The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

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Renegadenemo
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Re: The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

Post by Renegadenemo » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:30 pm

The consequences of the cancellation are much underestimated.The UK lost loads of good people in a brain-drain to the USA as a direct result, and our sub-contractor infrastructure was badly damaged. We spent hundreds of millions of pounds in the long run patching-up the gap the TSR-2 cancellation left. But most importantly of all, Britain lost its place in the cutting edge of aviation innovation.
Hardly... we had Concorde going soon afterwards and no one else made a go of a supersonic civil airliner. And what about the Eurofighter?
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Re: The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

Post by quicksilver-wsr » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:16 pm

Concorde and the Harrier (P1127) were already on the go when TSR-2 was cancelled, and of course we had our French friends to rely on for one half of Concorde.

The same went for the Jaguar - reliance on the French - while the MRCA/Tornado was a multinational aircraft.

Who was it that really made a go of the Harrier, long-term? The Americans, of course.

In rocketry, a similar story. We handed our Blue Streak and Black Knight to the French and the Germans and they made Ariane out of them (via Europa). Britain totally lost its space-launcher capability - which also meant our ability to loft a nuclear weapon independently of America. We stood back and let it all go.

Eurofighter Typhoon is a super aircraft. But - like Concorde, the Jaguar and the Tornado - we've relied heavily on European partnership for that. We can't claim the credit.

The actual facts make stark reading. The Buccaneer was the last all-British strike aircraft. Its design dates from the early 1950s. The Lightning was the last all-British fighter aircraft. Its design goes back to the late-1940s and early-1950s. The Belfast was the last all-British heavy-lift transport. Its design dates back to the late-1950s (and only ten were built).

Basically, we ceded our leadership to others overseas and the cancellation of the TSR-2 was emblematic of that.

I'm not doing our aircraft industry down - just saying we could have done a lot better if our politicians had had some balls.

An interesting aside to the TSR-2 story is that Beamont and others within BAC suggested after cancellation that a couple of aircraft be kept on for a short time to conduct aerodynamic research with. It was only going to cost a few million pounds, and after all the money that had been expended on it, it would have at least given some return and would have kept a proportion of the skilled workforce that designed and built the aircraft in gainful employment.

The answer was, of course, no.

The Americans had a wunderbomber that got cancelled too. It was called the XB-70. But what the Americans did, very sensibly, was keep a couple flying to do research with.

The official attitude towards aviation in Britain back in that era was very similar to what it is now towards our strategic industries. Get rid of them altogether, or sell them to the highest foreign bidder.

Nigel

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Re: The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

Post by Renegadenemo » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:11 pm

I used to share that view but since working with R-R and the likes of Aero Engine Controls it's evident that we're still very much at the forefront in a whole host of areas. People often bemoan the death of 'British Engineering' but it's gone nowhere. OK we don't have huge factories turning out tons of goods - that's mostly because the quality was crap, though,much like Donald's 'advanced engineering, rocketry, what have you...' it's all looked back on with rose-tinted spec's, whilst we've been taught a thing or two about quality manufacturing by the Japanese and the Germans.
Our engineering and cutting-edge capability has simply gone underground - but it's still here.
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Re: The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

Post by quicksilver-wsr » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:18 pm

I agree with you on that much. What we have now is world-class niche skills. But I wonder about the overall capability.

Other countries - such as France, Sweden, Russia, and of course the USA - have hung onto it and would never have dreamed of doing what we have done. In fact, in the USA such measures are prohibited by law.

For a country that used to be such a powerhouse, I wonder where we'll be if the world goes really wobbly.

Rolls-Royce, I agree, is a beacon.

Back in the day we churned out Canberras and Hunters by the score. No lack of quality there. And they were what the world wanted.

Nigel

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Re: The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

Post by sbt » Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:18 pm

I think a reality check is in order. These days nobody (except, perhaps, Russia and China - but even then I'm sceptical regarding things like electronics) can do an entirely 'in country' warplane project like it used to be possible to do. Even with those countries that appear to do so aren't when you dig down the parts list and production locations. The cost is to great to make it economically practical and the skills and specialist design and production capacity to widely spread worldwide - despite the desire of nations like the US to retain those capabilities.

The UK could have produced something akin to an 'in country Typhoon' but it would have been significantly more costly, delivered later, and been less capable than Typhoon. The result would probably have been that we brought something from elsewhere that had significantly less UK involvement and didn't meet our needs as well as Typhoon does. Similarly the US could have done an 'in country' F-35 but even they would have found funding it difficult and had issues with replicating things like knowledge regarding automatic control in the hover for the VTOL version without help from UK industry and government scientists.

These days there is a heck of a lot more 'tech' packed into an airframe, a load more things operating on the edge of what is allowable by physics, including the airframe, and mass more things integrated together than in the days when we could bash out Hunters equipped with a radar far less sophisticated than the cheapest one you can buy for a boat (UKP 1500 these days) and then bolt in hardware designed on the back of a fag packet.

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Re: The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

Post by quicksilver-wsr » Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:50 pm

sbt wrote:These days there is a heck of a lot more 'tech' packed into an airframe, a load more things operating on the edge of what is allowable by physics, including the airframe, and mass more things integrated together than in the days when we could bash out Hunters equipped with a radar far less sophisticated than the cheapest one you can buy for a boat (UKP 1500 these days) and then bolt in hardware designed on the back of a fag packet.
True, indeed - but all of these things are relative. By today's standards, the hardware and software that got Man to the moon was primitive, but in those days it wasn't. It was state-of-the-art. And the same applied to the Canberra, Hunter, et al, in their time.

I am not expecting a "Fortress Britain" that can do everything in-house. Of course that's silly and unrealistic - and undesirable. I am very much pro-European, and think we should collaborate with others to mutual benefit, but I am hardly alone in expressing concerns about our gradual decline from an industrial powerhouse to a largely service-based economy. There is no future in everybody taking everybody else's washing to the laundry - which is essentially what a service economy boils down to.

We should do as Germany does. Have some national pride, make more things ourselves.

N.

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Re: The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

Post by polo » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:22 pm

There goes Bill opening big gob casting slander without doing a cursory search on the web !
TSR2 was first instigated in 1957 by BAC...BRISTOL Aeroplane Company as was another well known plane CONCORD !
Who was the test Pilot of Concord ? Ooops it was Trubshaw. Who was the test pilot of TSR2 Ooops it was Beaumont !
Now who was Highly regarded leading member of staff at the Bristol Aeroplane Company, involved in the design of Concord who was a member of British Pursuit K8 ? Where does he live ? Could it be Bristol by any chance? he also went on to do a lot of work for the other BAC when Bristol were taken over.
Well it could be Raj Nangia who fits the criteria.
But there was another ! The clue is, he was also, depending on your view, involved in the Dieselmax LSR car.
Over to you, work it out.

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The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

Post by rob565uk » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:22 pm

And another cursory search reveals that Roland Beamont's surname has no "u" in it either ....

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Re: The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

Post by Jordangbr » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:41 pm

And another cursory search will tell you BAC stands for British Aircraft Corporation.....
Looks like you'd best do some more homework Polo.
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Re: The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

Post by Renegadenemo » Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:31 am

Yet another cursory search reveals that slander is the spoken word, it's libel if you write it down.
Furthermore, when I open my big gob it's the truth that comes out and not something I channeled from the fairies at the bottom of my garden.

So who is your mystery individual?
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