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BAC TSR.2 "The last British Bomber."


TSR.2  

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  1. 1. Do you want the TSR.2 In game?

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BAC TSR.2 

 

BAC-TSR.2-First-Flight-TO-1.thumb.jpg.48

 

This is the story of the RAF and the UK's last domestic bomber and the fate that befell it.

 

In 1956 the RAF and MoD were concerned about the aging state of the English Electric Canberra which was starting to become outdated. The MoD and MoS began discussion with  English Electric to develop a new strike bomber capable of traveling at Mach 1.5 with a 2,000 mile range and capable of carrying out low altitude ground strike. English Electric began developing concepts under the designation P.17. English Electric's original concept had straight wings and engine pods but this was rapidly brushed aside for delta wings and engines in the rear of the fuselage.

 

p17.jpg.253d03290e515f9f48f8cc2f5b712ceb

 

Eventually more specifications were issued to English Electric, the aircraft was to carry a minimum of four 1,000lb bombs but six would be better and be capable of short take off with the possibility of vertical take off being desirable. Not long after this the 1957 defence white paper that was responsible for the merger of many of Britain's aircraft company's was issued.  Including the Merger of English Electric and several other companies to form the British Aircraft Corporation and Bristol aerospace engine concern and Siddeley to form Bristol Siddeley. This paper also made the in hindsight rather foolish assessment that manned aircraft were redundant and that all the RAF would need was the V-Force. However in the midst of all this the RAF and MoD managed to push through GOR.399 (General Operational Requirement) in order to get a new replacement for the Canberra. However GOR.399 was used by the government to force the merger of several aircraft germs only offering it to company's that agreed to merger. Initially only A combined EE-Shorts proposal based on P.17 (basically P.17 acting as a parasite bomber carried by a larger aircraft) and  proposal from Vickers-Armstrong  were actually suitable. The proposal was then revised; unfortunately these revisions actually made it harder to achieve demanding the ability to take off from rough strips and to be able to fly high and faster and longer range. There was another company to submit an aircraft for GOR.339 and that was Blackburn with the proposal for a supersonic buccaneer dubbed P.150, the RAF was not interested despite the merits of modifying a pre existing airframe they detested the idea of a the RAF using a naval aircraft, weirdly this didn't deter Blackburn who kept of submitting variant to the RAF. On the 1st of January 1959 the program was made public Knowledge under the name TSR/2 ( Tactical Strike and  Reconnaissance, Mach.2)  and progress continued merging both Vickers and the EE/Shorts proposal with a date for first flight initially set as march 1963. The contract was meant to be awarded that year in 1959 but was delayed and not issued till 1960 by which point English Electric, Shorts, Vickers had merged to form BAC. This meant that Almost the entire British Aircraft industry was now split between two companies (with the odd outlier like RR and Bristol)  BAC and the  Hawker-Siddeley  group. The government then tried to manage these two consortium in an American style (and fell totally flat on the faces meaning both companies became tangled bureaucratic webs. for example one meeting was deemed to be overcrowded and only essential people were asked to turn up… they ended up with more people in the next meeting).  This bureaucratic mess would continue throughout TSR.2's development with three hour meetings and very switch placement for the cockpit (Until the chief test pilot the Roly Falk got involved and got to design the cockpit himself). And in addition to this the Admiralty were still pushing the RAF to buy the Buccaneer and the Americans were making progress with their TFX program (Better known now as F-111).  Needles to say things were not good(actually it'd probably be accurate to say things were rapidly going where the sun doesn't shine). And the things got worse the Aussies had shown a keen interest in purchasing TSR.2  until the first sea lord Louis Mountbatten an ardent supporter of the Buccaneer decided that it would be a good idea to encourage them to buy into the TFX project at a cut price instead( the fact that this would then cost the Aussies ten years and almost triple the original asking price is also note worthy).Meanwhile Bristol-Siddeley was having problems with the engines( by this point hawker had be merged into BAC and Bristol had gotten Siddelye)the brand new version of the Olympus engine they had designed for TSR.2 had blown up it's Vulcan test-bed. Delaying the test flight till it was deemed to be no longer at risk of blowing up an entire aircraft. Despite all this chaos and interference they had actually managed to build a finished Aircraft and on the 6th of may 1963 the first Prototype TSR.2 XR219 carried out ground trials. By September Bristol had finally figured out what had caused the loss of the Vulcan and had given the all clear for the flight (Provided not to much time was spent above 98% power or things might start exploding) so on the 27th of September 1963  TSR.2 X219 took to the sky's. The aircraft's first flight went swimmingly nothing broke or fell off and was described as a good start (however due to the power limitation and missing systems it wasn't truly representative of what the aircraft could do) no more flights were carried out till the end of the year by which point the engine problem had been more or less sorted and they could turn their focus to more pressing issues like the god awful vibration (which turned out or be a dodgy fuel pump) and some landing gear issues but they were all sorted out in turn.

