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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.
 

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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 reheats 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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Fairey knew the Delta 2 was too small to be a practical combat aircraft. But equally they were experiencing first-hand what reheat could do for the Avon as it was developed on their prototype. It was clear that a more advanced production reheated Avon could sustain a larger and heavier fighter version, still only with a single engine. It was the way Fairey originally expected to go. The advantage of the delta over say the Lightning is its combination of strength, lightness and internal volume for fuel tankage. Although area-ruling was too new for the original deltas, the air intakes of the FD2 show a distinct bulge approximating to it over the forward wing root, so Fairey would not have been wholly wrong-footed by it as Convair were with the YF-102's fuselage-mounted intakes. After all, the FD2 was capable of much higher speeds than the YF-102. Area ruling broke while the Convair YF-102 was working through the system and the production models were given a bolt-on area rule bulge at the back, as well as general reprofiling further forwards. Fairey could easily have done a similar bolt-on tail fairing for the FD3 had they needed to. A single-engined FD3 would probably not have had the sheer power and climb rate of a twin-engined version, but it would have been far cheaper than the Lightning and both deltas would have had far better range. Still, if Fairey had gone for the export market they might have given Dassault a run for his money. The weapon and avionics fit in the UK is ultimately the decision of the MoD/RAF and not the manufacturer, and those early radar/missile fire control systems were clunky, so unless a light fighter role cropped up an RAF FD3 would have had to be a twin after all. With less of its all-up weight in structure and more in fuel, and a bigger wing area meaning much lower wing loading to compensate for the delta's lesser manoeuvrability (a benefit oft lost on Mirage critics), what's not to love either engine count?
Wait, no, what am I saying? Fairey traditionally sold to the Royal Navy, who would certainly have wanted twin engines. The only problem would have been to convince them to go supersonic back then. A Naval FD3 would have whupped the pants off the arse-heavy re-engined F4 Phantoms we eventually ended up with.
 
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Lurking in the background of this discussion is the failure of the UK industry to organise itself for the modern world until forced to do so from 1957 until the creation of BAe. In comparison Dassault is France's key manufacturer of fighters to the present day.
The only problem for Dassault was the F4 Phantom followed by the F16. UK was never close.
 

zen

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So a twin Avon/Sapphire sorta scaled-Delta III would be an interesting proposal had it come forward. Since this uses extent powerplants and would certainly rival the EE P1.B.

Less Mirage III and more Mirage IV. Which really was the basis for a potent set of aircraft variants.
 

pathology_doc

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The weapon and avionics fit in the UK is ultimately the decision of the MoD/RAF and not the manufacturer, and those early radar/missile fire control systems were clunky, so unless a light fighter role cropped up an RAF FD3 would have had to be a twin after all.
Lightning with Red Top and Firestreak was a single-seater, as would the Saunders-Roe rocket fighter have been, and I believe there was loose talk around modifying AI.23 to allow Sparrow at one point.

A Naval FD3 would have whupped the pants off the arse-heavy re-engined F4 Phantoms we eventually ended up with.
IIRC, the only pure delta ever to make it into carrier service was the Douglas Skyray, and this link indicates that that aircraft had its own problems with deck operations: http://www.airvectors.net/avskyray.html
 

steelpillow

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The weapon and avionics fit in the UK is ultimately the decision of the MoD/RAF and not the manufacturer, and those early radar/missile fire control systems were clunky, so unless a light fighter role cropped up an RAF FD3 would have had to be a twin after all.
Lightning with Red Top and Firestreak was a single-seater, as would the Saunders-Roe rocket fighter have been, and I believe there was loose talk around modifying AI.23 to allow Sparrow at one point.
In conventional usage, "twin" implies twin-engined, not two-seater. I am not sure if your comment takes this into account.

A Naval FD3 would have whupped the pants off the arse-heavy re-engined F4 Phantoms we eventually ended up with.
IIRC, the only pure delta ever to make it into carrier service was the Douglas Skyray, and this link indicates that that aircraft had its own problems with deck operations: http://www.airvectors.net/avskyray.html
The problems your source mentions appear to be associated with aerodynamic instability and undercarriage retraction. Neither of these is a feature of a properly-designed delta. For example the first stable aircraft configuration ever discovered was the biconical delta, back in 1904, while type such as the Dassault Mirage and Concorde had no such issues. Quite the contrary in fact, the F4-D's phenomenal rate of climb was in part down to the inherent light weight of the tailless delta: it did after all have only half as many engines as the Lightning. Give the FD3 the same number of engines....
 

