• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Long road to the F-111: TAC, SOR.183, SDR 17, WS-324A, TFX

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
Uh, that's legend... the Boeing submission was far from being perfect, even if at the very last they revised the project with TF-30s, but remained the thrust inverter unknown... and the dorsal intake one (and the suspiciously low price). There were fears that at high angles of attack the airflow would have been unsufficient and cause a compressor stall... Keep in mind that the TFX was a carrier aircraft too, and carrier aircraft take-off, at the end of the catapult ride, with a relatively high angle-of-attack... My opinion is that the Boeing configuration was more oriented to the strike role, probably coming from the GOR-183 related work. I think Scott (Orionblamblam, saw "some" Boeing design in the GOR-183 to TFX line .... perhaps he can confirm this supposition.
 

Akaikaze

The hardest word to define is 'Normal'
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
66
Reaction score
1
Still, much of the information I've read says the all the Services were eyeing the Boeing design as the final choice, and the only people who were Not shocked by the GD being named the winner were the SoD :mad: and GD. That's why there was a congressional investigation of the matter.
If the Services were apprehensive about Boeing, why bother? Boeing's design may have had some flaws, but it seems like GD problems were worse, and were proven correct by out of control costs, inlet design flaws, crashes of the early models, the British cancelling their order, and the Australians not taking theirs until everything was fixed (about a 10 year wait). :p
You're likely right. Boeing's was likely tailored for only one service, which means they took a chance, hoping the 'Whiz Kids' would come to their senses and realize you Cannot make an Air Force bomber into a Navy fighter and actually perform both roles, allowing them to build the bomber and let the Navy get a fighter that could actually fight and operate from their ships. The A-5 would have been a better choice, at least they knew it could operate from carriers. Relieved of such a burden, Boeing's design would have been cheaper, because it would only need the equipment for one role, instead of All-Singing-All-Dancing, having everyone stick want They wanted in the plane, and making it work.
No, GD only seemed to have won because they were either too naive to realize the requirement could not be fulfilled by one machine, or they were manipulative and told the SoD EXACTLY what he wanted to hear, whether or not it would work.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,412
Reaction score
1,449
I still liked Republics the best but I can't see it on a carrier.
 

elmayerle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
119
Akaikaze said:
Still, much of the information I've read says the all the Services were eyeing the Boeing design as the final choice, and the only people who were Not shocked by the GD being named the winner were the SoD :mad: and GD. That's why there was a congressional investigation of the matter.
If the Services were apprehensive about Boeing, why bother? Boeing's design may have had some flaws, but it seems like GD problems were worse, and were proven correct by out of control costs, inlet design flaws, crashes of the early models, the British cancelling their order, and the Australians not taking theirs until everything was fixed (about a 10 year wait). :p
You're likely right. Boeing's was likely tailored for only one service, which means they took a chance, hoping the 'Whiz Kids' would come to their senses and realize you Cannot make an Air Force bomber into a Navy fighter and actually perform both roles, allowing them to build the bomber and let the Navy get a fighter that could actually fight and operate from their ships. The A-5 would have been a better choice, at least they knew it could operate from carriers. Relieved of such a burden, Boeing's design would have been cheaper, because it would only need the equipment for one role, instead of All-Singing-All-Dancing, having everyone stick want They wanted in the plane, and making it work.
No, GD only seemed to have won because they were either too naive to realize the requirement could not be fulfilled by one machine, or they were manipulative and told the SoD EXACTLY what he wanted to hear, whether or not it would work.

Well, according to David Halberstam's "The Reckoning" (comparing the no. 2 automakers in the US and Japan from the end of WW II to 1990), when JFK tapped McNamara to be SecDef, the line at Ford was "A great day for Ford; a rotten day for America but a great day for Ford." It's not aerospace, but I can most definitely recommend that book as a great and informative read.

Oh, and you left out that GD had to redesign the backend of the F-111 because the original design, due to bad data reduction from the wind tunnel testing, had just about every drag increasing measure it could. Later extensive testing of afterbody drag for twin-engined jets confirmed this (bunch of AIAA papers published in the 1970's).
 

