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Vickers VC-7 and V-1000

Spark

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PMN1 said:
Was a Maritime Reconnaissance version ever thought about?

From what i've read, the inability to meet the timeline for a Shackelton replacement was one of the things against the MR version of the VC-10.
Hi PMN1,

The wing for the V1000 type 1001 was evolved from the advanced Valiant B2, the low level version. I guess in theory it would be OK but do not recall a Maratime air craft being mentioned.

What may interest you is that Avro started work on a ALCM in 1950, internal company politics delayed it and a new team re-worked it as Blue Steel but with a delay of several years.
 

JFC Fuller

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I think the answer is that had the type been built it would have been considered for the Nimrod requirement.
 

PMN1

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Stuck on the Drawing Board: Unbuilt British commercial aircraft since 1945, Richard Payne. Page 42

Farcically, on 7 February 1956, just weeks after cancelling the VC7, the ministry of Supply issued a letter to suppliers, requesting proposals for a new long-range high-speed aircraft capable of carrying a 30,000lb payload, powered by Rolls-Royce Conway engines. Vickers naturally dusted down their VC7 to see if it could meet the requirement, looking at both podded and buried engine variants, but this was to no avail, even though the project met most of BOAC’s new requirements.

The Ministry initially sent out invitations foe the new study to Avro, de Havilland, Bristol, Armstrong Whitworth and Handley Page. Later Fairey, sanders Roe, Vickers-Armstrong, Folland, Boulton Paul, Shorts, English Electric, Hawker and Gloster were invited to put forward proposals. Avro, who had been proposing he Atlantic airliner based on the Vulcan bomber originally as a Comet 3 replacement in 1954, against the Vickers 1000 and Bristol 187, decided to study a joint effort with sister company, Avro Canada, but this project appears not to have been taken too seriously. Of the other companies invited, the only serious projects put forward came form Armstrong Whitworth, Bristol, de Havilland, Handley Page and Vickers.



Does anyone know where the VC7 didn't meet BOAC's new requirements?
 

Spark

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Does anyone know where the VC7 didn't meet BOAC's new requirements?

[/quote]

Country of origin?
 

JFC Fuller

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I bet the VC7 that had an even bigger wing could have produced some very interesting cost effective developments with out the political cancer of forced amalgamation.

Forced amalgamation was was not a 'cancer' but an effort to manage collapse by the government. The VC-7 program consists of all the ingredients which made the British aircraft industry uncompetitive when compared to the US. Both the UK government and its aircraft industry were near bankrupt, this lead to the VC-7 being developed on the basis of the Valiant (the programme specified that submissions had to be based on existing aircraft), the RAF requirement for the VC-7 was just twelve aircraft (by comparison the USAF acquired of 800 KC-135's), hardly a viable economic model. The US had a further advantage, its huge internal commercial market could absorb and support the majority of its domestic aerospace industry whilst the UKs could not. Firstly the UK is not really big enough to justify internal flights and with the collapse of the Empire the viability of indigenous large long range aircraft was further eroded. In short, whilst US industry could rely on the USAF and domestic commercial carriers UK industry could not. Thus it was forced to compete on the international market where US industry had the advantage of domestic sales behind it as it entered.

The other factor visible in the VC-7 saga is the over-sized nature of the UK aerospace industry at the time, 5 companies presented submissions for a single 12 aircraft requirement- clearly the UK could not support this number of firms and the amalgamation was only really an effort to try and keep together the best of the talent and preserve some sort of industrial base.
 

PMN1

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sealordlawrence said:
the RAF requirement for the VC-7 was just twelve aircraft (by comparison the USAF acquired of 800 KC-135's), hardly a viable economic model.

On the other hand....

Stuck on the Drawing Board: Unbuilt British commercial aircraft since 1945, Richard Payne.

It was not just BOAC who were originally interested in the VC7. Early design studies had seen BEA making encouraging noises towards the aircraft back in 1952. Trans-Canada Airlines, who had successfully introduced the Viscount in April 1955, had also shown great interest in the VC7, to such a degree that they had even tried to persuade the British government to continue with the programme. However, with no domestic orders there was little chance of this happening.

Farcically, on 7 February 1956, just weeks after cancelling the VC7, the ministry of Supply issued a letter to suppliers, requesting proposals for a new long-range high-speed aircraft capable of carrying a 30,000lb payload, powered by Rolls-Royce Conway engines. Vickers naturally dusted down their VC7 to see if it could meet the requirement, looking at both podded and buried engine variants, but this was to no avail, even though the project met most of BOAC’s new requirements.


I agree with you that there were too many aircraft companies post WW2 but sometimes you get the impression that the ideal number for the Ministry was zero with everything being bought from the US possibly with Rolls Royce engines....
 

JFC Fuller

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On the other hand....

Stuck on the Drawing Board: Unbuilt British commercial aircraft since 1945, Richard Payne.

It was not just BOAC who were originally interested in the VC7. Early design studies had seen BEA making encouraging noises towards the aircraft back in 1952. Trans-Canada Airlines, who had successfully introduced the Viscount in April 1955, had also shown great interest in the VC7, to such a degree that they had even tried to persuade the British government to continue with the programme. However, with no domestic orders there was little chance of this happening.

The VC-7 had to exist in a competitive environment, it failed to convince BOAC and RAF could not afford it, vague interest from a couple of airlines simply would not cut the mustard. BEA was unlikely to procure an aircraft of that size and range and Trans-Canada would have provided no-where near the required sales. A private company needs to meet both its spent costs and its future investment costs and as impressive as Vickers designs were they were never able to do this. The VC-10 is a case in point, the aircraft barely broke-even and the company required government funding (which was not forthcoming) to develop the type any further when a viable company should have made a profit on the VC-10 that was sufficient to reinvest in further developments.

Farcically, on 7 February 1956, just weeks after cancelling the VC7, the ministry of Supply issued a letter to suppliers, requesting proposals for a new long-range high-speed aircraft capable of carrying a 30,000lb payload, powered by Rolls-Royce Conway engines. Vickers naturally dusted down their VC7 to see if it could meet the requirement, looking at both podded and buried engine variants, but this was to no avail, even though the project met most of BOAC’s new requirements.

The simple fact is that the VC-7 could not compete whilst the 707 had the advantage of having been heavily de-risked by both the 367-80 and the KC-135 whilst the the VC-7 had yet to fly and Vickers were all of sudden announcing that the weight had grown and more powerful engines would be required, this may have been easily fixable but BOAC regarded itself as a profit making enterprise and it needed take commercial decisions. The sudden announcement by Vickers speaks to a wider issue with the British aircraft industry in this era that I will come to in the next bit.

