PANAVIA Tornado unbuilt variants

Longshaor

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This question started out on another board as a discussion of what air group the Royal Navy's CVA-01 carriers would have operated in the 1970s & '80s - if they had been built that is! The Tornado wouldn't fit in the hanger without a folding vertical fin or a twin-tail arangement, so the question is were any twin-tail Tornado variants investigated and how tall were they?

Thanks!
 

starviking

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Longshaor said:
This question started out on another board as a discussion of what air group the Royal Navy's CVA-01 carriers would have operated in the 1970s & '80s - if they had been built that is! The Tornado wouldn't fit in the hanger without a folding vertical fin or a twin-tail arangement, so the question is were any twin-tail Tornado variants investigated and how tall were they?

Thanks!

The problem as I see it is if the CVA-01 and her sisters were built they'd have an enormous effect on other programmes - like the eponymous butterfly fluttering it's wings and causing hurricanes halfway around the world.

As an educated guess. The RAF needs to replace the Canberra in the 70's - so some kind of MCRA appears. The RN's Buccaneers and Phantoms will be useful up to the late-80's, maybe 90's - so they stay. By that time the MCRA may be considered a bit old to be sticking on carriers - even if such a role was envisaged for them and the needed flexibility added into the design.

So what happens? Carrier capability pushed for what becomes Eurofighter? Maybe that takes care of fighters. Collaboration with the USA on strike? Perhaps. However the problem is there are so many permutations you can go through - and personal preference shades what you think is likely.

As for twin-fin Tornados. I'd think there'd be not much call to investigate a configuration with regard to carriers - as the carriers didn't exist. Why add structural weight to something that won't need the height reduction of the twin fins?
 

Thorvic

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Actually the original intention was to have the VG Vickers Type 583 which was intended to have a similiar capability as the f-4 phantom but designed to operate off existing UK carriers. It was envisaged that initially these aircraft would replace the Sea Vixen as the carrier based interceptor, and then later strike optimised variants would replace the Buccanneers. Unfortortunately the govt buggered the AW406 program up by deciding to merge it with the RAF's Hunter replacement program and insisting on VTOL capability on the P1154 program.
When this proved to be unsuitable for the FAA the F-4 Phantom was ordered as a stop-gap replacement for Sea Vixen whilst work commenced on a new design. Due to the time and money being lost due to the above cock-up and due to a similar French requirement for a decent carrier based interceptor with a secondary strike capability the AFVG program was launched. This aircraft was again designed to fit aboard both UK and French carriers and was promarily meant for the interceptor role.

When the carrier force was effectively cancelled with the new govt along with TSR2, the AFVG focus from the UK switched to the more dedicated land based strike role for the RAF. The french withdrew and the UK redid the design into a large non-carrier based UKVG. It later joined West Germany and Italy in developing a new design for a VG strike fighter that became Tornado, by this time the RAF had already lost TSR2 and F-111, so insisited on deep strike focus rather then the smaller lighter and cheaper Jaguar/Mirage F1 aircraft the other two partners were looking for !!!.

Basically by the 70's the FAA fixed wing carrier based function was doomed so no carrier capability was built into the Tornado design, its origins however do go back to a VG interceptor designed for small carrier use !. As starviking says, should the carrier force had continued funding then the design would have had a primary Naval function.

G
 

Archibald

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So what happens? Carrier capability pushed for what becomes Eurofighter? Maybe that takes care of fighters. Collaboration with the USA on strike? Perhaps. However the problem is there are so many permutations you can go through - and personal preference shades what you think is likely.
[/quote]

Eurgofighter with carrier capability will make the french happy (sounds proverbial!). I meant that would be a strong argument to keep France in the EFA around 1985...
 

zen

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This is all rather speculative stuff guys.

Where do you really want to start from?

CVA-01?.....which CVA-01? Because upto '62 it was a 50,000ton CV design, when the defence minister questioned the artificial limit, and the whole process kicked off again.

