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Hawker P.1154 lecture - March 22nd 2012, London

Thorvic

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You'll have to ask Colin to pop up with any kits he still has left ;).

So when are you doing the same lecture up in the North West ?

G
 

Sundog

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The rest of us are hoping it's recorded so we can view it. I always really liked the RN version of it. I'll have to try and get good drawings of it to model for MSFS. I'll have to go back and see what's in the Project: Canceled book.
 

Mike Pryce

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Geoff - I am in the North West myself now. Happy to meet for a pint to do the lecture rehearsal sometime. :)

Paul - I am also happy to do it in Auckland over a pint. Got any spare AirMiles? ;D
 

uk 75

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This sounds a fascinating lecture theme. I will do my best to turn up.

Have you seen Peter Hennessy's latest version of his Secret State book in which he
reproduces a briefing note done in 1964 for the incoming Labour Government on UK nuclear systems
which lists the P1154 squadrons as being available to use nuclear weapons, even though none were allocated for them?

I found your various articles on the 681 and 1154 crucial references. I remain fascinated by the notion that the RAF hoped to get away with having so few frontline aircraft once the TSR2-1154-681 trio were in service by the mid 70s. As few as 250 frontline strike and close support aircraft (TSR2s and 1154s) would have replaced the V-Force, Canberras, and Hunters of the 1964 RAF. Or have I missed something covered in other documents. The swing wing P45 trainer/close support project might have offered a Jaguar style boost in the 70s.

The really exciting period was when the RAF and RN were both looking at having 1154s in service. If a proper joint-service 1154 could have emerged in 1963. However, the RN seemed completely hooked on Phantoms and CVA 01. It would be fascinating to know how much work was done on CVA 01 with non-Phantom variants like the 1154.

Any chance of Brooklands letting you borrow their 1154 model for the day?

All the best
UK 75 (Ralph)
 

red admiral

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I'll hopefully be along as well. What sort of things are you going to be covering? Design or more background stuff?

I had a good chat a few years back with one of the engineers at RRHT who'd worked on the BS.100 engine. He was more optimistic about the PCB option than has been presented elsewhere. With the various PCB Pegasus experiments I'm inclined to agree with him.
 

Mike Pryce

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It's nice to hear people are interested in coming. I look forward to seeing you there.

I'll be covering both design and the background 'politics' etc. - in the case of the P.1154 the two are often the same.

I agree regarding PCB - I found RR Bristol people much more optimistic in person than some sources would indicate.

Ralph - thanks for the nice words about my 1154 and 681 articles. The RAF did have a plan for a Lightning replacement that might have been dual-role, and I imagine that orders for more 1154s would have followed.

Regarding the nuclear role, the 1154 was designed to be WE177A capable so no surprise it was listed. For the RAFG squadrons a 'radiological recce' capability was explored too. WW3 was expected to be nuclear in 1964. I've not seen the Hennessy book, but will try to do so.
 

JFC Fuller

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Harrier,

To attend this lecture is it necessary for one to book or can one simply arrive on the night? Also, where might one find your other articles?

Phantoms for the RN, their preference was for something with swing wings, the Vickers Type 590 seems to have been the RN's fantasy.

Let us not forget, it has been stated on this forum before that the RAF's original plan for a Lightning replacement was the Phantom, with the P.1154 replacing hunters and the TSR-2 replacing the Canberra (roughly).
 

Mike Pryce

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It's free, but the RAeS do ask that you RSVP them.

My other articles are in Aeromilitaria Spring 2000, online here: http://www.harrier.org.uk/history/history_p1154.htm and in Air Enthusiast July/August 2006 (HS 681).

Whatever the RAF got to replace the Lightning (it would not have been the P.1154 after 1963) could have had a dual role, which may add to UK75's front line of 250 GA aircraft mentioned above.
 

JFC Fuller

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To my knowledge the P.1154 was never a possible Lightning replacement, the RAF only ever saw it as a Hunter replacement. Given that the total procurement of Hunter FGA-9 aircraft was 128 the 157 planned buy of the P.1154 seems generous, even if you then take into account the 55 Canberra B(I)8. Frankly I see no shortage of strike platforms. Furthermore you have to take into account that whilst this planning was underway NATO strategy was tripwire essentially meaning very little emphasis on conventional forces and a lot of emphasis on throwing nuclear weapons at the Soviet hordes. Harriers own website says the RAF planned 8 P.1154 Squadrons which is exactly the number of Hunter FGA-9 squadrons there were.

