Rolls-Royce Griffith Supersonic VTO Airliner

McTodd

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I'm new here, so forgive me if this is in the wrong place or anything, or if I transgress any rules!

A few weeks ago, I bought a secondhand book called 'Rolls Royce Leader of the Skies' by Michael Donne. I bought it mainly for one illustration in the last chapter, of an extraordinary dart-like aircraft designed by A A Griffith for R-R in the late 1950s, a Supersonic VTO Airliner.

Below is attached a low-res scan of the illustration.

Griffith-VTO-supersonic-airliner-1.jpg


I had never heard of this or seen anything about it, and a search on t'internet yielded nothing - until a few days ago, when I learned that FLIGHT magazine are creating an online archive of all their issues dating back to 1909! So far, it's free (amazingly!), with individual pages downloadable as PDFs:

http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/

To my delight, there are a couple of articles from 1958 and 1960 on this very design! If you type 'Griffith VTO' in the search box, you can find the pages. Below are some of the illustrations from the FLIGHT back-issues.

Griffith_supersonic_VTO_airliner_2.jpg


Griffith_supersonic_VTO_airliner_1.jpg


Griffith_supersonic_VTO_airliner_3.jpg
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Its not a million miles away from the AW 171;

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,269.0.html
 

McTodd

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I'd never heard of that, amazing, thanks! The design presented to the SST Committee certainly seems very similar.
 

Jemiba

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Here the installation of the engines is recognisable, only 56
lift engines and 12 engines for cruising flight ! A dream for
every aircraft mechanic !
(from Flugwelt 1961)
 

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McTodd

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Nice image, Jemiba, thanks for posting it! A few weeks ago, this design was completely new to me, and a complete mystery too.
 

Rickshaw

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Jemiba said:
Here the installation of the engines is recognisable, only 56
lift engines and 12 engines for cruising flight ! A dream for
every aircraft mechanic !
(from Flugwelt 1961)

Well, it was being proposed by an engine manufacturer, so what else would you expect? They have rather a vested interest in selling as many of their wares as they could, don't you think? :D
 

CJGibson

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From an old Flight:

The Chairman of Rolls-Royce was asked why he always flew the Atlantic in
four-engined aircraft. His reply: "Because there are no five-engined
aircraft."

KB
 

hesham

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Hi,

Anther Rolls Royce project for Griffith supersonic transport.


http://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1960/1960%20-%201842.pdf
 

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Jemiba

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Looks identical to this one, which I found years ago in, I think
an issue of the german Flugwelt magazines from the early sixties :
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Griffiths Supersonic Airliner patents

http://www.google.com/patents?id=0rNZAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4
http://www.google.com/patents?id=OlRvAAAAEBAJ&pg=PP1&dq=2982501
 

Barrington Bond

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And another two

http://www.google.com/patents?id=4qBkAAAAEBAJ&pg=PP1#PPP1,M1

http://www.google.com/patents?id=tWZyAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA2&dq=aa+griffith#PPA2,M1



Regards,
Barry
 

uk 75

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This project captured the imagination of British comic artists. It features in an old Eagle supplement from the 60s in BEA colours and also in BOAC colours.

UK 75
 
W

Wingknut

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Hi Justo,
Check out this thread here: 'Rolls-Royce Griffith Supersonic VTO Airliner':

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2172.0/highlight,griffith.html

All best,
Wingknut
 

hesham

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Hi,

http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1958/1958%20-%200579.html
 

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Barrington Bond

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Came across this in a Rolls Royce company magazine.
 

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tartle

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Barrington Bond,
I know it's an old thread but as I am reminiscing about A A Griffith's inspiring thinking and small, light ,powerful engines I would like to draw attention to the fact that all the time AAG was at RR he had an inspired draughtsman with him to translate the maths into pictures. The picture you have posted above is an example of Donald Eyre's work. I knew him as I spent a year or two stressing out the ideas from Geoff Wilde's Preliminary Design team where Don worked after AAG's departure. He was a quiet guy who chatted of his experiences. He wrote of them down in 50 Years with Rolls-Royce: My Reminiscences published by the RRHT.
I have added one of Don's illustrations to the post...
 

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hesham

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Barrington Bond said:
Says NACA but reckon it's a Griffith.

http://www.avia-it.com/act/biblioteca/periodici/PDF%20Riviste/Alata/Alata%201959%2001.pdf
 

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blackkite

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Hi!
 

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blackkite

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Hi! My understanding and question.
 

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Viper2000

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What is this system?
I think it's another engine for pitch control, though I don't understand the layout of the ducting, as it seems needlessly complex. It might be that this front engine is also used as an APU, and the system behind it is the ECS, perhaps with the intent that fuel from the front tank is used a a heat sink in cruise. In this arrangement, there would presumably be a valve to bypass the APU / pitch control engine during cruise, and this would explain why the engine flowpath is reversed, as this allows a straighter flowpath during cruise, when the losses have a more significant impact upon total fuel requirement & therefore sizing. However, this is just a guess.
 

blackkite

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Thanks a lot. Very complicated system.
I can see shock cone, small gas turbine engine and two vertical ducts.
 

TomcatViP

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It's a blown bow Shockwave system coupled with a pitch actuator (Vtol). You can see it has the same configuration as an Harrier engine but with two hot nozzles pointed downward and two HP exaust angled forward with the nozzle end at the nose tip for some kind of after burning or aerospike external combustion.
By blowing away the Shockwave, you are building space b/w the the transition layer and your vehicle without having the drag effect of a blunt nose (the shock waves would be angled like if they had initiated from the surface of the vehicle leading to less non-isentropic shock losses).

The other particular aspect of the system is that the "turbine engine" Harrier like in the front looks to be fed by a tank (LO2 + propellant? ) and not by an outside source. You can see in front of the engine inlet an expension chamber certainly to slow down and increase the static pressure of the injected gas.
 

blackkite

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It's a blown bow Shockwave system coupled with a pitch actuator (Vtol). You can see it has the same configuration as an Harrier engine but with two hot nozzles pointed downward and two HP exaust angled forward with the nozzle end at the nose tip for some kind of after burning or aerospike external combustion.
By blowing away the Shockwave, you are building space b/w the the transition layer and your vehicle without having the drag effect of a blunt nose (the shock waves would be angled like if they had initiated from the surface of the vehicle leading to less non-isentropic shock losses).

The other particular aspect of the system is that the "turbine engine" Harrier like in the front looks to be fed by a tank (LO2 + propellant? ) and not by an outside source. You can see in front of the engine inlet an expension chamber certainly to slow down and increase the static pressure of the injected gas.
Attached picture shows what you explained?
 

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blackkite

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Thanks amazing TomcatViP-san❗️
 
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blackkite

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Hi!
 

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blackkite

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Hi!
 

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blackkite

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Hi! Enlarged RAP-san's contribution.
 

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blackkite

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What is the relation between these two projects?
 

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