10 Worst British Aircraft

ugly

LE
Moderator
Well we certainly live in different times
 

Yokel

LE
I wonder if the accidents with Scimitars and Sea Vixens trying to land influenced attenpte to redesign the carrier to reduce pilot workload? In Wings On My Sleeve Captain Eric Brown discusses the problem of the carrier pilot trying to line up with the angled deck, which was moving. Constant correction was needed at a time the Pilot was wrestling with stick and throttle.

The proposed CVA-01 was intended to have an almost axial deck, with a runway at just one (or two?) degrees off the fore to aft line. There are many parallels with the current Queen Elizabeth class.
 
The problem British designed' carrier' aircraft suffered in the jet age was nearly all the aircraft were designed as harebrained schemes by designers who didn't really understand their trade converting them to 'carrier' aircraft, fatally compromised by our too small lifts. Seriously, who thought the Supermarine Attacker was a good idea!

The arrival of the Phantom was a huge breath of fresh air for the FAA - a plane design by people who absolutely understood their trade designing for an end user who know exactly what they wanted.
 

Yokel

LE
The problem British designed' carrier' aircraft suffered in the jet age was nearly all the aircraft were designed as harebrained schemes by designers who didn't really understand their trade converting them to 'carrier' aircraft, fatally compromised by our too small lifts. Seriously, who thought the Supermarine Attacker was a good idea!

The arrival of the Phantom was a huge breath of fresh air for the FAA - a plane design by people who absolutely understood their trade designing for an end user who know exactly what they wanted.
But surely the same could be said for the Buccaneer - developed entirely as a carrier aircraft from the start, right from the NA39 specification?

The Sea Vixen was developed from what was intended to be a land based fighter. No idea about the Scimitar....
 
But surely the same could be said for the Buccaneer - developed entirely as a carrier aircraft from the start, right from the NA39 specification?

The Sea Vixen was developed from what was intended to be a land based fighter. No idea about the Scimitar....
Scimitar was one of those designed for the 'bouncy castle' landing system, IIRC. Then given an undercarriage
 
The arrival of the Phantom was a huge breath of fresh air for the FAA - a plane design by people who absolutely understood their trade designing for an end user who know exactly what they wanted.
Carrier doctrine differed between the US and UK.
Firstly, US flattops were always about projecting power. UK ships were more about convoy and fleet protection.
Also, the principle of chicken/egg applied.
One side said "Here's a ship, design aircraft for it" - as opposed to 'here's an aircraft, design/modify a ship to accommodate it'.
Winkle Brown wrote quite a bit about this - I'll dig it out at some stage over the next few days.
 
Its like they'd learnt nothing from WW 2. The Germans had been landing the Komet and Ar 234 on skids and soon found out that it was useless and pointless and reverted to standard undercarriages. The Allied fighters would be orbiting the German airfields and would strafe the helpless Arados and Komets. The rubber runway on the carrier gave the same result; a blocked runway and a fighter that might be damaged in the business of landing. Sheer waste of time and resources.
 
You do wonder what Winkle Brown did to make so many engineers try to kill him in ever more original and exciting ways
In a rare display of poor judgement by the great man, he was actually relatively positive about the concept of rubber decks in his autobiography.

Regards,
MM
 
So perhaps we should blame the designers...

Or perhaps the FAA for wanting bigger, faster & more capable aircraft...

Or the penny pinching accountants who would not pay for bigger carriers
 
So perhaps we should blame the designers...

Or perhaps the FAA for wanting bigger, faster & more capable aircraft...

Or the penny pinching accountants who would not pay for bigger carriers
I think it was probably the confluence of a unique period in aviation where technology was advancing at a rate that remains unprecedented, the UK was still adjusting to post-war realities, and British aviation industry had far too many companies all vying for business.

Regards,
MM
 

Yokel

LE
In a rare display of poor judgement by the great man, he was actually relatively positive about the concept of rubber decks in his autobiography.

Regards,
MM
I wonder if this was due to the problem of the aircraft having to catch the wire as it landing on the deck - a flexible deck landing meant no more trying to catch the wire with your hook? To make it work, separate landing and take off areas would have been needed, which led to the invention of the angled deck.

Then the proposed CVA-01 design intended to reduce the angle to as little as possible, and I wonder if the thinking as lessons from the time have influenced the QEC design - yes he provided advice.
 

tiv

War Hero
That's not a Scimitar. Or an Attacker for that matter.

It's a prototype. In fact, it's not even that, it's a research aircraft.
From Thunder & Lightnings - Supermarine Scimitar - History The photo is the 508.