I agree with you that there were too many aircraft companies post WW2 but sometimes you get the impression that the ideal number for the Ministry was zero with everything being bought from the US possibly with Rolls Royce engines....

this is an issue with the history of the British aviation industry that is popular at the moment. it has mostly been written by patriotic aircraft lovers and former industry members, not by airline people or proper academic historians. If one takes a look at the mainstream press of the time, and the hansards for that period it is apparent that the UK aircraft industry was not held in high regard and the reasons for that were largely associated with its performance. We occasionally get glimpses of this in this forum, for instance the waste of time and effort that was Blue Steel, the problems with the Bristol 188 and the frequent delays in numerous airliner programmes, the crash of the first Vulcan prototype, the rapid service withdrawal of the Valiant etc etc etc. Patience was wearing thin across the board and one can understand the position of a government with its own financial problems when aircraft companies (who in most cases had already been involved in military programmes that had seen long delays and big cost escalations) kept turning up to beg for money simply so they could produce yet another un-profitable aircraft that would cause them to come begging yet again. Rolls Royce was sensible enough to stave of its bankruptcy until after the Royal Navy (and to a MUCH lesser extent the RAF) was completely dependent on it for propulsion.
 

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Happy New Year
The VC-7 had to exist in a competitive environment which it was more than capable of doing.
By some means Boeing or possibly the Treasury induced BOAC “top-man”, a former banker to settle on an inferior aircraft.
The RAF could afford the V1000, based on MoS estimates it was effectively a lot cheaper than the alternative Britannia and based on monies spent some fifty aircraft of one variant or another could have eventually been purchased. Note Significantly cheaper than the KC135 even with the advantage of that inferior aircrafts long production run
Thirty VC7 could have been purchased for the BOAC money spent on the B707 with another fifty or so for that spent on the VC10.
Trans-Canada and KLM would have only provided the first of many extra sales which one could confidently expected to have topped those of the Viscount.
Many airlines eventually procured continental range aircraft of that size when they became available. All major aircraft projects are state aided
In the case of the Vc10 it was killed by the social integration policy of the European agenda that dictated viable UK jobs were given away.
The simple fact is that the VC-7 could have more than competed with the 707 after all the B707 was redesigned at least four times so that it could almost but not quite match the VC7 potential.
 

JFC Fuller

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The VC-7 had to exist in a competitive environment which it was more than capable of doing.

Clearly it could not or it would have done.

By some means Boeing or possibly the Treasury induced BOAC “top-man”, a former banker to settle on an inferior aircraft.

It is called marketing, Vickers was clearly not very good at it.

The RAF could afford the V1000, based on MoS estimates it was effectively a lot cheaper than the alternative Britannia and based on monies spent some fifty aircraft of one variant or another could have eventually been purchased. Note Significantly cheaper than the KC135 even with the advantage of that inferior aircrafts long production run

If the RAF could have afforded it would have purchased it, but it could not afford it so it cancelled its orders.

Thirty VC7 could have been purchased for the BOAC money spent on the B707 with another fifty or so for that spent on the VC10.
Trans-Canada and KLM would have only provided the first of many extra sales which one could confidently expected to have topped those of the Viscount.

Pure fantasy, the VC-7 never had anywhere near that much interest let alone concrete orders. Furthermore, following the weight increase the aircraft did not even have a final configuration.

Many airlines eventually procured continental range aircraft of that size when they became available. All major aircraft projects are state aided

Just wrong.

In the case of the Vc10 it was killed by the social integration policy of the European agenda that dictated viable UK jobs were given away.
The simple fact is that the VC-7 could have more than competed with the 707 after all the B707 was redesigned at least four times so that it could almost but not quite match the VC7 potential.

Utter nonsense.
 

Hood

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The VC-7 probably had more chance than the VC-10 ever had.

I don't think the blame for the decline of the British industry can be pinpointed to one particular cause.

The MoS had no idea what it was doing, it was not a proper Ministry of Aviation but a giant super ministry responsible for a multitude of projects across the board and a hangover from the war.

The RAF wanted the best, they wanted aircraft, missiles etc to be equal to anything produced in America or the Soviet Union. The fact France and Sweden produced some great types and advanced concepts in the 1950s and 1960s equal to or better than Britain does raise questions in my mind to whether the RAF seriously over-complicated projects and the MoS and RAF seemed to overlook successful programmes (like the F.D.2) in favour of "the next step". Always the RAF looked to next generation rather than to adeqaute types becuase it couldn't afford to build two or three generations of aircraft like the USAF (eg F-86, F-100, F-104-F-106 etc) instead the RAF felt the need to leap from Hunter to F.155 (F-16 to F-106 or YF-12 if you like in US terms).

In respect to this thread the main culprit is the airlines themselves. BOAC had no confidence in Rolls-Royce to deliver the Conway at high enough thrusts, BOAC probably had the Comet disasters in mind although knowledge from that had put Britain in a better position to avoid similar mistakes. True Vickers had no large jet experience but the Valiant must have been some indication of what they were capable of. Of course in those British firms did not do PR as we know it today, firms like Vickers didn't go around bragging and issuing glossy brochures. The 1950s are a world away from today, and even 1950s US PR. In additon BOAC was very pro-US with post-war purchases of Boeing Stratocruisers etc and were probably 'brand-loyal' at this time. I think the decision of BOAC to purchase Boeings with identical engines so soon after the death of the VC.7, and the governments release of the scarce dollars to do so is a strong indication of BOAC's bias against Vickers. BOAC was state-run, it was government money being spent, they could have forced BOAC to buy British but ever since the late 1940s they had not done so (partly, as you say, becuase the government tended to have a low opinion of the British aircraft industry).

The RAF might not have brought any VC.1000s but if BOAC had brought 20-30 VC.7s then the line would be open, once a type is in production sales can be generated. The VC.10 was very closely tailored to BOAC's needs and was a commerical flop for that reason, had it been a long-range type similar to the Boeing 707s then more exports may have been generated. The Comet continued in production until the 1960s and made several sales to world airlines. Commonwealth nations and Comet owners might well have stuck with British aircraft. I'm not saying the VC.7 would beat Boeing but even 200-500 sales would have been an achievement. The fact is with the VC-7 and 707 its a two-horse race until the DC-8 comes along, your always going to pick up some sales in a two horse race. By leaving the whole field to Boeing (who even beat the DC-8 into the ground once sales grew momentum) you loose any chances.
BEA killed the VC-7 too by not joining, although I agree the VC-7 was too big, they could have ordered Britannia's instead of the flop that was the Vanguard which would have made much more commerical sense. BEA also dashed the Trident's potential to rival the 727, again it wouldn't sell thousands but at least a decent profit might have been made instead of the painful and expensive programme to improve the Trident. Also DH let the Boeing team see all the DH.121 data on one of those usual one-way exchange programmes and therefore put a self-inflicted nail into Trident's coffin.
 

JFC Fuller

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The VC-7 probably had more chance than the VC-10 ever had.

Dubious, the type had attracted only limited interest and weight issue was not inspiring confidence.

The MoS had no idea what it was doing, it was not a proper Ministry of Aviation but a giant super ministry responsible for a multitude of projects across the board and a hangover from the war.

True, but it should not have had to have been responsible for handing over money for private companies to undertake private projects.


