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Starfighter for the UK

zen

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This is odd..... I mean I had to start a F4 thread and weirdly people weren't that interested as I recall. Considering how the blessed perfection of F4 trumps all UK and French designs no matter the reason.

But it struck me....where's the F104 for the RAF thread?!!!!

Surely our resident advocates of buying American, America's best, etc.... would have put such a thread up?

After all here's a cheap simple high performance fighter, ideal for QRA in place of the Lightning.
It's developed to give Attack capability and even nuclear strike.
Surely this can do the Hunter missions, and the Lightning mission, and they even trialled a rocket motor in one.....

Certainly the RAAF looked at it....with an Avon in place of J79 no less.

It could even take say AI.23, Firestreak, 30mm ADEN etc...
Maybe a Spey...

Or maybe the Lancer
Or maybe a twin engine option?

Why with licensed production there could be synergies with Germany on it's development and successor.....
 

CJGibson

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Scottish Aviation Ltd did the overhauls for the RCAF's Europe-based CF-104s. I recall them howling over my school...

Anyway, there was some F-104 support capability in the UK in the 60s and early 70s, but we had the Lightning, so why not use it? Twin-engined security (on paper I suppose, dunno about that in reality. Anyone know about single-engined recoveries of Lightnings?) and no need to modify a different type.

(pulls out fag packet and Elektronik Brane) To match the Vulcan's weight of fire would need two ADEN and since a single ADEN weighs slightly less than a Vulcan, two ADENs would be approx double the weight of a Vulcan. Where would you put them and what would you displace to install them?

Be interesting if an alternative to the Vulcan was examined and if the Vulcan was ever considered for the Lightning.

Chris
 
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bobtdwarf

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This is odd..... I mean I had to start a F4 thread and weirdly people weren't that interested as I recall. Considering how the blessed perfection of F4 trumps all UK and French designs no matter the reason.

But it struck me....where's the F104 for the RAF thread?!!!!

Surely our resident advocates of buying American, America's best, etc.... would have put such a thread up?

After all here's a cheap simple high performance fighter, ideal for QRA in place of the Lightning.
It's developed to give Attack capability and even nuclear strike.
Surely this can do the Hunter missions, and the Lightning mission, and they even trialled a rocket motor in one.....

Certainly the RAAF looked at it....with an Avon in place of J79 no less.

It could even take say AI.23, Firestreak, 30mm ADEN etc...
Maybe a Spey...

Or maybe the Lancer
Or maybe a twin engine option?

Why with licensed production there could be synergies with Germany on it's development and successor.....

Well... as sexy as the F-104 looks everyone on here knows it is a flying death sentence and assumes that Lockheed could never afford the levels of bribes needed to persuade Her Majesty's government to buy it?
 

Tony Williams

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To match the Vulcan's weight of fire would need two ADEN and since a single ADEN weighs slightly less than a Vulcan, two ADENs would be approx double the weight of a Vulcan. Where would you put them and what would you displace to install them?

Be interesting if an alternative to the Vulcan was examined and if the Vulcan was ever considered for the Lightning.
I don't think that volume would be a problem - the M61's barrel cluster is very bulky. The RAF was interested in the 30mm Vulcan which the US was playing with in the 1950s, and might well have bought it if it hadn't been cancelled. This is from my forthcoming cannon book:

30 mm T212 Vulcan II: 30 x 113B and 30 x 126B ammunition.
Project Vulcan II was developed in parallel with the T171E1 / M61 to produce a version chambered for the ADEN/DEFA 30 mm ammunition. General Electric started work in 1954 with the first of two prototypes (one electric, one hydraulic) completed at the end of 1956. The US-developed 30 x 126B version of the ammunition was also tried in a version of this gun, as well as in the T182 revolver. The contract ended in 1958 when testing was complete. The six-barrelled T212 weighed 155 kg and was 162 cm long. It was belt-fed, the maximum rate of fire for a short burst being measured at 5,500 rpm with hydraulic drive and 6,050 rpm with electric drive: the time to achieve these rates was .50 secs and .78 secs respectively.
 

