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Do you remeber the Avro Arrow and later TSR2?

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Do you remeber the Avro Arrow and later TSR2?

Postby Robin Hood » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:53 pm

The other evening I watched a very informative film about an aircraft I could barely remember. It is a long video (2 hrs 50m) and although fiction, it is based on the people and the events of the time as shown in recorded history.

A truly remarkable Canadian designed and built aeroplane, well ahead of its time and the rest of the field and would be so even today. The project was cancelled by PM Diefenbaker and the destruction of all the airframes and engines, and everything associated with the aircraft including rigs and drawings were scrapped with obscene haste, starting just hours after the announcement of the cancellation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJwBHtYHIaw

Also worth a watch for the professionals view of the Arrow project and the politics .....

Death of the Arrow .... the biggest mistake in Canadian Aviation history: History Channel.
[url]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDvZu50HvLs[/url]


For entertainment only ......... the one that got away? It is rumoured that a completed Arrow ‘escaped’ destruction and still exists somewhere .......... so, this could come about one day if that is true.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjuL9IM-1T0

Toward the end of the CBS video the story seemed to have a familiar ring about it. :idea:

It reminded me of this fiasco in the UK when the new Labour Government scrapped the BAC TSR2, equally as advanced as The Arrow, in 1965 for most likely the very same reason as the Arrow met its end? It also was completely destroyed within a short time of the scrap decision. A poignant comment at the time by Sir Sidney Camm:

Aeronautical engineer Sir Sydney Camm said of the TSR-2: "All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics. TSR-2 simply got the first three right."

http://www.gknapman.co.uk/tsr2/cancellation/cancellation.htm

Having an active mind and a reasonable knowledge of World events today ....... I have to observe that if you look at what is happening today, history is repeating itself! :o

The same happened with Concorde .... the US banned it for a long while to limit sales opportunities for what was/is a very lucrative market ...... they are now building their own ‘Concorde’ and the plans for UK/Fr Concord MkII were scrapped some years ago. The TSR2 was supposed to have been replaced with the F-111 but although 10 were ordered with an option for 40 more the contract was cancelled within 12 months.

There are several other aircraft (Nimrod) and helicopters (Westland) projects that were subject to cancellation and replaced by US alternatives ...... and now we seem to be in the same situation with the F-35, a yet unproven aircraft with a multitude of design and operational problems ..... as well as an astronomic price tag!

The guy in the History Channel video implied that these decisions were political and made primarily to keep the US aircraft industry as the premier suppliers of military aircraft. Like Trumps claim to create jobs for Americans to MAGA? Could he be correct in his view?

The UK has proved it has the skills, the technology and the people to design and build our own aircraft, with or without the EU! All the country needs is the motivation! So why do we still buy our military aircraft mainly from the US ...... and have to pay them a huge price and in US Dollars? :roll: :wink:
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Re: Do you remeber the Avro Arrow and later TSR2?

Postby Londonrake » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:03 pm

My recollection of the TSR2 was of it's being a revolutionary aircraft. Cancelled in short time IIRC by Labour's defence minister, Dennis Healey.

I had a better appreciation of the Nimrod. You're referring to the AEW variant I'm sure. I was flying in the AEW world in 1985 - 86, when the aircraft was very much a contemporary issue.

The UK spent a lot of money trying to develop it's own AEW capability (something very much missed in the Falklands war). However, costs for the Nimrod I believe grew from a couple of hundred million to over a billion. Unlike nowadays a lot of dosh in the mid 80s. At which point it still wasn't anywhere near operational.

I can relate a personal experience***. I was flying on an AEW Shackleton in the North Sea on what was referred to as a "Crosstell" sortie. Reporting unidentified aircraft tracks (Bogeys) to a UK ground radar station, in readiness for the possible launch of a quick reaction alert fighter to intercept. We were relaying one contact to Buchan Radar when we got a call from an AEW Nimrod, also flying in the area. They were asking us for the position of our contact - they simply couldn't see it. It's worth bearing in mind that we were operating an AN-APS 20 radar. The APS 20 was developed by the US in an effort to counter Japanese Kamikaze attacks.