The RAF wanted the best, they wanted aircraft, missiles etc to be equal to anything produced in America or the Soviet Union. The fact France and Sweden produced some great types and advanced concepts in the 1950s and 1960s equal to or better than Britain does raise questions in my mind to whether the RAF seriously over-complicated projects and the MoS and RAF seemed to overlook successful programmes (like the F.D.2) in favour of "the next step". Always the RAF looked to next generation rather than to adeqaute types becuase it couldn't afford to build two or three generations of aircraft like the USAF (eg F-86, F-100, F-104-F-106 etc) instead the RAF felt the need to leap from Hunter to F.155 (F-16 to F-106 or YF-12 if you like in US terms).

Correct, the RAF frequently suffered from specifying super power systems on a mediocre power budget. but this also has a lot to do with strategy, as the UK came to trust the US more and more its need to spend stupid sums of money on defence declined. Hence the progressive drop in defence spending from 10% GDP. However the RAF was frequently let down by an inept aerospace industry as previously stated in this thread.

In respect to this thread the main culprit is the airlines themselves. BOAC had no confidence in Rolls-Royce to deliver the Conway at high enough thrusts, BOAC probably had the Comet disasters in mind although knowledge from that had put Britain in a better position to avoid similar mistakes. True Vickers had no large jet experience but the Valiant must have been some indication of what they were capable of. Of course in those British firms did not do PR as we know it today, firms like Vickers didn't go around bragging and issuing glossy brochures. The 1950s are a world away from today, and even 1950s US PR. In additon BOAC was very pro-US with post-war purchases of Boeing Stratocruisers etc and were probably 'brand-loyal' at this time. I think the decision of BOAC to purchase Boeings with identical engines so soon after the death of the VC.7, and the governments release of the scarce dollars to do so is a strong indication of BOAC's bias against Vickers. BOAC was state-run, it was government money being spent, they could have forced BOAC to buy British but ever since the late 1940s they had not done so (partly, as you say, becuase the government tended to have a low opinion of the British aircraft industry).

Complete and total nonsense of the worst sort. BOAC may have been government owned but it was a profit making enterprise that had no business being a chain round the British tax payer, BOAC should of and in most cases did pay its own way. As such it had to make commercial decisions based on what was good for its profitability and keeping alive failing British aerospace companies in order to provide a minor if very expensive ego boost to the country as whole was not an effective means of being profitable. BOAC was a customer and it was Vickers job to satisfy the customers needs, not the other way round. Turning up with an aircraft that has not been derisked (as the 707 had been) and that was suddenly growing in weight whilst attracting little attention from other airlines. Simply up-rating the engines was not as easy as has been made out and BOAC could not wait for Vickers to come up with another configuration. You can also rest assured that Vickers did go around bragging and did issue glossy brochures, marketing is not a new concept and Vickers was very adept at it. The governments low opinion of the aerospace industry was largely justifiable.

The RAF might not have brought any VC.1000s but if BOAC had brought 20-30 VC.7s then the line would be open, once a type is in production sales can be generated. The VC.10 was very closely tailored to BOAC's needs and was a commerical flop for that reason, had it been a long-range type similar to the Boeing 707s then more exports may have been generated. The Comet continued in production until the 1960s and made several sales to world airlines. Commonwealth nations and Comet owners might well have stuck with British aircraft. I'm not saying the VC.7 would beat Boeing but even 200-500 sales would have been an achievement. The fact is with the VC-7 and 707 its a two-horse race until the DC-8 comes along, your always going to pick up some sales in a two horse race. By leaving the whole field to Boeing (who even beat the DC-8 into the ground once sales grew momentum) you loose any chances.
BEA killed the VC-7 too by not joining, although I agree the VC-7 was too big, they could have ordered Britannia's instead of the flop that was the Vanguard which would have made much more commerical sense. BEA also dashed the Trident's potential to rival the 727, again it wouldn't sell thousands but at least a decent profit might have been made instead of the painful and expensive programme to improve the Trident. Also DH let the Boeing team see all the DH.121 data on one of those usual one-way exchange programmes and therefore put a self-inflicted nail into Trident's coffin.

But, but, but.... The interest in the VC-7 simply did not exist on that scale and the type still would have been in competition with the 707 against which it would most likely have lost. Why on earth anyone thinks BEA should have procured the VC-7 when it had no requirement for it is just strange. The Comet may have continued in production but DeHavilland was afflicted with exactly the same problems as Vickers, the type was not successful enough for the company to independently push through with the Comet 5. In many ways it was the weakness of the UK aerospace firms (largely a result of over population) that meant that the Trident was so battered it, the firms were so weak on the export market that they had no choice but to rely on the state owned airlines for orders meaning that the airlines could get what they wanted and manfacturers would cave and abandon potentially more promising designs.

The simple reality is that the UK aerospace industry was not competitive on the global market and that is the fault of neither the government or the airlines but of an oversized industry that frequently proved inept and that was competing against a US industry backed by massive military orders and huge domestic commercial market. This lead to an inefficient industry chasing the European market (which US industry had every advantage in getting), paltry commonwealth orders with the only viable market being the domestic carriers who justifiably wanted less risky US aircraft and who did not represent a particularly large market anyway.
 

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[/quote]

First many thanks for the details of the RR engines and drawing attention to the 1960 Flight article.

One forgets Government Political canards of yesteryear become accepted as today’s dogma and truth.

From public private archived Government, MoS, Company documents it is clear there were NO technical problems.
One Government Minister wrote to a colleague that he could not defend the V1000 cancellation on technical grounds in the house; they would have to think of other reasons.
The V1000 was in an advanced state of construction yet the MoS insisted on adding 13,000lb extra above and beyond the manufacturer’s estimate for final all up weight that already included a margin for unforeseen growth or error
I clearly remember the cancellation events and the canards and spin put out at the time.
The worst MoS estimate for the V1000 field performance not only took in to account the extra MoS six tons but was based, insisted on the use of an early “de-rated engine” not the current RR proposal that was expected to be available for service.
Given all these facts even with the worst case estimate then the V1000 take-off was still clearly better than the that of the RAF Britannia, in fact similar to the latest American Piston engine Airliners.
The V1000 only needed less than half the field length for take-off that the KC135 needed.
As a passenger /personal carrying aircraft it’s normal operating regime was planned, still expected to be up to 49,000ft. in other “roles” 54,000ft.
With Conway engines that RR were miraculously planning at about the same time for the B707 yet could not for the V1000 or Vc7 these figures would have been marginally bettered and the original take-off requirement probably met in the sole case were it claimed to be deficient; namely that of take-off at maximum weight at 45 degrees C in the tropics even so the KC135 would have stayed on the ground in similar conditions for another MILE before even lifting off.
In the cancellation aftermath Government Spokes people never again mentioned the take-off issue again because it could not stand public scrutiny.
Only the in service date was put forward as cause despite the fact that had not changed, was accepted for the previous year or so and that the Britannia needed significant redesign and work which would any way bring the in service date into line with that expected for the V1000.
The company had formally requested an additional 3,000lb in structural weight to allow the maximum take-off weight to be increased to 290,000lb or there about and allow commonality between the V1000 and VC7.
About 60,000lb more than the RAF expected; giving a massive increase in range and payload.
Was this the weight problem you were referring too?

