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

RN FAW machines, what if...?

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
Rather that revive a existing thread, I'd like to ponder what happens if the RN had gained one of its FAW types other than the DH110, what became the Sea Vixen.

We start with NR/A.14which was writen in Sept 1946 and issued Jan 1947. Spec N.40/46.
The prefered options where indeed the DH110 and the Fairey N.40/46.
It seems the RN was actualy trying to persue the Fairey design, due to its more conservative and achievable design, ability to perform other missions and the 40inch dish it could fit in the nose.

So the obvious question is what happens if the RN gets this machine instead?
Which poses the next question....when do they get it?

Cheaper and lighter was the N.14/49 single engine design.

Yet neither could fit the 35inch scanner for AI.16!

Then we come to N114T, where the choice seems to boil down to Blackburns B.89 or Westlands W.37.

Then a brief interlude of the B.95.
And thus onward to the Super Venom DH116.

What happens if any of these get into service?
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
No bitesw yet? Ahh well, I'll ponder onwards.

What is the effect of the increasing power of the Olympus Ol.3 on a machine like the B.89 or B.95?

N.114T is 1951 (Jan issue date), by Jan 1952 its declared theres no winner but produced the B.95 design (revised lightweight B.89) by March.

ISD for the B.89 was stated as 3.5 years from ITP. So the RN would expect this machine in 1954-55 assuming the work went as predicted.

Would they have stuck with the Ol.3, or used a reheated Avon by then? Could they have moved up to the Ol.7?
Could they have further thinned the wing down?
Inlets are poor it strikes me for high mach speeds. They'd need quite a change to extend the performance and useful life of the machine.
There seems a lot of capacious space for fuel or weaponry in the belly of this design.
Dish seems to be the 40 inch diameter, which has got to be of considerable value, and seems about twice the area of the 28 inch dish actualy used on the SeaVixen. So we're looking at a 25% increase in detection range from the AI.18 set used all things being equal.

Would love to see a diagram of the B.95, how different was it from the B.89?

Curious sidetrack.......are there any Olympus powered strike machines studied for N/A.39? Clearly none where proposed, but looking at the US Skyhawk, one does wonder if a single engined machine could have done the job.
 

robunos

You're Mad, You Are.....
Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,840
Reaction score
160
Would love to see a diagram of the B.95, how different was it from the B.89?
Only thing I can find is a comparison diagram between the B.89 and B.95 plan views,
from Roy Boot's 'From Spitfire to Eurofighter', page 62.
The following figures are also mentioned :-

B.89 wing area 700 sq.ft span 50 ft

B.94 wing area 575 sq.ft span 46 ft (an intermediate type)

B.95 wing area 425 sq.ft span 40 ft


cheers,
Robin.
 

Attachments

Graeme65

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
32
Reaction score
3
One problem of course is that any design coming into service early to mid 50s is probably just the wrong side of post war aerodynamic development curve. The F4 was on the right side of it in 1960 and was a design, with avionics upgrades, that was perfectly viable for the front rank not just for the 60s but the 80s! The DH110 competitors mostly look as if they would also date bady.

The DH.116 Super Venom is a very attractive looking machine and seems to have some scope for updates and with the side-by-side seating has a reasonable radome diameter. The RN needed a design in place by the early 60s that was good to get them across the economic quagmire of the mid 60s to mid 80s. Though of course they had no clue of this at the time.

How about the DH.116 in service not much later than the mid 50s and a DH.116+ developed as an upgrade. Scaled for Olympus rather than Avon. Later generation of supersonic wing and more space for fuel and avionics. There was a single Olympus advanced Sea Vixen, rejected on the grounds that it was 'too much of a carve-up' to go from two engines to single, better to start with a clean sheet. So its not as if the concept of up engining to Olympus is completely off the wall.

Perhaps the Super Super Venom would be in lieu of the P.177 and actually be sold to Germany. Certainly a reheated Olympus does not look out of date later in the way a mixed fuel fighter was and it would piggy back of the engine work done on the historical TSR2 and Concorde for later upgrades.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
I suspect all of the designs would undergo some level of change prior to service, the question there is to what extent.

Oddly enough I think the most modern looking is Faireys offering, with body mountings for 4 Fireflash, which while that missile was a bit of a flop, would be useful for some other radar guided missile later on.
That design again used an Olympus Ol.3, though options for Avon or Sapphire where included (I think the latter by the RAE).

DH116 seems to offer some potnetial, though I suspect we're looking at upgrades to the AI.23 set and a pair of Firestreaks. Development-wise, the logical course is a better nose and intake design. A single seater could offer quite bit to landbased airforces.

