe. .....yet Fairey lingered with this onto HS P1121. ..
 

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The problem with Lightning is that you very quickly run out of room in the intake bullet to put any sort of beefier radar... or an illuminator for SARH missiles. Fairey Delta developments offer more space for that sort of thing. From there you have either an in-house outgrowth of Fireflash with an internal motor and SARH homing (they have the experience after all) or - probably more appropriately - it is decided that the Blue Jay airframe is the ticket and a SARH homing head is developed for that. I can even see a scenario where an outgrowth of the seeker head for AIM-9C is stuffed into the nose; there's more than enough room for that, and one could either adapt the F-8's radar to the Delta II or find a way to fit the missile to AI-18 or Airpass.

Unfortunately, the best being the enemy of good enough, the Ministry and the RAF wanted active radar and that meant the tail wagging the dog on platform size - so Vickers wasted its time with Red Dean, a missile bigger than Phoenix but with barely more range performance than Falcon.
 

zen

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Further thought. RB.122 or 128 would deliver potentially Lightning levels of climb and then some.
Resultant fusilage has space for Conway or Medway instead.
 

Maiwand1880

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The Fairey Delta II was completely unfit as a combat aircraft; it was designed as an experimental aircraft for aerodynamic research. The Mirage I / III was designed from the very beginnig as a production combat aircraft. The Delta II wing was mid-set, which resulted in heavy half-ring frames as center section wing root attachments; the Mirage I/III has a low wing and an almost completely flat undersurface that lent itself to external stores carriage and resulted in a light and stiff structure, from tip to tip.. The Fairey Delta II had its engine very much forward, just behind the intakes, probably as a way to avoid internal aerodynamic issues with the air-ducts . As a result, there was a long connecting pipe between engine and reheat. Basically, the Delta II fuselage was full of engine and hot gases; no room left for fuel. BTW Fairey's submission to F.155T was even worse. This seems to have been an illness of English or English-inspired designs of this era (just consider the CAC P.123). The Mirage I/III had its engine as far to the rear as possible in relation with CoG requirements and necessary length for engine+reheat (and SNECMA was very good at short and efficient reheats), making way for a large fuselage tank around the air-ducts. Because of its mid-wing, the Fairey Delta II undercarriage was tall, with long (and heavy legs), and because the engine occupied the fuselage where the main gear might have retracted, it had to retract mainly in the wing undersurface, including the (narrow) wheels, thus spoiling futher wing area and internal volume for fuel and stores. The Mirage I/III main gear was shorter and its normal-sized wheels retracted in the fuselage, underneath the engine. Finally the Delta II had fixed-geometry intakes that would have needed major redevelopment to be made more efficient as required by a combat aircraft, whereas the Mirage III had the ONERA moving half-cone intakes that provided a very effective variable geometry intake at little weight, volume or cost. All the stories of the Mirage I/III having been copied from the Fairey Delta II are just b...s... produced by envious non-engineers or agenda-driven people.
 
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kaiserd

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As discussed above the problem with a direct Fairey “Mirage III” equivalent is that the RAF didn’t really want that (rightly or wrongly)
An actual Fairey delta fighter that was remotely equivalent would have likely been bigger more expensive and traded some performance or some range to the M3 (or as likely been higher performance and traded too much range). And to exist at all it would have likely needed some early terminal failure of what became the EE Lightening and more luck along the way.
And to be fair there was a degree of luck with the Mirage III hitting a sweet spot between size, performance, capability and cost; wouldn’t have taken a lot for a smaller or bigger less successful version to have emerged.
 
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Maiwand1880

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As discussed above the problem with a direct Fairey “Mirage III” equivalent is that the RAF didn’t really want that (rightly or wrongly)
An actual Fairey delta fighter that was remotely equivalent would have likely been bigger more expensive and traded some performance or some range to the M3 (or as likely been higher performance and traded too much range). And to exist at all it would have likely needed some early terminal failure of what became the EE Lightening and more luck along the way.
And to be fair there was a degree of luck with the Mirage III hitting a sweet spot between size, performance, capability and cost; wouldn’t have taken a lot for a smaller or bigger less successful version to have emerged.
Maybe; I do not know what RAF's intents were. Whatever they were, the Fairey Delta II was unfit as a fighter and would have needed a complete redesign to become a combat aircraft, even a M-2 one. As regards the Mirage III adequation with the market, it is more to be attributed to the fact that Marcel Dassault was an industrialist even more than an engineer, and that his launch customer was stingy. His engineer side was indeed pushing for bigger and more expensive aircraft already in the second half of the 1950s.
 

