The Post War RAF- What would you have done differently?

Discussion in 'Post-War' started by Waynos, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    #1 Waynos, Feb 17, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
    OK guys, its November 1945 and the dust is settling. What decisions do you make for the RAF over the next 5 years or so?

    Bombers - I actually think the RAF (by which of course I mean the Air Ministry) got this one right. There is little, if any, money. You have a bomber force equipped with newly built Lancasters after weeding out the older surviving airframes, and Lincolns are coming down the line. An improvement, but not all that different really. There is no possibility of a B-50 class bomber being designed and built in the UK before it is already obsolete, the advent of jets mean that is a no brainer, so you buy 2nd hand B-29s from the USA for your first high altitude pressurised bomber, and launch the development of a new class of bomber using every mod con you can think of - the V bombers while the quicker development of the less risky Canberra goes ahead. Yes, I would do the same.

    The only thing I think I would do differently is that I would not buy all three, but neither can I narrow it down to just one as the Vulcan offers Lancaster-like versatility and remarkable agility, while the Victor offers greater range and payload by a huge margin - tough one. I suppose if I absolutely had to pick one I would go for an all Victor force. I would regret it after 1964, but I wouldn't know that yet. The Valiant would remain a short run prototype like the Sperrin

    Fighters - I would curtail all contracts for the Meteor and Vampire day fighters after 1947 and order a service version of theHawker P.1052 for the RAF and P.1040 for the RN at high priority, this could be in service by 1950 (instead of the Meteor F.8 ) though the Meteor NF would continue to replace the Mossie NF but this time they would be built by Gloster. AW would still built the Sea Hawk, with the swept P.1052 'Hotspur' built by Hawker, with the Mk 2 being an all-swept model (equivalent to the real life P.1081)

    The Hawker P.1067 would be limited to an interim research prototype with the P.1083 being developed as the RAF's transonic fighter in the F-100/MiG 19/ Super Mystere class.

    I would like to think I would scrap the Swift, but I feel that in reality I would not know any better and expect Supermarine to get it right, though I would at least allow them to fly the 545 as a possible alternative to the 1083 Transonic Hunter.

    What would you do? Also, please dont feel restricted to these two categories, this is just to get things moving.

    edit - just to explain my Hawker plan, I see the P.1081 'Hotspur Mk2' and P.1067 as flying concurrently in 1951, but with the former being quickly deployed operationally thnaks to a high degree of commonality with its predecessor and the latter serving as a subsonic bridging prototype for the P.1083 which would be produced as the Hunter and enter service in 1955-56, which in fact, it was intended to in real life.

    T he result of which would be no need for the RAF to have to introduce the F-86 in 1953 because all its fighters are obsolete.
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Great thread Waynos (in lieu of our other experience). Agree about the V bombers and I would have gone with the Vulcan as well. Got to think about the fighters....
     
  3. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    Cheers, as you can see from the edits I was still thinking about the fighters too.

    Hope people join in with their thoughts/constructive criticism to see if or How the post war RAF *should* have been equipped :)
     
  4. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    Historically they did basically nothing for three years after the end of WWII. I'd use this time to do some strategic planning, which was historically planned later. The end result was preparing for a possible war in 1957+ given the need of the Soviets to re-arm as well. I'd press on with the later mergers of aircraft companies as well, giving more resources to aircraft projects. Especially forming the Hawker-Siddeley Group properly.

    For bombers, Canberra is a must. For the V-bombers, no Short Sperrin at all. Limited production of Valiants as a risk reduction technique. No Vulcan, just stick with the more capable Victor.

    Fighters; Switch production of Vampire over Venom quicker, especially NF Vampires. Route Meteor production into training aircraft. Adopt a night fighter version of the Canberra with AI radar in the nose, also used instead of Javelin. Continuing with the Hawker development line is probably the best thing to do for new day fighters. With a proper Hawker-Siddeley group there would be more resources to better achieve swept wing versions of the Hawk and eventually the Hunter. The P.1083 is probably a jump too far until the early 1950s. Once its been proven, the larger P.1090 with a Gyron engine would make a more capable fighter.

    Otherwise; carry on with the Miles M.52 project. Probably one of the most important things to focus on, gathering lots of information on transonic and supersonic flight. The reheated turbofan engine would come in useful for the Sea Hawk+ as well.
     
  5. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    Largely agree there. For some reason when I wrote mine I just assumed the Sperrin would exist. Why??? You are quite right that it should be dispensed with and the Valiant would be the fall back option/trainer. Maybe it could also be produced as a tanker too.

    The main reason I nominated the P1083 for production was because it was actually built (its fuselage became the prototype Hunter F.6) so I saw it as more attainable than the P.1090. Good alternative/follow on though.

    The M.52 is an excellent call. I'd forgotten that one. Maybe we could keep the flying tail secret for a while too ;)

    What does all this mean for the EE P.1? Hmmmmm, thinking.....
     
  6. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    It means the project goes better than it did historically (not that there were really many problems historically) and gets the Lightning into service sooner.

    The P.1083/1090 combination really depends on when. There isn't much point in having them in service only a year or two before being replaced by the Lightning.
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I dont know, but at wars end, Britain was an economic mess and needed money more than weapons. I would have geared my defence industries to foreign service requirements, after the wartime surplusses began to run out.

    I would not have given jet engine technolgy to the Russians quite so easily
     
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