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Hawker Siddeley P.1154

Zootycoon

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I went to a great lecture given by the legend that was John Farley. He talked about flying the P1127 and commented that his “personal objective was to return it back to the flight shed at the end of each day without having broken the thing in two”;- what they were doing came across as being finely balanced the technical cusp of the possible.

So I asked should they have given him the more complex P1154 was he confident he would have still been able to achieve his personal objective. He replied that the increase in thrust to weight was very welcome but the complexity was not. He ended with “Challenging, yeah seriously Challenging”
 

Purpletrouble

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I went to a great lecture given by the legend that was John Farley. He talked about flying the P1127 and commented that his “personal objective was to return it back to the flight shed at the end of each day without having broken the thing in two”;- what they were doing came across as being finely balanced the technical cusp of the possible.

So I asked should they have given him the more complex P1154 was he confident he would have still been able to achieve his personal objective. He replied that the increase in thrust to weight was very welcome but the complexity was not. He ended with “Challenging, yeah seriously Challenging”
I had the priviledge of working with John Farley many years ago at the outset of my career and later presenting F35B work to him. A great man - truly one of the few who completely crossed the aircrew and engineering barrier and respected and at home in either.

PCB was a dead end on other aspects as well - hot gas ingestion being a key one as well as what it does to the rest of the aeros around the ac (inlet and jet effects). I dont think P1216 for all its looks was really a credible answer - hence why it went nowhere and the R&D ground on until SSF, gas & shaft driven lift fans and finally the F35B we know and love.
 

uk 75

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I am always struck by how Jaguar solved the P1154 gap. I suspect the RAF would have traded its Harrier force for more Jaguers and Tornados if it had been allowed to.
 

alertken

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Combat V/STOL was seen by NATO, 1957-65-ish as sole means of slowing an armoured WarPac thrust on Antwerp/Bremen: dispersal, on deterioration of the position, having ensured at least one sortie after a mass of Sukhois had messed our fixed bases, despite the Hawk Belt and such fighters as we had scrambled. So what ordnance should we first locate in copses, then drop on the milch cows? Iron or AW? But (until 1970) all NATO AW must be controlled by US Munitions custodials until POTUS released it. So, our Bombs clustered nicely in Depots, Spetsnaz would be clambering over Our Boys to loot the PX.

Dilemma: disperse AW and hand control to Turk and Norge, not to deliver sunshine until or unless so told nicely from safe DC...or stay on 10,000ft of concrete, hoping Ivan tries to take it out merely with iron.

When you try to think this through...the head hurts.

While we were trying to logic our way through all this, UK Minister of Aviation saved some UK Aero design business by selling the notion of a UK Centre of Decision, WE177A on P.1127(RAF) dispersed from Gutersloh to stop the thrust from Magdeburg. UK had made great play of a P.1127 demonstration, winter (I think 1961/62), snow everywhere, beating up some of all the runways clagged and closed to not-VTOL. Harrier GR.1 (just) had payload-range to move one Bomb a few miles from copse to cow. So 60 were ordered, while NATO lost its yen for supersonic things like (to be) AVS.

Just about as we were deploying Harrier GR.1 a consensus had been arrived at (in WarPac as well as in NATO) that runways would indeed not be Scudded or nuked, merely ironed, so rapidly fixable, so Long-TOL types could fly a couple of iron sorties...to buy time for a Political rethink.

So UK did not issue WE177A to land-Harriers, US could continue to control release of its AW on fixed bases, and all of us could hold down Air inventory to affordable quantity.

It was of course circular logic: we could risk a first sortie wave of (UK: Jaguar, Tornado, Harrier-with a useful load off a runway) with iron, because, if we then must escalate to AW, we still had runways for Long-TOL to deliver sunshine. uk75 is right that, if MoD had known in 1965 that P.1127 would never be loaded with sunshine, they would have pressed for a higher inventory of F-4Ms.
 
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Zootycoon

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Alertlen
Love to post but what’s AVS, POTUS and PX?

Harrier was cleared to carry WE177 but it was never deployed into theatre. I wonder if the crews were trained/weapon authorised?
 