The surviving Government documents STATE clearly that the V1000 was the CHEAPER option and given their figures for the money spent on the RAF Britannia the taxpayer could have purchased thirty V1000 that would have been about three times as productive as the Britannia.
Cheaper than the the KC135 even with the advantage of an 800 or so production run,
Boeing likes big profits.
 

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Spark said:
First many thanks for the details of the RR engines and drawing attention to the 1960 Flight article.

From public private archived Government, MoS, Company documents it is clear there were NO technical problems.
One Government Minister wrote to a colleague that he could not defend the V1000 cancellation on technical grounds in the house; they would have to think of other reasons.
The V1000 was in an advanced state of construction yet the MoS insisted on adding 13,000lb extra above and beyond the manufacturer’s estimate for final all up weight that already included a margin for unforeseen growth or error
I clearly remember the cancellation events and the canards and spin put out at the time.
The worst MoS estimate for the V1000 field performance not only took in to account the extra MoS six tons but was based, insisted on the use of an early “de-rated engine” not the current RR proposal that was expected to be available for service.
Given all these facts even with the worst case estimate then the V1000 take-off was still clearly better than the that of the RAF Britannia, in fact similar to the latest American Piston engine Airliners.

All completely irrelevant as the V1000 was cancelled due to the RAF not being to afford it and the lack of interest in the commercial market.

The V1000 only needed less than half the field length for take-off that the KC135 needed.
As a passenger /personal carrying aircraft it’s normal operating regime was planned, still expected to be up to 49,000ft. in other “roles” 54,000ft.

Also irrelevant as the RAF never procured the KC135 either.

With Conway engines that RR were miraculously planning at about the same time for the B707 yet could not for the V1000 or Vc7 these figures would have been marginally bettered and the original take-off requirement probably met in the sole case were it claimed to be deficient; namely that of take-off at maximum weight at 45 degrees C in the tropics even so the KC135 would have stayed on the ground in similar conditions for another MILE before even lifting off.
In the cancellation aftermath Government Spokes people never again mentioned the take-off issue again because it could not stand public scrutiny.

See the previous two points.

Only the in service date was put forward as cause despite the fact that had not changed, was accepted for the previous year or so and that the Britannia needed significant redesign and work which would any way bring the in service date into line with that expected for the V1000.
The company had formally requested an additional 3,000lb in structural weight to allow the maximum take-off weight to be increased to 290,000lb or there about and allow commonality between the V1000 and VC7.
About 60,000lb more than the RAF expected; giving a massive increase in range and payload.
Was this the weight problem you were referring too?

The weight issue is the well known 18,000lb increase that would have required uprated conways. Secondly the VC-7 was already too big for RAF needs, making it bigger did not make it more attractive to that service. How many the RAF COULD have purchased is meaningless as they only seem to have wanted 12.

The surviving Government documents STATE clearly that the V1000 was the CHEAPER option and given their figures for the money spent on the RAF Britannia the taxpayer could have purchased thirty V1000 that would have been about three times as productive as the Britannia.

Then you had better start posting those documents.
Cheaper than the the KC135 even with the advantage of an 800 or so production run,

Again, meaningless as the RAF didnt procure the KC-135 and the the VC7 did not compete against it.

Boeing likes big profits.

Which is why it still manufactures world leading large airliners and the UK does not.
 

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Spark's information seems to confirm one fact. Governments lie about aircraft cancellations and distort the facts to prove their own ends whatever the reason. It seems to whiff of the similar tactics used to kill off the TSR.2 a decade later and doubtless other projects as well.
Therefore the weight issue should not have affected the airlines, or Vickers should have gone public with their own figures. The RAE was often critical of aircraft manufactuers weight figures and added excess on top to cover what they felt was likely growth during development. They felt the plane builders were too optimisitic, was the RAE too pessimistic?

Aircraft cost a lot of money, the industry even when amalgamated into HSA and BAC couldn't afford its own airliner developments. It still needed government money to fund the development phase since they were making less profits due to small RAF orders and airliners too closely tailored to the needs of BOAC and BEA. The VC.7 and DH.121 were both knocked down by the airlines as something they didn't want only to be replaced by American aircraft that fitted the original specs shortly afterwards.
Where do you think all the money from the US government for hundreds of B-47s, B-52s and KC-135s went? Boeing ploughed that money back into commerical projects, it is therefore a government subsidy.

The 707 was not de-risked as you claim. Yes it was proven as the KC-135 but the 707 needed re-tooling for the different diameter fuselage. It also needed Conways to provide the power for non-stop trans-Atlantic flights. The same engines the VC.7 required. The same engines BOAC claimed couldn't be developed to power the VC.7 but that one year later decided could now power the 707. Basically BOAC lost interest in the VC.7 for whatever reasons (not just the weight issue) and used any flimsy excuse to cover their real desire to buy American.

You've also missed the point here. The VC.7, DC-8 and the 707 were the only long-range jets under development at this time. Only three jets, two American and one British. Cancelling the VC.7 not only gave the entire long-range and medium range market to the Americans for the next 30 years but scuppered any chances of the British firms ever matching Boeing or even competing for a slice of the market. That is financial suicide.
The Viscount sold well in the US and the US firms were never able to match it with a product of their own. I'm not saying the VC.7 would sell thousands but a useful number may have been built to make some profit. Weight issues aside with development it would have eventually been on par with the 707 and Boeing would not have had the global market to itself.
Boeing held the market for 30 years without contest that's why they are still in business today.

The VC.7 may have been too big for the RAF but vice versa had the VC.7 been smaller it may well have been argued to be too small for the airlines. The Britannia, like the Belfast, was chosen by the government purely on vote winning terms to keep the Shorts line in Belfast open and the workers in jobs in what was a high unemployment area. No amount of figures would ever change that.

I don't buy the arguement that it was too many firms that scuppered the DH.121. If anything the three industrial groups formed around that competition were perhaps more logical and sounder than the forced joining from the TSR.2 project. Even if three groups exist, only one can win and develop the final product. In the US Boeing, Douglas, Lockheed and Convair were competiting, there were many firms in the US yet no-one mentions over-population of affecting the US industry.
I agree that in Britain it made sharing out government money harder but by the mid 1950s those problems were easing as firms moved closer together but had the government backed some of the potential winners and export successes (military and civilian) then the industry might have gotten into the position of earning money to support itself. The money sqaundered on cancelled programmes at the very last minute near completion and constant changes of requirements and duplication wasted millions for little or no return.
 

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Hood said:
Spark's information seems to confirm one fact. Governments lie about aircraft cancellations and distort the facts to prove their own ends whatever the reason. It seems to whiff of the similar tactics used to kill off the TSR.2 a decade later and doubtless other projects as well.
Therefore the weight issue should not have affected the airlines, or Vickers should have gone public with their own figures. The RAE was often critical of aircraft manufactuers weight figures and added excess on top to cover what they felt was likely growth during development. They felt the plane builders were too optimisitic, was the RAE too pessimistic?