kaiserd

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As discussed above the problem with a direct Fairey “Mirage III” equivalent is that the RAF didn’t really want that (rightly or wrongly)
An actual Fairey delta fighter that was remotely equivalent would have likely been bigger more expensive and traded some performance or some range to the M3 (or as likely been higher performance and traded too much range). And to exist at all it would have likely needed some early terminal failure of what became the EE Lightening and more luck along the way.
And to be fair there was a degree of luck with the Mirage III hitting a sweet spot between size, performance, capability and cost; wouldn’t have taken a lot for a smaller or bigger less successful version to have emerged.
Maybe; I do not know what RAF's intents were. Whatever they were, the Fairey Delta II was unfit as a fighter and would have needed a complete redesign to become a combat aircraft, even a M-2 one. As regards the Mirage III adequation with the market, it is more to be attributed to the fact that Marcel Dassault was an industrialist even more than an engineer, and that his launch customer was stingy. His engineer side was indeed pushing for bigger and more expensive aircraft already in the second half of the 1950s.
I’d recommend the respective British & French Secret Project (fighter) books that cover this period as both give a good narrative on the relevant projects and sense of the various stakeholders thinking.
 

Flying Sorcerer

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The Fairey Delta II was completely unfit as a combat aircraft; it was designed as an experimental aircraft for aerodynamic research. The Mirage I / III was designed from the very beginnig as a production combat aircraft. The Delta II wing was mid-set, which resulted in heavy half-ring frames as center section wing root attachments; the Mirage I/III has a low wing and an almost completely flat undersurface that lent itself to external stores carriage and resulted in a light and stiff structure, from tip to tip.. The Fairey Delta II had its engine very much forward, just behind the intakes, probably as a way to avoid internal aerodynamic issues with the air-ducts . As a result, there was a long connecting pipe between engine and reheat. Basically, the Delta II fuselage was full of engine and hot gases; no room left for fuel. BTW Fairey's submission to F.155T was even worse. This seems to have been an illness of English or English-inspired designs of this era (just consider the CAC P.123). The Mirage I/III had its engine as far to the rear as possible in relation with CoG requirements and necessary length for engine+reheat (and SNECMA was very good at short and efficient reheats), making way for a large fuselage tank around the air-ducts. Because of its mid-wing, the Fairey Delta II undercarriage was tall, with long (and heavy legs), and because the engine occupied the fuselage where the main gear might have retracted, it had to retract mainly in the wing undersurface, including the (narrow) wheels, thus spoiling futher wing area and internal volume for fuel and stores. The Mirage I/III main gear was shorter and its normal-sized wheels retracted in the fuselage, underneath the engine. Finally the Delta II had fixed-geometry intakes that would have needed major redevelopment to be made more efficient as required by a combat aircraft, whereas the Mirage III had the ONERA moving half-cone intakes that provided a very effective variable geometry intake at little weight, volume or cost. All the stories of the Mirage I/III having been copied from the Fairey Delta II are just b...s... produced by envious non-engineers or agenda-driven people.
You mean the CAC-23? What was wrong with it?
 

Maiwand1880

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CAC P.123 / CA-23's engines where almost right behind the nose intake, ahead of the wing, and the reheat at the opposite end of a very long fuselage, with large-diameter pipes connecting them. Hence a fuselage full of hot gases, basically, leaving no room for fuel, electronics, armament, etc. Compare with contemporary La-250A for instance, also a tailed delta. Fairey's submission to F155T (OR329) had the same defect, being based on Delta II.
 
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Michel Van

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So much i like the Idea of Fairey Delta II as Fighter for RAF
it's has allot of problems like Maiwand1880 already noted.
Over working the issues would let to new Aircraft

Fairey Aviation muss remove the drop-nose system
over work the fuselage for new Engine and additional fuel tanks
also reshape Air intake interior for better airflow to the Engine
and most important thing installment of weapons.

But the Fairey Delta III never left the drawing board, because Fairey Aviation propose it as a mach 3 interceptor !
Total overkill, a modified Fairey Delta II would have be better solution for the company.

But biggest problem the modified Fairey Delta II has is to find buyers
Would British government take it for RAF and RN ?
Could Fairey Aviation sell the modified Delta II to Canada, Australia or to Belgium, Netherlands even to Germany ?
that would give the company and modified Delta II better chance for survival
 

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The Fairey Delta II was completely unfit as a combat aircraft;
One could consider making the same accusation about the P1A (Lightning progenitor), yet its fighter (and export fighter-bomber) descendants were not fully withdrawn from service until 1988, some forty years after pencil was first put to paper.

Assume for a moment that the RAF and the Ministry had been keen enough on wanting a delta fighter to hedge their bets against the Lightning, had managed to strong-arm Sandys out of cancellation, and had been willing to sell all the rocket fighters and mega-interceptors down the river to secure guaranteed funding for it all the way to squadron service. What they got would have been more than just a Delta 2 with missile racks on the underwings or tips, but Fairey would have had a head start on making something work.
 
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