P1154

#1
I recall reading Project Cancelled by Derek Wood (I think) many moons ago, and one of the cancelled projects he covered was P1154. It would have been V/STOL - powered by the Rolls Royce Pegasus I assume. It was cancelled because of political trouble making, RN/RAF spats, and the hope for a CTOL (and not STOVL) future for the RN's carriers, despite the fact the writing was on the wall for conventional carriers from the early/mid 1960s.

I think the book said two version were planned - a single seat ground attack version for the RAF, and a two seat version for the RN, optimised for air defence. I sometimes wonder:

1. If P1154 had been been continued, instead of P1127, would it have attracted the 'Harrier' name? Would it have attracted more foreign interest?

2. If it had been on the drawing board, then would the Invincible class CVS have been intended to carry them from the outset? Would this have meant a larger ship carrying more jets? Or did politics mean the design had to be described as a 'through deck cruiser'?

3. P1154 was, if I remember correctly, capable of supersonic flight. What difference would that have made in 1982?

4. What having an Observer have helped the 800/801 NAS Pilots detect the Argentine jets in 1982? I am assuming that the same Blue Fox radar is fitted, and the task group still lacks AEW.

5. If more fixed wing WAFUs got to Flag rank....
 
#3
4. What having an Observer have helped the 800/801 NAS Pilots detect the Argentine jets in 1982? I am assuming that the same Blue Fox radar is fitted, and the task group still lacks AEW.
Why? Blue Fox was a cheap-and-cheerful piece of kit designed to be light in weight (because Harrier was a tiny aircraft) and cheap. It had an antenna size (and hence range / discrimination) limited by the shape of the nose, and was a late-1970s technology.

Your P.1154 would have had a bigger piece of kit designed for a fighter, but using 1960s technology. We're talking valves and analogue here, and I rather suspect that any MLU would not have affected that... So, potentially more powerful, but less reliable.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
I recall reading Project Cancelled by Derek Wood (I think) many moons ago, and one of the cancelled projects he covered was P1154. It would have been V/STOL - powered by the Rolls Royce Pegasus I assume. It was cancelled because of political trouble making, RN/RAF spats, and the hope for a CTOL (and not STOVL) future for the RN's carriers, despite the fact the writing was on the wall for conventional carriers from the early/mid 1960s.

I think the book said two version were planned - a single seat ground attack version for the RAF, and a two seat version for the RN, optimised for air defence. I sometimes wonder:

1. If P1154 had been been continued, instead of P1127, would it have attracted the 'Harrier' name? Would it have attracted more foreign interest?

2. If it had been on the drawing board, then would the Invincible class CVS have been intended to carry them from the outset? Would this have meant a larger ship carrying more jets? Or did politics mean the design had to be described as a 'through deck cruiser'?

3. P1154 was, if I remember correctly, capable of supersonic flight. What difference would that have made in 1982?

4. What having an Observer have helped the 800/801 NAS Pilots detect the Argentine jets in 1982? I am assuming that the same Blue Fox radar is fitted, and the task group still lacks AEW.

5. If more fixed wing WAFUs got to Flag rank....
Descriptions made it analogous in many ways with the F-4. It would have been a totally different beast to the Harrier, which was the light, cheap and cheerful development of the Kestrel. As to foreign interest... would it have seriously gone up against the F-4 in sales terms, with the US's lobbying?

A lot got in the way, and in many ways it's analogous with the 'one aircraft' solution that has become the F-35 - the FAA and RAF versions developed into distinctly different beasts.

Whether it would have saved the carriers... I'd put that up for debate. The follow-on to Victorious, Ark Royal, Hermes and Eagle was supposed to be this:

CVA-01 - Wikipedia
 
#7
...two version were planned - a single seat ground attack version for the RAF, and a two seat version for the RN, optimised for air defence...
Yep.

...1. If P1154 had been been continued, instead of P1127, would it have attracted the 'Harrier' name?...
The P1154 was to have been powered by the BS100, one of the prototypes of which still exists at the FAA Museum.

Alternatively a 'nozzled' variant of the Spey was being considered.

Both employed extremely risky Plenium Chamber Burning (PCB) technology which effectively placed an afterburner in the 2 forward nozzles. I'm not sure it would have been named Pegasus although PCB prototypes were run on a 'Pegasus 2' and the BS100 did conduct some test runs.

...Would it have attracted more foreign interest?...
I doubt it. The PCB technology required to provide supersonic flight via nozzles was extremely complex and maintenance intensive.

Of note, I seriously doubt whether the USN would have allowed the USMC to buy the P1154 as it would have undermined their F-111B/F-14 programme (which the USMC were initially bought into). Similarly, the USMC may not have been interested in the 1154 due to the additional ground erosion associated with the PCBs when operating from austere land bases. Indeed, the main export appeal of the Harrier GR1 and Sea Harrier was that they allowed navies to operate tactical fast jets from smaller and cheaper carriers. The larger and more expensive P1154 would therefore have proved less attractive to subsequent 1st Gen Harrier customers such as Spain and India as they'd have needed larger decks.