Supermarine had been developing a single-seat fighter aircraft to use flexible decks, the type 505. When the Admiralty lost interest, the 505 was modified to use a conventional retractable undercarriage, becoming the type 508. This was a straight-winged twin-engined jet with 'butterfly' (V-shaped) tail (in an attempt to keep the tailplane clear of the jet exhaust and away from the deck). Originally three were to be built, but as always things changed and while the second differed in detail and in having cannons installed (being designated the type 529 as a result), the third underwent a large number of changes with swept wings, a conventional swept tailfin instead of the v-tail and various other changes. This later aircraft looked much more like a Scimitar ancestor, and was designated the type 525. First flown on 27th April 1954, the aircraft provided valuable information for the Scimitar development. A de-navalised version known as the type 526 was offered to the RAF but they were not interested. Then, during a normal test flight on 5th July 1955, the 525 entered a spin at 10,000 ft which deteriorated into a flat spin from which the pilot, Lt. Cdr. Rickell, could not recover. Experiencing problems with jettisoning the canopy and operating the ejector seat, unfortunately he ejected too late and the seat did not have time to separate, nor did the parachute have time to fully deploy - he was killed on impact with the ground. The aircraft was completely destroyed. It would be an indicator of things to come.
 
The F111 had an escape capsule which was the entire cockpit - the crew just remained in their seats and came down under parachute. The RAAF had several crashes with their fleet of F111s, most of which were fatal due to their going wrong at low altitude and high speed but several crews survived their encounter with fate. The following is a Wiki link to the RAAF fleets disposal.

RAAF F111 Fleet
Two crashed in NZ - one into the Hauraki Gulf, near Auckland in about 1979 and the other on take-off from Ohakea (sp?) in about 1982. In both occasions the crew survived - in the first case the capsule floated as planned, but a Navy diver helping with the rescue was drowned, sadly. In the second case, the capsule almost landed amongst the burning fuselage.
 
From Thunder & Lightnings - Supermarine Scimitar - History The photo is the 508.

Supermarine had been developing a single-seat fighter aircraft to use flexible decks, the type 505. When the Admiralty lost interest, the 505 was modified to use a conventional retractable undercarriage, becoming the type 508. This was a straight-winged twin-engined jet with 'butterfly' (V-shaped) tail (in an attempt to keep the tailplane clear of the jet exhaust and away from the deck). Originally three were to be built, but as always things changed and while the second differed in detail and in having cannons installed (being designated the type 529 as a result), the third underwent a large number of changes with swept wings, a conventional swept tailfin instead of the v-tail and various other changes. This later aircraft looked much more like a Scimitar ancestor, and was designated the type 525. First flown on 27th April 1954, the aircraft provided valuable information for the Scimitar development. A de-navalised version known as the type 526 was offered to the RAF but they were not interested. Then, during a normal test flight on 5th July 1955, the 525 entered a spin at 10,000 ft which deteriorated into a flat spin from which the pilot, Lt. Cdr. Rickell, could not recover. Experiencing problems with jettisoning the canopy and operating the ejector seat, unfortunately he ejected too late and the seat did not have time to separate, nor did the parachute have time to fully deploy - he was killed on impact with the ground. The aircraft was completely destroyed. It would be an indicator of things to come.
The 508 was a research aircraft.
 
I wonder if this was due to the problem of the aircraft having to catch the wire as it landing on the deck - a flexible deck landing meant no more trying to catch the wire with your hook? To make it work, separate landing and take off areas would have been needed, which led to the invention of the angled deck.

Then the proposed CVA-01 design intended to reduce the angle to as little as possible, and I wonder if the thinking as lessons from the time have influenced the QEC design - yes he provided advice.
From my reading of "Wings on my Sleeve" it was as much the shore based expeditionary application (hence the USMC interest) as the carrier borne application that interested him.
 
But surely the same could be said for the Buccaneer - developed entirely as a carrier aircraft from the start, right from the NA39 specification?

The Sea Vixen was developed from what was intended to be a land based fighter. No idea about the Scimitar....
the Bucaneer only came good when they fitted it with new engines.
boundary layer blowing etc, all very cleaver, and complex, but a ’solution’ to too small carriers.

we never got The properly big Malta class, but ran on too small Pre and wartime carriers.
Eagle was supposed to get a 100’ hull stretch before the end hove into sight for fixed wing aviation.
 
Its like they'd learnt nothing from WW 2. The Germans had been landing the Komet and Ar 234 on skids and soon found out that it was useless and pointless and reverted to standard undercarriages. The Allied fighters would be orbiting the German airfields and would strafe the helpless Arados and Komets. The rubber runway on the carrier gave the same result; a blocked runway and a fighter that might be damaged in the business of landing. Sheer waste of time and resources.
the supremacy of aerodynamicists over engineers.

see the British fixation with buried engines..... aerodynamically efficient, an engineering nightmare.

we built planes that couldn’t be reengined without vast effort or expense, the Americans? Being driven by production engineers, They just hung engines under the wings in pods
 

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