Tony Williams

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A much more obvious alternative for a bought-in single-engined Mach 2 fighter would have been the SAAB Draken. It already came with an Avon engine and ADEN guns, and I suspect was a much more versatile plane than the F-104. Given its short-field performance, it might even have been suitable for a carrier-based version.
 

zen

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To add to this perhaps we should also look at PO/108 NOT OFFFICIALLY SUBMITTED to ER.134T
The research requirement that was won by Bristol's T.188.

Because Hawkers PO/108 is quite Starfighter-like, with straight wing though high mounted, RB.106, and a low tail.....circa 1953.

And it does strike me that a low tail solves some of the issues with this type of design. Just as Lockheed concluded themselves with the Lancer.
As does a high wing....

And obviously if it's wrapped around a RB.106 then it's possible to use an Avon first.
Why with wingtip AAMs, radar in a reprofiled nose, a pair of ADEN 30mm, this wouldn't top out much beyond 24,000lb and have quite reasonable performance.
With Avon's getting to 15,000lb-17,000lb and RB.106 getting beyond 20,000lb thrust.

Obviously we will now hear how inferior it would be....compared to the Starfighter.....:rolleyes:
 
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zen

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A much more obvious alternative for a bought-in single-engined Mach 2 fighter would have been the SAAB Draken. It already came with an Avon engine and ADEN guns, and I suspect was a much more versatile plane than the F-104. Given its short-field performance, it might even have been suitable for a carrier-based version.
Yes that makes for a good scenario but I'm tempted to make that one wider, as System 36 ought to be of interest too and there was much merit in the Lansen.....maybe just a "Go Swedish" thread?
 
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zen

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To match the Vulcan's weight of fire would need two ADEN and since a single ADEN weighs slightly less than a Vulcan, two ADENs would be approx double the weight of a Vulcan. Where would you put them and what would you displace to install them?

Be interesting if an alternative to the Vulcan was examined and if the Vulcan was ever considered for the Lightning.
I don't think that volume would be a problem - the M61's barrel cluster is very bulky. The RAF was interested in the 30mm Vulcan which the US was playing with in the 1950s, and might well have bought it if it hadn't been cancelled. This is from my forthcoming cannon book:

30 mm T212 Vulcan II: 30 x 113B and 30 x 126B ammunition.
Project Vulcan II was developed in parallel with the T171E1 / M61 to produce a version chambered for the ADEN/DEFA 30 mm ammunition. General Electric started work in 1954 with the first of two prototypes (one electric, one hydraulic) completed at the end of 1956. The US-developed 30 x 126B version of the ammunition was also tried in a version of this gun, as well as in the T182 revolver. The contract ended in 1958 when testing was complete. The six-barrelled T212 weighed 155 kg and was 162 cm long. It was belt-fed, the maximum rate of fire for a short burst being measured at 5,500 rpm with hydraulic drive and 6,050 rpm with electric drive: the time to achieve these rates was .50 secs and .78 secs respectively.
Wouldn't it have made life interesting if say that had reached service. A NATO standard 30mm could result.....
 

Nick Sumner

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Well... as sexy as the F-104 looks everyone on here knows it is a flying death sentence and assumes that Lockheed could never afford the levels of bribes needed to persuade Her Majesty's government to buy it?
Why do I have the impression that HMG could be bought pretty cheap if someone actually wanted to?
 
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bobtdwarf

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Well... as sexy as the F-104 looks everyone on here knows it is a flying death sentence and assumes that Lockheed could never afford the levels of bribes needed to persuade Her Majesty's government to buy it?
Why do I have the impression that HMG could be bought pretty cheap if someone actually wanted to?
HMG is more a rental
 

_Del_

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A much more obvious alternative for a bought-in single-engined Mach 2 fighter would have been the SAAB Draken.
Really like the Draken idea.

