Nice TSR-2 clip


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5 April 2006
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As a shameless followup to Scott Ferrin's Saturn clip, I present the TSR-2 from the same site...

It even has music to fit what I suspect the mood would be of most of those on this site when contemplating the TSR-2 (the Brits hereabouts at the very least).
Orionblamblam said:
As a shameless followup to Scott Ferrin's Saturn clip, I present the TSR-2 from the same site...

It even has music to fit what I suspect the mood would be of most of those on this site when contemplating the TSR-2 (the Brits hereabouts at the very least).


you made me cry... :'(

(But much thanks for the link!)
For those who don't know the story here's some very interesting if extremely sad stuff,


Very good link Scott, thanks.

I always though the main gear on the F-111 was awkward at its best - the TSR2 takes it a step further for sure. Sure a lot flex there....

Thanks! Mark
Hi gents as a big F-111 fan for most of my childhood partly due to its excellent service in the RAAF, and partly due to my ignorance of the full TSR.2 project.
I have to admit with both age and knowledge, I have come to very much appreciate the TSR.2’s potential and what could and should have been!

Woody – I found the You Tube documentary you posted most educational and the best and most informative I have seen regarding the TSR.2 – Thanks!!

I found it very interesting in the documentary when it was mentioned about the American visit and so-called interest in the TSR.2 program.
I know that the American’s did this many times to many British aerospace projects (to the detriment of the British efforts and good nature!).
I get the impression that the gentlemanly British nature and good will was taken advantage of many times.
Examples of this are -
I read in ’Project Cancelled’ (by Derek Wood) that de Havilland invited a top-level team from Boeing to see everything on the de Havilland 121 Trident at Hatfield.
Boeing was amazed, but not unnaturally accepted with alacrity. Thus it came about that de Havilland solemnly handed all its research over to its rival.
Boeing returned the compliment and invited a team from de Havilland to visit their factory in Seattle.
They were cordially received but learned little or nothing of the Boeing’s plans for the 727 design.
Then there was the Blackburn Buccaneer carrier-based strike aircraft.
The United States sent a delegation to learn about this (then) very advanced and capable design, when its navy itself was developing its VAM competition, which would become the Grumman A-6 Intruder (Granted the United States had paid for most of the Buccaneer development via military assistance program!!)
While the French Dassault company benefited greatly from the British Fairey Delta II program, which spent time flying out of Cazaux, France during its low-level supersonic trials. This would help confirm Marcel Dassault’s theories and information which was feed into the Mirage III program.

A few questions if I may-

It is not difficult to miss the very obvious smoky jet engines in both film footage and photo’s of the TSR.2 prototype.
Would this ‘tell tail’ signature have been remedied in the production model?

Was it a cleaver design consideration by English Electric to have the majority of radar related avionics mounted behind the cockpits, while leaving the actual radar dish in a fairly small diameter radome / forward fuselage – in the attempt to minimize the forward fuselage’s overall diameter and cross section, which would have otherwise governed a somewhat larger forward fuselage and radome (i.e. like that of the Su-24 and F-111)

The appearance of the TSR.2’s main landing gear has always been of concern to me – it looks a little on the weak side.
I found it very interesting to hear the comments on the You Tube clip about the problems experienced with the prototype.
This was with only the prototype, which would not have been operating or exposed to full operational weight.
So how would have the operational TSR.2 have stood the tests of warlike operations, with a full fuel and warload?
Was there plans to beef up the TSR.2’s landing gear??

Thanks in advance

Hi Pioneer,
Glad you appreciated the YouTube doco.

It is not difficult to miss the very obvious smoky jet engines in both film footage and photo's of the TSR.2 prototype.
Would this ‘tell tail’ signature have been remedied in the production model?

Yes, I did notice the smokey exhaust. The TSR2 used Rolls Royce Olympus engines that went on to power Concorde. Having watched it (Concorde) take off from Heathrow in the 90s numerous times, they seamed to have got the smoke under control by then.

As to the undercarriage, the documentary led me to believe (not sure why) this was an early problem and fixed on later test flights but I have no idea weights I would have then been tested at.

Cheers, Woody

PS. You forgot the Avro Arrow in your list of casualties of US foreign relations and Concorde itself to the US supersonic-over-land ban. Now LAX, perhaps the first of many US airports, is trying ban the A380 on grounds of size. I wonder if they'd be so difficult if it was a Boeing product.
Hay Woody what have you done to me?
Do you know how many times I have watched this bloody YouTube link you posted?

Although the likes of Duncan Sandys and his detrimental 1957 Defence White Paper has always put him on the top of my ‘kick them in the ass if I ever see them list’!