It was widely known then that Jim Prior - an ex senior Minister in Thatcher's government - was Chairman of GEC and had a significant input to the Nimrod's funding.

We obviously had a lot of close cooperation with fighter squadrons. They routinely worked with the Boeing E3A- Sentry AWACs. When I asked them what they thought of the aircraft they said that it was just like its radio callsign................... Magic.

Everybody I knew in the UK AEW world thought that the Nimrod was a total waste of time and money and that we should be buying E3's. A much cheaper, far superior and operationally proven aircraft.

Ultimately they did of course.

*** These of course are "button pusher" experiences. So probably to be treated with contempt.
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Re: Do you remeber the Avro Arrow and later TSR2?

Postby Robin Hood » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:16 am

I also forgot about the Harrier supersonic version the P-1154! Although that was scrapped in the design stage not like the TSR2 when airframes and engines, even 24 test flights had been carried out, were just dumped on the scrap heap.

If I remember correctly, we also let the US build the Harrier for the US marines, instead of building them in the UK and selling them. When we scrapped our Harrier’s we spent millions refurbishing them and then sold them to the US for a knock down price that barely covered the cost of refurbishment. Thus leaving the UK with no VTOL capability........ and the US with our perfectly serviceable fleet of Harriers. I think that sell-out was down to Cameron?

Now we buy the F-35 to replace the VTOL requirement and have two aircraft carriers that are ONLY suitable for that single US aircraft.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Siddeley_P.1154

I read sometime back that the only countries you could still get the RR Merlin engine, was the US and Germany. Even then the Merlin you get in the US was made by Packard Motor Company under licence as the V-1650 and they built like 58000 of them.

I also forgot that we also sold all the design and technical data for the Whittle/ Rolls Royce Jet engines to the US for them to develop instead of selling them UK designed and built engines. It was also the UK that did all the research on the airframe failure of the Comet and discovered a thing called 'metal fatigue' and again passed all the data on to the US.


We could still beat the US on the technical front but there seems to be something drastically amiss with the ‘political’ bit of the UK Aerospace industry?
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Re: Do you remeber the Avro Arrow and later TSR2?

Postby repulsewarrior » Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:00 am

...it makes the Huawei issue even more difficult to decide.

Is their technology a direct threat to the rest of the world's communication infrastructure, or do the Americans resent the competition?
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Re: Do you remeber the Avro Arrow and later TSR2?

Postby Robin Hood » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:21 pm

RW:
...it makes the Huawei issue even more difficult to decide.

Is their technology a direct threat to the rest of the world's communication infrastructure, or do the Americans resent the competition?


I think the latter but then I could be slightly biased! :roll: :D

I know the film is fiction but it is based on fact and the latter third, from 1:55:00 onward, deals more with the politics than the aircraft. I would take a guess that much of it is very close to the truth as seen from 2:24:00 onward. The same political picture could also be applied to the UK’s TSR2 program a few years later.

IMO:

The Americans do not like to be anything other than top dog and anything that looks to be a greater product success than their version, either has to be bought under US control (bought out) or the competition’s credibility and achievements have to be destroyed! They do this often by distributing disinformation or by rubbishing the competitors evidence. Rarely does the US destroy the opposition by demonstrating their ‘product’ is superior. In essence they work on the principal that ‘Bullshit beats brains’!

In the Arrow story, the politicians were fed the BS that the era of fixed wing fighters was over and it was now all about missiles. Being pushed to reduce the Govt. spending, the ones who had all the say ignored their own people and went for the US advice and announced they were cancelling the project and instead would buy US missiles (which were a complete failure) and some 60 second hand US F-101 Voodoo’s as a stand in.

The video showed that when this proposed cancelation of Arrow was publicly announced a whole host of US aircraft manufacturers and even the US Air Force wanted to buy this so called obsolete technology in its entirety. Diefenbaker said to reverse the decision to cancel the program or sell it to the US, would make him and his government look like fools ...... so he ordered EVERYTHING to be destroyed. Basically because the advice given by his own people was correct but he fell for the US BS and would loose face. True? :?: Who knows. :roll:

As a ‘Canadian’ this should interest you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDcihOKl67c and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjNA1d7Q0a0

The Super Arrow was proposed to the Canadian Govt. a couple of years ago as an alternative to the increasingly expensive F-35 program and was turned down flat! Why? The spec and performance way exceeds that of the US F-35 and it is considerably cheaper. Pessimist's even say they believe the F-35 program will also be cancelled in a couple of years. The original Arrow was a 5th Generation fighter decades before any other and this Super Arrow is 6th Generation based on the original Arrow technology but bought up to date.