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riggerrob

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POTUS = President of the United States

PX = Post Exchange, a semi-civilian store selling a wide variety of civilian clothing, cameras, etc. - at discount rates - to servicemen and their families.
 

zen

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Hmmmm....by 65..... how convenient a choice of date.
But strictly the cheapest option for MRI AW with supersonic dash would be Lightning, not F4 of any colour.
And strictly F4 was dropped in favour of Jaguar because it was cheaper to run.
 

iverson

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Plenum chamber burning was not a done deal, along with its trench digging capability, you need to produce/maintain a very precise thrust balance between the left and right chambers, there’s a bunch more things that have to happen within the system to maintain a safe flying condition, within the engine, all three combustion locations must not interfer with each other, a problem with one must be managed while maintaining a level of thrust and so on. Hence it’s a order of magnitude more cost/difficultly to enable supersonic and the end user concluded that supersonic wasn’t that important. Essentially Harrier key intended role was delivering a tactical bucket of instant sunshine after NATO had no more runways left;- high subsonic and low level was good enough.
One just has to think about the combustion-stability problems when developing the much simpler geometry of ordinary afterburners to see what you mean.
 

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Probably slightly off topic and more of a discussion point but a point that has to be made.

The Luftwaffe does not lament the abandoning of VJ101 or the VFW1262. Both were flown before cancellation but the strategy and technology changed and they moved on.
So why do we make such a fuss about P.1154? In fact it could be argue we had greater clarity of sight and scrapped it before money was wasted on flight testing like VJ101 and VFW1262.

The threat of destruction of airfield infrastructure has been omnipresent since 1940 (WW1 airpower lacked this ability in the main) but nobody has ever really paid anything but lip service to this threat, so I don't really buy the 'survivable' explanation given for VTOL fighters. It was a convenient sales gimmick for companies who were pushing out concrete-hogging supersonic beauties at the same time.
 

zen

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Probably slightly off topic and more of a discussion point but a point that has to be made.

The Luftwaffe does not lament the abandoning of VJ101 or the VFW1262. Both were flown before cancellation but the strategy and technology changed and they moved on.
So why do we make such a fuss about P.1154? In fact it could be argue we had greater clarity of sight and scrapped it before money was wasted on flight testing like VJ101 and VFW1262.

The threat of destruction of airfield infrastructure has been omnipresent since 1940 (WW1 airpower lacked this ability in the main) but nobody has ever really paid anything but lip service to this threat, so I don't really buy the 'survivable' explanation given for VTOL fighters. It was a convenient sales gimmick for companies who were pushing out concrete-hogging supersonic beauties at the same time.
Perhaps there's something there in the objectionable tendency to make airbases ever more expensive and ever more enticing a target. Can we see VTOL and STOVL as governments trying to resist this?
 

Foo Fighter

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I tend to ask who is driving the requirement myself. Government wanting certain atributes or industry saying "We SHOULD do this". After all, the industry is out for profit and government is out for who knows what in the end.
 

alertken

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Be grateful we here are neither Ministers nor members of Chiefs' Operational Requirements teams. We must equip our boys with kit that gives a good chance of not coming second in the fight. So when a new gizmo emerges we must have it before they do. See UK Ministers rushing during this epidemic to buy...PPE kit that was sub-standard, anti-body test jabs that...did not work. See any big-ticket public-sector IT project, which must fail, because the amateurs writing the Requirement are putty in the hands of sellers. See UK test/trace. But public procurement systems in democracies differ from that of most businesses in being paranoid about waste, so decision-makers are damned if they do, damned if they don't.

I worked awhile with MoA's Project Officer on BS100, Ray Holl. He had been a creative in Whittle's Power Jets on W2/700, PCB turbofan (! yes, really! 1944!) In NGTE, then MoS/MoA, he was Govt's Mr.PCB. We must have it (PCB) because it is there. Everest. But he knew UK had experience-gaps in metallurgy, maintainability, reliability with reheat. I did not then know that ASM Sapphire reheat had taken a decade to develop, to slow Javelin...but no doubt he did. RR was seen not to command the concept, a factor in selection of Olympus 22R over any Medway for TSR.2 (Bristol Aero-Engines had taken a 1956 licence from Solar A/c Co, San Diego, accessing reheat data). Mr.PCB heaved a sigh of relief when BS100 was chopped; thus freed from being tarnished by its inevitable time/cost pain he went on to be DG/EngRD.

