What if

Picture Post => Current and Finished Projects => Aircraft => Topic started by: MartG on April 13, 2006, 09:21:15 am

Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: MartG on April 13, 2006, 09:21:15 am
The fourth V-force bomber

In late 1961 it was recognised that the TSR.2 was unlikely to be in full squadron service before 1968, and Soviet air defences in Eastern Europe were improving rapidly and reducing the probability of a successful strike on certain high value targets by the existing subsonic strike aircraft operated by the RAF. A requirement was therefore drawn up for an interim supersonic nuclear strike aircraft, the requirement stating that an existing aircraft should be utilised if possible to meet an in service date in 1963, with multi-role capability also being sacrificed to meet the in-service date.

Coincidentally the requirement was issued at the same time as the US Navy reassigned its nuclear strike capability to its submarine fleet, leaving the recently developed A-5B Vigilante without a role whilst the USN and Congress wrangled over funding for the RA-5C programme. This funding hiatus had left North American with 18 partially completed A-5B airframes littering their shopfloor with no certainty about an order from the Navy, so the company was glad to be able to sell them to the UK.

To meet the in-service date the aircraft was taken virtually Ďas isí with American avionics and engines, the only major modification being to fit conventional bomb bay doors to the forward two thirds of the weapons bay, a modification originally offered to the USN but not taken up by that service. This change was carried out due to problems encountered with the A-5A in weapons delivery using the rearward ejection of stores, where the ejected store tended to be pulled along by the aircrafts slipstream to the detriment of delivery accuracy. The rearmost third of the weapons bay was converted to fuel tankage, and the arrestor hook was removed to reduce weight.

The Vigilante proved a good match to the RAF requirement, with even its name falling in line with the other V-force aircraft, though its relatively large wing made for a bumpy ride at low level, and all 18 A-5B airframes originally ordered by the USN were purchased. Resplendent in their white anti-flash finish ( until a more muted colour scheme was applied in 1967 ) these aircraft became a familiar sight in their QRA shelters until withdrawn in late 1969. Throughout its service only the Red Beard nuclear store was carried, it being felt that adapting the limited number of aircraft to carry other stores would not be cost effective given the intended short term of its service, and would affect its availability in its primary role of nuclear deterrent.



This is the first of several RAF A-5B Vigilantes I currently have in the pipeline. It is an Airfix RA-5C kit built more or less OOB, minus the 'C' versions recon pallet, but with drop tanks from a couple of Tornado GR.1 kits IIRC. Decals are a mix of TSR.2 ( Contrail - its never going to be finished now so I may as well cannibalise  :rolleyes:  ) and Vulcan ( the 617 squadron tail flashes and crest )

 ( Just a thought - given the V-force naming, would TSR.2 have ended up with a V name ? Vulcan, Victor, Valiant, Vigilante, and Valkyrie ( now there's a thought - RAF B-70  B) ) already taken - how about Venger, Vandal..... )


(http://img487.imageshack.us/img487/8454/dscf0731s8mh.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

(http://img487.imageshack.us/img487/4112/dscf0734s4gt.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

(http://img487.imageshack.us/img487/1850/dscf0735s3kb.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

(http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/2371/dscf0739s3gs.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

(http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/7668/dscf0740s9bi.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

(http://img487.imageshack.us/img487/1285/dscf0741s0rj.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

(http://img487.imageshack.us/img487/7163/dscf0743s2ic.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

(http://img487.imageshack.us/img487/1552/dscf0745s6kl.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

(http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/3474/dscf0746s9bz.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

 
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: Archibald on April 13, 2006, 10:59:56 am
Lovely model, good backstory, why ask more? well done!!! (Je dirais meme plus : Very well done...)  
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: lancer on April 13, 2006, 02:03:35 pm
Awsome looking bird.
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: The Rat on April 13, 2006, 02:48:17 pm
The Vigilante was a beautiful aircraft, in anti-flash white it's even better!  :cheers:  
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: Radish on April 13, 2006, 04:10:14 pm
Magnificent!!
I love it!! :)  :)  :)  
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: monkeyhanger on April 13, 2006, 04:18:10 pm
This was my first 'what if' in about 1979. I built two Airfix Vigilantes, one with anti flash white, the other with a grey/green wrap around camoflague. Great thread. I wish I could write such good back stories.......
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: NARSES2 on April 14, 2006, 03:16:56 am
Looks good in anti-flash white and Vigilante fits the V force ?