OR shall we say the design submitted and approved in 1966?
Then the Defence Review killed off the long term future of the RN's conventional carrier fleet.

Assuming the latter, the projected airwing at this stage starts with the F4K Phantom II and S2 Buccaneer, as the decisions concerning the F4 where earlier.
This is the periode of the AFVG, but the French will withdraw by June 29 1967. It seems the whole anglo-french episode was doomed to failure anyway.

UK continued with its fallback position, the UKVG effort.
So presumably if the RN's carrier fleet has a future along with new ships like CVA-01, then the desire to replace the Buccaneer with a supersonic strike platform will change the UKVG effort.

This would certainly effect how things progress, since the compromises to make it a joint RN and RAF machine could seriously put off the Germans when their shown the UKVG in 25 Oct 1967. Their responce was less than enthusiastic as it was, how things would progress with a even more negative response is not clear.
Its even harder to see how the ACA effort with the F104 consortium is going to get started, since none of the members are going to be interested in a Navalised variant and are all looking for a replacement for the Starfighter. There could very well be no MCRA at all, and thus no Tornado.

Dassault however is now in a very strong position with the Mirage G, but its hardly going to go down well since it was developed as a purely french alternative to the AFVG for the MN. It would take the French political elite to force Dassault to make concessions to get the RN buying that and I don't see that happening considering the influence Dassault has with the French political class.

Now if we're talking of the earlier A1/D1 50,000ton design of 1962, then this is ideal for the BAC (Vickers) Type 583 and the HSA (Brough) P135. Except that time is running out, since once the Russians display their new large anti-ship missiles, the Sea Vixen is going to look utterly ineffective as a system and a replacement needed quickly.
Worse these UK aircraft are being offered with UK missiles and UK radar, none of which actualy exists, so the risks of delays and cost overruns is very large.

It helps to understand the underlying drivers for the F4 procurement is the idea they need a radar/missile combination on a supersonic platform as soon as possible to counter the percieved Russian capability. Its almost certainly why, when the Type 583 is offered again after the dropping of the P1154 that its rejected despit being a more attractive type than the F4. Simply because it could never be in service in time and had too much risk associated with it.
Thats why there is the offer to fit new AI pulse radar (possibly called AI.25) to the Sea Vixen in 1966 and new long ranged AAMs in 1968.

Soooo.....assuming you want an alternative that can be achieved in 1962, then I suggest the B.129/P.140 from Brough. A supersonic version of the Buccaneer offered in 1962 and 1964. Matched with a developed AI.23 and Radar Red Top for a ISD of 1968.

But if you want an alternative in '66 it has to be the HSA (Brough) Next Generation Tactical Aircraft concept P141. That seems quite achievable if your ISD is 1972 or later.
 

Longshaor

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Thanks guys,

This is certainly more information than I was expecting ;D Thanks for the help!

Cheers!
 

datafuser

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I read in a 1984 article in The Economist that the UK was promoting a single-seat air superiority version of the Tornado to Saudi Arabia.

Sunho
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Actually they were promoting the P.110, a new single seat fighter designed around the Tornado ADV's engines and avionics.
 
M

McColm

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Hi Guys,
The Empire Test Pilots School down at Boscombe Down could tell you whether or not a Tornado can land or take off from an aircraft carrier.
The Buccaneer that it replaced in the maritime strike role, was far better at flying at low level and had a greater range. The RAF buccs could land and take off from the French and US Navy carriers. the tornado suffers from flying at low level and the oil filters aren't manly enough to cope with any long range flights over 3,000 nautical miles. Which is why they were sent by boat to the Falklands.
During the late 80's there was a shortage of spare parts, so the Wing Commanders' and the quick reaction aircraft often got raided. If the Americans hadn't asked us to liberate Kuwait, the RAF would have to fly life scale R/C models to make up the numbers.
Which is why most of the gate guards and museum aircraft are plastic replicas.
 