US/UK/France/FRG attempted combat VTOL because we could, so should before they do. Nobody thought through...why? So, for example: we chopped HS681 V/STOL transport only in part because we chopped P.1154. C-130K was bought for quite-close-in replenishment after a bright spark saw that it could be in and out without burning, rutting and blasting the Forward Edge of the Battle Area, advertising the co-ordinates of our boys.
 
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zen

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Thing is institutional memory remembered piston aircraft operating from level fields. Hence the term airfield.
Able to move with the battlefront and deliver CAS/BAI as advances drove Nazi Germany back.
V/STOL offered the chance to recover this in a time when conventional aircraft where increasingly needing mile after mile of pristine concrete that imposed ever greater needs of range fuel for the same load.

What was missed was STOL and 'short' runway ops where literally hundreds of millions (£ in late 50's early 60's prices) cheaper.

Strictly Vickers Type 584/585 sans lift jets and clangbox diverter, and Brough NGTA (blow), were the way to go.
 

uk 75

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Hood

You make an interesting point. There are very few books in Germany about the VJseries, VAK 191 and AVS/A400 or the Dornier 31 to231 transports. Those that exist are very dry and focus on the technical aspects. Best coverage is probably in Chris Gibson's Tempest to Typhoon book.
I think the reason is fairly simple. The Luftwaffe got plenty of F4s in the best versions and then Tornado to replace its unloved F104s. The RAF were trying to replace iconic Hunters, Canberras and V Bombers.. Added to which, TSR2 and P1154 were to be the end of those iconic national programmes. The Germans had no aircraft industry losses and got a large share of Tornado and Alpha Jet helped by work on VJ101C and VAK191. Jemiba may know more.
 

alertken

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US brought back from the dead the aero industries of (W)Germany, Italy and Japan under the various Mutual Security Programs, 1951-56: the purpose was not (pace Chomsky conspirators) to create market, but was to share the dying: we all thought "loss" of China and invasion of S.Korea to be dress rehearsals for a thrust into W.Germany. France+UK enjoyed subsidy to tool/modernise/build more Aero, inc. say, R&D funding for Nord Noratlas and V-S Swift, though few of us could grasp the difference from C-119F or Sabre. It was all to do with increasing Allied capacity - Noratlas diverted no business from Fairchild, cos they were full up for years ahead.

So, welcome into the fold Dornier and Messerschmitt, FIAT and Macchi, Mitsubishi and Kawasaki: we missed you while you were away. All started by license-assembling/building proven US (some UK, 2 French, 1 Italian) types.

Japan decided to stay as licensee: her Constitution constrained Defence to 1% of GNP, so spend it on Articles, not on Art.
Italy tried to do design and production, for awhile - subsidised on G.91, then settled for less-than-Prime Contractor status.
FRG decided they wanted back into noble design. No point in taking on US (even UK/France) head-to-head on Next Normal Generation of anything.
V/STOL was a fresh field, no incumbent advantage. US MWDP Aided: UK engine firms to explore liftjets and deflected thrust for FRG airframe schemes. Dowty at one point had Study work on componentry (landing gear, engine controls) for 20 FRG V/STOL schemes.

US saw all this as really rather neat: FRG was obliged, under the military currency offset scheme, to funnel (vast sums) into $ activity. Collaborative VTOL activity subsidised the US end of a team (AVS: Republic, then Boeing), and any production that might emerge would channel some workshare to US, all without creating a competitor for "normal-TOL".

US was really, ah, miffed, when the outcome of all this complex kit became Europe's largest industrial programme - to be Tornado, so tried really hard to kill it, 1968-78.
 

red admiral

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There are a few changes from WW2 airfield operations though. More complicated aircraft means much lower sortie rate, and in particular more maintenance. Then you're also carrying a wider range of more complicated weapons than WW2. And the aircraft are much bigger and have much higher fuel consumption.

So basically even if the aircraft can take off and land from a field you need a lot of other facilities if you want to do it more than once.
 
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Grey Havoc

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RAF Harrier WARLOC operations proved to be pretty flexible and would have been a major pain in the neck for the Soviets at the very least it has to be said. The A-10 also could operate from highway airstrips and other FOLs as well. However, NATO would have still found a supersonic VSTOL CAS / battlefield air defence type very useful indeed. And that's even before you get to the tactical nukes and such...
 
