Could we once again fly the flag, UK aviation?

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Lucky13, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Just scanning through the TSR2 book by Damien Burke and it got me wondering....

    Could the British aviation industry ever again fly the flag on its own, does it have capability, the knowhow, if it'd get enough backing, could they build the Lightning, Canberra, Buccaneer the TSR2 of today, for the future, or is the once so capable and proud British aviation gone for ever?
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Good question, Jan...

    But look how military aviation has evolved in the years since WWII.

    Prior to WWII, just about any nation that had a reasonable industrial base, was manufacturing aircraft (civil and/or military) after the war, the industry started to decline until there were a handful of merged companies.

    The decline is certainly not for the lack of demand for military aircraft, but it seems that the trend lays more on economics than anything.
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The trail of mergers that led to BAE Systems started long before WW2, that in itself is not a reason for lost capability. The driving factor is economics. Nobody can afford to develop the latest technology alone. Even the F-35 is not an entirely American project, my own brother in law (BAE Systems) has spent time over at Fort Worth.
    The expertise to build a cutting edge aircraft (as the TSR2 was) has also become spread across different nations, just as the funding is. Could the British go it alone? I doubt that the all round expertise lies in solely British hands anymore, but in a magical 'what if' world of unlimited funding it could easily be bought in.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Sure, there were mergers in the U.S. prior to the war as well...especially the smaller companies that were folding because of the Great Depression.

    I honestly think the "Golden Age" of aviation peaked between WWI and WWII
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I think the british have the technical know how, but they don't have the economic strength anymore to undertake such massive tasks. A typical military aircraft nowadays can take 20 years or more to develop, and production runs of 100 aircraft or less are the norm. not many countries, let alone companies can afford that sort of investment in time and money.

    The mistake the british are making, in my opinion is tying itself to the European "star'. more like an albatross really
     
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  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #6 stona, Apr 15, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
    More like a mill stone.
    There is a whole world to look out to besides Europe, something we did unflinchingly for hundreds of years, a lot of it even speaks our language. Now we appear scared of it :)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
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  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I think a good hard look at ground-based radars might somewhat negate the requirement for fighters to be completely self supporting, electronics-wise. If we could transfer some of the smarts to ground or space, maybe they could come up with a great-performing fighter that is a LOT cheaper to build and operate because much has been transferred to other systems.

    Not sure if is the right way to go, but I wonder if anyone is even thinking about it. Suppose the smart stuff came from ships or satellites or even a dedicated stealthy electronic warfare drone base station. The fighter wouldn't need ALL the avionics, but would require high-speed communications for rapid updates.

    It might be a dead end, but also might not be, and might reverse the ever-spiraling cost of a tactical aircraft, leading to larger numeric purchases. Would you rather have 4 super fighters or 50 capable fighters that relay on communication for intel, all for the same money? The real consideration is jamming and interception of signals, so it isn't an easy question since frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum signal is very difficult but not impossible to interfere with.
     
  8. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this. Its worth remembering that the technology demonstrator for the Eurofighter was an all British aircraft.
     
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  9. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

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    I don’t think that in the future we will see military aeroplanes like those we saw in the past, British or not.

    Several years ago one of the “top brass” of U.S.A.F. was interviewed by a journalist:

    “General, do you think that the next generation of aircraft will be unmanned?” was the question.

    “I don’t know that” replied the General “but certainly I will operate to ensure that this will happen...”
     
  10. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    If it does happen I think it will be private aircraft or medium commercial liners that might have military applications. I think it has gotten so expensive to build and develop military aircraft that you need a large tax base to be able to afford them, I think the wave of countries banding together is the way of the future.
     
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