British Secret Projects - Jet Fighters Since 1950

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War Prizes. No Landing Place.

Books by Tony Buttler

No Landing Place Volume 2. World War Two Airfields. The British Aircraft Specifications File. Civil Aircraft Airlines Airports. FlyPast Reference Library. Red Profiles No. Books from Profile Publications.


With so few being turned into actual hardware, little has been published so far about these fascinating 'might-have-beens', one reason being that all military brochures remained classified once a competition winnner had been chosen. The text of this book essentially describes development work undertaken since the end of the Second World War, but a line is drawn at around in order to exclude those first generation jets whose airframes incorporated primarily wartime technology, and about which much has been written already.

This work scores in that the author has researched extensively and makes use of previously unpublished primary source material, much of it only recently declassified.

Cold War Hot Jets Part 1

Particular emphasis is placed on the tender design competitions and the many diverse factors which influenced the decisions at the Air Ministry to reject many projects and yet allow others to be built and flown. Some of the many aircraft types covered include the Hawker P. The SR. Despite interest from foreign governments, including the United States , no orders for the SR. As such, it never entered volume production or saw service with any operators.

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While interest in the SR. Seaplanes had performed successfully during both of the world wars although, according to author H. King, their achievements were often not highly publicised or well known. Their main disadvantage came from the way in which the bulk of their flotation gear penalised their performance compared to other fighters.

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Both immediately prior to and during the war, Britain made very little use of seaplane fighters, instead relying upon aircraft carriers and land-based fighters as the basis of their military operations, despite the concept having remained popular with other powers, including Japan, Italy, and France. No quantity production of seaplane fighters followed.

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By not requiring clearance for a propeller , the fuselage could sit lower in the water and use a flying boat-type hull. The prospective aircraft's performance when powered by Halford H. Sauders-Roe speculated that, as floatplanes would likely be able to have staging grounds nearer to their objectives than land-based counterparts, both the time and effort involved in mounting missions, particularly offensive ones, could be reduced.

Re-basing to virtually any body of water could also be performed with little in the way of setup or ground preparation, according to the company. Saunders-Roe first presented their idea, then designated as the SR.

British Secret Projects: Jet Fighters Since , Tony Buttler | eBay

At this point, there were intentions for the SR. Due to the war's end, pressure for the commencement of the type's production had lessened significantly. On 16 July , the first prototype, piloted by Geoffrey Tyson , conducted its maiden flight. Its agility was publicly displayed when Tyson performed a demonstration of high-speed aerobatics and inverted flight above an international audience at the SBAC Display while piloting the type. Despite this, the pressurised cockpit was relatively spacious, providing enough room to accommodate an additional crew member potentially; an observer could also have been potentially seated in a more rearward position as well.

An automatic mooring system was incorporated, allowing the pilot to moor the aircraft without any external aids or even having to leave the cockpit. To reduce drag, the floats could be retracted during flight. A fundamental problem that emerged during development was that the Beryl engine, which powered the type, had ceased production when British manufacturing conglomerate Metropolitan-Vickers had decided to withdraw from jet engine development, leaving only a limited number of engines was available.

Furthermore, the success of the aircraft carrier in the Pacific had demonstrated a far more effective way to project airpower over the oceans, though Saunders-Roe argued that carriers and their escorts were still very vulnerable to aircraft or other vessels.

Due to a lack of orders, work on the project was suspended, leading to the remaining prototype being placed into storage in early This interest was not just confined to Britain, data on the project was also passed onto the United States. During June , the SR.

Although the aircraft never received an official name, it was commonly referred to by company workers as "Squirt". Despite the SR. By adopting hydroskis and dispensing with the hull approach of the SR. Work on the P. On 29 January , the company decided not to proceed with the construction of a prototype. The first prototype, serial number TG , has been preserved and is on display at Solent Sky aviation museum in Southampton.

Both other aircraft TG and TG were lost in accidents during the four-year flight test programme.