alertken

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RAF Exhibition Flight (recruitment) has plastic most-things - kids' feet. All Tornado GGs and museum exhibits are real. Spares shortages, thus poor average serviceability rates, are the peacetime norm in all Forces. UK Mimister Healey ordered 26 new Buccaneer S.2B in 1968 as interim capability, pending assigning some of UK's MRCA production commitment to the Maritime Strike Task. Whether Bucc was in any way "better" than Tornado is both subjective and irrelevant: why keep in service through the century a type designed in 1954, duplicating the prime type at OCU, logistics, personnel career development...Same as Hunter FR.10 for Swift FR.5.
 
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McColm

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Hi Alertken,
I beg to differ on your opinon. All pilots and aircrew always praise the aircraft they had over the aircraft they get as their replacement.The Bucc had a licence to fly at fifty feet. Even the F-22 can't fly that low as NATO rules state the low level flying is from 150 feet. The Bucc had a unrefueled range of 3,000 miles, the Tornado falls out of the sky after 2,000 miles. The Bucc was designed to fly at low level, with the Tornado bits keep falling off.
During the Gulf War how many Buccs were shot down, none compared to the Tornado.
If the Bucc was for the scrapheap, then why did the Canberra keep flying? Why was the shackleton kept?
"If it ain't broke don't fix it."
The GR4A is a much better aircraft than the early examples, even the F-3. Typhoon pilots complain there is no override switch and if it gets damp it won't fly.
The Swiss have only recently replaced their Hunters, as there hasn't been anything to better them.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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Maybe this could help when discussing alternatives to Phantom II and possible stop-gaps:

http://www.vickerssupermarine.org.uk/Planes.html
 

TinWing

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Longshaor said:
This question started out on another board as a discussion of what air group the Royal Navy's CVA-01 carriers would have operated in the 1970s & '80s - if they had been built that is! The Tornado wouldn't fit in the hanger without a folding vertical fin or a twin-tail arangement, so the question is were any twin-tail Tornado variants investigated and how tall were they?

Thanks!

The earlier AFVG might have had a RN/MN variant, but by the time the Tornado was an active program, conventional British carrier aviation was dead.
 

Gridlock

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AFVG was a direct TSR2 replacement in requirement terms, and naval variants were never considered AFAIK. I've read a fairly detailed history of the AFVG to UKVG to MRA-75 timeline and none of those involved mention a naval or twin tail proposal - indeed the Working Group had no RN presence, as far as I can tell.
 

alertken

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GL: the UK/France Memorandum initiating AFVG on 17/5/65 envisaged 175 UK/125 France and that determined UK's design leadership on airframe. The split was never made clear between Aeronavale's and AdlA's variants and RAF's and FAA's, in part because at that time only CVA-01 had been approved by Ministers. CDS Mountbatten had not yet come clean on his schemes for CVA-02 and 03. When he retired, 2/66, Chiefs sacrificed CVA-01 so FAA AFVG lapsed. By 26/6/67 Dassault was able to cite weight growth, hurting Aeronavale's variant, as decisive to cause France to withdraw and AFVG to lapse. There was no FAA variant of UKVG.
 

TomS

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Just to reinforce AK's comments, Flight International had a useful article in January 1967, which talks a bit about the French Navy's planned procurement of AFVG as a Crusader replacement. The catapults and elevators on the French carriers appear to have been controlling factors on AFVG's size and weight.

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1967/1967%20-%200114.html
 

Kiltonge

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Small aside in the 1971-72 Jane's Weapon Systems that the Oerlikon 304 RK ( better known today as the KCA ) was being proposed for MRCA. This was prior to the selection of the Mauser weapon.

National Archives in the UK have a reference to a non-digitized RAE Technical Report from 1972 regarding ground-testing of the 304 RK:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C6018682

That's all I've found to give any backing to the Jane's report.
 

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