No, Spark has not provided any facts, only his opinion and he has yet to source what he has stated.

Aircraft cost a lot of money, the industry even when amalgamated into HSA and BAC couldn't afford its own airliner developments. It still needed government money to fund the development phase since they were making less profits due to small RAF orders and airliners too closely tailored to the needs of BOAC and BEA. The VC.7 and DH.121 were both knocked down by the airlines as something they didn't want only to be replaced by American aircraft that fitted the original specs shortly afterwards.
Where do you think all the money from the US government for hundreds of B-47s, B-52s and KC-135s went? Boeing ploughed that money back into commerical projects, it is therefore a government subsidy.

Again, back to competitiveness, the US aircraft industry had a vast internal market, both military and commercial that made it viable: the UK did not. There was no point whatsoever in HMG ploughing money into the aviation industry so that it could continue producing unprofitable aircraft. Vickers failed to get sufficient interest in either the VC-7 or the VC-10, the government learned its lesson and rightly refused to fund the DB265.

The 707 was not de-risked as you claim. Yes it was proven as the KC-135 but the 707 needed re-tooling for the different diameter fuselage. It also needed Conways to provide the power for non-stop trans-Atlantic flights. The same engines the VC.7 required. The same engines BOAC claimed couldn't be developed to power the VC.7 but that one year later decided could now power the 707. Basically BOAC lost interest in the VC.7 for whatever reasons (not just the weight issue) and used any flimsy excuse to cover their real desire to buy American.

Yes it was. Again, BOAC was a profit making commercial venture whose job was to make money as an airline, not to act as a crutch for an oversized and inefficient aerospace industry. BOAC was the customer and keeping Vickers in business was not its responsibility. BOAC rightly chose what it viewed as the least risky and most viable option.

You've also missed the point here. The VC.7, DC-8 and the 707 were the only long-range jets under development at this time. Only three jets, two American and one British. Cancelling the VC.7 not only gave the entire long-range and medium range market to the Americans for the next 30 years but scuppered any chances of the British firms ever matching Boeing or even competing for a slice of the market. That is financial suicide.

No I have not. Pointlessly ploughing money into a failing industry is financial suicide. If Vickers could have boasted of genuine interest that was sufficient to make the VC-7 profitable it would likely have survived, it did not, thus it died.

The Viscount sold well in the US and the US firms were never able to match it with a product of their own. I'm not saying the VC.7 would sell thousands but a useful number may have been built to make some profit. Weight issues aside with development it would have eventually been on par with the 707 and Boeing would not have had the global market to itself.
Boeing held the market for 30 years without contest that's why they are still in business today.

A factual inaccuracy here. Boeing did not go 30 years without contest, only in the jumbo and very large airliner did it manage this, there were a number of US companies that competed with it.

Could, Maybe and would, do not make a profitable aircraft. Again: Vickers could not explain how the VC-7 was going to be profitable, it did not have any reliable orders and it did not have the will/ability to produce the aircraft privately, therefore it failed.

The VC.7 may have been too big for the RAF but vice versa had the VC.7 been smaller it may well have been argued to be too small for the airlines. The Britannia, like the Belfast, was chosen by the government purely on vote winning terms to keep the Shorts line in Belfast open and the workers in jobs in what was a high unemployment area. No amount of figures would ever change that.

Exactly, the VC-7 was not viable and the tactic of inventing military requirements to fund commercial projects failed. In case you have not noticed the UK is a democracy, it tends to result in things being done for votes. However it is wrong to say that the Brittania was ordered for that reason, it was cancelled because the RAF felt it could not afford and did not really want the type.

I don't buy the arguement that it was too many firms that scuppered the DH.121. If anything the three industrial groups formed around that competition were perhaps more logical and sounder than the forced joining from the TSR.2 project. Even if three groups exist, only one can win and develop the final product. In the US Boeing, Douglas, Lockheed and Convair were competiting, there were many firms in the US yet no-one mentions over-population of affecting the US industry.

How on earth was there a big enough market AVAILABLE TO UK INDUSTRY, to justify even three firms? There was not and that is a simple fact. The US is completely different as I have mentioned here multiple times, it had a huge internal military and commercial markets, neither of which existed in the UK. Again, the RAF requirement for the VC-7 was 12 aircraft, the KC-135 was for over 800. Perhaps you would also like to compare the number of internal flights in the US compared with the UK?

I agree that in Britain it made sharing out government money harder but by the mid 1950s those problems were easing as firms moved closer together but had the government backed some of the potential winners and export successes (military and civilian) then the industry might have gotten into the position of earning money to support itself. The money sqaundered on cancelled programmes at the very last minute near completion and constant changes of requirements and duplication wasted millions for little or no return.

Accept we dont know if any of these platforms would have been profitable, the market place was stacked against them and the myth of greatness that the VC-7 has is just odd given that the type never flew and a final configuration was never confirmed. The brutal reality is that competing against the US was virtually impossible on any scale. Blaming it on the government or the airlines is just ridiculous. Industry itself was just (if not more so) as responsible for its death as any other actor.
 

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Sealordlawrence,

You seem somewhat biased in favour of the 707 over the VC-7 and somewhat pessimistic about the entire British aircraft industry. If the government was as disturbed as you claim about the state of the industry then why didn't they do more to enforce logical planning and resource management on a wider scale. I don't doubt your arguments over scale of the potential British orders over US, that is what made making export-worthy aircraft more essential if the British firms were to survive.

Your argument that BOAC as a profit-making company chose the 707 purely for commercial reasons because it was the best choice seems rather false when you look at the timeframe. Likewise the development of the 707 does not show a risk-free development and does not seem to indicate that Boeing was confident over its success. At one point it thought the airlines would never buy the 707.

TWA's president was quoted as saying around 1954, "Civil jets? Not for another ten years." PanAm's Trippe was also pessimistic "Passengers are unlikely to be attracted by jets." The American outlook at the time was that the Comet was uneconomic and that in general all jet-powered airliners would be. Although that attitude soon changed it shows not all airlines were intially happy about jet liners and I guess BOAC was not over-enthusiastic either.

Now lets look at some dates. The VC.7 cancellation was 11th Nov 1955, at that time the planned first flight was June 56 with entry into service late 1959/60.

The Boeing 367-80 prototype first flew on 15 July 1954 and although configured for cargo could fit 130 passenger seats on rails in the cabin and had a range of 3,530 miles.
On 5th October 1954 the USAF ordered 29 KC-135A. The fuselage had to be widened from the 367-80 diameter and the first KC-135A first flew 31 August 1956. That is nine months after the VC.7 was cancelled.

