Studies before the Tornado: NKF, AFVG, UKVG

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,013
Reaction score
2
AFVG

It was a joint Anglo-French project, with British Aerospace leading, for a post TSR.2 strike aircraft. France were never particularly interested in this project; it did however serve as a useful way of getting hold of UK VG technology, which was based on years of research. Note that the Mirage G adopted a number of AFVG design features.

Sources:
  • Tony Buttler Secret Projects: Jet Bombers since 1945
  • Derek Wood Project Cancelled
  • Annals of the Polymorph, Air International
 

Attachments

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,013
Reaction score
2
2 pictures of the partially completed AFVG mockup.

Sources:
  • Doug Richardson, Modern Fighting Aircraft: Tornado, Salamander 1986
  • Annals of the Polymorph, Air International, May 1975
 

Attachments

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,013
Reaction score
2
AFVG Specification, 13 July 1965

All up weights of 30,000lb, 40,000lb, 50,000lb considered
Two seater
800kts at sea level, Mach 2.5 at altitude
Ceiling 60,000ft+
Takeoff/landing to 50 ft 850 yards
Radius of action 500nm (strike/recce)
Unrefuelled ferry range 3,500nm
Powerplant 2 x Bristol/SNECMA M45G turbofans
36 in radar dish with minimum AI range of 60nm

"Annals of the Polymorph",Air International, May 1975
 

Archibald

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
2,154
Reaction score
1
How the hell could have the AFVG achieved mach 2.5 and 3500nm ferry range :eek: with M-45 engines? only 5500 kgp each seems a bit weak no? are this good results a virtues of the VG wing? :)

Just love the AFVG program... had Dassault been much less stupid (a pure whatif ;D), France would have had some kind of Tornado to replaced its Mirage IV in the nuclear strike role (much better than a Mirage 2000N!!!). The Mirage G and G8 were good as test aircrafts, but perfectly unuseful (too expensive!!!).
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
1,601
Reaction score
0
I am looking for information, drawings and mockups of the joint British (BAC)/French (Dassault) AFVG program, that I believe started in 1965.
The only info I have on the design was that the specification called for a two-seater variable-geometry wing design, with max speed of 800 kts at sea level and Mach 2.5 at altitude; operational ceiling of 60,000 ft, and a combat radius of 500 n miles.
I believe that a carrier-based variant for both the Royal Navy and French Navy was planned.
British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) was supposed to have built a mock up of the AFVG. Does anyone have pictures of this mock up?

What engines was it to have used?

What armament was it supposed to have carried?

Does anyone have the specifications for the AFVG?

Why was the program cancelled?

Was the AFVG a more capable design than the Tornado?


Regards
Pioneer
 

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,013
Reaction score
2
EWR NKF drawing

http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1968/1968%20-%200745.html
 

Attachments

Jemiba

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
7,949
Reaction score
0
Very interesting material again, I haven't seen before !
Just a question : Was the fixed wing design (file AFVG-2) purely for comparison ?
Seems a bit strange in a project, that by its name aimed at a VG aircraft.
 

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,013
Reaction score
2
I imagine it was for reference, to prove the superiority of the VG layout.

Note the kinked nose: looks to me like it was designed to fit a large radar antenna for the AA role.
 

MIRAGE 4000

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Mar 17, 2007
Messages
151
Reaction score
0
will search soon AFVG information on French Armée de l'Air Archives ....
I want to open the archives .. still under "secret defense", but if I am lucky, I could read them !
 