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Fairey's F155T Delta (normally what we call "FD3") would have required a Saturn V strapped to it to get to Mach 2. It was huge, seriously draggy, no area ruling, and very suspect intake design. It comes from the same school of design as the SR.53 where the designer basically thought rocket thrust made drag a minor consideration. It certainly wouldn't have got off an aircraft carrier. I imagine "FD3" here is a shorthand for "twin engined Fairey delta design I just made up"?
 

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In conventional usage, "twin" implies twin-engined, not two-seater. I am not sure if your comment takes this into account.
Oops. My misunderstanding.

aerodynamic instability and undercarriage retraction.
I'm also thinking of things like view out of a 1950's-design-era supersonic cockpit (those things were often very heavily framed), the tail-blanketing mentioned at the quoted source, the nose-high attitude, etc. Not saying that you can't build a decent pure-delta carrier airplane, but IMO this is very definitely one of those occasions when the RAF's ideal airplane could not simply have been carrier-qualified, and the only reason the RAF took on the Buccaneer IIRC is because it needed it and had nothing else at the time. Otherwise how often has any primarily naval British combat aircraft ever gone into RAF service?

Note in this context that the F-4, one of the all-time greats, was a carrier plane FIRST with performance competitive for land-based use.
 

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I'm also thinking of things like view out of a 1950's-design-era supersonic cockpit (those things were often very heavily framed), the tail-blanketing mentioned at the quoted source, the nose-high attitude, etc. Not saying that you can't build a decent pure-delta carrier airplane, but IMO this is very definitely one of those occasions when the RAF's ideal airplane could not simply have been carrier-qualified, and the only reason the RAF took on the Buccaneer IIRC is because it needed it and had nothing else at the time. Otherwise how often has any primarily naval British combat aircraft ever gone into RAF service?
Fairey were way ahead of you here. The FD2 had what was probably the world's first "droop snoot" visor as later fitted to Concorde. It also had a proportionately bigger tail fin than the F4-D, now you know why. Would an FD3 have sold to their traditional customer, the RN, first and then followed the Buc to the RAF, or back the other way, or would the mandarins have insisted on a joint capability in the first place? All I can say is, I wish one of those had actually happened.
 

pathology_doc

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I'm also thinking of things like view out of a 1950's-design-era supersonic cockpit (those things were often very heavily framed), the tail-blanketing mentioned at the quoted source, the nose-high attitude, etc. Not saying that you can't build a decent pure-delta carrier airplane, but IMO this is very definitely one of those occasions when the RAF's ideal airplane could not simply have been carrier-qualified, and the only reason the RAF took on the Buccaneer IIRC is because it needed it and had nothing else at the time. Otherwise how often has any primarily naval British combat aircraft ever gone into RAF service?
Fairey were way ahead of you here. The FD2 had what was probably the world's first "droop snoot" visor as later fitted to Concorde. It also had a proportionately bigger tail fin than the F4-D, now you know why. Would an FD3 have sold to their traditional customer, the RN, first and then followed the Buc to the RAF, or back the other way, or would the mandarins have insisted on a joint capability in the first place? All I can say is, I wish one of those had actually happened.
I would want to know whether the droop-snoot would have made it through to a service aircraft or been rejected as too complicated or failure-prone/maintenance-heavy (to say nothing of the weight and space penalties that having it entrains).
 

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1. My understanding is area ruling was to be incorporated into the Delta III and F155 Delta II offerings. RAE felt much more could be done to refine the rear especially.
That and other refinements were under way when the axe fell.
 