But by 1954 the RN had decided on something with longer term potential, the Vickers Supermarine Type 556 and then cut it in 1955.
When one considers the potential upgrades they offered to the existing Scimitar, its easy enough to see the Type 556 having a reasonably long life. Reason being the basics are already there in this machine, reheat, twin seats and a large AI radar. The major changes being the wing and additional fusilage fuel tanks (likely a hump behind the cockpit as some Scimitar variants).

Then we come to the mixed powerplant fighters themselves, and oddly enough Saro's tender to the supersonic cruising research contract is the more attractive basis for a fighter, since its not reliant on the rocket motor for anything but extending the ceiling and reducing time to supersonic speed. That of course needs a better inlet to free the nose for a decent AI radar. Bu it could take the Olympus.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
The DH.116 is far and away the biggest opportunity in this era, appearing as it does a full two years before the second biggest, being the Supermarine Type 556. The DH.116, with AI.17, thin wings, re-heat and an all moving tail plane the type would have been an impressive transonic performer whilst the single Avon gives a good opportunity for development (once again the Thames has to be considered if we are going down this route- a speed increase to perhaps Mach 1.3?). The other advantage is that it is claimed that the type could have operated from all current fleet and light fleet carriers- something which would have kept a number of vessels viable for longer and increased the number of aircraft the larger ships could carry. The third and final option of interest is the fully thin winged, reheated RB.146 powered Supermarine Type 576 of 1959 although this was only a single seater and would lack the large radar of the bigger fighters.

Both the DH.116 and the Type 556 seem to suggest an aversion to the Sea Vixen and it is definitely worthy of note that both types would have been fitted with re-heat, unlike the DH.110. I do however remain slightly unconvinced that the DH.116 would not have suffered for having only a single engine in some way, perhaps it would not have met its speed estimates or range and armament may have been lacking.

A quick comparison shows that the Type 556 would have carried over twice the fuel load of the DH.116 (1,215 gallons versus 562) and would have climbed at least 50% faster to (43,000ft a minute versus 29,600ft a minute) at sea level. Granted that the Type 556 was specced with RA.24 whereas the DH.116 has RA.14 but the difference in thrust is not that great and the 556 carried twice the number of cannon. Furthermore Friedman states that the 556 was area ruled, if this is the case it gives the type more development potential. It is worth noting that both of these aircraft are stated to be able to out-climb the Sea Vixen on dry thrust alone! Does anyone know the fuel load for the Sea Vixen?

I have never seen an image of the final Type 576, the Scimitar file has drawings of two un-reheated versions whilst BSP illustrates the version with only thinned outer wings not the full wing thinning.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
If I reccal correctly, both the DH116 and the Type 556 where to the same NA 38, but this itself had changed between 1952 and 1954.

The early version had requirements for operation from the Colossus class, and a 1 hour CAP with gun only armament. The later version was Centaur class or above, 2 hour CAP and the inclusion of missile armament.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
Zen,

You could well be right, if we are to truly operate in an alternative history then procurement of both is not inconceivable though at some point missiles are going to have to be added to the DH.116 although it should not be that hard. The more I look the Type 556 the more I am impressed and the more it looks like a missed opportunity. The Sea Vixen has been remembered well but the harsh reality is thats its climb and altitude performance were poor and the aircraft itself was bordering on obsolete when it entered service.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
I think as was the Type 556 has the better climb, and acceleration, but the SeaVixen has a better turn rate at altitude, I'll have to recheck.
If I'm right it's down in part to wingloading, but we know that Vickers Supermarine offered extended tips for better altitude performance to the Type 576 supersonic fighter, so theres a case to be made that this would form part of a mkII upgrade or even become mkI standard with prototypes flying the orriginal wing.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
Zen,

You may well be right regarding rate of turn, however, in an aircraft tasked as the FAW series were I would question the value of this over the much greater rate of climb and altitude speed offered by both the DH.116 and the Type 556.
 

Graeme65

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
32
Reaction score
3
Sealordlawrence the fuel load of the Sea Vixen was 1,090 gal internal for the FAW1 and 1,026 gal internal plus 250 gal in pinnion tanks (the extended booms) for the FAW 2. It was a high quality design for its era, its problem was that it took so long to reach production and delivery that it served in a later era. Had the money and will been there to pursue it immediately then it would have been far superior to the Venom in the mid to later 50s and would have had guns which would have allowed it to take advantage of its manourverability. Might well have been replaced by the 556 or 576 in the early 60s.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
Graeme,

That was exactly what I was saying, 5+ years earlier and it would have been fondly remembered but the reality was that it was always the RN's secnd choice and by the time it entered service it already looked elderly.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
Yeap, I think we have a potential agreement here, RN orriginaly expected the DH110 to get to ISD in 1953, repeat 1953, read that and weep. It began service delivery I think in 1958, five years later.

Now with that in mind it needs to be remembered the RN had chosen the DH110 in 1949, say again 1949!
Now an 'interim' machine in the form of the DH116 was chosen in 1952, a consequence of Korea and the MiG19. DH116 was they felt was going to give more as a DLI fighter and was operable from Colossus and Majestic types including the RANs.