It was not until 13 July 1955 that the USAF cleared Boeing to develop the commercial 707, only four months before the VC-7 was cancelled.
Douglas already had the DC-8 planned on paper and had 132in dia body and was bigger, faster and longer-ranged than the 707. In September 1955 PanAm signed for 25 DC-8. Boeing was forced by PanAm and American to widen the fuselage a second time from the KC-135 diameter to 138in (the VC-7 was designed with 150in diameter) and Panam in October signed for 6 707-21 but still felt the DC-8 was superior. In November 1955 American signed for 30 but the DC-8 had transatlantic range and the 707 did not (without stopping). So ironically only at the same time as the VC.7 was cancelled did Boeing begin developing the Intercontinental and on 24 Dec 1955 PanAm signed for 15 Intercontientals. Only then did the orders flood in for the 707 (7 airlines for 98 DC-8 and 6 airlines for 75 707 by the end of 1955). FAA certification for 707-100 was 18 Sept 1958.

The first Intercontential (189 pass) with JT4A jets flew 11 Jan 59 and in August entered PanAm service.

BOAC ordered 15 (later inc 16 plus 2 for BOAC-Cunard) Interconitentials with 17,500lb Mk 508 Conway engines on 24 April 1956 as " an exceptional measure" due to having "no alternative". Very odd when you consider Vickers had a transatlantic Conway powered airliner under construction only four months earlier and when the DC-8 was also able to fit the bill.
BOAC suddenly changed their position, the Interconential was only developed from November 1955 so BOAC knew that there was no alternative to the VC.7 before that date and surely couldn't have known the 707 would be a success when the basic 707-100 wouldn't enter service until late 1958 and when the Intercontinental was still on paper (and awaiting more powerful JT4A turbojets). Indeed the first commerical-variant 707-100 didn't fly for the first time until 20 December 1957, two years after the VC.7 was cancelled. As we have seen the 367-80 was no more than a flying shell and not even to the same standards as the KC-135 or 707, both of which were successively larger variants. Boeing found it embarrassing to have to redesign and retool twice and indeed hadn't built an airliner since the 377 Stratoliner. BOAC was following the Boeing bandwagon that eventually overtook DC-8 orders but Boeing was scared the DC-8 would scupper the 707. The existence of a third long-range airliner like the VC.7 might have tipped the balance with some of the other foreign exports, airlines that brought British over American etc, history isn't written in stone. Events have impacts on other events, it is likely Boeing and Douglas breathed sighs of relief when it was a two-way struggle.

The first BOAC 707 flew 20 May 1959 but was refused British certification due to possible over-rotation and inadequate directional stability and despite the potential political embarrassment Boeing was forced to raise the fin and add a ventral fin to all 707s. Finally on 27 April 1960 UK certification was issued.
 

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It needs to be born in mind that the UK economy as a whole was languishing under some pretty tight constraints throughout the 50's. Though to be fair the Tories where trying to dismantle the WWII controls, it was too little, too late.

Aviation industry had the potential to match the output of France, or Sweden and even give the USA a run for its money. But a host of factors where working against it.

Certainly there was overreach, doing to much and too many types. There was little real justification for the costs of four V-bomber prototypes for example.
Definately this was the era of the 'old school tie', and 'one of us' or 'not one of us', prevailed among those making the decisions in government. Thus certain firms where not given the work for preference of those run by people with connections to the establishment (which was a very real thing back then).

Clearly there was financial problems of all sorts, most notably the costs of WWII and the disasterous events of the US loan negotiated by a very ill Keynes.
In aviation the mad dash of 'superpriority' for Korea only made matters worse, and this was then exacerbated by the events of Suez.

Flexilibity of key staff was not possible, as they had to have government approval to change their job. Not helped by the intertia of government and their unwillingness to support moving staff.

Its only with D.Sandys that theres a rational defence review. Shame it was'nt properly supported.
 

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Hood,

You continue to miss the point. This is not a platform issue, whether the 707 was better than the VC7 or not is completely meaningless as the margins were so slim between them. Furthermore, as the VC7 never flew and apparently had a weight issue at the time of its cancellation it is not wise to put a halo above it as nobody knows how the programme would have progressed.......Comet anyone?

And as you point out, most US airlines were skeptical of big jet airliners at the same time BOAC was moving a way from the VC7- perhaps the type was just too early? Either way the type had no customers and not purchasing something is a customers prerogative.

The issue here is about commercial viability and you have yet to show how that the VC7 was looking commercially viable at the time it was cancelled. The fact that you keep mentioning just one airline (BOAC) just goes to show how weak the market realistically available to the type actually was. UK industry simply could not overcome the advantage that Boeing (+ the rest of US industry) had as a result of the vast US market (where you rightly identified a number of airlines) and it no longer had the advantage of a captive market in the form of the Empire.

Zen,

Absolutely correct on the economy issue: the UK was suffering the consequences of fighting 10 years of total war in just 2.5 decades and simultaneously the great economic provider that had been the Empire was vanishing before its eyes.

However, the V-Bombers are a special case and the reason for 4 prototypes has nothing to do with 'the establishment' or political connections. The V-Bombers combined with indigenous nuclear weapons represented the only means the UK had to defend itself against a Soviet attack that it believed inevitable, consequently insurance was priority. Firstly the four prototypes can be broken into 2 generations, Sperrin and Valiant were to be precursors to the latter two with the Sperrin as insurance against the Valiant. The Victor and Vulcan were generation 2 with each as insurance against the other. Failure to procure a viable nuclear delivery system was simply not an option and the duplication of effort was designed to insure that did not happen. Given that the Valiant fleet had to be retired for structural reasons and both the Vulcan and Victor suffered prototype losses it was probably a sensible move.
 

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Dear Moderators, do you consider that the VC-7/V.1000 would justify a new and separate topic? I can't, for one, see any real relationship between the VC-7/V.1000 and the VC10 Superb :-\......

As for the VC-7/V.1000 itself, have any of you out there considered these points?

The mounting of the Conway engines inside the wing roots would make it difficult to upgrade to a higher by-pass ratio or an alternative engine from another manufacturer (JT4-A/J75 and JT3-D). It would be much easier to do this with external engine pods......

The low aspect ratio wing is not so efficient for long-range high-speed high-altitude operations......

If the wing-area is so large, why is the fuel capacity is small enough to justify the use of pinion tanks (something that the 707/720 famly and the DC-8 did not require)......

The circular-section fuselage doesn't allow the optimum use of underfloor volume for payload (the 707/720 family and the DC-8 both had double-bubble fuselage cross-sections). This also handicapped the HS Trident and the (totally gorgeous) Sud Caravelle......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

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Caravellarella said:
Fabe and thank you Overscan......

Terry (Caravellarella)


This is just background to show things were more complex than some politicians understood.
The States had such a big home market it had to be protected?
This is why the US Government needed an import tariff on aircraft etc to protect the “Home Market”?. and a certain American Company paid huge bribes to secure sales production abroad..?

For the period 1959/1960 a table for the West’s five major aircraft exporting countries showing the value in Sterling of aviation products per capita.
Country Export value per capita
Italy 1s 8d
France 12s 0d
Netherlands £1 2s 0d
United States £2 4s 0d
United Kingdom £3 3s 0d *
United Kingdom, Estimate, with the ancillary aviation items. my estimate £4 6s 0d +


* NOTE. Not included in the total for the Board of Trade criteria for the “aviation figure” for the United Kingdom are such none aviation items as, ejection seats, parachutes, undercarriages, flight refuelling equipment, gun sights, fuel tanks, airfield equipment, guided missiles etc. These items represented a significant additional value in export terms. Nor does it include fees for licensing production abroad e.g. Canberra
 

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Caravellarella said:
As for the VC-7/V.1000 itself, have any of you out there considered these points?