Let us also take into account a further fact, the original Harrier (P.1127 variant ) and Jaguar orders for strike variants were 60 and 96 respectively,which takes us to pretty much a 1 for 1 replacement of the P.1154 programme. Only with the formal adoption of flexible response in 1967 do numbers start to recover with the reallocation of trainer variants of the Jaguar to the strike role (pre-production), additional orders of Harriers and relatively plentiful Buccaneers (compared to planned F-111K numbers).
 

Thorvic

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Dont forget interdictor Canberra's Lawrence, those would probably have been earmarked for replacement by 1154 rather than TSR2
 

JFC Fuller

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Thorvic said:
Dont forget interdictor Canberra's Lawrence, those would probably have been earmarked for replacement by 1154 rather than TSR2

I didnt forget them, I explicitly mentioned them. However I am not convinced that they would have been planned for replacement by the P.1154, they were Red Beard equipped nuclear delivery platforms (equipping 5 squadrons in Germany + another with the B(I)6 to my knowledge, somebody please correct me if I am wrong- I am aware there was considerable renumbering undertaken so there may have only ever been 3 B(I)8 Squadrons at any one time). Taking into account the production figures for these second generation Canberras it gives a total fleet of 171 (including the 94 RAF B.6) - the 22 "interim" B(I)6 (213 Squadron being disbanded never to return in December 1969) we have a total fleet of 149, the TSR-2 requirement being for 150 aircraft (despite the original RAF request for 200).

It is not entirely impossible that the fact that the P.1154's ability to carry a nuclear payload, unlike the Hunter FGA-9, may have contributed to the undermining the TSR-2's European role.
 

Mike Pryce

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From about Jan 1965 it was decided that there would not be any TSR.2s in RAFG, and planned orders went from 158 to 110.

Ultimately the interdictor Canberras (and a squadron of recce ones IIRC) were replaced by Phantoms, and the order for F-4Ms was based on this plan. Of course F-4Ms and P.1127s also replaced the P.1154, so it is conceivable that the P.1154 could have replaced the interdictors (they had the range) in RAFG, but as things were all up in the air in the first few months of 1965 it was never put into any firm plan.

That said, the lecture this thread is for will be about discussing what did happen to the P.1154 (it was mentioned as a Lightning replacement in 1962, but not pursued far - Bill Gunston's Harrier book shows a GA for this, an RAF single-seat aircraft with a large radar). I'd be grateful for further Phantom/Lightning/P.1154 'what if' speculations to go into the thread we all discussed related things in previously (or a new thread):

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,10445.0/highlight,1154+lightning+phantom.html

even if the Canberra is a squeeze there - I'd like to keep this thread for updates of the lecture.

Cheers

Mike
 

JFC Fuller

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Harrier,

I have replied in the linked thread, you should be interested.
 

uk 75

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Peter Hennessy uses a briefing paper in his Secret State new edition which is quite
specific about the nuclear roles of the TSR 2 and the HS 1154.

As mentioned in other sources, the TSR2s allocated to SACEUR (48 aircraft based in the UK)
would be replacements for the Canberra and Valiant squadrons based in the UK and at that
time allocated US weapons.

What is interesting about the HS 1154s is that they are listed as nuclear capable, but no specific
weapons are allocated to them. The 2 Germany based squadrons are allocated to SACEUR but the UK, Middle East and Far East squadrons (all replacing Hunters as well) are national units.

Although Mike and I disagree on this, I have always seen Jaguar as the closest aircraft to 1154 in the
70s RAF.
UK 75
 

Mike Pryce

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Although Mike and I disagree on this, I have always seen Jaguar as the closest aircraft to 1154 in the
70s RAF

Ralph - I agree! If I said otherwise in the past, I was wrong!
 

fudge

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Hi

I am very interested in this lecture but not 100% sure if I will be able to get there, is there any likelihood that either yourself or the RAeS will be publishing a transcript of the lecture to purchase after the event please?

Also I am looking forward to your BAe 1216 book but would be really happy if you were following this up with one on HS1154!
 

Mike Pryce

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Fudge,

I'll check with RAeS. I'll have slides at least, if not a transcript. They may even record it!

Mike
 

JFC Fuller

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Harrier,

May I ask, are you intending to cover the nav-attack system in much detail in your lecture. The impression I get from reading your articles is that the intention started out for a digital, automatic terrain following system, a kind of TSR-2 light if you like, before being scaled back to an analogue manual terrain following system. BSP mentions the intention to use a 21 inch AI.23 derivative, I assume this would have been the terrain following sensor.

I am especially curious as I am aware of the huge strain that the development of the TSR-2 system placed on the UK industrial and R&D apparatus at the time as well as the obvious cost implications. If there is any available information on both the original and final intended systems it would be great to hear it.
 

uk 75

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Only just noticed this exchange, but would refer to the excellent document in the revised
edition of Peter Hennessey's Secret State which summarises the proposed nuclear forces
just before Labour's 1965 cancellations.