By 1954 they ordered, read that again ordered, a single Type 556 as the long term FAW solution, their near term was the already late DH110, which they then expected by 1956.

In 1955, they drop the Type 556, to carry on with funding the DH110, Scimitar (interim fighter/attack/strike type until the N/A.39 winner came into service) and B.103 (to N/A.39) against increasing RAF opposition. Theory being they had a new solution, the Saro P.177 which the RAF was not opposed to (was in fact part funding) and offered very good DLI performance, but at a cost to FAW operations.

1956 everything goes into hiatus, and early 1957 the axe falls, but the Saro P.177 carries on for some months. When it dies the death, there nothing but the finaly realised funding for the Scimitar and the already funded DH110.

By 1958 DLI is dead, long live CAP, which is sad because then we have the Type 576, but then the RAF is pushing hard to get B.103 killed off as it threatens their wonder machine to GOR.339, which is the TSR.2
Blackburn push their CAP variants of the Buccaneer, but a bit late and not as fast as some might have hopped for. A bit too big and likely a bit to heavy.

By 1963 the SeaVixen is looking very marginal against the then arriving Soviet Anti-Ship missiles, which needs not just a good radar missile combination, but realisticaly supersonic speed to handle, even with aircraft already airborn. Meantime the P1154 ('joint' NMBR.3 winner) is foisted on the RN, dreaming of their own TFX, in the form of OR.346.
Interime solution is the AW.406, and after a realising they cannot get a 'common' aicraft out of the P1154 to meet that, the F4 is chosen, supposedly because its a quick and cheap solution, that comes with the requisite radar missile combination. As a sop to the UK industry and because of the TO requirements, the Spey is squeezed into the F4, but McDD and RR get their maths wrong, its not a easy fit and the F4K is'nt quite the machine they'd all hoped for. Over budget, overweight, and late to service.

Now restart and say for a 'what if' that the Type 556 order carries on. AI.18 is developed for Firestreak for the DH110, so it's just the radar guided missile element thats different there, the main external difference is the dish size. Avon Reheat is devloped for the Lightning, so its already funded.
In theory the Type 556 might be entering service a year or two later than the DH110, but tis far more capable as a fighter, and will remain viable against the Soviet threat for far longer. No foisting the P1154, and no rush for the F4.
If anything the means to retain its viability for longer is in the form of new engines, thinner wings and new radar missiles. Either the RB.106 will carry on, in part because RR can see a machine to fit it to, or the scaled Medway (spey) is produced, both aimed to increase the useful life of the Type556.
Likely replacement is something like the Anglo-French VG fighter.

Crucial thing is by 1966 the UK is not carrying the cost of funding the F4K.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
Zen,

My impression was that the DH.116 was essentially the favourite (once it appeared), the Sea Vixen only being procured because the DH relaised that they lacked the resources to pursue the 116?

Interestingly, and I think tellingly, it was always planned to operate the SR.177 alongside the Sea Vixen, IIRC Eagle was to carry about 12 of each in addition to 12 Buccaneers and 12 other platforms.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
SR.177 is the RN's replacement for the Scimitar in the DLI and light attack roles, thats as clear as day in the CVs planned airwings. That was after all Scimitars orrigns, a day fighter is implicitly a interceptor, and is signified by its F.1 designation, the attack and emergency nuclear strike roles where more stopgaps until the Buccaneer came into service.
Almost certainly the SR.177 would get a F1 designation, but it might be FR, or F(G)R.....?

Lacking drawing staff for the job is a possible for the time. Key staff could'nt change job without government permission and this long before any computer aided draughting systems. So the company had a limited resources to turn out engineering drawings of all the components and their assembly.
Too much must have been committed to other projects, for the DH116 to be taken from basic design to detailed design, especialy true since so much of the machine would be 'new', with very little actualy taken from the Venom.
RN clearly favoured the DH116, it was smaller, lighter, operable from Colossus/Majestic types, would keep the large airwings available for the larger carriers, using just one engine implies some ease in transition to axial jets in terms of support and parts stores on the carriers.
This and the potential to develope the type, with more powerful engines, higher reheat temperatures, the new 'fighter' radars and maybe the new missiles. No wonder they shaped a requirement around the machine, and worried about upsetting the other firms who where still thinking the earlier tendering process was the basis for a selection.

Curious thing to ponder might be, how the DH116 would influence the Medium Fleet CV studies and Trade Protection CV studies circa 1953 to 1954. DH116 is smaller and more compact, potentialy allowing more per deck park and hanger area. That said you'd need more such machines because of their lower endurance.

Can also see in Hawkers reheated SeaHawk derivative a potential alternative to the Scimitar for everything but strike.