Akaikaze

The hardest word to define is 'Normal'
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
66
Reaction score
1
:D Thanks for that line from Ford. That's funny!
I forgot about the redesign. Thanks for that, too. Mostly, I hear about the inlets not working and the wingbox failing. Not taking the F-111 was the Smartest cancelation the British ever did.
Irony: The F-111 was the end result of swingwing research conducted between NASA and (pause) Vickers. I just find that funny... ;D
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
The A-5 would have been a better choice, at least they knew it could operate from carriers.

Now you mention it, I just found in the NASA Technical Reports one covering a swing-wing design that looks like an A3J with variable-geometry, here...
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
Here
 

Attachments

  • NAA_TFX_config_3.jpg
    NAA_TFX_config_3.jpg
    59 KB · Views: 1,253
  • NAA_TFX_config_4jpg.jpg
    NAA_TFX_config_4jpg.jpg
    63.5 KB · Views: 1,141
  • NAA_TFX_config_4_photo.jpg
    NAA_TFX_config_4_photo.jpg
    58.5 KB · Views: 1,208

TinWing

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
887
Reaction score
50
Skybolt said:
The A-5 would have been a better choice, at least they knew it could operate from carriers.

Now you mention it, I just found in the NASA Technical Reports one covering a swing-wing design that looks like an A3J with variable-geometry, here...

That design proposal looks too reasonable!

At very least, variable geometry might have lowed the Vigillante's dangerously high 150 knot approach speed.

Of course, the Vigillante design was still far too large for the fighter role envisioned by the navy. It also had very little space for the avionics required, and it is doubtful that the added weight of the variable geometry wing mechanism, massive radar, bulkier TF-30 turbofans and six huge Phoenix missiles would have made it any lighter than the failed F-111B.

Perhaps it would have been even heavier and less suitable - or perhaps North American would have done a bit better than Convair/General Dynamics. It would seem that Convair's management had been particularly inept in this era. You don't have to look any farther than the CV-880/CV-990 fiasco to figure that out.
 

elmayerle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
119
For a fighter derivative of the A-5, best bet would be to keep the J79s to start with, at least on some tech demonstrators; the final design would need a re-design of the spindle frame (major forging that carries the spindles the tail surfaces move on) in order to accomodate larger engines (management reluctance to change this frame is one reason re-engined versions of the A-5 never got past concepts). I rather suspect that replacing attack avionics with fighter avionics would use roughly the same volume of space and reconfiguring the nose for a fighter radar wouldn't be that difficult.
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
I suspect the two config. studied by NASA were intended more for the GOR-183 role than for TFX. Don't be misled by the name of the file, was decided by myself for archiving purposes. So they were land-based attack aircraft. VG was intended for: enhancing the low-altitude supersonic performance without comprimising the high-altitude ferrying one and the take-off distance; complying with the USAF-mandated requirements. Moreover, don't know (does someone know ? ) if GOR-183 already required TF-30s or another specific turbofan. Anyhow, I doubt that a GOR-183- type aircraft would have used J-79s. So a redesign was due. It is difficult from the NASA drawings and photos if the new engine is already factored in. And then there is the bomb-bay problem...
 

Akaikaze

The hardest word to define is 'Normal'
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
66
Reaction score
1
Interesting how the swing wing A3J design looked so...Right! :-\
 

alertken

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
600
Reaction score
170
Smartest cancellation the British ever did. Well, thanks, but we don't deserve applause. We didn't foresee the problems, but by Jan.'68 were flat busted. We had known by late-64 we could not risk our few deep strike platforms in C.Europe, and chose to replace 64 RAFG nuke-Canberra B(I)6/8 firstly with F-4D, then with a non-$ type, which might swing, or might be a Buccaneer stuffed with avionics a generation beyond hot, heavy 1958-vintage. We thought we could afford a Force of 50 TSR.2 or F-111A in an Indian Ocean role.