The mounting of the Conway engines inside the wing roots would make it difficult to upgrade to a higher by-pass ratio or an alternative engine from another manufacturer (JT4-A/J75 and JT3-D). It would be much easier to do this with external engine pods......


Terry (Caravellarella)

Something that has been pointed out elsewhere on this is, how many engine types did the B.707 use in commercial use?

It was only much later on that the higher bypass ratio engines were used.
 

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1952. Earl Alexander of Tunis Minister of Defence, ill-at-ease in that form of tussle, but with much US MSP supplementing his Budget, inc. 50% of production cost of (to be) 104 Valiant. He, under Churchill, initiated many projects, inc. some later chopped by Sandys. Shooting Wars in Korea and Malaya; 80,000 UK conscripts garrisoning Suez. Austerity, rationing, non-convertible (=worthless) £; minimal Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF). V.1000 funded as low-risk (Valiant wing) Rapid Reaction Fleet for East of Suez trooping. BOAC Comet 1 inaugural 2 May, looking forward, restlessly, to Comets 2/3 and to Britannia 100 (ordered 28/7/49, first flight 16/8/52).

June,1954: MSP cut off by US in pique that PanAm's order for Comet 3, (Howard Hughes') TWA's interest in Britannia, and Capital's in V.745 Viscount had been achieved v.US products because of delivery dates offered by UK misappropriating Korea Super Priority materials. US cited “national security” and asserted Comet 3's Avon utilised US-funded data. WSC politely told Ike he disagreed. J.A.Engel,The Surly Bonds - American Cold War Constraints on Br.Aviation,Enterprise&Society,2005/6(I),OUP,P28 (ak: Data, no; tools, yes)

1955: UK vacates Suez Canal Zone; Malaya sorted; USSR showing friendly face - peaceful co-existence, Defence Budget under severe review; austerity gone, last rationing about to go; £ still non-convertible but wheezes found for Brits to get to the sun, so some UK "Independent" airlift, creating a CRAF. RAF no longer needed V.1000; BOAC had no interest; so 11/11/55, chopped (as) "I could not find a customer. BOAC did not want (/RAF) could not afford it” R.Maudling,P62,Memoirs,Sidgwick,1978. “a decision we(=UK will) regret for many years (biggest) blunder of all” G.R.Edwards,D.Wood,Project Cancelled,Janes,1975,P97, but...RAF/’55 and BOAC/’56 assumed V-A would not build V.1000/VC7 on time, on price; could not concurrently handle VC7, form the Deterrent (last Valiant delivery August,57), build a Viscount a week (last one, to China, early-61), launch Vanguard. H.Wynn,Hist.of RAF Transport Command:Forged in War,HMSO,96,P96: weight “would prevent (it) providing required payload/range.”

No Boeing plot - frankly, my dears, they couldn't give a damn. No purblind Ministers. No money. (In the odd way UK did Public Finance, Britannia 250s (largely) from Ulster were sort-of free, in that we owned SB&H. They could of course also carry bulky loads).
 

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[/quote]

A continental range BEA VC7 Airbus was to big?
Thinks!, are you sure?
You have made me look at the proposal again and compare it with the Boeing B727 family.
It actually makes the whole Vickers programme look very much stronger.
From memory maximum take–off weight Airbus variant was about 215,000lb~220,000lb, with very much SAFER rear facing more comfortable 40 inch pitch seating giving room for 155 passengers
With lesser pitch more passengers and all with in the same basic fuselage
Better take-off performance far better than the 727.
With the Vc7 wing size a very rapid climb to an economical cruising altitude.
In all an aircraft that covered all the needs for most customers in this commercial category.

So one has the ideal universal aircraft for the time from one production line for military, civil long range and local needs. An aircraft with potentially about three times the productivity of the Britannia and according to MoS documents in the case of the V1000 cheaper to boot.
 

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Spark said:
A continental range BEA VC7 Airbus was to big?
Thinks!, are you sure?
You have made me look at the proposal again and compare it with the Boeing B727 family.
It actually makes the whole Vickers programme look very much stronger.
From memory maximum take–off weight Airbus variant was about 215,000lb~220,000lb, with very much SAFER rear facing more comfortable 40 inch pitch seating giving room for 155 passengers
With lesser pitch more passengers and all with in the same basic fuselage
Better take-off performance far better than the 727.
With the Vc7 wing size a very rapid climb to an economical cruising altitude.
In all an aircraft that covered all the needs for most customers in this commercial category.

So one has the ideal universal aircraft for the time from one production line for military, civil long range and local needs. An aircraft with potentially about three times the productivity of the Britannia and according to MoS documents in the case of the V1000 cheaper to boot.

Boeing 727 and VC-7 are a different generation not to mention that BEA never shoed any serious interest. Also you have yet to post any of these MoS documents.
 

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Bill Gunston says that Rolls made a big error when calculating the drag from pylons and Tony Buttler has an interesting line on the Shorts SA4.

Tony Buttler’s British Secret Projects: Jet Bombers since 1949

Agreement for ordering two S.A.4’s was reached in late February 1947 at which point it was planned to house the four AJ65’s side by side in two underwing nacelles. However, in mid-February 1949, after tunnel tests at RAE Farnborough, Keith-Lucas confirmed that two engines in a single vertical nacelle above and below each wing had been adopted instead of the previous arrangement or an alternative four single underwing nacelles. Rolls experience on a design with twin engines mounted side by side had indicated that the aerodynamic forces on the cowl were very large and needed a heavy structure. Engines arranged horizontally in a nacelle suspended below the wing by a slim faired strut were also suggested (and favoured at RAE), but Shorts rejected this because it presented several structural problems and would be difficult to accommodate without extensive redesign of the wing. Prototype construction had just begun.
 

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PMN1 said:
Bill Gunston says that Rolls made a big error when calculating the drag from pylons and Tony Buttler has an interesting line on the Shorts SA4.

Tony Buttler’s British Secret Projects: Jet Bombers since 1949

Agreement for ordering two S.A.4’s was reached in late February 1947 at which point it was planned to house the four AJ65’s side by side in two underwing nacelles. However, in mid-February 1949, after tunnel tests at RAE Farnborough, Keith-Lucas confirmed that two engines in a single vertical nacelle above and below each wing had been adopted instead of the previous arrangement or an alternative four single underwing nacelles. Rolls experience on a design with twin engines mounted side by side had indicated that the aerodynamic forces on the cowl were very large and needed a heavy structure. Engines arranged horizontally in a nacelle suspended below the wing by a slim faired strut were also suggested (and favoured at RAE), but Shorts rejected this because it presented several structural problems and would be difficult to accommodate without extensive redesign of the wing. Prototype construction had just begun.

