Buccaneer, Canberra and the TSR.2....

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Lucky13, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Two great aircraft in their own time and one that should have gotten the chance!
    As the saying goes, the only aircraft that can replace the Buccaneer, is another Buccaneer, same said about the Canberra, who knows what the TSR.2 would have accomplished...

    Anyway, with the Buccaneer out of service in '94 and the Canberra (the PR.9) in '06, one does wonder, how good would these aircraft have been today, with all the modern upgrades that follow through a aircraft life....including the TSR.2, had it been taken into service...

    Suggestions? Ideas?
     
  2. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    The TSR2 story is a sorry tale indeed....but so loaded with UK politics that it sometimes is hard to separate fact from politically slanted comment.

    Undoubtedly the plane had huge potential but whether that potential would or could ever have been realised given the then shocking cost escalations is open to question
    (and of course I know that in the light of the F111K fiasco the still-born AFVG project one could say if those funds had been spent on TSR2 it would have come good, but that is hardly a certainty).

    I also have my doubts that TSR2 would have been the enormous export success some would claim.
    It was up against US competition (which we now know involved a large degree of corruption bribery ie the Lockheed scandal) the UK's ability to create enough of them on time at a competitive price is also very much open to question.
    It was such an advanced (for its day) design the idea the UK's relatively small military manufacturing base could be shelling them out like peas seems fanciful to me.

    I suspect (stripping out the politics) we could have ended up with another Lightening type tale.
    A highly able plane built in relatively small numbers (probably at very high unit cost) crippled by anti-competitive practices in the export market.

    Pity we never got to see...and thankfully its mission was never executed.
     
  3. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Many of the "decomissions" of british combat aircraft were, as you probably know already, very charged with political/budget issues, the Buccaneer and the TSR2 ( wich in my opinion is the best low level penetration tactical bomber even designed) would be very useful today with modern avionics.
     
  4. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Saw this while reading about the Mirage IV.....

    Proposed export variants

    In 1963, the Australian government sought a replacement for the Royal Australian Air Force fleet of English Electric Canberra bombers, largely in response to the Indonesian Air Force's purchase of missile-armed Tupolev Tu-16 bombers. Dassault proposed a version of the Mirage IVA with Rolls-Royce Avon engines. Australian Air Marshall Frederick Scherger seriously considered purchase of the IVA in 1961 because it was considered proven hardware already in service (in contrast to the BAC TSR-2 still in development), before settling on the General Dynamics F-111C. The IVA was one of five aircraft types short listed but the General Dynamics F-111C was eventually selected.

    In April 1965, the British Government cancelled the BAC TSR-2 reconnaissance-strike aircraft. In response, Dassault and British Aircraft Corporation proposed a modified Mirage IV variant as a replacement in July 1965. The aircraft, known as the Mirage IV* or Mirage IVS (S for Spey) would be re-engined with more powerful Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines with a total of 41,700 lbs of thrust, larger (fuselage depth increased by 3 inches, had an approximately 2 foot forward fuselage extension, and was to weigh 80,000 lb), and use avionics planned for the TSR-2, although BAC preferred the French Antilope radar.

    Although designed by Dassault, the production was to carried out jointly between Dassault and its subcontractors (wing, mid-fuselage, and tail) and BAC (front and rear fuselage). The final assembly location was not determined before this proposal was rejected. The Mirage IV* was to carry a bombload of up to 20,000 lb. While the IV* was claimed to meet most of the RAFs requirements, and to be £1 million cheaper than the American-made F-111, the F-111K was preferred (only to be cancelled in turn) and the Spey-engined Mirage abandoned.

    The Mirage IV* met nearly every RAF requirement except for field length, and some claim it exceeded the F-111 slightly in speed and had at least equal range. The estimated cost was 2.321 million pounds per aircraft (for 50) or 2.067 million (for 110), less than the price of the F-111K. British Aircraft Corporation claimed that the British government evaluation into the Mirage IV* was "relatively superficial". However, some British government officials, including Parliament members Julian Risdale and Roy Jenkins, questioned the Mirage IV*'s capacity to operate from unprepared airstrips or to operate at low level, or claimed that the F-111 was a superior aircraft "in a class of its own". However, Bill Gunston notes that low-level Mirage IV missions had been planned since 1963 and Mirage IVs operated regularly at low level since 1965, and argues that the ability of a strategic bomber to operate from unprepared airstrips is historically unimportant. Royal Air Force pilots who test-flew the Mirage IV were "favourably impressed" with its low level performance.

    BAC and Dassault had also hoped to sell the Mirage IV* to France and to export the Mirage IV* to various nations, such as India, possibly Israel, and others; the lack of a British sale put an end to such possibilities. Some aviation journalists claim that the rejection of the Mirage IV* may have dampened French interest in joint Anglo-French cooperation.
     
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