Hmmmmm....idealy they'd also look at a lightweight single engined compliment to the Buccaneer.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
Zen,

Absolutely I think the SR.177 was to be a day fighter replacing the Scimitar (albeit with some FAW capability). The issue with the scimitar seems to be that as soon it got given the strike mission all the future designs go hobbled by that requirement.

Lets not forget about the greater climb rate and altitude speed offered by the DH.116 as well. Gunston is clear that the Sea Vixen was a second choice after the DH.116 fell through for resource issues on DH's part.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
Indeed, on both counts.

SR.177, with just an 18 inch dish is going to be even more limited than a Lightning for radar only interceptions.

And DH116 was the design that appealed to the RN, DH110 is definately second choice, at best, and probably we might go even further and say it was already looking a bit of a problem by 1952, when the ISD was 1953. Fine when it was a joint effort with the RAF.......

Musing somewhat, I can see a possible line from the DH116 and P.1087 to the HSA Brough P.146 as a successor in the 1970's. A neat progression for Light Carrier Airwings.

I must say I'm rather suspicious of DH's attitude here, its DH116 kills off the earlier tender process, jumps the gun on any future tender and once the RN has taken the bait, its all "Oh sorry can't do it now, lack of resources old bean, but heres the DH110 instead".


Similarly there are a host of options for the replacement for the Type 556 during the 60's for a 1970's ISD.
Crunchtime for the Type 556 is 1956-57, and would depend on the state of progress with the prototype. RN can argue this is the 'last fighter', but its still 50/50 whether it survives Sandy's review. What might do it is sacrifice of the DH110, but the RAF could be pushing to cancel the B.103 Buccaneer.
And thats the big problem, and likely the answer to why the DH110 is carrying on, after all, all it needs to do is manage to handle the threats until the new wonder SAMs come along and sweep all manned fighters from the sky right?
In 1957 that might well characterise the attitude of the men in charge and explains the attempt to carry on with the SR.177 since its virtualy a manned missile and can be seen as a stepping stone to the fully automated system that will succeed it.
 

Graeme65

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
32
Reaction score
3
I suspect Zen has a very valid point there, if the RN had said no to the 110, either 116 or back out to tender I bet design staff would have very rapidly appeared.

The Sea Vixen in 53, needing to be replaced by the beginning of the 60s or the Super Venom mid to late 60s would change a great deal. The issue with the end of manned aircraft does put a real choke on getting the right aircraft through to production though. Nevertheless I am sure the absence of the Sea Vixen arriving in 59 would at least open the argument for something else as the 'last' RN fighter.

Of course with hindsight the Phantom was exactly the kind of aircraft the RN needed for the 60s 70s, but it needed it at something nearer the USN unit production cost and capable of operating off the existing carriers. I wonder if there is any circumstance in which the RN could have joined a US project in the late 50s. An Avon version of the F4 with a larger wing might have fitted the bill. There was the 1966 HL version with 5ft longer span and slightly reduced wing sweep, to reduce catapult and landing speed requirements. All the way down to Hermes/Vic specs would probably have been too great a challenge and the UK aircraft industry at the time would probably have been dead set against it.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
The Navy did not really have an issue with losing 'manned fighters' in 1957, just with cost issues. Sandys opposition was not to manned aircraft full stop but to the manned high speed / high altitude approach being taken to the Soviet Union by the RAF. Therefore the Type 556 was unlikely to be open to cancellation (it would in reality have been little behind the Sea Vixen- 6 months to a year perhaps?)

As has been discussed in another thread, the RB.106, could have made the SR.177 an effective Mach 2 lightweight day fighter without the need for the rocket engine and with endurance close to what the actual version would have managed with jet replacing rocket fuel. Furthermore the application of this engine to the Type 556 (already with reheat and according to one source area-ruled) combined with a thiner wing could have produced a highly effective supersonic FAW platform. In addition the selection of the Short PD.13 would have made that aircraft available for an un-reheated RB.106 (it was designed as an Avon platform). This could have allowed the PD.13 to reach its design potential and given the RN a supersonic strike platform in the 1960s. All this would have kept the Hermes (except for the Type 556 perhaps?), Victorious and Eagle classes viable up to the late 60s/early 70s at which point a Vickers Type 583 or Hawker P.1154 variant becomes a possibility.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
The irony of Sandy's is that he was wrong, but perhaps that speaks of a certain ignorance about SAMs themselves? Where he was right is that, there would be precious little time from warning to the first nuclear detonations, and no scope for refighting the Battle of Britain. Fixed airfields would be high on the target list for a first strike, and easy to do so with a ballistic missile.

Type556 being more in tune with medium to low level interceptions could in fact be more in tune to Sandys review, considering the expected threat was to shift to low level as the RN has been doing with the Buccaneer itself.