Hi PMN1
There is a referance in documents held at Kew to a Short submission for the OR in question. but no details,
Would it be based on the Short Sperrin SA4?


for certain
 

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Spark said:
Hi PMN1
There is a referance in documents held at Kew to a Short submission for the OR in question. but no details,
Would it be based on the Short Sperrin SA4?


for certain

The section of BSP it comes from (Page 16) refers to the Short B.14/46, now at the time, this appears to be the 6 engined SA4 and 4 engined SA4 both with buried engines as with the actual V-bombers - there are pictures on Page 15 - which presumably turned into the Sperrin as we know it.
 

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Dear PMN1, the Boeing 707 family used the following engines......

Pratt & Whitney JT3C Turbojet (J57) - diameter 38.9"/987mm - Boeing 707-120 (standard fuselage & short fuselage) & Boeing 720-020.

Pratt & Whitney JT4A Turbojet (J75) - diameter 43"/1090mm - Boeing 707-220 (standard fuselage) & Boeing 707-320 (Intercontinental).

Rolls Royce Conway "by-pass" Turbojet - diameter 50"/1270mm - Boeing 707-420 (Intercontinental).

Pratt & Whitney JT3D Turbofan (TF33) - diameter 53"/1350mm - Boeing 707-120B (standard fuselage & short fuselage), Boeing 720-020, Boeing 707-320B & 707-320C.

CFM International CFM-56 (F108) - diameter about 72"/2000mm - Boeing 707-700 (test-bed only).


So the VC-7/V1000 could have taken earlier JT4A but may have needed to be redesigned to take the JT3D......


Terry (Caravellarella)
 

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I had always wondered if Pratt & Whitney had ever planned a turbofan version of the JT4A; do you know why they never got past the plannning stage? What was the by-pass ratiio?

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

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Caravellarella said:
Thank you for this. I had always wondered if Pratt & Whitney had ever planned a turbofan version of the JT4A; do you know why they never got past the plannning stage? What was the by-pass ratiio?

Terry (Caravellarella)

Hi Folks
At Derby there is still an example of a turbo fan Avon that must have been tested about that period.
I do not recall any perfomance figures, but based on similar previous work I would Guess about 18,000lb SL to 23,000lb SL depending on Mark of Avon used as gas generator?
A thought only but A Conway given similar treament to create a proper turbofan would possibly have given at the start about 25,000lb at SL rising to about 40,000lb SL with in five years?

A thought the Bristol Olympus another engine actualy considered at the time for the Vc7. But one could speculate treated in the same way as the Avon one easily be looking at 35,000lb SL to 45,000lb SL for about 1957 to 62 again depending on Mark used as gas generator.
This would give A two engine VC7 variant for BEA .
 

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Is there a separate topic on these speculative or planned turbofans? I understand there is a direct line of development from the Conway to the RB-211 (and the RB-207 for the original Airbus AB300) via the Medway and the RB-178 of the HS132/HS134/VC10 Superb; but I'm digressing......

The VC-7/V1000 would have been too much aircraft for BEA at the time. I think the farthest BEA destinations were Moscow, Ankara, Nicosia, Gibraltar and Malta. BEA might have been better served by a licence built Caravelle (but that is another story)......

I wonder if the Gyron would have fitted into the VC-7/V1000? The Sapphire and Avon were an earlier generation. The Olympus fitted into the Vulcan and wasn't there a Conway Vulcan alternative which was actually tested?

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

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To pod or not to pod? Edwards' "blunder" claim only flies if buried-good, pod-bad. But facing the chop, in 9/55 GRE schemed VC7s with 2x2 and with 4x1 pods "as in 707" (Andrews/Morgan,Vickers Putnam,1988,P.568). That was the layout of "VC7" as his initial bid to BOAC after Ministers committed to rollover BOAC's 24/10/56 order for 15 "interim" 707-420 "as soon as possible" for an all-British type. If that, and not his rapid fresh bid, had won, then, presumably:
- even fewer Comet 4 sales, and no RAF Comet 2; consequent severe financial embarrassment for the DH Enterprise, intended to be Deterrent source from 1966 (Blue Streak);
- no VC10.
Even the Putnam hagiography guesses early-1960 for V.1000 delivery: isn't it ambitious to suggest that would defeat 707? Even the far superior VC10 didn't do that: on its first flight, 29 June,62, Flight judged it would hold 707 sales (then 550) to just 200 more as: “demand has been filled.” Total VC10 sales to 3 market Users (+BOAC/RAF) were 10 (and maybe Aid helped there). When 707 No.1,010 flew in ’94 only RAF had VC10: it even failed v.also-ran DC-8 (556, to May,72). MoA wrote off our £10.2Mn. Launch Aid. H.Evans,Vickers Against the Odds,Hodder,78,P.86 has VC10 financial: “result was probably a breakeven position.” What pain would V.1000 have delivered?

UK persevered with jet engines on and in the spar long after Boeing won B-47 in 1947 with pods. I doubt it was due to an RR "error" (PMN1's Gunston/Buttler). Sperrin was laid out for Napier E-113 (which much later became Conway); RR was slotted in as insurance for the insurance type, after Napier was deemed too risky. RR in 1947 was very also-ran - AJ.65 did not work, it and Vickers T.660 had been eliminated from the Medium Bomber, for which MetroVick F.9 and Bristol BE.10 were preferred. Powerplant installation engineering, long to be a UK foible, involved RAE, the new NGTE, the airframer and the engine man...in that order. MoS, paying for it all, did not credit RR, or any engine man, with aerodynamic/structural wit. Stiffness was best, as we were not designing ornithopters. We did not do pods. We got it wrong.
 

Caravellarella

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Thank you for this information on the JT4 turbofans; much appreciated......

Alertken, I love your analysis. It is difficult to see how the VC-7/V1000 could have held it's own in the marketplace against the 707 family and the DC-8. By 1960 the definitive 707-320/420 Intercontinental and the comparable Douglas DC-8-30/40 were already established in service with all of the major international carriers. Boeing's ultimate success was secured by offering a "family" of aircraft with 4 distinct fuselage lengths and 5 distinct wing designs. Douglas preferred to use one basic design (with a later increase in wing leading edge chord) until 1965 and could not compete with Boeing's flexibility. As far as I know, the VC-7/V1000 was only offered in one basic version......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

PMN1

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I've seen referneces that the aircraft as it was was too big for the RAF, given the B707 was shortened to prodcue the B720, what was to stop Vickers shortening the VC-7 to suit RAF needs?
 

JFC Fuller

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PMN1 said:
I've seen referneces that the aircraft as it was was too big for the RAF, given the B707 was shortened to prodcue the B720, what was to stop Vickers shortening the VC-7 to suit RAF needs?

A requirement for just twelve aircraft followed by the complete cancellation of that programme.
 

Caravellarella

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Oddly enough, I recall reading somewhere that Vickers had considered (or was advised to) building a version of the standard-fuselage Boeing 707-120 under licence with some provision for UK manufactured engines and additional/improved high-lift devices. Trouble is, I can't remember where I read this :-[

Sorry,

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

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