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uk 75

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The Germans attached importance to having part of the new Luftwaffe able to use roads rather than airfields.
The Fiat G91 equipped light ground attack squadrons. VAK 191 started life as a joint programme with Italy to replace the Gina.
Alpha Jets and AMX had to be bought instead.
The small and manouvrable Alphas tend to get a bad press but operating off base they could have also been useful air support.
 

uk 75

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Not sure if there is a suitable thread, but vertical take off was rather like hovercraft and supersonic air travel in the 1960s. As Alertken describes above, it was worked on by large numbers of countries and companies.
By the end of the 1960s only the P1127(RAF), funded by US money and helped by the US Marines, had entered service. Well into the 70s manufacturers worked on STOVL airliners and transports as well as combat aircraft. None materialised.
In this case we leave alternate history and have to enter a fantasy world where vstol has no penalties and the various cool designs come into service.. I have some of them in model form.
 
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Nick Sumner

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US brought back from the dead the aero industries of (W)Germany, Italy and Japan under the various Mutual Security Programs, 1951-56: the purpose was not (pace Chomsky conspirators) to create market, but was to share the dying:
That doesn't make sense. Dying can be shared while holding American kit in hand. In fact, US role as Arsenal of Democracy blends neatly with other nationalities doing the dying while riding/holding US kit. It means fewer dead Americans because they are at home building said kit and besides, whose territory is being died over anyway?
 

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I had an opportunity (around 1980) to ask John Fozard what he thought about the cancellation of the P.1154. His view was that it could have been made to work, but that it would have imposed limitations (which he did not specify) compared to the Harrier. Looking back, I think that what he meant was that it would have been even more difficult to deploy off-concrete, because of the post-hole-digging effect and a higher wing loading militating against STO.
 
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zen

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I have a copy of FI from the mid 80's about PCB efforts.
This laid out both the reuse of BS.100 elements for reheated Pegasus work and that this earlier 60's effort was achieving a great deal in terms stability of flame, even thrust between nozzles and resistance to water ingestion causing flame out. All this with 60's technology.

My point, which I have already raised is that rolling VL and STO where the solution to PCB but at the time opposition to this in favour of pure VTOL was being used.
And has been used against PCB until it's abandonment.

Yet has been used now for the F35B
 

Purpletrouble

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I have a copy of FI from the mid 80's about PCB efforts.
This laid out both the reuse of BS.100 elements for reheated Pegasus work and that this earlier 60's effort was achieving a great deal in terms stability of flame, even thrust between nozzles and resistance to water ingestion causing flame out. All this with 60's technology.

My point, which I have already raised is that rolling VL and STO where the solution to PCB but at the time opposition to this in favour of pure VTOL was being used.
And has been used against PCB until it's abandonment.

Yet has been used now for the F35B
PCB could never be made to work which is exactly why all the effort shifted to lift fans in the early 90s.

RVL/STO do not solve the airframe problems with PCB. Contrast the exhaust velocities against your forward speed and your HGI and inlet/jet effects problems are unchanged.

Further, Shipborne RVL was not possible until you had F35 level of inceptor control and associated FCS, including transfer of ship data to the ac to give a stabilised aim point. Key to that also is the landing array.

As history shows us, airfields are hard to put out of action, and the logistics of dispersed ops were aiui never fully tested due to peacetime constraints. If it weren’t for the carrier options it opens, STOVL would have gone by now which suggests minimal advantages on land (although came in very handy in Afghan given IDF damage to runways).
 
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zen

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Further, Shipborne RVL was not possible until you had F35 level of inceptor control and associated FCS, including transfer of ship data to the ac to give a stabilised aim point. Key to that also is the landing array.
This was developed by the UK using VAAC (if I remember the acronym correctly).
 

zen

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PCB could never be made to work which is exactly why all the effort shifted to lift fans in the early 90s.

RVL/STO do not solve the airframe problems with PCB. Contrast the exhaust velocities against your forward speed and your HGI and inlet/jet effects problems are unchanged.
It worked on the test rigs, quite well.
But the HGR issues and high velocity jets were a major headache.
 