PD.13 seems more a good starting point for a FAW itself, the aero-isoclinic wing being more suited for high altitude supersonic fighters than low level subsonic strike.

Hermes is not a problem, though her airwing numbers would be marginal, better with the DH116 and SR.177 I suspect. Its the Colossus types that are a problem, but I suspect even the SR.177 can operate from them with suitable upgrades to the catapults and arrestor gear. Those Trade Protection CV studies have the right equipment and are designed for the Scimitar, so a move to the SR.177 seems a natural one.

Considering the 'future', past the Type556 is still going to start with OR.346, and putting things off as they can then, will keep it alive for longer, as it will surely shape their ideas about the next generation of CV. My suispicion is, with the RB.106, that a VG machine might be funded for research in the mid 60's. But it depends on the events surrounding the TSR.2 in this alternative timeline.

In theory, I can see it might be possible to alter the SR.177, for the role of MRI strike, as a cheaper route than the P1154, and possibly doing away with the Jaguar as we know it. Had they gotten German funding for the attack role, it seems plausable they can strengthen the wing for heavier loads.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
Actually Sandys was spot on, hence why he cancels Blue Envoy, Avro 730 and F-155T and SR.177 for the RAF. The reasons are two-fold. Firstly the prospect of war with the Soviet Union was much reduced after the death of Stalin and secondly there was a renewed emphasis on power projection capabilities. It is under Sandys watch that the TSR-2 programme amongst others begin with an eye on that very objective. Those 4 key cancelled programmes were all heading for obsolesence when they were cancelled (along with the Blue Riband radar) and would have had little use in any other role.

The FAA only loses two types from the 1957 cancellations and neither is a direct result of any hatred for manned aircraft, the first was the Seamew (cancelled as it was a limited capability type for light carriers and thus an easy cost saving target) and the SR.177N which is collateral damage from the RAF version being cancelled (The navy only version being regarded as unaffordable on its own).

However, this is really not an appropriate location for this discussion.

The PD.13 would have required significant redesign to be a FAW machine, its climb rate was lacking as was its service ceiling when compared to the Type 556, the 556 would actually have been a reasonable altitude performer. The colossus class would probably be better used as helicopter assault ships and heavy repair ships after 1957 rather than continued CV operations.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
Well I don't agree with quite a bit of that, but yes thats really a seperate topic for a seperate thread.

Colossus class, I think you might be missreading me, since those Trade Protection CV studies are somewhat roughly Colossus sized affairs. Theres an argument there for going the route of Invincible far earlier than was the case, with machines like the DH116 and SR.177 serviing the role of the Harrier.
Existing Colossus/Majestic types would've required prohibitively expensive work to become such CVs. But new build is another matter.

PD.13 was considered the msot risky proposition but the high end of the spectrum available. RN chose the B.103 as less risky but still of longer term validity than the AWA submission.
Now I said, quite carefully that the PD13 is a basis for the start of a design of a FAW machine, but a lot of work would be needed to turn it from the strike oriented design it was.

But turning back for a mo', would we be so down on the SeaVixen if DH had actualy built it as the larger fusilage for housing a 40 inch scanner?
That would somewhat offset its lack of supersonic speed and drive home the need for a good radar missile. Making it in development closer to the US ideas of a missileer.....?
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
The trade protection carriers have some utility and the Seamew was largely designed to operate from ships of that size, however in the timeframe in which they were considered they were additional to the fleet carriers and not a replacement of and after the 1957 doctrinal shift the trade protection role all but vanishes leaving the smaller carriers with limited utility in the new paradigm whilst later helicopter developments reduce the need for fixed wing trade protection ships.

PD.13 does seem to have been high risk, but it had been de-risked (to an extent) by the B.4 and Shorts design team was regarded as outstanding within the industry so if anyone could have pulled it off it would have been them. The Blackburn submission seems to end up on top as it gets the right balance of risk and capability.

A larger scanner for the Sea Vixen may have improved things but the fundamental problems of the type, appalling climb rate and low speed would have remained unaltered. The lack of a decent missile owed as much to the failings of industry as it did to the failings of the of the purchaser.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
More musing.
Go ahead for Type 525 is either late 1950 or early 1951.
Third prototype, Type 525 with sweepback, conventional tailplane, designated VX138 flew 27 April 1954, crashed on 5 July 1955.
First N113 flew 19 Jan 1956, WT854.
Deck trials April 1956 and Jan 1957 with the third more representative machine on Ark Royal.

By Nov 1957 optimum landing configuration arrived at after 148 landings on deck in total.

First production machine XD212 makes its maiden flight on 11 Jan 1957 and shares development with the early batch machines.
700X flight formed RNAS Ford 27 August 1957. Recieving first machine in May 1958.
803 at Lossiemouth starts operational training on 3 June 1958.
8 Scimitars embarked on HMS Victorious at end on 1959.