1249281204_unnamed(2).thumb.jpg.518d536f  TSR-2 Assembly line

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(gear Jammed in flight)

 

It was then decided to move test flight sights to the former English Electric runway at Warton this was XR129's 14th flight and the only time it ever got chance to go supersonic when it went smoothly to Mach 1.12 without reheat forcing the Lightning following it to have to engage its own reheat. But despite all these victories TSR.2 was still under attack pressure to buy the Buccaneer or F-111 was mounting the poor management had caused increasing costs. Things had gotten dier in 1965 a new labour government had come into power and was threatening cuts, this resulted in a protests march in London where 10,000 aerospace employees showed up to defend their jobs. On the 6th of April the ground crew and pilot of the second TSR.2 XR220 were getting ready for its first test flight that afternoon when as they were eating lunch it was announced TSR.2 was to be cancelled. They had decided F-111 was the better alternative. There was uproar, the UK aerospace industry had been dealt a brutal blow there were mass redundancies. XR219, XR 221 and XR223 were used as targets on a shooting range  and XR220 and XR222 Were saved  XR220 was given to the RAF museum and XR222 to a college for study and then to IWM Duxford. BAC and the RAF held onto what they could including drawings and many of the other important assets. However BAC decided they would not let TSR.2 go quietly after all that had happened and they made the destruction of the jig’s incomplete airframes, mock up models and other less important things very public. In the end the government backed out of the F-111K despite two airframes being nearly complete this was down to political messing and rising costs (but more on that in another post). They went in the end with a rather cruel twist of fate the buccaneer, the aircraft that had plagued the TSR.2 from the start. However this is not quite the end for TSR.2 as it had a new lease of life in the British French AFVG (Advanced Fighter Variable Geometry) serving as it's bases AFVG later evolved into the much more popular Tornado.

unnamed.thumb.jpg.2ed7a6b56b2eff8e7fafdb The TSR-2 scale mock-up being burnt 

2080443192_unnamed(1).thumb.jpg.8bf03160  TSR 2 incomplete components being sold for scrap

3144-0eb5e10c9c254aed27c89f4b6e49137a.jpAFVG mock up the resemblance to TSR.2 is clear but you can also see the tornado forming.

 

TSR.2 Technology.

 

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TSR.2 was incredibly advanced for the early 1960's it was even one of the first aircraft to have a HUD built in it also had advanced TFR and Forward looking radar and a decent payload capacity (Six 1'000lb HC bombs internally with and additional 4 externally or 2” rocket pods externally (i'll go into a full list later). One of the first major electronic features TSR.2 had was a highly accurate positioning system that could accurately calculate the aircraft's position based on a known starting point in age without GPS, this combined a stable base system of gyros with advanced doppler radar, sideways looking radar (Which could also be used as a spotting radar) and a computer of the power never before seen on an aircraft its size. It also had a special hybrid Mechanical/ FBW system that provided auto stabilization and in flight, Autopilot, automatic terrain following and manoeuvre assistance. It had several defensive systems such as RWR and  Chaff/flares in pods

 

Armament

 

Conventional: 

2-4 rocket pods on external hardpoints.

6 1000lb bombs in internal bay

2-41000lb bombs on external hardpoints 

2 TV or Radar Guided Matra Martel Missiles on external hardpoints.

Nuclear:

4 WE-177 Nuclear free fall bombs In internal bay

1 Red beard nuclear bomb in internal bay

 

General specifications 

 

Britain-High-Mach-631.jpg.99fc9c187fdd67

 

Crew: 2

Wingspan: 11.32 meters

Wing area: 65.3 meters²

Length: 27 meters

Hight: 7.25 meters

Empty weight: 24,834kg

Max takeoff weight:  46,947kg

Powerplant: Bristol-Siddeley Olympus Mk.320

Top Speed: Mach 2.0 (This is based of specifications for the aircraft as I have mentioned the prototype got to 1.12 without using the Mk.320's reheat so the 2.0 number seems fairly reasonable and it was certainly aerodynamically and structurally capable of it the major limiting factor would have been engine life)  

Range: 2,500nmi

Combat range: 750nmi

 

Place in the Game

This would be the ultimate jet bomber for the UK at 10.7 this would be capable of rushing bases and then beating a  hasty retreat the rockets and guided missiles also give a position as a CAS aircraft.