I suppose you could run the F-104G with the Bucc and F-4 until the Tornados became available if necessary-- even better if they'd taken the route of Italy with the S-model which was criminally underrated. A Starfighter buy and the support would certainly have been cheaper. Probably means no Jaguar, but maybe more Hawks (Hawk 200) and 104's combine to fill that gap.
 
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pathology_doc

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It could even take say AI.23, Firestreak, 30mm ADEN etc...
Remember that Firestreak isn't that much smaller than Sparrow.

In the Lightning, the missiles are mounted on racks directly attached to the hardware pack that supports them. Sea Vixen and Javelin carried theirs on the wing, but said wing was thicker. Do you have space in the Starfighter's wings to run the wiring and piping for the missiles through, and where in the body are you going to fit the gear? IIRC the Italian Air Force's Starfighters had to sacrifice the gun to fit in the interface gear for their Aspides.
 
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zen

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A much more obvious alternative for a bought-in single-engined Mach 2 fighter would have been the SAAB Draken.
Really like the Draken idea.

I suppose you could run the F-104G with the Bucc and F-4 until the Tornados became available if necessary-- even better if they'd taken the route of Italy with the S-model which was criminally underrated. A Starfighter buy and the support would certainly have been cheaper. Probably means no Jaguar, but maybe more Hawks (Hawk 200) and 104's combine to fill that gap.
It would logically take the numbers for the Lightning and P1154. The latter very close to Jaguar numbers for the reason they had the same mission.
Not sure you really need the F4 for that mission at all, so no 70 aircraft tasked MRI until Jaguar ISD.
Simpler to just get Starfighter and maybe bung a Spey in....

This would make F4 purchase a smaller one and as a dedicated Fighter outside of the FAA.....if at all as it's arguably not necessary.

Buccaneers already in production can always increased for the LRI mission.
 

zen

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It could even take say AI.23, Firestreak, 30mm ADEN etc...
Remember that Firestreak isn't that much smaller than Sparrow.

In the Lightning, the missiles are mounted on racks directly attached to the hardware pack that supports them. Sea Vixen and Javelin carried theirs on the wing, but said wing was thicker. Do you have space in the Starfighter's wings to run the wiring and piping for the missiles through, and where in the body are you going to fit the gear? IIRC the Italian Air Force's Starfighters had to sacrifice the gun to fit in the interface gear for their Aspides.
In Saro's F.177 the missile shoes hold a lot of the equipment needed, such gas bottles etc... Logically they'd use that sort of arrangement.

As I suspect they did on various wingtip missile options on aircraft designs, from Lightning, to P1103, to AWA.166 etc.....
 

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Whether the 'flying coffin' was a myth, I remember the 104 getting a lot of bad press in the UK in the mid 60s.
It would have been a hard sell from the PR viewpoint.
 

zen

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Whereas if.....
IF PO/108 was proposed to ER.134T
And IF this won the contract somehow....awarded 28 August 1953. Serials and contract assigned 4 Jan '54.
THEN first flight say by 1957 with Avon. RB.106 version flying by 1960 assuming a protracted development for the engine.

A fighter variant is possible to follow on Hunter production and enter service by 1962 if not 1960, which seems possible depending on the engine.

Arguably a rocket boosted option could draw the RAF away from F.177 (OR.337) or even challenge the rocket powered evolutions.

Easier maintenance, lower cost and a nose large enough to potential allow AI.23 with illuminator function. Could potentially draw orders away from Lightning.

A strengthened wing and fusilage could follow for ground attack, possibly allowing a MRI nuclear delivery option.
 
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Michel Van

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There three reason against the F-104 Service in RAF or even RN early 1960s

The Hawker Hunter and English Electric Lightning and Blackburn Buccaneer

The F-104G was fast interceptor a role taken by Lightning
and a fighter-bomber and for aerial reconnaissance a role taken by Hunter
also a low-level flight bomber a role already taken by Buccaneer

Next to that is little issue they are British Aircraft build by British companies...