TSR 2 replaces the Canberras and Valiants by carrying 2 bombs each (Canberras only carried 1).
The P1154s in Germany are nuclear capable but not allocated their own weapons.

I would be interested to learn more about the 1154's fighter role. Unlike the Hunters it was planned to fit Red Tops to the RAF aircraft. Might this have been intended to allow 1154s to replace both G/A Hunters and forward deployed Lightnings outside the UK. It would certainly have saved on airframe and maintenance costs. Against Mig21 equipped Air Force there would have been little to choose between a 1154 and an F2 Lightning if both only had 2 Red Tops (1154 could carry more?) The Lightning force would then have been consolidated with F3/6s in the UK.

Like Jaguar the 1154s were going to be primarily bomb and rocket equipped ground attack planes.

Hope I will be able to get to London for the lecture on 4 November but my mother is somewhat frail and I may have to cry off at the last moment.

Good luck in any case and hope you publish some more (book on 1154 please)

Ralph
 

Mike Pryce

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Flyer now online:

http://www.raes.org.uk/conference/PDFs/HisNov10.pdf

Please note that if attending you need to RSVP the RAeS:

Conference & Events Department
+44 (0)20 7670 4345
conference@aerosociety.com
www.aerosociety.com/conference
 

Mike Pryce

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As I finalise my slides for next week, I wondered if there is anything that those of you who intend coming want addressed? Let me know and I'll see if I can work it in.
 

RP1

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I'll be attending. Do we have a Secret Projects Super Secret Signal?

RP1
 

JFC Fuller

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harrier said:
As I finalise my slides for next week, I wondered if there is anything that those of you who intend coming want addressed? Let me know and I'll see if I can work it in.

Harrier, I think I have asked previously, but any detail that you could provide on the avionics (especially the nav-attack system) would be very interesting. Based on your work that I have read so far it appears that it was progressively simplified and thus stands in stark contrast to the TSR-2 system. I am especially curious about the radar, BSP mentions that a 21 inch AI.23 was to be included- was this as a nav-attack aid or as a genuine A2A capability?
 

Barrington Bond

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Just emailed RAES of my intention to attend this lecture - will probably spend my time before it at RAF Hendon.

Regards,
Barry
 

Barrington Bond

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"I'll be attending. Do we have a Secret Projects Super Secret Signal?

RP1"

Well I'll have a shoulder bag with SOPHOS written on it unless I have to check it in at the cloak (and dagger) room...

Regards,
Barry
 

Mike Pryce

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All,
Sorry to cancel this at he last moment, but I am on my way to hospital with some kind of infection.

Please spread the word and accept my apologies

Mike
 

uk 75

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Sealord

I am in London anyway and was going to drop in to the RAES, so count me in.

Mike

Get well soon and if you get any bed time looking forward to a new book. Will
be buying the P1216 of course.

UK 75
Ralph
 

RP1

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That's a shame - I hope you get better soon, Mike.

RP1
 

Barrington Bond

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Well the lecture didn't happen but we did get a debate about the Cancellations of TSR2, P1154 and AW681 with a few hurriedly put together slides from the internet (Wikipaedia!). The chair said it was being recorded - but whether it will be available?

Some snippets I remember are...

The Chair saying it gave him the willies imagining AW681 taking off vertically.

Someone from RAE who worked on armarments saying he couldn't remember TSR2 having Red Beard or externally carried nukes - only 2 in the bomb bay.

The P1154 would probably have a lot of technical problems - hot gas reingestion from plenum chamber burning on take off - tearing the ground up. The USA probably wouldn't buy it unlike the Harrier.

One chap checking Eric Winkle Brown wasn't there and blaming him for the Phantom purchase as he went over and flew one came back and said "That's what we need". ;)

If Labour hadn't got in the Conservatives would probably have cancelled TSR2 anyway.

That Harold Wilson was for a known unit price (American Purchases) against ever rising costs of British projects with no price end in sight...
 

red admiral

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Hi Mike,

I hope you're getting better. Is there any word of this being re-scheduled for the new year?
 

Mike Pryce

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I am glad a discussion was held at RAeS. I have spoken to the organisers of it and largely agree with what I am told was said.

Red Admiral - a new date has been mentioned, but we will see when it is. I am happy to do the talk when I can, although the 'topical' nature of much of the material I wanted to cover (aircraft carriers and STOVL) may mean a change of emphasis.

My apologies again for having to cancel at short notice, and thanks for the well wishes I have received. I am starting to feel human again, after a few days rest. It appears it was salmonella poisoning, which is really quite a horrible thing.
 

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It sounds fascinating. Is there any chance of recording the lecture and posting in online?
 

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