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P1154 scenario

zen

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This is posted in the alternative history and future speculation section. So it is not history, but it is close to history.


What if.....what if the P1154 is proceeded with?
How does that happen? And what are its effects?
.............
It could happen partly by not merging RN and RAF requirements together. HS will get to a definitive design earlier and the RAF sigh it off for prototype earlier. Prototype build is earlier too.


How the RN is kept from being forced to have imput and piling on its requirements could happen if say they are given the green light on US Phantom IIs. They are still headed towards the same outcome in 1966.


Once its ordered for the RAF, there is no need to sneek MRI onto the Anglo-French 'supersonic trainer' that becomes Jaguar. So its likely Jaguar never gets very far.
P1127 Kestrel would get nowhere.


RAF will find P1154 hard to operate in pure V/STOL and indeed hard to operate in the austere manner they'd want. Its more limited than the P1127 in basing terms, but of course higher performance is the trade off.


Does the USMC buy it?
We know HS and UK gov tried to sell it to Sweden.....?


RN post 1966 could end up trying to get it onboard their 'through deck cruiser'.
 

uk 75

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This subject always presses my buttons. In an ideal world, where plans work out, the P1154 would have been a wonder aeroplane giving both the RAF and RN supersonic VSTOL capability and reducing the overall number of types of aircraft they had to procure. Unfortunately the US F4 Phantom was a much safer bet if you lost the VSTOL option.

The RAF specific requirement for a Hunter replacement was like that Canberra replacement developed far beyond the capabilities of the aircraft being replaced.

The single engine single seater nimble close support Hunter with bombs, rockets and cannon was nothing like the radar equipped missile carrying nuke delivering P1154. If P1154 had stayed closer to the Hunter requirement or even the latter Jaguar it might have been possible. But of course there is still the whole engine and vstol operations package.
 

starviking

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uk 75 said:
If P1154 had stayed closer to the Hunter requirement or even the latter Jaguar it might have been possible. But of course there is still the whole engine and vstol operations package.

Sound much like the P1150, the Mach 1.3 P1127 successor originally planned for the NATO requirement that the P1154 was finally submitted for.
 

zen

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I don't think its a case of keeping to an earlier 'Hunter' style requirement that's needed here.


The engine, radar and avionics are not beyond the industry to supply. In fact in terms of the downgraded 'analogue' systems they actually entered service on the P1127 "Harrier' and "Jaguar". Bar the Ferranti radar it the avionics pretty much happens.
Missiles? AAM is initially Red Top, a known quantity. ASM Bulpup and Martel.
Engine is not a problem from what I've read. Even PCB worked and worked well, the test rig had performed well.


So unless we're talking of some airframe issue and yes in the long term they will realise that the rear structure suffers from the vibrations. But otherwise there seems no big issues there.


Inlet might be a problem. But I've not read of it.


Only big issue is the actual operation of the PCB close to the ground restricting the surface and landing profile.


There maybe flight issues, but most of those were worked out of the P1127. Its just supersonic flight that holds any real risk.


So this 'system of systems' will work. 155 FGR.1 "Harrier", 25 T.1 Trainer/conversion.


A lot of the monies was spent, on the avionics, and if we factor in the costs of turing the 'supersonic trainer' to a MRI/Attack machine and turning 'Kestrel' into 'Harrier' we can find a lot of the cash needed for the P1154.


RAF won't need 200 Jaguar, and it's arguable it won't need some 141 P1127.


Yes IF and I really do mean IF the RN had 'seen the light' earlier, then maybe some sort of STOVL CV is possible, larger than Invincible though much, much cheaper than CVA-01. Populated with a 'navalised' variant of the P1154.


Even that, the main issue is the radar/missile combination and the choices are existing Red Top and developing a successor, or buying a US system. There is enough margins to port a US set and wire it up for Sparrow III on the airframe.
 

Thorvic

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From an RN point of view it may well have allowed the sanctioning of smaller more affordable STOVL carriers in place of CVA-01 with thr RN Phantoms and Buccaneers going to the RAF the former to Air Defence and the latter to replace Canberra. Alot depends on how the P1154 prototypes were performing, compared with loosing everything or keeping something i yhink they would go for the latter and not push too much for too many major changes.


The RN may have pushed for Sparrow capability for interception but not sure if they would still go for the two seater or more a sea harrier style cockpit.
 

uk 75

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If money is no object and we have the right government I would stick to my original fantasy versions
 

zen

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Hmmm...


Full joint service OR.356/AW.406 was issued in April 1962.
Earlier on April 13 1961 we have a decision to proceed with the preliminary design of the P1150 to NMBR.3
decree on joint service aircraft is 6 December 1961.
Hawker deliver submission 8 Jan 1962


Deck trials of the P1127 on Ark Royal between 8 to 13 Feb.
New submission of revised P1154 21 August 1962.
October Chief Scientist's Committee recognises joint service machine is unsound.
29 Oct 1962 MoD and CoS agree to proceed with two versions.
Hawker learn to concentrate on RAF version on 18 November.
29 Jan 1963 Minister announces development contract for single service P1154 for RAF.