A series of six short videos ....... an interesting factual story about the Arrow project and more accurate obviously than the Film version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_afzm1z7nu0

This protection of the US domination is not just with aircraft or technology, it is anything that is a threat to US interests, including their foreign policies. You can see this in operation with the US sanctions programs. These are often a form of protectionism for US commercial and even political interests, again this can be seen in the threat of sanctions against EU countries associated with the Nord Stream 2 Project. This pipeline from Russia to Germany is a direct threat to US interests in the energy field and they are taking serious steps to negate the competition, whose prices they will never be able to match and will do so by any means legal or otherwise!

Now as you say, the Huawei threat, not to US security that’s BS, but to their financial interests. So, they will convince the EU and UK to use their products instead, through a program of misinformation and if that fails they will then make commercial threats of sanctions against those that do not comply.
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Re: Do you remeber the Avro Arrow and later TSR2?

Postby repulsewarrior » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:24 am

...indeed what is the F-16, was the Avro Arrow.

As for Huawei, i am not sure; i don't trust China much, the way they have acted in taking Canadians as prisoners, and their bad treatment. Canada has its own Trade issues with the USA, and being put in the middle this way may not be a coincidence. If this has to do with a Trade War, China is having with the USA, they show themselves no better than each other. In this case, let's not forget Canada is one of the very few friends China has among the Five Eyes. While Canada cannot choose who is their neighbour, as a Canadian it must be getting hard to be helpful, with friends like these. Neither seems to be making the effort Canada is, as members of a larger family one may call Humanity.

I do not like the idea of choosing one over the other (China/USA). Each as a technology must have a particular advantage in their design and features (so too Russia, EU, others). There may be an overall best generally speaking, but excluding all others based on such a premise does not suit the marketplace as a consumer, not all consumers are the same in their needs, and in fulfilling these needs, variety, having choices, i think, is always best.
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Re: Do you remeber the Avro Arrow and later TSR2?

Postby Londonrake » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:02 pm

Robin Hood wrote:I also forgot about the Harrier supersonic version the P-1154! Although that was scrapped in the design stage not like the TSR2 when airframes and engines, even 24 test flights had been carried out, were just dumped on the scrap heap.


I haven't looked any of this up so am winging it (bad pun). My recollection is that the TSR2s were ultimately used as targets on a range. That, in order to ascertain the effect of cannon fire on a modern airframe.

Robin Hood wrote:If I remember correctly, we also let the US build the Harrier for the US marines, instead of building them in the UK and selling them. When we scrapped our Harrier’s we spent millions refurbishing them and then sold them to the US for a knock down price that barely covered the cost of refurbishment. Thus leaving the UK with no VTOL capability........ and the US with our perfectly serviceable fleet of Harriers. I think that sell-out was down to Cameron?


IIRC ditto. I think the US bought about 100 of the original British Harriers for the USMC (designated AV8a). Subsequently they developed the AV8b, which had far superior performance (carbon fibre wings?). The UK Harrier was due to go out of service anyway. Much as the Tornado has in the past couple of weeks. Why selling them to the US - our main ally - at cost should be considered something bad beats me.

Robin Hood wrote: We could still beat the US on the technical front but there seems to be something drastically amiss with the ‘political’ bit of the UK Aerospace industry?

Economy of scale. The US can usually sell thousands of its military aircraft to dozens of nations. Perhaps a good example is the F16. An aircraft initially developed in the 60s/early 70s which, after umpteen upgrades,is still in demand throughout the world. 27 countries operate it and many thousands have been produced. The UK just doesn't have the money or industrail capacity to develop and produce aircraft on such a scale. Something acknowledged in the late 60s when they joined Germany and Italy to form Panavia and collectively develop the MRCA (Tornado). Despite that less than a thousand were built.
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Re: Do you remeber the Avro Arrow and later TSR2?