Comparison, EE P1B first flight 4 April 1957.

Type 556 is ordered in 23 Sept 1954 to N113D, and canceld 25 July.

To assume it carries on, requires something like the dropping of the N113T and N113P requirement in favour of the N113D?
Prototype could fly by 1956, but the service machines would likely run off instead of the F1 Scimitar, and would start their career on HMS Victorious in the later part of 1959 to a IOC. Perhaps a striped down version could still perform the strike mission?
FOC would likely be in 1960 or 1961.

1956 could be a crucial date here, since the RAF is abandoning its Thin Wing Javelin, in favour of the Avro Arrow. 24 Feb 1956 is when, and were they also end Red Dean.
Now if this is so, the likely ISD for the Type 556 is more relevent to the RAFs 'interim' machine pending the full F155T entry. RAF machines could start in 1960 or even taking from the RN a small number in late 1959. This would proably reduce the number of Lightnings ordered.

This also mates somewhat with the OR.1117 radar guided version of the Blue Jay mk4 missile, leading to Blue Dolphin from August 1956 to March 1958.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
A further potentially interesting factor is the cancelled procurement of the batch of 'navalised' Swifts, perhaps if these had been ordered we might have ended up down the path of Swifts instead of Scimitars leading to navalised Type 545 designs thus providing the RN with a credible day fighter with supersonic speeds earlier?
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
Indeed, if only the Swift could carry Red Beard, it would be the interim attack/strike type and we know it performed quite well at low level. Perhaps it might have evolved along SAAB Lansen lines?

Type 545 even with the 18 inch dish is a bit of a problem, but better than an Etendard.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
And would fall into roughly the same category as a pure turbojet SR.177.
 

alertken

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
559
Reaction score
75
Follow the money. "There is no-one to fight at sea", PM Attlee, 1/46, so no £ for FAA, so in Dec.,47 Triumph cruised alone: Corsairs and Hellcats had gone, overboard or overwater, so her Might was 12 Seafire XV/16 Firefly F.R.1. In Jan.,1947 UK had set its prime R&D wit to the Deterrent, so Unwanted-by-RAF tackled modest FAA volume: Airspeed, AWA, Fairey, Westland, RR's Nene team. In 1950, RN revived some of its suspended build/Reserve Fleet; Attacker, Gannet, Sea Hawk, Sea Venom cascaded, part-funded by MSP-$. Blackburn was promoted to this Second Division in May,1955 on NA.39; in 1954 Swift-tarnished Supermarine was relegated to it, on Scimitar. Also in 1954 new UK MSP-Obligations dried, so by 3/56: “It is defence (spend) that has broken our backs. We also know that we get no defence from (it)” Chancellor (1/57: PM) Macmillan, even before at Suez he saw the modest military value he had bought in Wyvern, Sea Hawk, Sea Venom. Ministers would not divert resources already over-stretched on Deterrence, so FAA was destined to have credible Strike kit only on the 1970s' cruises of the Ark, protected by F-4K, projecting Buccaneer S.2.

But other (ex-)HM Ships did better, sooner: Vengeance, Venerable and Majestic, A-4, and Powerful, F-2H-3. CVL-27 Langley became La Fayette because Korea caused US to welcome "colonial" Powers in SE Asia: what if: HMS Essex c.1956: Demon, Tiger, Banshee, Skyhawk, Tracker. The 1959 perceived flaw in RN F-4B was the slam-reheat, bolter Case: what if...dearth-of-grunt goes-with-the job, their Lordships had operated J79/F-4K off Ark/Eagle/Essex/Victorious from c.1962?

It was an unnecessary extravagance, and diversion, to attempt a home-built Air Group: one, maybe two at sea, when USN had fine kit deployed in, what: 18? Zen, 4/3/10 has F-4K as "late to service": not as I recall. RN had bounded joyously away from P.1154(RN) on 27/2/64, ordering 52 F-4K, local content confined to reheated Spey and Ferranti-licenced AI; 9/2/65 addition of 118 F-4M introduced some UK-sourced structure and Ferranti IN, in all by value, UK 40% of F-4K, 45% of F-4M, but: brewing Viet Nam caused a production rate of 72 F-4s per month (shall I say that again? 76 was the Scimitar number...but that took a decade). Every MoA order UK-sourcing anything for US Embodiment into F-4K/M, C-130K, F-111K was tied to late delivery penalties, because DoD's penalties on MoA for snarling the line would have bankrupted the Nation. F-4K/M, C-130K transformed UK military capability, just like Lend/Lease types had saved FAA in 1941: joyous at extracting $ in 1960 for Bullpup (which proved 'orrible) and Sidewinder (good), again in 1964 for F-4K, Admiralty for CVA-01/02/03 would have resisted any of the origami kites discussed here.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
1. This is the Alternative History section. Also there is no 'one way things could've happened, there was always options. Things could have been different.