I can not but help agree with the comment by Lord Jenkins (Minister of Aviation 1964-65) in the documentary ‘TSR-2: The Untold Story’ in the last episode of the YouTube supplied by Woody

‘I think that was the case….. was I and maybe some other people too thought with some justification that the aircraft industry was consuming to large a proportion of research and development resources. And also that it was to keen, for understandable reasons, not unworthy reasons, it was to keen on a sort of um… breaching the frontiers of knowledge on aircraft design, rather than concentrating on making and selling planes in which it could make and sell’!

I don't buy Jenkins perspective.

UK aviation industry had been held back, first with the delays post 1945, then with the cancelation of a whole generation of aircraft that would've much reduced the technical risks associated with the TSR.2 if not outright killed the OR339 requirements as was.

Consider the state of knowledge of reheat in the UK upto the 60s was confined to a very limited number of operational aircraft. Real supersonic flight did'nt start producing military feedback until the Lightning entered service.
BTW the RAF had an utterly unrealistic attitude to maintence hours for the Lightning at the start of its career, they did'nt think it needed more than a Hunter!
such was the learning curve of moving from dry thrust transonic aircraft to reheated supersonic machines let alone supersonic flight at low level and the issues of navigation.

Because of this the TSR.2 had to carry a huge effort to get back to the leading edge of technology. A lot of 'new' technology for the next generation of aircraft had to be developed regardless of whether it was just for the TSR.2 or for a variety of aircraft. By carrying that its costs where far higher. Exclude 'generation of technology' costs and it would look very different in terms of price.

Nor does his comment really reflect the RAFs desire for the very best possible solution to their requirements. They demanded superlative performance, and as one industry offical said at the time "why 1000nm? You do realise its going to cost a million per mile for the last 100nm", the very 1000nm figure looks suspiciously like a rounded up number plucked from the ether that looks nice and simple to the RAF.

No this was a 'perfect storm' produced by the convergence of RAF demands/sop, Government forced mergers in the industry and Government idiocy (deliberately overcommiting on projects full in the knowledge the next government will have to cancel them).

Consider what happens if the '57 review had'nt come along, the UK would've had a lot more understanding of supersonic flight and several aircraft that could perform the high altitude supersonic parts of OR.339.
The real issues that effect SAM interception of mach2.5 aircraft at 65,000ft would also become clear, in which case the very basis of the whole low level approach to strike would be called into question.
I always find these sorts of discussions are made in isolation from the events going on around the aero-industry. In particular the matter of ecomomics. The UK was essentially broke after WWII (indeed there is an argument in some economic circles that its never really recovered and is today still suffering the effects of the war 60 years ago). Defence was seen as being the one area which could be cut and lets face it, with only a four minute warning, once the balloon went up, what was the point of having an intercepter force? All you really needed was a bomber and then later ICBM/SLBM force to deter the Red Hordes 'cause if a war did start, you'd have one chance before the country was rendered uninhabitable. Once that one chance was shot, there wasn't much else you could do. Sandys' Report was brutal in bringing that point out into the open and making everybody recognise the logic of it.

Of course, the premise upon which it was based (that all wars would be nuclear in nature) has since shown to be wrong but at the time, the major enemy was perceived to be the fUSSR and it was the major threat to the UK, so everything else had to be subordinate to that. Sandys simply did as he was told - find a way to cut costs in Defence. He did it (and it should be noted, rewarded for it to).
Well if we're going to get really wide ranging it is certainly true that the finances where less that prefered, but it should be understood that the economc situation was not quite as simple as you've suggested.

However I'm not that enthusiastic to delve deep into the specifics as it makes a very long thread of very long posts that only barely touch on the TSR.2.

It is true that we had too many firms chasing too many projects that could'nt all be funded and too many in government producing too many RFTs that then had to be assessed.

As I've said the '57 review cut the development of a lot of technology that would've proved of great use. Without it the costs of getting something like the TSR.2 where far, far higher.

From the first flight test of the TSR-2 XR219 bomber at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, England, in September 1964, engineers of the British Aircraft Corporation shot (silent) footage from all angles, in both black and white and color. For the first takeoff, pilot Roland Beamont, with navigator Donald Bowen in the second seat, pitched the TSR-2 into a steep climb with afterburner, buzzed the English countryside, then circled for approach-to-landing maneuvers. During initial tests, the TSR-2 engineers could not perfect the sequence in which the gear retracted into the fuselage after takeoff or descended before landing; the footage shows the first success, on test flight number 10. In his first landings, Beamont flew at a rate of descent too steep and fast to avoid a perilous, embarrassing bounce at touchdown. He smoothed out subsequent landings and deployed a parachute to brake the aircraft to a stop on a short field. After each flight, Beamont and Bowen are met by a white-coated ground crew for debriefing.

( Footage Courtesy of: Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England. )

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