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RAE felt much more could be done to refine the rear especially.
I'm picturing the anthropomorphised hilariousness of an airplane design that sits in the corner and cries because it's been told its butt is too SMALL. :p
 

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Couple more points about the FD2. Its fuselage was extremely narrow, with very thin subframes and sized from R-R notional figures. When the engine arrived it had bits sticking out and did not fit, necessitating some ingenious and difficult rework to avoid breaking anything. Its fuel capacity was very small, holding just enough to make a speed-record flight. Reheat could only be maintained for a few minutes.
Turning it into an operational type would have needed a larger fuselage diameter and significantly greater internal space for the radar and weapons systems, fuel tankage and external drop tanks. Moving the u/c attachment points inboard to the fuselage might have been a weight-saving option, however lowering the wing to lighten the structure might still have necessitated long-ish legs so the underwing things did not tail-scrape on rotation for takeoff. Then again, military requirements for manoeuvrability would probably have dictated a lower wing loading, i.e. a larger wing to lift the heavier fuselage, making a bigger plane all round. It becomes a completely new airframe, basically a Mirage III with droop snoot for carrier landings.
Would a similarly developed Avon be able to drive it? Probably, as even with the very early and inefficient reheat fitted on the record-breaking flight, the craft was still accelerating hard at the end of the timed run. Takeoff fully laden and without reheat would have been the marginal case. However by the time the "big FD2" came along, R-R developments might have dictated the more fuel-efficient Spey bypass turbofan. How did its diameter compare with the Avon?

On the other hand one could plumb up the existing FD2 airframe and downsize the engine. The neat little Bristol Orpheus would probably have been too low-powered. Would something like a reheated Gyron Junior, as used in the Bristol 188, have fitted with room to spare? A kind of supersonic Folland Gnat. But really, it would need to be a bypass turbofan to adequately reduce fuel consumption. Any ideas?
 

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And so you reach the same engine conclusions I have and government did by end of '53.

Smaller lighter cheaper turbojets incorporating everything learned on earlier efforts. About 30" Diameter and about 7klb to 9klb dry thrust with reheat 11klb to 13klb.

By chosing the Gyron Junior, they messed up.
 

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It becomes a completely new airframe, basically a Mirage III with droop snoot for carrier landings.
Would a similarly developed Avon be able to drive it?
The SAAB Draken did its thing on one Avon; I don't see why an enlarged FD-2 couldn't as well.

The immortal (or is it "notorious"?) Project Cancelled is very hagiographic about everything that got the axe between 1945 and when it was published, but even the author admits that a basic FD2-derived fighter would have been much more than just the research airframe with missiles somehow stuffed in.
 
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While reading Dan's latest work I got to pondering, what might have been the effect had the Horten brothers offer to work with Fairey come to fruition?
 
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steelpillow

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While reading Dan's latest work I got to pondering, what might have been the effect had the Horten brothers offer to work with Fairey come to fruition?
When the Tailless Aircraft Advisory Committee was convened in 1943, Fairey was represented on it by their Chief Engineer, Hollis Williams. Britain's own tailless expert, GTR Hill, joined in January, freshly back from Canada. He approached several manufacturers over his Canadian work but only Short's were interested. He also became instrumental in the expeditions to Germany to unearth their research and I think even went on one of them. First results from interrogation of the Hortens was received the Spring of 1945 and Hill at least greeted it with enthusiasm. I cannot recall when the Horten's offer came but it would have been not too long after that. Then de Havilland joined and by early 1946 were talking of a "vampire with swept back wings" which became the tailless DH.108 "Swallow". The TAAC were not made aware of the parallel German work on deltas until 1946 and it was this which would lead to Fairey's tailless delta jets.

So, what if Fairey had made space for the Hill/Horten approach back in 1945? Well, judging by the Delta I they would have put a nominally removable tail on the first prototype, just in case. And they would have had to accommodate a fat radial-compressor type engine so it would have grown either a fuselage similar to the DH.108 or wing nacelles after the Gloster Meteor. Probably the latter, as it would have paralleled the single-engined Swallow and the Hortens preferred two engines. In effect it would have been a half-scale, twin-engined Comet airliner - which in turn was basically a scaled-up, four-engined Swallow with a tail. Or you could call it a Ho IX/Go 229 with conventional fuselage and tail and fatter, radial-compressor engines. Or again, a DH.110 Sea Vixen, slightly smaller but with those fatter engines and conventional tail, and arriving a year or three earlier. And the Admiralty would almost certainly have picked their traditional supplier over de Havilland. It would have been a fine sight indeed, rising off the deck of HMS Illustrious on a bright sunny morning.
 
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