2. F4K starts delivery the year it should've ended as per the orrignal plan if memory serves (in fact it may be worse than that but my memory is poor on what I've read on the topic).
3. USN aircraft are designed to operate from USN carriers, they are not guarenteed operable at useful weights from RN ones. J79 powered F4 even with F4K modifications is mariginal, more power needed at TO.
As was J79 F4 is marginal to the extreme from the 151ft catapult, TO and tank immediately or land or ditch soon, that the tennor of cross decking for USN and USMC pilots with the F4 on RN carriers Ark Royal and Eagle.

Where in the flying furry fruitbats did I say the RN wanted the P1154 instead of OR.346 or even to AW.406?
Joyus? Of course they where by the time of the decision to drop the P1154 and irrevelent to events in the 1950s.
Essence of this debate is the effect on decisions of entry into service of alternatives to the Sea Vixen.
Chief contention is that designs lik ethe Type556, make early decisions fot the F4 unlikely and need for the P1154 very unlikley. Ergo decision process from the 1960's onwards is different.

Admiralty for CVA-01/02/03 would have resisted any of the origami kites discussed here
Everything we are discussing here is essential prior to CVA-01 as a design and decision process. That process would start as was and end as did, almost regardless of earlier efforts. Rather like OR.346 was doomed to start post 1957 and die by '62 but remain wished for until 1966 if not for longer. Its influence on CVA-01 is very real.

As for the rest I just don't know, its not just that I'm a little drunk and tired, but this is barely English and very hard to read. Its almost like I need it upacked into something more readable.
Personnaly I reseve the right to muse outloud and ponder what did and what could have happend as much as I like. Its upto the mods to say otherwise as to doing so here or anywhere else.
If you don't like this discussion then don't join in.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
OK completely off topic for mo', and I mean no offense, its just that I'm curious. What are you, German?
Structure of your language is strongly suggestive of not being a native English speaker.

No dis, I like it fine. Alternative musing.
Certainly looks obedient to German word order, but I might be wrong. Definately not French, or by implication any Latin based language.

so her Might was 12 Seafire XV/16 Firefly F.R.1.
But perhaps that suggest Dutch?
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
Ken,

Once again I thank you for your input, I certainly suspect an academic background as a result of your extensive library of sources and an ability to link politics, economy, strategy and procurement in a manner that I have only previously witnessed in relatively small circles associated with a very specific academic background centered on The Strand in London. The interventions here have a remarkable ability to keep discussions grounded and provide the context which is so imperative.

Zen,

Ken is absolutely right regarding his following the money thesis. It is very important that we remember that any alternative history we may discuss requires us to justify the strategic motivations and state that such histories are devoid of financial reality.

One thing I think that Ken has missed is one other trend in FAA procurement that has its roots in the closing days of WW1. In 1917/18 the RNAS and various aviation companies were becoming quite adept at developing naval aircraft, Beardmore and Sopwith come to mind but others were also at it. However, following the forcing of the RNAS into the RAF procurement quality falls of a cliff and the loss of design experience is never recovered and the result is all to clear to see in WW2 and immediately afterwards when UK designed and built types are a collection of disasters and dead-ends. Even after the war the same situation applies but is made even worse by the need to use carriers that are too small. There are shining lights, but not enough, the Sea Fury was good fighter,the Buccaneer a good striker, but in general RN UK built air wings were shameful.
 

alertken

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
559
Reaction score
75
Z: solid Brit...but there's some Irish there which might explain a lot.
SLL: Aero procurement for USN and Japan's Navy was independent of/in competition with that for Land/Air: your implication is that budget/priority/volume were thus greater than for also-ran FAA. Even after RN recovered its operational "ownership" by 1939, Air Ministry, then MAP, then MoS/MoA, co-ordinated all UK Aero business and gave priority to RAF. Hence my comment about FAA being served by RAF passed-overs. It was utterly illogical for Ministers in 1936 to invest in a staggeringly expensive capital ships build programme inc. 6 Illustrii, and then to skimp and scrape for their Air Wing.