 

Sources 

TSR 2 Britain's Lost Bomber Damien Burke ISBN: 9781857977915

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAC_TSR-2

https://www.baesystems.com/en/heritage/bac-tsr-2

https://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/tsr2/history.php

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Edited by TerikG2014
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Open for discussion. o7

 

Lovely bird; shame she never lived up to her full potential.

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I guess the payload on this thing's easier to balance than something like the V-force bombers (as much as I'd love to have a Vulcan in-game, the bombing mechanics need to be looked at before strategic bombers from the 1950s onwards, barring very few exceptions, can even be looked at).

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Just now, ForeverAloneRage said:

Some pictures from RAF Cosford

Aye she is  beautiful, its a shame that she'll never fly again.

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1 hour ago, TerikG2014 said:

Aye she is  beautiful, its a shame that she'll never fly again.

Exactly, that's the painful thing with a lot of planes like Concord and Vulcan. That's one of the reasons why I'd love them to be incorporated into the game in a realistic way; so there's some way to experience them that's more than just seeing them static in a museum.

For the same reason, I'd love to see her in the game. +1

Edited by puffin777

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11 minutes ago, puffin777 said:

Exactly, that's the painful thing with a lot of planes like Concord and Vulcan. That's one of the reasons why I'd love them to be incorporated into the game in a realistic way; so there's some way to experience them that's more than just seeing them static in a museum.

For the same reason, I'd love to see her in the game.

Definetly.

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If jet bombers ever start making a return to top tier jets, this one is a must along with the likes of the Aardvark and Backfire. Was almost criminal that irl it never got the chance to see service, would be great to see it brought to life in a combat scenario within War Thunder. These high speed strike jet bombers (Vautours and Phantoms with bombs are really the only current examples in game of such a play style) are much more fun to fly than their slower high altitude flying cousins (Canberras for example).

Not sure what they'd do regarding airspawns for this type of aircraft, with the current map sizes they really don't need them, but even on huge maps like boulogne-sur-mur it wouldn't really need it either, It's flight performance is more than good enough to have a ground spawn.

Nonetheless +1 from me, adore this aircraft irl, is a real beauty.

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1 minute ago, Th3hadyn said:

If jet bombers ever start making a return to top tier jets, this one is a must along with the likes of the Aardvark and Backfire. Was almost criminal that irl it never got the chance to see service, would be great to see it brought to life in a combat scenario within War Thunder. These high speed strike jet bombers (Vautours and Phantoms with bombs are really the only current examples in game of such a play style) are much more fun to fly than their slower high altitude flying cousins (Canberras for example).

Not sure what they'd do regarding airspawns for this type of aircraft, with the current map sizes they really don't need them, but even on huge maps like boulogne-sur-mur it wouldn't really need it either, It's flight performance is more than good enough to have a ground spawn.

Nonetheless +1 from me, adore this aircraft irl, is a real beauty.

Thanks personally I recon jets like TSR.2 Ardvark would be perfect for the game meta RN there fast but not faster than anything we currently have in game  personally I recon they don't need airspawns (Then again with the acceleration and intended role of TSR.2 it might not make much difference with way)

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1 minute ago, Flame2512 said:

So this is what the TSR2 flight manual has to say about flight limitations...

 

PQetuco.png

 

I would love to see the TSR-2 in game though, such an awesome aircraft.

This is hardly surprising. The TSR.2 was so early in the flight test pashe they hadn't really established the limitations. Also do you have a full copy of the flight manual?

Edited by TerikG2014

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17 minutes ago, TerikG2014 said:

This is hardly surprising. The TSR.2 was so early in the flight test pashe they hadn't really established the limitations. Also do you have a full copy of the flight manual?

 

You can get the flight manual and the 1,875 page maintenance manual from Jimsan's thread.

 

In the flight manual the "description and management of aircraft systems" section appears to be complete, the "description and management of weapons systems" section is maybe 30% written (3 out of 10 chapters are written). The rest of the sections: "limitations, "handling", "check lists", "emergency procedures", and "flight planning"; have not been written yet.

 

The maintenance document (split into three parts) is pretty huge, but it does contain a large amount of highly detailed drawings and diagrams of the aircraft, so is worth taking a look through if your interested in that sort of stuff.