So........single service for the RAF could have been decided on by late 1961 rather than early 1963. Contracts could have been signed in 1962.


BS.100 ran first time 30 Oct 1963. But no contracts had been signed for the avionics. However both these are likely a product of the delaying process exerted by the RN.


So by its cancelation in 1965 it was something between 1 to 2 years behind where it could have been. In essence a prototype would've been flying in 1964 and hence well onto the way to meeting RAF ful in service dates of 1968.


So.....RN side.....RN needs to keep out or we need the joint service decree to not be issued. In essence the RN side should either persue some other aircraft or a fully RN version of the P1154, likely so different as to be assigned a new project number.


Civil lord of the admiralty's suggestion of a 40,000ton CV for 24 fast jets is the main starting point for any process of designing a CV for the P1154 type.
 

Tony Williams

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My own fantasy on that subject is slightly different. I start from the assumption that the UK should have as few combat aircraft types as possible, since that would maximise the numbers made, lowering the cost and potentially making them more attractive to foreign customers. It would also make it feasible to keep production lines open by a process of gradual evolution of capabilities, involving refits for improved sensors and weapons, then engines, before designing a modified airframe to slot the current standard into, before updating the sensors etc all over again. That would minimise the risks involved in new aircraft projects, which often try to introduce lots of innovations at the same time, making them more likely to run over budget and time, or get cancelled.

So where fast combat jets are concerned, I think that the UK could have managed with two basic types: a long-range twin-engined, two-seat CTOL type, capable (in different versions initially - multi-role later) of land and maritime strike plus recce and bomber-swatting (something not unlike the TSR2 - for which I understand that plans were developed for a bomber-swatter); and an agile single-seat, single-engined fighter-bomber for both the RAF and FAA - which should ideally be STOVL.

Exactly which version of the STOVL plane should have been proceeded with I'm not sure, but something with significantly better performance inc payload-range than the Harrier. It should be able to do the jobs of both the Harrier and the Jaguar (thereby replacing both in the line-up), and I would design it from the start with a rolling take-off (and preferably rolling landing) in mind to maximise the payload/range and bring-back capabilities.

I am not in favour of big all-eggs-in-one-basket carriers; if we're serious about needing any particular naval capability then IMO opinion we need at least three hulls: one out on service wherever; one home-ported for training and exercises, but available to be sent out at very short notice; and one in refit/maintenance/reserve. So we only need two crews and aviation sets for three carriers. I would similarly have three LPHs with full-flight decks and ski-jumps, equipped to handle the STOVL planes in an emergency. I would feel much more comfortable with four aviation decks available at any one time...
 

zen

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P1154 met the RAF MRI requirement they had, this ended up as the justification for gaining Jaguar and for the alterations to that aircraft away from its 'supersonic' trainer origins.


So yes P1154 "Harrier" (as it was to be called) would obviate the need for Jaguar, or indeed the P1127 (originally Kestrel but renamed Harrier after the P1154 was canceled).


And yes in reality 'rolling' VL and short take offs would be the norm for this aircraft if it had entered service.


And yes, under the right circumstances the RN would gain a navalised variant.
 

Hood

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Out of interest, would a rolling STO by a P.1154 at normal loaded weight take less distance than a Jaguar at loaded weights?

The Harrier was probably more useful in RAFG for its true dispersed capability and hiding in woods and such, the P.1154 could never have done that and realistically would it have lived as long as the Jaguar, given the Phantom would still be likely to replace the Lightning in the interception role and the F-4 has far superior load-lugging capability.

The RN was never keen on the P.1154, its hard to imagine any P.1154 variant that wasn't almost a clean sheet design being superior to the F-4 in the eyes of the Admiralty.
 

zen

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Check out the story at http:/www.harrier.org.uk/history/history_p1154.htm


Figures are.
50ft ground rolling VTO to 50ft clearance takes 500ft of length. ROA lo-lo with 2,000lb projected to be 210n.


220ft of STO to 50ft of clearance to 50ft takes 1,100ft. Full internal fuel, ROA lo-lo to be 280nm. Cruising at mach 0.92


Hi-lo flight profile increases could be double those figures.


Air-air a loiter of 160minutes 100nm from base.
 

Jemiba

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Maybe the keypoint is (from Mike Pryces great site) the sentence "..All of these techniques were to be explored 'in the
field' during the Tripartite trials of the Kestrel in 1964-65.".
So the problem of probably much fierce ground erosion due to PCB still hadn't come to light then ?`They might have
been solvable, to my opinion for the RN version, because carrier decks could have been hardened better, but for
forward airstrips, often not much more, than cart tracks, this would have been considerable more difficult.
 

zen

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Thing is the whole rough field thing never really got used much throughout the P1127 "Harrier" career in the RAF. They ended up operating from normal airfields like the Jaguar. Ironic I feel.
 