Postby Londonrake » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:33 pm

repulsewarrior wrote:...it makes the Huawei issue even more difficult to decide.

Is their technology a direct threat to the rest of the world's communication infrastructure, or do the Americans resent the competition?


Subject to the orange dork's latest manoeuvres. The US imports hundreds of billions of $ worth of goods from China and has in essence been the biggest driver of Chinese economic ascendancy. I submit that the idea the Huawei issue is simply to do with blanking out competition doesn't really hold water.

Is it a good idea to use core technology from a country which could - and it doesn't take a lot of imagination to visualise this - become an enemy, resulting in military conflict? To integrate elements of its hardware - potentially capable of being remotely interrogated, recoded or even simply shut down - into your country's communications systems ? :?
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Re: Do you remeber the Avro Arrow and later TSR2?

Postby repulsewarrior » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:32 am

...indeed, "privatization" has this consequence, this question, which Canada and GB were willing to take, (Germany following i might add), by 'backchecking' their codes. All this has changed now, since the incident in Poland, and the realisation, despite the denials, that China is complicit in Hauwei's affairs, in Canada making the arrest of Canadians in China all the more chilling.

...as inventions go, little that i know of war planes, Russians, while their planes are heavier, and as a result slower than American craft, have one distinct advantage, the ability to land and takeoff from air fields in conditions impossible for such adversaries.

...as for inventions in general, Canadians have learned of the benefits of Canadian thinking, witness Telidon at the very advent of the internet, witness the lithographic process, radar and the telephone, all had Canadian roots, all met their inventor's criteria, in this vast country, to get people closer together, and despite for the most part being unrecognised, changing their world forever.

...the world is so interconnected, yet it seems that the idea of an open world has been reduced to, 'whatever i can get is mine, the rest is yours if you can keep it'. First to market, and its importance in a market that has rapidly expanding technological frontiers, having the ability to adapt as the first to market, seem paramount. It makes for ferocious battles, epic in their proportions, we have seen these battles involving inventors and politics, in the past. (how about nuclear research, the super-gun?) Despite the best efforts of inventors to make a better world, the malice in it is the motive in those who seek its control. We will see even greater battles in the future, it seems natural, what with the world in affect/effect, becoming smaller and smaller.
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Re: Do you remeber the Avro Arrow and later TSR2?

Postby Robin Hood » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:10 am

LR:
Why selling them to the US - our main ally - at cost should be considered something bad beats me.

Because we had nothing to replace them and if they were good enough for the USMC to use ...... we should have used them ourselves as perfectly serviceable aircraft.
Perhaps a good example is the F16. An aircraft initially developed in the 60s/early 70s which, after umpteen upgrades, is still in demand throughout the world
.
As RW points out, the F-16 could have used the Arrow as its basic design inspiration? Even today the Arrows performance in all aspects except stealth, is superior to both the F-16 and the F-35. In fact when I looked at the short video I thought I was looking at the SR-71 Blackbird ...... which used a lot of the technical features pioneered by The Arrow. The F-16 sales figures could have been for the CF-105 Arrow if the Canadians had used a ‘Trump’ instead of a Deifenbaker!
Something acknowledged in the late 60s when they joined Germany and Italy to form Panavia and collectively develop the MRCA (Tornado). Despite that less than a thousand were built.

The US was never enthusiastic about Europe having an independent airframe capability and even today I don’t think the US has ever bought aircraft that were anything but of US origin. I just think they employ a lot of Trumps in the US sales offices who are much better than the UK or any European government at negotiating, convincing and selling. Because their products are not that better, in some cases not as good as, the oppositions?

Going on Teresa Mays ‘sales’ performance I would bet the US could sell her anything. After all they got Cameron to build two aircraft carriers specifically for the F-35 and when you look at it pragmatically, they will be used primarily to fight US wars. Why the hell does the UK need aircraft carriers, when we no longer have an Empire that needs defending? They are offensive weapons not defensive! :wink:
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