...2. If it had been on the drawing board, then would the Invincible class CVS have been intended to carry them from the outset? Would this have meant a larger ship carrying more jets? Or did politics mean the design had to be described as a 'through deck cruiser'?...
It was designed for CVA01 which was cancelled the year after the P1154RN.

...3. P1154 was, if I remember correctly, capable of supersonic flight. What difference would that have made in 1982?...
Very little without AEW in my view.

...4. What having an Observer have helped the 800/801 NAS Pilots detect the Argentine jets in 1982? I am assuming that the same Blue Fox radar is fitted, and the task group still lacks AEW...
P1154RN wouldn't have had Blue Fox but likely would have had a more powerful pulse radar. That would have presented the same look-down issues that Blue Fox suffered over land and high sea states but it would have presumably enjoyed longer detection ranges when clutter was not a factor.

Regards,
MM
 
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Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Interesting also the extended front undercarriage on the RN version. Would that have been needed with a vessel the size of the CVA01 or was it designed thus on the basis that 'it'll help and we may as well have it'?

Compare and contrast with the STOVL profile of the SHAR; one assumes that the P.1154 would have also been capable of the same - say, on land?

I can see that it makes sense onboard from a fuel-burn/payload perspective.
 
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#10
In other words - I was wrong to think of the naval P1154 as a Super Sea Harrier? I am sure Project Cancelled has an artist's impression of one aboard a CVS. A larger CVS might have helped, but politics would have been an issue.

Interesting point about CVA-01 - I thought there was opposition to vectored thrust aircraft within the Admiralty (sic) as they would undermine to case for conventional carriers? Was it meant to be catapulted?

I suppose the fact the Invincible class had to be described as through deck cruisers proves the point about unholy politics post 1966. **** You Mr Healy.
 
#11
In other words - I was wrong to think of the naval P1154 as a Super Sea Harrier? I am sure Project Cancelled has an artist's impression of one aboard a CVS.
As I said, more analogous in size with an F-4 (or an F-35, for that matter); a much heavier-weight solution. Consider that the F-4 and Buccaneer were the solutions after the P.1154's demise until the Ark and Eagle paid off.

SHAR was an attempt (successfully) to turn the Kestrel-derived Harrier into a fleet defence asset. It was the FAA's effort to stay in the aviation game and give some semblance of top cover/a limited strike capability. But it was a solution to a problem, not the ideal solution (if that makes sense), and it came quite some time after the P.1154 was cancelled.
 
#12
Plenum Chamber Burning?

Anyone actually seen the effect on deck plates of that?

Makes an F-35B seem positively hairdryer like.
 
#15
What is Plenum? Is it an alloy, or a design of something?
 
#17
@Magic_Mushroom - did that BS100 used to be on display down at the (much-missed) Bristol Transport Museum, or has it been up at Yeovilton since God was a boy?
Not sure old chap.

Interesting also the extended front undercarriage on the RN version. Would that have been needed with a vessel the size of the CVA01 or was it designed thus on the basis that 'it'll help and we may as well have it'?...
I noticed that as well. Interesting as the 1960s NATO love affair with VTOL; STOVL didn't seem to really become into vogue until the realities of VTOL were realised once the Harrier GR1 entered RAF service in 1969. By that stage, France and NATO had got bored of VTOL and moved on.

Of note, the P1154RAF had some parallels to the Mirage IIIV developed for the same NATO requirement for a VTOL strike fighter.

...Compare and contrast with the STOVL profile of the SHAR; one assumes that the P.1154 would have also been capable of the same - say, on land?...
I think ground erosion would have been a major problem for a PCB jet.

Regards,
MM
 
#18
Ground erosion is always going to be an issue for VTOL.

There were many attempts to have aircraft with separate lift and propulsion engines. All were a failure,generally because of the deadweight of the lift engines in normal flight (Yak-38, EWR VJ 101, Dornier Do 31) which reduced range and agility.

The Harrier and vectored lift engines are a compromise. Difficult to fit a working efficient afterburner and thus limiting thrust for supersonic flight, and bleeding a lot of compressor air off for the forward thrust nozzles.
 
#19
There was also a VTOL platform mooted which would lift TSR-2 into the air, the aircraft then continuing on its own merry way.

All has to be remembered in the Cold War context, where 10 minutes after the word 'Go' most airfields were expected to be glowing holes in the ground.
 
#20
I think ground erosion would have been a major problem for a PCB jet.

Regards,
MM
Or burning the carrier deck. Interestingly, this proves what nonsense the "carriers without aircraft" (referring to CVF/QEC) are talking. As a child, my ex matelot father pointed out that you should develop carrier and aircraft together..

I had no idea that integrating P1154 into a smaller carrier would have been so challenging. The things you learn!

Did anything developed for P1154 benefit P1127/Harrier/Sea Harrier?
 

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