Tony Williams

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Jemiba said:
So the problem of probably much fierce ground erosion due to PCB still hadn't come to light then ?`They might have
been solvable, to my opinion for the RN version, because carrier decks could have been hardened better, but for
forward airstrips, often not much more, than cart tracks, this would have been considerable more difficult.
But if designed to routinely use rolling take-offs and landings, would that have been a problem?
 

zen

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Yes they would develpe the rolling VTOL and STOL methods of operation, if they had the P1154.


Carrier decks can be cooled by water and the sponsond portions could be pierced to let the bulk of the hot gas pass 'through' down to the sea. A 'rolling' VL guarantees a recovery, and relative speeds at touchdown ensure you only need good brakes rather than the panoply of arrestor gear, hooks and strengthened fuselage.


Obviously a pierced sponson section of the flightdeck weighs rather less than a solid one.
 

Jemiba

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zen said:
Obviously a pierced sponson section of the flightdeck weighs rather less than a solid one.
Not sure about that, because the space under the sponsoned parts of the flight deck probably isn't unused.
So, some ducting would have been necessary. But I agree, for carriers those problems seems to be solvable
more easily, than for land based used. But maybe steel plank runways, easy and fast to construct could have
done the trick. Weren't they used for the Harrier anyway in many cases?
 

Tony Williams

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Jemiba said:
But maybe steel plank runways, easy and fast to construct could have
done the trick. Weren't they used for the Harrier anyway in many cases?
I recall seeing photos of a kind of open metal gridwork runway designed for the Harrier, but I don't know how much use that saw.
 

uk 75

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I think the 1154 was never intended to operate as a vtol aircraft like the Harrier.


The RAF dislikes operating away from their airfields and the 1154 was intended to short take off and land much like the Jaguar but maybe in shorter distances.


The RN was completely wedded to cats and traps. Suggestions by politicians and the RAF to use a joint service 1154 were completely rejected.


This is a pity as a Joint Service 1154 could have been developed Harrier style. But then it might only have been a more expensive less flexible version of the P1127 RAF.


Jaguar is closest to what the RAF wanted and needed
 

harrier

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The RAF would have tried to use the P1154 like they used the Harrier I think - they planned VTO from clearings. Maybe could have worked after a lot of tweaks, at least for how they ended up using the Harrier in the 1980s off roads etc. However, all the PR stunts in muddy fields in the early 1970s might have changed minds. And desert landings would have been fun if the UK was still East of Suez.


Although the Jaguar had a similar place to that intended for the P1154, it was a very different aircraft. It was not really STOL - on a hot day with a full load it was supposedly only the curvature of the Earth that got it off the ground.


The PCB system on the P1154 was 1200 degrees Kelvin - not much hotter than the Harrier's rear nozzles, so maybe grids on ships would not have been needed. But later PCB systems up to 2000 Kelvin might have benefited if landing required full PCB. The knack was to design the plane (e.g. P1216) so that it didn't. I think that is a problem the JSF faces - the nice cool fan needs the hot end to work at max rating.
 

uk 75

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Harrier


Thank you. I am too much the layman on this subject.


In my UK75 alternate RAF I have assumed that the UK economy was not in catastrophic shape (I know, back to the land of dreams). I think HS 1154 in the RAF version could have been got into limited service by the early 70s and perhaps in full service by 1975.


For a variety of reasons I have assumed that the UK stayed East of Suez (Mainly US pressure and a more optimistic world view). The comparison with Jaguar in my mind is that I am not convinced that the RAF were really serious about off base operations. They had decent bases and plenty of nearby roads to fly from in Germany, The Gulf and Malaysia/Singapore. The 1154 Harrier squadrons would have been a great improvement on the Hunters they replaced. I am not sure how much better the plane would have been than Jaguar but it would certainly have been cooler!


I am not sure that this plane would have made the same impact on the US Marines. However, if the performance was as good as you mention, it could have done
 

Tony Williams

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Harrier said:
The PCB system on the P1154 was 1200 degrees Kelvin - not much hotter than the Harrier's rear nozzles, so maybe grids on ships would not have been needed. But later PCB systems up to 2000 Kelvin might have benefited if landing required full PCB. The knack was to design the plane (e.g. P1216) so that it didn't. I think that is a problem the JSF faces - the nice cool fan needs the hot end to work at max rating.
I've just received a copy of your booklet on the P1216. It looks very thorough, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it. Very interesting for anyone wanting to know about the "might have beens" of UK STOVL combat planes in general, as well as the P1216 in particular.
 
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