What if

General Modelling Forum => General Modeling topics => The Idea Bank => Topic started by: McColm on January 03, 2019, 02:39:00 am

Title: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: McColm on January 03, 2019, 02:39:00 am
What if the USNavy had chosen a naval version of the Panavia Tornado instead of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.
No doubt a carrier version based on the GR1 and the fighter variant the Super Sea Tornado.
 For arguments sake the Tornado ticked all the boxes that need to be addressed for carrier operations and designated the aircraft as the Panavia F-27A/B Sea Tornado and the F-27 E/F Super Sea Tornado.
The B variant being the two seater training version, the D could be a tanker or pathfinder.
 Kit wise there's a whole wealth of scales and aftermarket products to choose from.
Update sets could see the equivalent GR4/GR4A as the C/D, then there's the reconnaissance and electronic warfare versions as well.
No doubt these would be built under licence with American engines and electronics.
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: Snowtrooper on January 03, 2019, 01:56:13 pm
I would argue that the Sea Tornado would have to had become multirole - originally the Hornet was also envisioned as the F-18 fighter and A-18 attacker, but it was then seen as more cost effective and flexible to have single airframe perform both roles, especially on smaller carriers where deckspace was limited. Also, this would have required that the US Navy would not have jumped aboard the USAF "manoeuverability" bandwagon, and would have appreciated Tornado's longer range, better low-level performance, and the ability to fit a larger radar for air-to-air work. Which is entirely plausible, considering that the Navy, unlike the Air Force, didn't sacrifice their Phantoms' speed and radar with manoeuvring slats and gun.

Of course, Tornado has a landing speed of 115 kts versus legacy Hornet's 130-140 kts, so conceivably it could have operated from smaller carriers than Hornet (Essex, Audacious, Colossus, Majestic, Centaur, Clemenceau) opening up all sorts of export possibilities. Probably could have used its thrust reverser with Viggen-style automation to ease loads on the tailhook (to avoid "bolters" it should probably only have activated automatically upon sensing deceleration due to tailhook actually engaging) and the thrust reverser would also have allowed it to taxi and park itself without the need for a tractor (again convenient on a small carrier).

Depending on how your timeline proceeds, when the "peace dividend" hits in the early 1990's there's going to be a fair few politicians griping about the maintenance costs of a swing-wing plane, but on the other hand, there's not much in the way of alternatives (with Hornet never being adopted by most air arms after it was abandoned by the US) and with most of Navy's air combat capability being swing-wing, the F-14 program also becomes much harder for Darth Cheney to kill and the 'Cat would probably survive to yield the Quickstrike and eventually Attack Super Tomcat 21 variants.
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: McColm on January 03, 2019, 07:51:47 pm
Wow! Thanks for your input :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: Cobra on January 03, 2019, 08:03:02 pm
this is a Super Cool Idea :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: if You do Decide to Build one,Make sure to research What Squadrons Would've Used the Squadron so You can Drive JMNs Bonkers :wacko: :wacko: :wacko: You might Also want to have the Song "Danger Zone" from Top Gun Playing while You Display the Aircraft! Stay Cool & Hope You bring this Awesome Idea to Life :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: Dan
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: Scotaidh on January 04, 2019, 01:49:06 am
this is a Super Cool Idea :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: if You do Decide to Build one,Make sure to research What Squadrons Would've Used the Squadron so You can Drive JMNs Bonkers :wacko: :wacko: :wacko: You might Also want to have the Song "Danger Zone" from Top Gun Playing while You Display the Aircraft! Stay Cool & Hope You bring this Awesome Idea to Life :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: Dan

But also build F-14s in their various forms - the Bombcat, Quickstrike, and Super Tommy so you have all the "birds of the feather" ...
Y'know, given that the helicopters employ a rotary wing, then all Naval aircraft would be "swing-wing".  :)
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: Weaver on January 04, 2019, 02:10:51 am
Makes good sense: I've always thought the Tornado had good carrier potential, and if we'd built the CVA-01 carriers, it would likely have replaced at least the Buccaneer on them and maybe even the Phantom eventually. The USN bought the F-18 as a replacement for the A-7, so the primary requirement was strike, with the increased air-to-air capability being a secondary bonus. Since the Tornado was more capable than the A-7 and more modern than the A-6 (and faster than both) you might well envisage it eventually replacing both types with a reduced number of aircraft, thus allowing the number of F-14s to be increased. Other A-6 based platforms like the KA6-D tanker and EA-6B Prowler could be replaced by S-3 Viking-based versions, the fuel-efficient turbofans of the latter being ideal for these missions (the EA-6B and the Tornado ECR are rather different in role and I don't think the latter could do the former's job).