Edited by Flame2512
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Just now, Flame2512 said:

 

You can get the flight manual and the 1,875 page maintenance manual from Jimsan's thread.

 

In the flight manual the "description and management of aircraft systems" section appears to be complete, the "description and management of weapons systems" section is maybe 30% written (3 out of 10 chapters are written). The rest of the sections: "limitations, "handling", "check lists", "emergency procedures", and "flight planning"; have not been written yet.

 

The maintenance document (split into three parts) is pretty huge, but it does contain a large amount of highly detailed drawings and diagrams of the aircraft, so is worth taking a look through if your interested in that sort of stuff.

Brilliant thanks I want to get as much down for TSR.2 as I can that'll give us the best chance of getting it in game.

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7 minutes ago, Flame2512 said:

I think this is one of my favourite TSR-2 pictures:

 

drgd5rriuooz.jpg

Heh that's a good one.

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Do you think it will ever come to the game? 

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2 hours ago, magazine2 said:

Do you think it will ever come to the game? 

I can but hope, it certainly has a place in the tree but things such as a pretty much unknown top speed and unknown structural limitations make it very hard to implement. If we make the basic assumption that TSR.2 did meet the requirements it was desgined for then we can get a rough idea of a few things like Top speed, Range Anne a rough idea of how it handled. Now it's known that a master file does exist somewhere in BAE with all information gathered during the TSR.2 program as despite common belief most if not all of the Data was saved and preserved so the first big step would be getting access to the master file.

Edited by TerikG2014
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+1, this would be great to see along with some other more modern jet bombers.  As others have said it wouldn't be too hard to balance with its not-insane payload.

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+1 This aircraft deserves to fly and would fit the game well even now

 

23 hours ago, TerikG2014 said:

Armament

 

2 TV or Radar Guided Matra Missiles on external hardpoints.

 

These would be the Hawker Siddeley/Matra MARTELs, AS 37 (MARTEL ARM) and AJ 168 (MARTEL TV)

Spoiler

 

Martel (missile) - Wikipedia ARM

Sea Eagle (missile) - Wikipedia TV (middle, Sea Eagle on the right derived from the MARTEL)

 

A few vehicles can have these, including the FGR.2, Buccaneer and Jaguar (only ARMs)

Spoiler

 

image.thumb.png.75452800decb8eb39d2ff4c3

image.thumb.png.51f8eb8c6b73db06404ab39e

 

 

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2 hours ago, Shrike142 said:

+1 This aircraft deserves to fly and would fit the game well even now

 

These would be the Hawker Siddeley/Matra MARTELs, AS 37 (MARTEL ARM) and AJ 168 (MARTEL TV)

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Martel (missile) - Wikipedia ARM

Sea Eagle (missile) - Wikipedia TV (middle, Sea Eagle on the right derived from the MARTEL)

 

A few vehicles can have these, including the FGR.2, Buccaneer and Jaguar (only ARMs)

  Reveal hidden contents

 

image.thumb.png.75452800decb8eb39d2ff4c3

image.thumb.png.51f8eb8c6b73db06404ab39e

 

 

Yep probably should clarifie that. They originally wanted to go with bullpups or AS.30 but decided they lacked punch so went for Martel.

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I really like the anti-flash white camo TSR.2 has, but i wonder if it would've kept it once it entered service, or if it would've got something similar to later Vulcans where it reflects a roll/doctrine change of switching from high altitude bombing to low altitude bombing to get under the radar to avoid new soviet SAMs.

Also, it is mentioned in the OP that TSR.2 had flares/chaff pods, were these ever fitted during testing? Or did it just have the provisions for them ready but were never fitted due to cancellation?

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14 minutes ago, Th3hadyn said:

I really like the anti-flash white camo TSR.2 has, but i wonder if it would've kept it once it entered service, or if it would've got something similar to later Vulcans where it reflects a roll/doctrine change of switching from high altitude bombing to low altitude bombing to get under the radar to avoid new soviet SAMs.

Also, it is mentioned in the OP that TSR.2 had flares/chaff pods, were these ever fitted during testing? Or did it just have the provisions for them ready but were never fitted due to cancellation?

Hmm it seems likely that TSR.2 would have been recammoflaged for its production models probably in a style similar to the Vulcan. On the Subject of the TSR.2 Chaff/flair pods i'm unsure about if they were ever produced however we do have clear drawings for the design and mounting of the pods. (they were a micro-cell design and mounted to the outboard pylons capacity for 108 Decoys (so 216 in total) 72 Chaff 36 Flair. )

Edited by TerikG2014

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