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
0
Fascinating stuff on this period. I think you will find that on the Whatifmodelers site someone (Thorvic?) did a nice model of the UKVG in in-service livery.
Bill Gunston covers the story in his Attack Aircraft of the West and reckons that the French Air Force never intended to take AFVG so I too will be interested to hear the French side of things.
UKFVG is pretty much the aircraft that the UK wanted instead of Tornado, but the compromise was necessary to get German money for the programme.
It is fascinating how the designs from OR 346 evolve into Tornado (a story told well in the Polymorphs article from Air Enthusiast).
BAC tried to give the AFVG its best shot and came pretty close to the eventual Tornado (the Vigilante intakes were a compromise between the German NKF and UKFVG suggestions which took everyone back to the Vickers tailless planes for OR 346).
Does anyone out there have any manufacturers brochures or pamphlets? Maybe at Warton, Manching or Weybridge?
UK 75
 

alertken

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
513
Reaction score
0
OS is right. HSAL had done more VG work (AW.59/DH.127/Fo.147/HS.1170B/1171) than (non-Wallis) BAC, who had only modest study funds while busy on TSR.2. That cancellation left BAC Military Aircraft with zilch. MoA put them into AFVG post-TSR.2, and nominated them, not HSAL, for the Hunter/Gnat replacement (to be Jaguar; neither won a normal tender process), all to support them for the Saudi Magic Carpet deal. That was not just about selling Lightnings &tc., but about Defence burden-sharing East of Suez. BAC had no attributes that HSAL did not have...except an Air Defence platform, which US DoD supported as F-111K offset (R.Howe, Weapons, Sphere,1981: D.Healey: "we could not have made the bid, let alone won, without US assistance)".

The R&D pace of VG was driven by seals, pivot strength...mundane fabrication, solved by electron beam welding (a Cincinatti Milacron machine) in titanium. It was the licence of Grumman's F-111B centre-box that put MBB in the lead on NKF-75, thus MRCA. An IPR fee was paid to Grumman for its Tornado use.
 

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,013
Reaction score
2
I agree its not quite so straightforward, but;

in February 1965, the Mirage III G, designed by Jean-Jacques Samin and Jean-Paul Emoré, was adopted by the Defense Ministry. Four months later, the dossier was submitted to the Defense authorities and a scale model of the Mirage III G was presented at the Paris Air Show.

One major problem remained to be solved: the wing movement mechanism.


By the fall of 1965, a lot of progress had been made. The wing pivot position had been determined at a point slightly flush of the fuselage. Several Dassault patents were placed on the discovery.

On October 18, 1965, while Anglo-French negotiations on the joint swing-wing project were going on, the Defense Ministry placed an order for a Mirage G experimental variable geometry aircraft. The first drawings were begun immediately, and manufacturing work on the prototype began in January 1966.

On the 13th and 14th of March, 1967, a delegation from BAC led by Mr. Greenwood, came to visit the prototype, then under construction at Saint-Cloud. On May 27, the airframe, for which the general assembly was now complete, was presented for the first time on static display at the Paris Air Show.
http://www.dassault-aviation.com/en/passion/aircraft/military-dassault-aircraft/mirage-g.html?L=1

As you can see, the Mirage G pivot location was not decided until several months after AFVG work commenced. Much of the discussion in AFVG focussed on the pivot location with BAC arguing for their inboard design, Dassault for a NASA-style outboard pivot.

So yes, in the end Dassault went with a copy of the US pivot design, but that doesn't mean they didn't benefit from exchanging data with BAC.
 

overscan

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
11,013
Reaction score
2
I wasn't implying Dassault considered an inboard pivot location, simply that they hadn't worked out the details of the pivot mechanism until after AFVG work had started.
 

TinWing

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
888
Reaction score
0
overscan said:
So yes, in the end Dassault went with a copy of the US pivot design, but that doesn't mean they didn't benefit from exchanging data with BAC.
In the end, variable geometry technology, whatever the source, was of absolutely no commercial benefit to Dassault. The swept wing ACF, which very nearly went to production, was a final rejection of the concept of variable geometry.
 

MIRAGE 4000

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Mar 17, 2007
Messages
151
Reaction score
0
Yeepeee !

I have the autorisation to read the secret Armée de l'Air AFVG archives ! :)

Well, what's new on this program ??? ;)
 

hesham

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
May 26, 2006
Messages
23,043
Reaction score
0
Hi,

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1967/1967%20-%200918.html
 

Attachments

Top