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View Diary: TSR-2 - or, the betrayal of the British aircraft industry (94 comments)

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  •  And make the tea too (3+ / 0-)
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    shortfinals, sphealey, RiveroftheWest

    The TSR-2 is to me the Marlon Brando of British aviation, "I coulda been  a contenda!". Because it never went into service and had the bugs shaken out and exposed to the light it's always been the dream canvas of aviation geeks like thee (and me too), with our wishes painted on the blank sheet -- a nuclear low-level strike bomber that was also a conventional bomber as well as having a reconnaissance role, a high-altitude/low-altitude fast-mover and even a fighter variant, all in the same airframe and engine configuration. Meanwhile we had three candidates for conventional and nuclear bombing already in train (the V-series airframes) and flying in service as well as other aircraft to fit the other roles the TSR-2 was supposed to occupy, like the ageing but still functional Canberra you mention.

     I don't know if the TSR-2 would have been a success in quantity one hundred or more, in the hands of regular pilots and airframe mechanics; the avionics alone were going to be a nightmare to manage as they were vastly more complex than anything the UK had ever built and flown before. The Aardvark grew exponentially in cost, yes but would the TSR-2 project have stayed within budget? I doubt it somehow, given what you've said about the management of the project up till its cancellation.

     Maybe the TSR-2 would have been a major success like the Harrier was, maybe a disaster like the Brabizon, we'll never know.

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