Whether the 'flying coffin' was a myth
we discussed that Topic in forum in another section,
like the the Belgium lost 40% of there F-104G fleet in accidents during 20 years service
While the Italian Air force lost 38% and Germans lost 29%,
the Japan Self Defence Force lost only 3 planes
the Spanish had zero loss because they used F-104G as good weather interceptor during 7 years service
 

_Del_

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The F-104G was fast interceptor a role taken by Lightning
and a fighter-bomber and for aerial reconnaissance a role taken by Hunter
also a low-level flight bomber a role already taken by Buccaneer

Next to that is little issue they are British Aircraft build by British companies...
I think you're making the point that at least two of those roles could have been successfully filled by the Starfighter, which could have stayed relevant for at least as long as the Lightning, and longer than the Hunter. Costs to UK would not have been higher, probably lower than the heavier Lightning.

Buccs are in a class of their own. No danger of replacement, imo. But the Lightning could be replaced, and the Hunter replaced or diminished in number.

I agree that there's probably a political hurdle on being a foreign design, but Fokker, Messerschmitt, Fiat, etc all licence produced Starfighters. In fact. of the 2536 F-104's produced, only 737 were off a Lockheed line. Everything else was built in Germany, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands, and Canada. No reason that it couldn't have been produced by Hawker, BAE, etc. Add British avionics, as well, and I think it's plausible. Difficult, but not impossible.
 

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There three reason against the F-104 Service in RAF or even RN early 1960s

The Hawker Hunter and English Electric Lightning and Blackburn Buccaneer

The F-104G was fast interceptor a role taken by Lightning
and a fighter-bomber and for aerial reconnaissance a role taken by Hunter
also a low-level flight bomber a role already taken by Buccaneer

Next to that is little issue they are British Aircraft build by British companies...



Whether the 'flying coffin' was a myth
we discussed that Topic in forum in another section,
like the the Belgium lost 40% of there F-104G fleet in accidents during 20 years service
While the Italian Air force lost 38% and Germans lost 29%,
the Japan Self Defence Force lost only 3 planes
the Spanish had zero loss because they used F-104G as good weather interceptor during 7 years service
Perhaps. But I'm talking about contemporary reporting the UK press, and the bad PR it received.
 

zen

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So UK Starfighter for RAF.
At least 60 with Avon, AI.23, Firestreak or Red Top and possibly over 120 total. Trainer numbers?

Potential FGA/FR order, possibly with TFR set, Spey and cleared for nuclear store. Assume about 200 including two seater trainers.

Results.
Lightning remains a research machine or a limited number of F1.
Pre-NMBR.3 saga instead of FGA9/10 Hunters for early MRI nuclear strike role. Inserts delay or lack of haste in P1154, program fizzles out after '65.
Though possibly P1127 Kestel caries on.....

Potential RAAF Avon version pips Mirage III, since UK pays for engine integration.
Big questions....
India?

Next generation successor?
 

Archibald

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With UK as a Starfighter client, prepares for huge lobbying by Lockheed for IFA (1968-69, F-5E) and the following LWF - their very own CL-1200 Lancer.
Before the Flight Global archive went down, I had found there some tantalizing tidbits related to Italy and Turkey (both users of the F-104S) as "bridgeheads" to try and screw the "Deal of the Century" and their own four countries.
 
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Volkodav

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With UK as a Starfighter client, prepares for hube lobbying by Lockheed for IFA (1968-69, F-5E) and the following LWF - their very own CL-1200 Lancer.
Before the Flight Global archive went down, I had found there some tantalizing tidbits related to Italy and Turkey (both users of the F-104S) as "bridgeheads" to try and screw the "Deal of the Century" and their own four countries.
I noticed the Flight Global Archive was gone but haven't been able to determine if its gone, gone, or just behind the pay wall. If its the later I'll go for a subscription but not going to do that until I can confirm the archive will be accessible.
 
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