SecDef had spread the capital cost of F-111K over a decade, but we could not sustain the running costs. UK cancellation irritated DoD, who had committed to offset deals. Some - e.g HP C-10A Jetstream - could be beached, but others - e.g Scottish Avn. C-130 fuse panels - could not be. McNamara's Joint notion drew on F-110/F-4, seen even then as a benchmark. He intended to buy 3,000 F-111A+B, even before FB- and EF- had been thought of. Don't disparage this type unduly: SEAsia had been a grafted-on, not a design role. Saceur's LN/UH Wings did the job nicely 1969-92, able to take 6 B-61 laydown nukes survivably into WarPac airspace.
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
In reality TFX got only something from the SOR/GOR 183, and unfortunately the worst (in sight of commonality) ones: ferry range, internal bomb bay and low-level performance (Mach 1.2 at sea level). As for the list, I've tryed to reconstruct it some time ago. I have to dig up the file. In summary and immediately: take the list of the TFX, split the teams (ex. GD/Grumman) and then add someone ;D
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
In the last issue of the AAHS Newsletter there is a lively discussion on the use of ., and - and (nothing) as a separator in aerospace and engines designations.... ;)
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
Found!
General Dynamics
Boeing
McDonnell
Republic
Chance-Vought V-440
Grumman G-283
Douglas
Lockheed CL-??? Scott, there is something in your treasure trove of Lockheeds CLs ?
North American possibly a VG version of the A3J
 

elmayerle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
119
Wonder if the "Retaliator" derivative of the Vigilante was one NAA response?
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
Mmm, possibly, but perhaps a bit early and not with extensive modifications (VG). Since the Retailator wasn't much changed in respect of the Navy version, I think it was more apt in fulfilling the high altitude purely nuclear tactical bomber role, same as the Martin XB-68. Bomb bay disposition and engines of the Retailator don't fit in the intended SOR-183 role, AFAIK. A FOIA is due....
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
*Possibly* the CL-407. VTOL strike/recon capable of up to Mach 3. Had an APR article on that, back in the day...

mmm, too early I think: 1956. Could be the ventral intake configuration covered in the NASA report I bought from you?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
12,453
Reaction score
3,474
Very nice drawing Scott. It seems the early TFX designs have common ground with NASA SCAT studies?
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
Well Scott, this is great! Thanks a lot...
 

Sundog

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
2,821
Reaction score
268
Wow, that Lockheed design looks very cool. Thanks for posting that.
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
197
Thanks for the drawing of the Lockheed TFX design submission!
Its the first time that I have seen the Lockheed submission

Regards
Pioneer
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
A twin-engined F-105 for SOR-183? Two very different compact envelopes....
 

elmayerle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
119
Well, it wasn't exactly a twin-engined F-105, but the Republic AP-75 LRI resembles an enlarged, twin-engined F-105 fuselage with the aerodynamic surfaces of the XF-103. A rather attractive-looking design I'm trying to accumlate the bits to model.

If you search on here, you might find the posted picture of the display model.
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
In the LRI thread, I think, was an article by AW in 1958.
 

Antonio

ACCESS: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
3,477
Reaction score
206
Here's the link

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,195.15.html

;)
 

Skybolt

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,300
Reaction score
128
Ummm, could be the first official proposal to the TFX specification, the one that was rejected outright.
 

Sundog

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
2,821
Reaction score
268
The version of the F-111 that looks very "Fencer" like is the pre-production version of the F-111B. That shouldn't be confused with the prototype F-111B. Of ocurse, I guess I should say, the Fencer looks very much like the pre-production F-111B, since one preceded the other. The place I have ever seen photo's is in the F-111 Naval Fighters series. In fact, I never knew so many pre-production F-111B's had flown until I bought that book. I had only known about the short nosed prototype until then.
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
197
does anyone out there have drawings or model pics of the Chance Vought V-440, Grumman G-283, et al?

cheers, Joe

Yes I second this request

Regards
Pioneer
 

Similar threads

Top