One day I will finish my RAF Vigalante Interceptor.

Chris
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: Radish on April 14, 2006, 04:08:08 am
It does look awfully good...... :)  
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: MartG on April 14, 2006, 12:51:38 pm
Quote
One day I will finish my RAF Vigalante Interceptor.

Chris
Inteceptor - hmmmm

From a website about the Vigilante

"One A-5A pilot, Lieutenant Commander Ken Enney, decided to fight back more aggressively by "bouncing" a Vought Crusader fighter. The fighter pilot eventually called out over radio: "I can't get rid of this guy!" This set off quite a buzz among the flight crews, though Enney himself later admitted that his Vigilante was lightly loaded and that he could only have gotten away with such a stunt at altitudes above 6,000 meters (20,000 feet). "


So it may have been reasonable to use as a high altitude interceptor ( goes off to scour ebay for another Vigilante kit :rolleyes: )
 
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: Hammer-nikit on April 14, 2006, 05:50:23 pm
A Vigilante in RAF dark/light gray Vulcan c/s would look awesome! :)

Regards, Hammer
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: NARSES2 on April 15, 2006, 02:10:48 am
Mart

My Vigilante Interceptor will be used for the RAF to patrol the Faroes/Iceland passage etc.

Twin tail with a rocket motor in the bombay for a quick dash to target. Not sure of weapon load curently but needs to be BVR to go Bear Hunting. Origional idea is from info supplied by Evan on this site ages ago, got an old Airfix kit off Nick to do it with.

Chris
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: lancer on April 15, 2006, 05:48:58 am
Quote
Mart

My Vigilante Interceptor will be used for the RAF to patrol the Faroes/Iceland passage etc.

Twin tail with a rocket motor in the bombay for a quick dash to target. Not sure of weapon load curently but needs to be BVR to go Bear Hunting. Origional idea is from info supplied by Evan on this site ages ago, got an old Airfix kit off Nick to do it with.

Chris
I'm using RAF TU128's for that duty.
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: MartG on April 15, 2006, 06:03:22 am
Quote
Mart

My Vigilante Interceptor will be used for the RAF to patrol the Faroes/Iceland passage etc.

Twin tail with a rocket motor in the bombay for a quick dash to target. Not sure of weapon load curently but needs to be BVR to go Bear Hunting. Origional idea is from info supplied by Evan on this site ages ago, got an old Airfix kit off Nick to do it with.

Chris
In 1960 NAA sent brochures for a fighter version called the Retaliator to the USAF. They contained information on 8 potential versions with various internal and external missile fits, and some with a Rocketdyne XLR46-2 rocket motor between the two J79 nozzles.

In 1971 a further proposal was made for a Vigilante version, the NA-349 Improved Manned Interceptor with a third J79 between and above the original pair
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: NARSES2 on April 16, 2006, 02:15:21 am
Quote
In 1960 NAA sent brochures for a fighter version called the Retaliator to the USAF. They contained information on 8 potential versions with various internal and external missile fits, and some with a Rocketdyne XLR46-2 rocket motor between the two J79 nozzles.

In 1971 a further proposal was made for a Vigilante version, the NA-349 Improved Manned Interceptor with a third J79 between and above the original pair
I knew about the 3 engined version with the third J79 mart, but there's no way my skills are up to that, but the idea of a rocket motor boost seemed right for the time span and it's one the RAF toyed with in the 50/60's

Chris
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: lancer on April 16, 2006, 09:08:23 am
Quote
Quote
Quote
Mart

My Vigilante Interceptor will be used for the RAF to patrol the Faroes/Iceland passage etc.

Twin tail with a rocket motor in the bombay for a quick dash to target. Not sure of weapon load curently but needs to be BVR to go Bear Hunting. Origional idea is from info supplied by Evan on this site ages ago, got an old Airfix kit off Nick to do it with.