So a real-life (late 1970s/early 1980s) force of:

24 x F-14
24 x A-7
10 x A-6
4 x KA-6D
4 x EA-6B
10 x S-3

Becomes:

30 x F-14
30 x Tornado
4 x KS-3
4 x ES-3B
10 x S-3

That's a couple less airframes (74 vs 76), but then we've added more big F-14s and replaced small A-7s with slightly larger Tornados.
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: Rheged on January 04, 2019, 02:36:03 am
Given the size of the Tornado fin , do we suggest carriers with very high hanger decks, a twin fin or a folding fin?   The Sea Tornado concept is most interesting and opens up all sorts of JMN boggling opportunities.
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: PR19_Kit on January 04, 2019, 05:37:12 am
Yes, a folded fin Tonka would look good in model form, like a Vigilante,  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: Old Wombat on January 04, 2019, 06:17:24 am
Either would be cool. :mellow:

A European Panavia-built version with a folding tail, perhaps, & an American twin-tail version built by Grumman to match their twin-tailed cat. ;D
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: kitnut617 on January 04, 2019, 06:45:54 am
There's a discussion over on Secret Project Forum on possible Sea Tornado projects (from a few years ago), and Wild Weasel versions too.
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: McColm on January 04, 2019, 10:40:55 am
No doubt that there is scope for a single seater version as well.
 I do have the Revell 1/72 GR1/GR1A in the stash but I was thinking of a swing-wing North American RA-5F Vigilante using the Hasegawa kit.
 I would like to try and build a few whiffs in 1/48 scale based around this topic.
Thanks for the encouragement. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: Weaver on January 04, 2019, 02:35:02 pm
Given the size of the Tornado fin , do we suggest carriers with very high hanger decks, a twin fin or a folding fin?   The Sea Tornado concept is most interesting and opens up all sorts of JMN boggling opportunities.

On the one hand, a quick perusal of stats indicates that a Tonka is 19.5 ft high, while a Nimitz hangar is 25 feet high, so it shouldn't be neccessary. However, the A-5 Vigilante was also 19.5 ft high and had a folding fin... :unsure: Maybe the Vigilante's fin fold was to get it onto older carriers?
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: PR19_Kit on January 04, 2019, 02:45:11 pm
AFAIK the Vigi was supposed to be able to fit the Midway Class as well. I think that's mentioned in one of the books I have on the Vigi, but goodness knows where it is now.
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on January 04, 2019, 03:15:49 pm
A USN Tonka purchase would be extremely unlikely, however if there had been
a USAF purchase, who knows.  ;D Illo from Interavia.

(http://photos.smugmug.com/OLDPB/i-P377Rdt/0/47bd3162/L/USAF_FIN_01-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: McColm on January 04, 2019, 10:45:02 pm
Another possibility is the RF-27A , either go down the route of modifying the nose or a camera pack pod carried by the European users.
 
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: Weaver on January 05, 2019, 08:24:14 am
RAF GR.1As carried a suite of IR recce sensors in the forward fuselage in place of the cannons. These were called TIRRS (Tornado Infra-Red Reconnaissance System) and consisted of two IR cameras facing left and right, looking through rectangular windows in the fuselage sides, and an IR linescan unit in a bulge underneath. The standard radar and the rest of the weapons capability was retained, although they may not have had black boxes for every option. Radically (for the time) there were no visible light spectrum cameras (it was felt that imaging IR could get all the data that was needed) and there was no film either: everything was recorded straight to videotape. This was actually the first all-digital photo-recce system in the world.

TIRRS was very good, but it was a low-level system, so the GR.1As used conventional external pods for medium and high-level work. The GR.4As retain TIRRS, but since all modern ops are medium level, it gets very little usage these days.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DwKYCMqWwAAxSUV.jpg)
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: PR19_Kit on January 05, 2019, 08:59:53 am
Don't the Tonkas carry the Raptor pod for visual camera work, or is that only carried by the Typhoons?
Title: Re: Panavia Sea Tornado idea
Post by: Weaver on January 05, 2019, 09:07:35 am
Don't the Tonkas carry the Raptor pod for visual camera work, or is that only carried by the Typhoons?

No the GR.4As carry RAPTOR, but that's a high-altitude long-range LOROP system: very different mission from TIRRS.