Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

XV107

Members
  • Content count

    762
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

415 Excellent

About XV107

  • Rank
    Obsessed Member

Contact Methods

  • ICQ
    0

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Earth

Recent Profile Visitors

2,075 profile views
  1. RAF Blue Phantoms

    The point, though, is that there were different engineering needs for the airframes, and this was tolerable if/when money was more readily available; it wasn't when the decision to drop the creation of the new squadron on 892's aircraft. So standardisation was the way forward. I based my comments about the outer wings on comments by one pilot (Grp Capt, rtd) and a SENGO on a Phantom squadron (also Grp Capt, rtd) in addition to the comments I referenced by Mike Blair; it may well be that their recollections - the last time any of the two I know were involved on Phantoms would've been at least 15 years before we chatted - are at variance with the reality (or that things weren't done by the book...) The point aboit the belly strap is that it's indicative of the need to pay attention to the fatigue index issues generally - specifically when talking about the RAF aircraft, it all comes/came down to the fact that the RAF Phantom force was at the edges of the art of the possible in terms of unit establishment and available aircraft, hence the need for the F-4J(UK), rather than having the ability to take airframes out of storage to meet the need for 29/23 in thhe FI.
  2. RAF Blue Phantoms

    So you've not actually read any of the Air Staff or MoD files which contain the points made in my post... Having an INAS, which is an item which can go wrong, adds to the engineering effort. Not by much, but it adds to it. You also had a situation whereby the outer wings of the FG1 were not the same as those on the FGR2 and thus not interchangeable (the FG1 outer had sustained less fatigue than the FGR2s' outer wings, by the by). Which has implications for engineering, because you need to have two different sets of outer wings (no ability to change parts between aircraft on different squadrons if the need arises, etc); Mike Blair, who was JENGO on 111 in the 1970s has posted about this somewhere online. When the decision to standardise on a single variant of the Phantom at Leuchars was taken, it came at a time when the UK's economy was, to use a technical term, stuffed. Defence spending was pared to the bone (JOs were, in some circumstances, eligible for housing benefit such had been the effect on their pay - see PPrune for references to this, for instance - and anything which saved money, particularly recurrent expenses such as standardising on a single variant was taken as an option. This meant that standardisation, to eliminate the difference in engineering approaches was an obvious course of action to take, even if we're not talking about significant differences., We also have to take into account the fact that had there been enough Phantoms of both marks available, the plan to form an extra Phantom squadron (references found in several files in the AIR 2 and AIR 20 categories on squadron numberplate policy) would have been taken. It was not. 111 flew the FGR2 until late 1979 (source: Jefford, Squadrons of the RAF), but began to equip with the FG1 from January 1978 as RN FG1s became available; 892 didn't disband until December (last 892 carrier launch was November of that year), so the re-equipping could only begin in earnest in 1979. But from 1979, the opportunity to form an extra AD squadron - a squadron which the incoming government had said was needed for the UK's AD, having run its election campaign with a clear strand that the incumbent administration had fallen down on the job - wasn't taken. And this is where the fatigue life, contrary to your assertion, comes into play.If you re-read my original, I did not suggest that the F-4J(UK) arrived in UK service because of Phantom fatigue life issues. I referred to fatigue life and to attrition. By the time the decision was taken that 111would change marks of Phantom, the RAF had lost 14 FGR2s, or 12% of the FGR2 fleet. There were, at that point, one FBSA squadron (41, soon to re-equip with the Jaguar); two RAFG Lightning squadrons which were to re-equip (19 & 92) and 23, 29 and 56 squadrons in the UK. Under the plans which saw 111 re-equip, there were to be five FGR2 squadrons for AD in RAFG and the UK - 19, 23, 29, 56, 92 - and two FG1 units (43 & 111). There was also an OCU (64 Sqn) with the FGR2. That placed a requirement upon the Phantom FGR2 force for approximately 72 in-use aircraft from an overall force of 102 airframes, while the FG1 force required approximately 24 airframes from the surviving 42. These aircraft had to survive, in declining numbers - and in theory because of events - until the Tornado ADV entered service in about 1984 [actually 1987], with the final departure of the aircraft being mooted for either the end of the 1980s, or - if a decision to run on a couple of squadrons were taken - into the mid-90s when something then on paper in a design shop in Warton, or possibly Fort Worth or St Louis would take the job on. The fatigue sustained by the FGR2 in the low-level FBSA role, both in RAFG and in 38 Group meant that rotating aircraft in and out of service to extend the fatigue life to get the force out to the orginally-envisaged OSD required some care. By 1983, when there was a need to create a squadron to replace 23, there were not enough FGR2 airframes overall (another 9 had been lost and one was being bashed back into shape after a mid-air) to allow for this and the sustainment of the F-4 force until the late 80s (because the F2 was now late), and most likely - and what transpired - the early 90s. The point about fatigue and attrition is that the overall stock of FGR2 airframes was insufficient to meet the RAF's requirements, so a new aircraft was required to plug the gap. The point I was trying to make, and which - respectfully - you've missed is that when doing force planning, the RAF concluded that the effects of fatigue, plus likely attrition rates (another 10 complete hull losses before retirement for the FGR2, another 2 for the FG1) were such that it had to buy more aircraft because it could not draw upon the airframes in reserve without diluting the overall size of the Phantom force and thus its efficacy in two vital roles. The size of the force in the FI (seven Phantoms, going down to four) and the fact that these concerns arose shows how tight the margins were by that time. A number of FGR2s had to be fitted with newly-made outer wing panels and a belly strap to get them to their extended out of service date as well. The position with the FG1 was not entirely happy either - by the time of 111's complete re-equipment, 11 out of 50 FG1s had been lost [two from those recently taken on strength by 111 in 1978], which meant that by the mid-1980s a combination of attrition and fatigue issues for overall airframe management ensured that 74 had to reform on the F-4J(UK) as there were not enough Phantoms to go round. Once the F3 came into play, it was possible to ensure that the two Phantom squadrons could be run on, with the idea being that 56 and 74 would both draw upon the remaining FGR2 fleet, and ultimately receive upgraded aircraft to take a force of about 30-36 aircraft (including reserves) out to about 2000 when its replacement with the EF2000 would be complete. The Cold War then ended and Options for Change/'The Peace Dividend' did for the plan and the RAF's Phantoms. That was/those were my point(s). Edit - I should also note that the transition from FGR2 to FG1 at Leuchars didn't occur with 111's move to Scotland - the move took place in 1975, and re-equipment occurred in 1978/79, as observed above. There was a possibility, therefore, that FGR2s and FG1s would've operated alongside one another at LEU had the plan to (in effect) re-number 892 as 74 Squadron borne fruit. But the costs (even if, in the scheme of things, relatively small) and other issues with the FGR2 as noted above meant that having LEU as an all FG1 station while the FGRs were at Coningsby and Wattisham was deemed to be the solution.
  3. RAF Blue Phantoms