Chris
I'm using RAF TU128's for that duty.
I'm working on a Tu-22P for the RAF for the same role. ;)
Gonna be bloody crowded in the bit of airspace ain't it?? :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: elmayerle on April 16, 2006, 11:48:17 pm
Quote
Quote
Mart

My Vigilante Interceptor will be used for the RAF to patrol the Faroes/Iceland passage etc.

Twin tail with a rocket motor in the bombay for a quick dash to target. Not sure of weapon load curently but needs to be BVR to go Bear Hunting. Origional idea is from info supplied by Evan on this site ages ago, got an old Airfix kit off Nick to do it with.

Chris
In 1960 NAA sent brochures for a fighter version called the Retaliator to the USAF. They contained information on 8 potential versions with various internal and external missile fits, and some with a Rocketdyne XLR46-2 rocket motor between the two J79 nozzles.

In 1971 a further proposal was made for a Vigilante version, the NA-349 Improved Manned Interceptor with a third J79 between and above the original pair
Damn, anyone know where I can get a copy of that brochure?  Yeah, I wish I could 'cause those sound seriously interesting to model from a whif standpoint.
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: The Rat on April 17, 2006, 06:42:11 am
Hmmm... I'm thinking of a VG Vigilante, sort of a nice alliteration with the name.  B)  
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: Archibald on April 17, 2006, 08:42:44 am
I have imagined an interceptor Mirage IV (to protect corsica from algerian Tu-22 )with the same kind of engines -Atar 9K50+ SEPR rockets- . Loaded with 4 R-530 medium range AAM semi recessed, and Mirage F1 fire and control system. The Mirage IV was really the French equivalent of the vigilante, so why not?  
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: MartG on April 18, 2006, 03:57:47 am
Quote
the idea of a rocket motor boost seemed right for the time span and it's one the RAF toyed with in the 50/60's

Chris
I can't find any figures for the XLR46-NA-2 engine proposed by NAA though the DeHavilland Spectre 5A planned for the SR177 was rated at 10,000lbs thrust, which would be a useful addition to the 2 x 17,000lbs from the J79s.

There was also a Double Spectre with ( presumably ) twice the thrust of the single one.

The other 'common' UK rockets which could fit would include the DH Stentor with up to 24,000lbs thrust as fitted to operational Blue Steel missiles - it had two chambers, one large for boost and one small for cruise with 6,000lbs thrust .  
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: Hammer-nikit on April 18, 2006, 06:16:33 pm
Tell me how you guys like my Vigilant B.Mk. 1 (I dropped the last "e" on purpose, to me it sounds much more "British" this way).

Comments?

Hammer

 
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: MartG on April 19, 2006, 01:00:29 am
Love that ! :wub:  
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: MartG on April 19, 2006, 03:25:26 am
Quote
the idea of a rocket motor boost seemed right for the time span and it's one the RAF toyed with in the 50/60's

Chris
Chris

You've got me thinking about building one of these now, so I've been doing a bit more research on British rocket motors available in the 60s. As mentioned above the Stentor dual chamber motor was fitted to the Blue Steel missile - this had a large chamber with a fixed 25,000 lb thrust and a smaller chamber throttleable between 1000lbs and 6000lbs thrust. The smaller chamber was used as the basis for the Gamma engine as fitted in the Black Arrow satellite launcher, and a pair of them were also fitted into the back of South African Buccaneer S.50s, where they developed up to 8000lbs thrust each ( so there is a precedent for aircraft use for this engine  ;) ) - in this form they were called the Bristol Siddeley BS.605 engine.

For an interceptor Vigilante I could see either the full Stentor being used ( for a model the back end of the Blue Steel from the Airfix Vulcan could provide a basis for the conversion - now where did I put that spare Blue Steel :rolleyes:  ) or multiples of the BS.605 as fitted to the Buccaneer.

These engines burned High Test Peroxide and kerosene - in the Buccaneer the kerosene was drawn from the aircrafts normal fuel tanks while the HTP was stored in special tanks. The same could be done in the Vigilante, with the HTP tank located in the weapons bay ahead of the rocket motor.
Title: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
Post by: NARSES2 on April 19, 2006, 04:06:29 am
Love the Vigilant B.1

Mart must admit I was thinking along the lines of the DH Spectre myself as they were available and tested. As for building it - go ahead mate mine is a long way down in the queue - probably post retirement  :blink:

Chris