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- Type: SPH
- Class: ship
- Part Count: 75
- Mods: 7
- B9 Aerospace Parts Pack
- B9 Procedural Wings Modified
- Procedural Parts
- Squad (stock)
- TweakScale - Rescale Everything!
- ZZZ Flags
Tactical strike and reconnaisance. British Mach 2+ recon, interdictor / tactical nuclear strike aircraft, equivalent in role to the US F111 and SR-71. Hugely technologically advanced and with great potential, but cancelled before entering service.
The TSR-2 was commissioned in the late 1950s to fill the British Air Force’s requirement for a strike aircraft capable of penetrating well defended forward battle areas at low altitude at very high speeds, and attack high-value targets with nuclear or conventional weapons. The specification also required that the aircraft be able to function as a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, signals intelligence platform, and as a platform for stand-off missiles. This multi-role aircraft was hoped to replace the trusty but now quite obsolete English Electric Canberra (see model).
A number of companies submitted proposals to meet this specification, and ultimately the British government decided that two of those companies; Vickers-Armstrong, English-Electric, should work together on a single aircraft which would meet all the many requirements of their ambitious specification. It was necessary that a third company, Bristol, should be involved to provide the plane’s powerplant. The forcing of these incompatible companies to collaborate (under the umbrella
British Aircraft Corporation, BAC) led to a beurocratic nightmare, with each contributing manufacturers answering individually to the government rather than to a single overseer of development.
Distinguishing features of the eventual unified design included a very long sleek fuselage, relatively small swept and droop-tipped delta wing wigh high wing loading and no ailerons, low-slung all-flying tail which handled both pitch and roll control, and an all-moving tail fin as rudder. The over-ambitious specification, initial under-estimation of cost by all companies involved, and the complicated beurocracy which dogged its development and production, led to costs of TSR-2 spiralling out of control.
Despite these problems, two development-batch aircraft were completed and testing commenced, with the only TSR-2 to fly, XR-219, taking to the air on 27th of September 1964. During testing, the TSR-2 reached supersonic speeds at altitude, and demonstrated ability to supercruise, and exhibited superior handling characteristics to its ancestor, the English Electric Canberra. Test pilot James Dell described it as flying
like a big Lightning (see English Electric Lightning model .).
Over a period of 6 months, a total of 24 test flights were conducted, and the TSR-2 exhibited characteristics described by pilots as outstanding. Speeds of Mach 1.12 were sustained at low-level flights (only 200ft altitude).
It became apparent that the airframe would be capable of accomplishing the tasks set out and represented a major advance on any other type.
The TSR-2 had revolutionary terrain-following, and side-looking radar, cutting edge avionics and autopilot, and could carry up to four tactical nuclear weapons (two in the weapons bay, and two on external underwing pylons).
However, costs continued to rise, as did weight due to the advanced systems to be included, and the specification had to be relaxed. Expectations for the plane’s range were lowered to 650nmi, and take-off length was increased from 550 to 910m.
Simultaneously, the United States were developing the F-111 Aardvark to fill a similar role, and the British government continued to eye the F-111 as a more cost-effective alternative to the home-grown TSR-2. A Labour government came to power in 1964, with an agenda to cut military spending, and in 1965 decided to cancel TSR-2 in favour of a weak commitment to buy 110 F-111s. The maiden fight of the second airworthy TSR-2, XR220, was due on the day of the announcement, but due to an accident moving the plane to the testing location, and then the cancellation, this flight never happened.
Although with problems, the TSR-2 was expected to be a world-beater, and the decision to cancel it remains controversial. With the emerging problems of fatigue coming to light with the British nuclear deterrent bombers Valiant and Victor in the late 1960s, it is likely that, had the TSR-2 come into service, it would have become the fourth V-bomber (alongside the Vickers Valiant, Avro Vulcan, and Handley-Page Victor .(see models), potentially subsuming the airbourne nuclear strike role entirely when, in the 1970s, the responsibility for nuclear deterrence passed to the Navy’s polaris submarines. Although aspects of the TSR-2 went on to influence design of Concorde, the failure of this project killed off a large part of the British aviation industry which has never recovered.
What happened to the dozens of completed, or almost-completed planes? Shortly after the announcement, many were hauled outside their factories and torched, allegedly on the orders of the Ministry of Defence. Others, including the only TSR-2 to fly, were sent to M.O.D firing ranges, to be used as targets for weapons testing (see image below). Only two survived, and are now displayed at RAF Museum Cosford, and the Imperial War Museum Duxford.
A mod aircraft called BAC TSR-2. Built with 75 parts, closely to scale, and using appropriate colour scheme, systems and weapons or equivalents wherever possible. Built in the SPH in KSP version 1.1.3.
This model has four internally mounted small conventional bombs, in place of nuclear weapons, as I know some players have problems with nuclear-bomb mods like NKD being buggy. If you want to use this plane to make some mushroom clouds, just swap the bombs!
This model should reach Mach 1.1 at low altitude, or, above around 8000m, will accelerate, ultimately to Mach 3 and beyond. If you want to push the limits beware of overheating!