Author Topic: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3  (Read 4318 times)

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shuvlboy

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An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« on: August 18, 2010, 05:14:22 pm »
I was looking for a plausible reason to put some color on an F-15, so I concocted the story below. [This is my first post on "What If".  I've been struggling with getting the images to display, so I'm going to press Post and hope for the best!] [OK, now I need to figure out how to resize them.]





I uncovered the story of the campaign to sell the F-15 Eagle to the Royal Air Force quite by accident.  I was browsing in a shop in London devoted to aviation memorabilia, when I noticed a manufacturer's model of the F-15.  The fact that it was wearing low-viz RAF roundels and the markings of 56 Squadron immediately caught my attention.  Asking the shopkeeper about the apparently spurious markings was the beginning of an investigation into one of McDonnell Douglas's lesser known foreign sales pursuits.

"The prospect of fielding the Tornado F.3 as a replacement for their Lightnings and Phantoms dismayed RAF pilots from the top to the bottom of the ranks," the shopkeeper began.  "No RAF fighter pilot could be optimistic about the outcome when dogfighting Soviet fourth generation fighters such as the MiG-29 and Su-27 with an underpowered converted strike aircraft.  Their protests, which were never muted, soon attracted the attention of the McDonnell Douglas marketing department.  The bureaucrats at the Ministry of Defence [MoD] firmly rebuffed the first unsolicited proposal for a UK version of the F-15; there were to be no more American aircraft disrupting plans for European cooperation in defence procurement.  However, when in 1982 the protracted development of the Foxhunter radar for the F.3 began to generate huge cost overruns, McDonnell Douglas sensed another opportunity and resumed their sales effort with an aggressive marketing effort targeted directly at RAF pilots.  The marketing strategy was based on the expectation that a groundswell for the F-15 from within the fighter pilot 'old boy network' stood a better chance of generating a favorable sales environment than an approach through normal procurement channels.  Their proposal was based on re-working the F-15As replaced by F-15Cs in USAF service to include the latest standard of the APG-63 radar, the adoption of British ECM in a fin-top pod, the substitution of the BAE Skyflash for the AIM-7, and the addition of a refueling probe in keeping with the RAF's probe and drogue refueling method.  The clear superiority of the F-15's thrust-to-weight ratio compared to that of the Tornado was highlighted as a key factor in each sales pitch, complementing the maturity of the Eagle's radar.  The climbing attitude of the model on the stand made clear the point about the Eagles' huge power advantage."

The shopkeeper paused and smiled, waiting for me to ask he obvious question, "Well, it sounds like McDonnell Douglas had a strong hand.  What happened?"

"The MoD got wind of the sales effort," the shopkeeper continued, "and quickly squashed it.  The highest levels of McDonnell Douglas's management were made keenly aware of the displeasure of Her Majesty's Government and the sales effort came to a sharp and decisive end.  In similar fashion, the uniformed members of the RAF were reminded that they were not to encourage procurement activities at odds with the plans of the MoD.  All of the McDonnell Douglas marketing paraphernalia – slick brochures, prints of Eagles in RAF markings, and, of course, manufacturer's models – had to be destroyed (or at least hidden from sight). Thus, the story of the F-15 Eagle in RAF service came to a premature demise."

Due to the rarity of the manufacturer's model in the shop, the asking price was beyond my means, but the shopkeeper kindly allowed me to take pictures of it.  As it turned out, these pictures were the only reference material I could find.  Internet searches were fruitless and Boeing's public relations department responded that ti would not comment on unsuccessful marketing campaigns conducted by McDonnell Douglas before the acquisition by Boeing.  Thus, the model is a very rare reminder of what could have been.

The details of the build:
Kit: Airfix
Modifications:
Removed all raised kit lines
Added fairing for refueling probe and plumbing
Added British ECM housing to top of fin
Finish:
Wings upper surface: Compucolor CBC6 Medium Sea Grey with a few drops of CB5 Ocean Grey
Fuselage upper and side surfaces: Compucolor CBC5 Barley Grey
Lower surfaces: Compucolor 2 CBC1 Lt Aircraft Grey
Red on tails: Mix of Testors Red 1103 and Dark Red 1104
Natural metal areas: Alclad II Polished Aluminum ALC 105 with drops of Testors Burnt Metal
Decals:
National insigniae and fin flashes: BA, FRA, ARTBA D04
Formation lights: Hasegawa F-15J
Ejection seat triangles: SuperScale 72-711 F-15 Mod Eagle Data
White letter "E": ScaleMaster
Serials: Ventura V7252
ECM fairing checkerboards: ScaleMaster White Stripes
References:
(a)   Photos taken of manufacturer's model at the "Things That Fly" curio store, London, UK
(b) The Modern Eagle Guide, Jake Melampy, Reid Air Publications, 2008
(c) Modern US Fighters Volume 1, Aerodata International/Squadron Signal, 1982

« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 05:52:03 pm by shuvlboy »

Offline Taiidantomcat

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2010, 06:38:05 pm »
Oh wow!  :o That is some great paint and decaling! Welcome aboard!  :thumbsup: I love the stand and the attitude of the model. Thanks for including all those build notes at the bottom as well  :cheers:
"Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality." -Jules de Gaultier

"My model is right! It's the real world that's wrong!" -global warming scientist

An armor guy, who builds airplanes almost exclusively, that he converts to space fighters-- all while admiring ship models.

Offline Tophe

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 08:09:59 pm »
Modifications:
Added fairing for refueling probe and plumbing
Added British ECM housing to top of fin
References:
(a) Photos taken of manufacturer's model at the "Things That Fly" curio store, London, UK
(b) The Modern Eagle Guide, Jake Melampy, Reid Air Publications, 2008
(c) Modern US Fighters Volume 1, Aerodata International/Squadron Signal, 1982
Funny :lol: What a mix of what-if spirit (offending JMN realists) and accute seriousness... :lol: ;D Thanks! :thumbsup:
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]

Offline ysi_maniac

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2010, 06:34:30 am »
Nice model indeed! :wub: :wub: :wub: :thumbsup:
Will die without understanding this world.

Offline nev

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 09:17:52 am »
I love the little "advert" card on the base, thats brilliant :D

And the US really did try to sell us the F-15 (twice) concerned over the ability of the RAF to adequately protect their nukes @ Greenham Common.....
Between almost-true and completely-crazy, there is a rainbow of nice shades - Tophe


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Offline GTX

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2010, 02:27:05 pm »
Nice first post - welcome aboard.

Regards,

Greg
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Slerski

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2010, 02:32:05 pm »
Welcome à bord, that's a very nice introduction  :thumbsup:
« Le MAGIC, c'est fantastique !! » [Sgt Vincent D., FAF armourer]

« Un Pétaf qui s'ennuie est un Pétaf dangereux... »

Offline sandiego89

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2010, 08:09:00 am »
Nice.  Welcome to What If.  There is no going back now....
Dave "Sandiego89"
Chesapeake, Virginia, USA

Offline James

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2010, 08:21:57 am »
Welcome. Always though that scheme and aircraft mix would look good.... and it does!  :thumbsup:

Offline Jschmus

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2010, 09:37:33 pm »
This is a beautiful self-introduction to the forum.  It's not too terribly hard to imagine, either, what with all the F-15s that go tearing through the Mach' Loop in Wales.
"Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you're lucky."-Alan Moore

Offline Army of One

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2010, 04:05:28 pm »
Great post....welcome to the madhouse...........no going back now.........H
BODY,BODY....HEAD..!!!!

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Offline RPadavan2

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2011, 01:57:32 pm »
If I remember correctly, the US also tried to sell the F-14 to the RAF/RN.  I read an article in Air Combat (early 1980s or there about) about the attempt.  I did not know about the campaign to sell the F-15 until much later (a couple of decades later).  I will have to dig out my RAF F-14 WHIF out of storage and post some pictures.  Of course now that my modeling skills have improved, I will probably have to build a better, and updated, model.

Offline albeback

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2011, 12:40:18 am »
It looks great in those colours. Some years ago I built the Hasegawa 1/48 F-15 as a 111 Sqn machine. Equipped with AIM9L Sidewinders & AIM-120 AMRAAMS. That of course was when I could afford Hasegawa kits!! ;D  I still have their 1/48 F-14D kit in my stash. I had an idea to build it as a 617 Sqn FGR1 equipped with underwing pylons (a la Tornado/ F-111) & carrying a s*** load of LGBs. Might get around to it at last!!

I believe that the F-14 was actually (tentatively) offerred to the RAF ? Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong. The F-14 is probably one of the most handsome products of the Cold War & I reckon it would look really mean if portrayed thus!
Loves JMNs but could never eat a whole one!!

Offline McColm

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2011, 03:33:10 am »
Great model,
I remember the F-15 been marketed to the US Navy along similar lines.

Offline Devilfish

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Re: An F-15 Alternative to the Tornado F.3
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2011, 11:51:06 pm »
Added British ECM housing to top of fin

It's RWR, not ECM.  And I don't understand why we would fit, a great expense a system to an aircraft that already has a perfectly good (maybe even better) RWR system fitted.

Other than that, I love it.