50th anniversary: Avro Arrow's first flight

A day for Canadians to cry in their Tim Horton's coffee and ponder lost opportunities.
http://www.mississauganews.com/article/12422
Regards, Ralph
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Ralph Currell wrote:

It's a sad state of affairs that the program was canceled. I am not Canadian by birth (ex-pat Brit) but I have lived here for 15+ years, have a Canadian wife and a Canadian daughter who recently covered the entire Arrow debacle in high school history class but I still feel their loss.
Mind you, it's not only the Canadians who make bad judgments like this. The Brits did a similar thing with the TSR2. :-(
--
Larry Green

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Larry Green wrote:

The Avro programme also persuaded the British to cancel the proposed "thin wing Javelin".
(kim)
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kim wrote:

Us Brits should have bought the Arrow and kept TSR2. Just imagine how formidable the RAF would have been in the early 70s...
--
Enzo

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how did nato squeak through the early 70's without the rooshans walking into channel?
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snipped-for-privacy@some.domain wrote:

Because the US had huge numbers of troops in Europe.
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Enzo

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oi. but our stuff was old and crappy, too. do you think the nuclear thing was enough? i always figured that presented with a quick dash across germany presented as a fait accompli, nato would have foleded and the u.s. would have bailed. i didn't see much guts in the white house all through that decade.
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Enzo Matrix wrote:

As far as the Arrow goes, Great Britain is small enough in area that you can indeed put a SAM umbrella over the whole place, which is more than the US could do easily or Russia do, even at very high cost. The SAMs would have a lot faster reaction time than Arrows if scrambled. Arrows would have made some sense for Canada if the Soviets ever had started fielding several hundred intercontinental bombers, but they never did, which is why the Arrow, F-108, and YF-12 were canceled...there was nothing for them to intercept. The only way the TSR.2s could have gotten down to the Falkland Islands would be several aerial refuelings, like the Vulcans had to endure to get there (but in the case of the TSR.2, both the range and bomb load were far less than the Vulcan) so the Argentinians wouldn't have considered them much of a threat. Outside of Argentina, who else would the UK be getting into a war with during the 1970's? Iceland over the Cod Wars?
Pat
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Larry Green wrote:

One thing stands out that's never taken into account about the Arrow, and to a lesser extent about the TSR.2. Both aircraft were designed to fight Soviet forces. Both aircraft would now probably be obsolete, and retired from service. This is particularly the case in regards to the Arrow, which was optimized to intercept Soviet long range bombers...which the Soviets never deployed in large numbers, due to Khrushchev's switch to ICBMs as the primary Soviet nuclear strike force. There was no Soviet attack even without either of the aircraft entering service during the period of what would have been their operational careers, so they were both unnecessary when you come right down to it - and by canceling them, a lot of money was saved. You could make a argument for TSR.2 export sales being a moneymaker for Britain, but it would have been viewed as a Canberra replacement by countries buying it, but a far more high maintenance and expensive attack aircraft than the Canberra. It was really too capable for the needs of a lot of smaller nations that bought the Canberra, so sales might not have been that great, as look at the comparable F-111's international sales.
Pat
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Pat Flannery wrote:

Putting the TSR2 into production would have maintained the UK's aviation expertise, which sadly now is all but gone.
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Enzo Matrix wrote:

If the UK had thrown the amount of time and effort at efficient subsonic passenger aircraft that was used on the TSR.2 and Concorde, they might still have a major share of the European market today, and Airbus may never have come into existence. By not pursuing a large military aircraft industry, Britain avoided the pitfalls of the political power that a large defense industry wields, as occurred in the US in the post-WWII years, and right up to the present day. They'd been down that road once before during the battleship building craze of the early 20th century, and it severely affected the nation's economy.
Pat
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nah, too much hindsight there, pat. the tsr2 would have had a really good service record and length. a lot could have been done for price and maintenance. it was a world beater.
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snipped-for-privacy@some.domain wrote:

Although it could fly other missions such as reconnaissance, and conventional strike, the design was optimized for the low-level nuclear strike mission, and that was going to work against it in international sales - as there weren't that many countries that had nuclear weapons that it could be sold to...in fact, the only one that comes to mind is France...and no way in hell would the French be flying a British nuclear strike aircraft. You might be able to sell some to Australia, and maybe South Africa, but beyond that the list of potential customers gets pretty thin. Without drop tanks, combat radius was 1,000 miles, which was fine for a battle in Europe, but short for a battle elsewhere.
Pat
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Pat Flannery wrote:

That factor didn't do F-104 sales any harn did it? :o)
(kim)
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There were (and probably are) nuclear weapons all over Western Europe. American weapons which would be used by the national air forces. E.g. the Netherlands used the F-104 for nuclear strike.
<
http://home.xmsnet.nl/hdejong/model/tsr2-nl-side.jpg

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Harro de Jong
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Harro de Jong wrote:

Yeah, but those were arrangements with the governments involved in the event of Soviet invasion. In the case of TSR.2 you would have a aircraft designed for the low-level nuclear strike mission deployed by several air forces. It was easy enough to argue that the F-104s were primarily defensive in nature, with a secondary offensive mission if war erupted. That wouldn't be the case with the TSR.2; it was designed for a offensive mission and had no air-to-air mission. That would have made NATO look more offensive in nature, with all the political fallout (no pun intended) that would cause. I dug out my copy of "Project Canceled" and had a look at the TSR.2's combat capabilities in its bombing mission. In a nuclear strike configuration with a 2,000 lb nuclear or conventional bomb aboard, it does pretty well...1,000 nm mission radius with no drop tanks, 1,500 nm with a pair of drop tanks on the wing pylons. If it flies a low level subsonic sortie right from takeoff and all the way home, then it has a 600 nm range, with a added 50 nm range at supersonic speed if it carries the drop tanks. But as soon as you start hanging bombs under the wings things deteriorate quickly. With a 6,000 pounds of bombs in the bomb bay and 4,000 pounds of bombs under the wings, range drops to 400 nm on a low level mission. The aircraft suffered from a split personality; did it want to fly low and evade enemy radar, or did it want to fly high and get speed and range? The two concepts were hard to combine in a single airframe, especially without a VG wing. The Soviets found that out the hard way with their Sukhoi T-6-1 which owed a lot to the TSR.2 as far as aerodynamics went:
http://www.flyinthesky.it/images/su24/Su-24-040_T6-1.jpg
What you ended up with with TSR.2 was something like the F-105, except the F-105 was faster at all altitudes and carried a heavier max weapons load. TSR.2 could get airborne off of a shorter runway, and had somewhat better range, but it wasn't a super plane as it has been portrayed in retrospect. The TSR.2 engines still had a lot of problems in both reliability and fuel economy with the program was canceled, as did the avionics. If the F-111 had never entered production, people would be calling it a lost super plane also. And it of course also had a split personality as far as mission went, as well as problems with its engines and avionics. Looking back at its career, it can be called a mild success at best. TSR.2 might well have ended up the same way, once the romance of its martyrdom is removed. As was pointed out at the time of the TSR.2 program, the Buccaneer _was_ a excellent aircraft that should have had real potential for further major development, and would be something in improved versions that could be sold internationally as a Canberra replacement, due to its excellent range and conventional bomb capacity, as well as reasonable cost per aircraft.
Pat
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Pat Flannery wrote:

BTW, what was a _TSR.1_? The English Electric P-17A? You can see the basic problem here; Britain became so enamored of the Mosquito that they wanted to make a high-tech supersonic equivalent of it that could do any mission well, just like the Mosquito did. This particularly shows up in regard to the reconnaissance mission for the aircraft that keeps re-emerging in regards to the TSR.2 and Avro 730 high-tech bomber. I imagine you could send the TSR.2 out on a recon run deep into Soviet or Soviet-controlled East European territory; but unless a Mya-4 Bison or Victor refueling plane is ready to tank it up so it can get home, it won't be coming back. The tactical restraints of having a Victor tanker plane ready to go somewhere over East Germany would be formidable, to say the least. This is going to require some top-notch ECM development on Britain's part.
Pat
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Pat Flannery wrote:

Canberra.
(kim)
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says...

Heaven forbid that the RAF would still have in service an aircraft designed to combat the Soviet threat, and with no clear role in modern 'assymetric' warfare...
--
Tim Vincent( snipped-for-privacy@freewheeling.com)

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We retired the one (Jaguar) with the clear role in assymetric warfare last year, with no directly equivalent replacement in place or in clear sight. Typhoon is immature and still not ground attack optimised, Harrier is useful but still subsonic and not really as formidable as Jaguar. And not a gun between the pair of them.
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