Author Topic: The fourth RAF V-Force bomber  (Read 17409 times)

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Offline MartG

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« 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a more muted colour scheme was applied in 1967 ) these aircraft became a familiar sight in their QRA shelters until withdrawn in late 1969.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..... )




















 
Murphy's 1st Law - An object at rest will be in the wrong place
Murphy's 2nd Law - An object in motion will be going in the wrong direction
Murphy's 3rd Law - For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction


Offline Archibald

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2006, 10:59:56 am »
Lovely model, good backstory, why ask more? well done!!! (Je dirais meme plus : Very well done...)  
King Arthur: Can we come up and have a look?
French Soldier: Of course not. You're English types.
King Arthur: What are you then?
French Soldier: I'm French. Why do you think I have this outrageous accent, you silly king?

Well regardless I would rather take my chance out there on the ocean, that to stay here and die on this poo-hole island spending the rest of my life talking to a gosh darn VOLLEYBALL.

Offline lancer

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2006, 02:03:35 pm »
Awsome looking bird.
If you love, love without reservation; If you fight, fight without fear - THAT is the way of the warrior

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Offline The Rat

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2006, 02:48:17 pm »
The Vigilante was a beautiful aircraft, in anti-flash white it's even better!  :cheers:  
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Offline Radish

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2006, 04:10:14 pm »
Magnificent!!
I love it!! :)  :)  :)  
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monkeyhanger

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #5 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.......

Offline NARSES2

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #6 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
Decals my @r$e!

Offline Radish

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2006, 04:08:08 am »
It does look awfully good...... :)  
Once you've visited the land of the Loonies, a return is never far away.....

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Offline MartG

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #8 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: )
 
Murphy's 1st Law - An object at rest will be in the wrong place
Murphy's 2nd Law - An object in motion will be going in the wrong direction
Murphy's 3rd Law - For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction


Hammer-nikit

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2006, 05:50:23 pm »
A Vigilante in RAF dark/light gray Vulcan c/s would look awesome! :)

Regards, Hammer

Offline NARSES2

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #10 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
« Last Edit: April 15, 2006, 02:11:40 am by NARSES2 »
Decals my @r$e!

Offline lancer

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #11 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.
If you love, love without reservation; If you fight, fight without fear - THAT is the way of the warrior

If you go into battle knowing you will die, then you will live. If you go into battle hoping to live, then you will die

Offline MartG

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #12 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
Murphy's 1st Law - An object at rest will be in the wrong place
Murphy's 2nd Law - An object in motion will be going in the wrong direction
Murphy's 3rd Law - For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction


Offline NARSES2

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The fourth RAF V-Force bomber
« Reply #13 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
Decals my @r$e!

Offline lancer

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« Reply #14 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:  
If you love, love without reservation; If you fight, fight without fear - THAT is the way of the warrior

If you go into battle knowing you will die, then you will live. If you go into battle hoping to live, then you will die