    May I ask upon what you base the above, which is, in effect, telling other users of the site that I've made it all up, please?
  4. RAF Blue Phantoms

    It was 111 who changed to the FG1. Originally, the Air Staff had planned to form an extra Phantom squadron with the aircraft used by 892 - this was to be the resurrection of 74 Squadron. Unfortunately for Tiger fans, the Phantom had suffered slightly greater attrition and consumed slightly more fatigue life than had been anticipated, particularly the FGR2s. This wasn't a problem to begin with, since the MRCA would be on the scene to take over before it became a cause of worry to SENGOs at various stations. Then, of course, the MRCA/Tornado ADV/Tornado F3 in-service date slipped and it was clear that unless 'gripped', a problem might arise. In addition, the differences between the FG1 and FGR2 were such as to add to the engineering burden at Leuchars with two squadrons operating different marks of aircraft. The no-brain-really-required decision was to put all the FG1s at LEU, and to use the 111 airframes to eek out a bit more attrition life. The eventual need for the F-4J(UK) hinted at the problem. If you look at the number of FG1 and FGR2s bought and the lack of flex to form one extra squadron in the aftermath of the Falklands, you get a sense of how careful the RAF had to be with managing the Phantom.
  5. Revell 2018

    I'll not feel at all guilty about breaking into my remaining stash, though (although whether I'll actually make all 16¹ before I shuffle from this mortal coil is open to question...) ¹ No, I have no idea how I managed to end up with that many - it just happened... Good job I like Hunters...
  6. EE LIGHTNING HELP ?

    Bear in mind that the Trumpy effort has some erm... obvious flaws (the rear fuselage looks like it's been on a diet), to the extent that even a 'well it looks like a ....' modeller like me thinks 'actually, it doesn't quite look like a Lightning'... as Chally has just posted, go for the Sword kit (which is cheaper, to boot)
  7. Sea Vixen FAW.1 load out

    Right outer.
  8. Sea Vixen FAW.1 load out

    From the IWM (copyright permissions allow embedding); Sea Vixen, June 1961 [the sub is HMS Turpin, according to the caption] If you go to the IWM page itself (Search for Sea Vixen and narrow the search down to collections) you can - of course - get larger images than this. Which may not be helpful when you see the design of the rocket pods, but it at least gives an idea of some of the
  9. Did RAF sabre jetS carry aim-9 missiles

    Forgive slightly OT, but Sabrejet will probably know this - did the RAF Sabres which ended up in Honduras & Yugoslavia after their service here ever end up carrying AAMs?
  10. Phantom FG Mk.1 - Inboard Pylon Weight Limits

    Perhaps of interest?
  11. RAF/RN Wessex armament?

    RMP2, if you can (and you can, since Amazon has a couple available at a reasonable sum. And a couple which are not...), you might want to have a look at Patrick Allen, Wessex (Airlife, 1988), since that has a couple of photos of armed Wessexes therein.
  12. Airfix 2018

    A bit late replying to this, but a new tool Tornado would be a startling omission from a 100th anniversary pack: the first RAF TGR rolled out of the factory two months after the 61st anniversary of the formation of the RAF and the last of them will retire in the service's 101st year of existence....
  13. RAF/RN Wessex armament?

    Flight, 1963 Flight, 1965 Flight, 1966
  14. RAF/RN Wessex armament?

    (Photographer unknown - taken from Pinterest, but would be a Crown Copyright photo as clearly taken aboard a ship by a member of the RN)
  15. Lightning help English Electric type

    A pilot climbs into English Electric Lightning F.3 XP741 of No 111 Squadron at RAF Wattisham, as a member of the ground crew passes to him his Taylor pressure helmet, circa 1965 (Imperial War Museum) English Electric Lightning F 6 fighters of No 11 Squadron RAF prepare for take-off at RAF Leuchars in Fife. (Credit: Imperial War Museum) Wing Commander B H Howard, Wing Commander Flying at RAF Wattisham, discussing a sortie with Flight Lieutenant J M Curry on his lefft and Flight Lieutenant B J Cheater on his right in front of No 56 Squadron's English Electric Lightning F1As. (Credit: Imperial War Museum) And you get a few snap shots of kit in here... (IWM Copyright, sharing permitted so I suppose copyright is OK for YouTube) Later on in service life, the inimitable Ian Black models various items of kit... And these splendid chaps (from a recruiting advert, obviously) And there's bits in here (suiting up at about 3:08): And although this is from the BBC Test Pilot series and thus the ETPS 'tub', the kit is appropriate for the final days of the Lightning in RAF service (late 1980s)
×