Purpletrouble

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Further, Shipborne RVL was not possible until you had F35 level of inceptor control and associated FCS, including transfer of ship data to the ac to give a stabilised aim point. Key to that also is the landing array.
This was developed by the UK using VAAC (if I remember the acronym correctly).
Which had F35 ish FCS and inceptors to do it. And a TP plus they never actually did one - closest being a parallel approach and fly out.
 

Purpletrouble

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PCB could never be made to work which is exactly why all the effort shifted to lift fans in the early 90s.

RVL/STO do not solve the airframe problems with PCB. Contrast the exhaust velocities against your forward speed and your HGI and inlet/jet effects problems are unchanged.
It worked on the test rigs, quite well.
But the HGR issues and high velocity jets were a major headache.
I know some of those rigs very well. Too well - nightmares of hanging one handed in the driving Yorkshire rain off a scaffold poking instrumentation wires through a wall because it was “unsafe” to let us Engineers move the scaffold rig ourselves and the next test was imminent!

Honestly P1154 was not the way ahead.

Fundamentally whatever mode you are doing it is mdot v either accelerate the air to get v but in doing so create horrible vibroacoustic/hot gas/jet effects - or move more m but then your inlets are grossly oversized and draggy for cruise etc (Harrier). F35 solves this brilliantly with the lift fan adding lods of mdot at workable (still not easy) temps and then hidden away for a normal cruise inlet/engine sizes. The fat fuselage for the LF is still a price but workable as are the Aux inlets for the core.

The other genius of F35B is that in doing the above you get the fore/aft thrust split for balancing. The only issue is you can’t get the lift fan thrust aft facing so unlike a Harrier cant put max effort at horizontal acceleration and also need to drop the core nozzle to counter the LF’s pitching moment.
 
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zen

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Further, Shipborne RVL was not possible until you had F35 level of inceptor control and associated FCS, including transfer of ship data to the ac to give a stabilised aim point. Key to that also is the landing array.
This was developed by the UK using VAAC (if I remember the acronym correctly).
Which had F35 ish FCS and inceptors to do it. And a TP plus they never actually did one - closest being a parallel approach and fly out.
F35 didn't exist then if I recall correctly. VAAC was a tool that led to that technology
 

Purpletrouble

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Further, Shipborne RVL was not possible until you had F35 level of inceptor control and associated FCS, including transfer of ship data to the ac to give a stabilised aim point. Key to that also is the landing array.
This was developed by the UK using VAAC (if I remember the acronym correctly).
Which had F35 ish FCS and inceptors to do it. And a TP plus they never actually did one - closest being a parallel approach and fly out.
F35 didn't exist then if I recall correctly. VAAC was a tool that led to that technology
VAAC was explictly flying with F35 like control laws and inceptors as part of F35B FCS development and had been for years. That was why it was still flying.

Hmm, touch and gos - cant remember that at all! That must not have been with F35 laws? The HUD doesnt show the bit I was looking for and 2007 was before the revised manoeuvre I think.

Note Hawk chase plane sent over also.
 

uk 75

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Looking back over the 50years since the German and British aircraft industry began the 60s with these far too radical and numerous projects, one has then to admit that Tornado was a pretty fine outcome. I was no fan of the Fin when I first saw one waddle into the air at Farborough in the 70s. It had replaced my childhood hero TSR2 and the crazy FRG/US tactical fighter that I had glimpsed in magazines. By the end of the Cold War, I had grown to realise how important Tornado was. In the 90s during the NATO strikes on Serbia a British tabloid not known for its love of things European featured a cartoon showing a Spitfire vs Me109 next to two Tornados in RAF and Luftwaffe markings with pilots waving to each other. I still have it in one of my many boxes of unfiled cuttings.
 

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I used to love standing in front of a tonka, it has a brooding aggressiveness about it - on it’s haunches (especially de fuelled and role kit off so MLG extended) and those massive intakes. So square, so solid. And that massive, majestic bloody fin!

Waddle is a bit harsh, but yes, it did like to get good value for money out of the tarmac!

Typhoon looks so pretty and proper in comparison, like it’s holding it’s head up to avoid a bad smell or something. A dainty computer console with a tempermant to match.

Both superlative and proof we can get it right.
 
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