Here is my own thought on the inadequacy of UK Naval Air business. Starting with the Royal Aircraft Factory, UK separated Basic Research from Product Development. I think this derived from how Ordnance had been managed. So: not Blackburn's blown wing for NA.39, but Principal Scientific Officer Tristan's at RAE, put out to rude mechanicals to be cobbled. Buccaneer was "owned" not by Roy Boot and team, but by boffins. R.Bud/P.Gummett,Cold War Hot Science,Harwood,1999 is replete with this attitude (e.g: RAE disparaged EE/Preston, 1948-ish, as a One-Petter shop with no substance). The non-industrial Civil Service paid more attention to higher potential RAF volume. In US/Japan it just was not like that. My (rude) origami comment was in the sense that these officials dealt daily with, say, AWA's inability to meet today's contracts, so how could any more complex device be credible? H.Wynn, RAF Nuclear Off.Hist., P.202/204: (The view in MoS was that if Avro) could not perfect (100n.m. Blue Steel Mk.1)how could they (do) 10xthat? (Weapons Research Divn, many ex-RAE staff:) weak management structure (criticisms) recriminations (were) common parlance”. (All RAF, but same MoS view affecting FAA products).
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
Ken is absolutely right regarding his following the money thesis. It is very important that we remember that any alternative history we may discuss requires us to justify the strategic motivations and state that such histories are devoid of financial reality.
No not really, there was money, it was spent, clearly so. What happens is a lot is wasted on things which get canceld for various reasons.

Strategic motivations.....no lets stick to the topic, start a thread if you want to do that, but its rather beyond the normal scope of this stie bar say....the Bar.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
It would appear that we disagree Zen. ;)
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
No we don't but then that was obvious before. ;)
Where I thought we had some sort of agreement is that there was a locus in time where an alternative path could have been taken, and yet was'nt for a host of reasons. Some good reasons, some bad, and some that seemed good at the time but where'nt really and they should have known better.

Back on topic.

Why did'nt the second Type 525 machine not get RA7R Avons?
This seems one of the key moments for any scenario with the Scimitar variations, yet it seems to be one that happens in 1954, when surely the then use of reheat was crucial for the development of the Scimitar. Is this just a case of simpler to go for the new higher powered engines?

I shall have to check my books, perhaps they contain the answer. But I suspect its more on the RR side of things, for which I have no good reference nor one readily available in a nearby liberary.

Equaly curious thought, of all the variants and design concepts being bandied about, where was the twin engined Swift type? Scimitar is not that machine, nor any variation I've seen, if only due to the location of the exits of the exhaust nozzels.
 

alertken

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
559
Reaction score
75
Z: Big Swifts: back to the money. UK's Aero programmes, 1950-early 1954 were (part-)US DoD-funded. Swift (not Hunter) was selected as a NATO-Standard Type, to be built by Shorts and Fokker/Avions Fairey, for RBAF, RNeth AF. Record-breaker and film star (Sound Barrier), 1953...egg on face 1954: if Supermarine can't make the simple version work, begun 1944, how can they do complex twin things? New DoD money lapsed mid-1954; cancellations included Super-Swift (reheated single-engine VS.545), Thin Wing Javelin; second-generation/big engine types - Javelin, DH.110 - proved problematic. In 1954 EE P1 moved from reheated Sapphire to reheated big Avon...but soon beyond RR's competence. Ministers wail: can nothing work? In 1954 Macmillan became Sec.of State for Defence, finding “fighters were in a sad state of confusion” Memoirs/III,P560-81. RAE/NGTE pile in to help make funded projects happen. MoS remained dubious of RR-in-reheat, preferring ASM/BSEL, until Derby in 1963 threw all it had into Spey schemes for P.1154, F-4, F-111. Before F-4K, Feb.1964, RR's forward order book was sparse: BSEL had everything. It was F-4M/Spey 203 intense volume that permitted RR in 1966 to buy BSEL, who in Nov.1961 had paid good money to buy DH Engines, but in 1963 chose not to pay to buy RR, expecting to pick them up nearly-free, windfall.

V-S was very lucky to keep Scimitar, so to survive Swift and start schemes which led to V-A's TSR.2 bid. If DoD had offered any-USN-thing on credit, MoS would have passed the cost of S.Marston to Vickers' Board, who would have shut it.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
Nope, E.41/46 issued 1947, delivery of prototype for swept wing attacker 28 Dec 1948. Cheap and nasty, but it was supposedly not that bad. Sept 1950 CV deck landing trials.

Order for 100 Swift Nov 1950.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,322
Reaction score
458
Zen,

I do not recall the RA-7R being proposed for the second Type 525 prototype and I dont have access to my books at the moment, do you have a reference for that?

If I had to take a guess I would go add to what Ken said, around the time of the order for 100 Scimitars the role of the type was shifted away from the fighter/intercepter mission towards the low level attack role. This was at least in part down to the poor performance the type showed in its originally intended role! The move to low level operations would have negated the need for reheat.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,453
Reaction score
329
Reference.
POSTWAR MILITARY AIRCRAFT:7
SUPERMARINE
ATTACKER, SWIFT AND SCIMITAR

By Philip Birtles
Published 1992.
ISBN 0 7110 2034 5

Page 72
"Provision was made to fit reheat RA7R, but this never took place"
This in relation to VX138 designated Type 525, supposedly had RA& Avons. First flight 27 April 1954.

Alas I'll need to go to my other books to recheck the decision timings. But this looks like it predates the interim strike decisions.
 
Top