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RAF Strategic Bomber

Rumors the prototypes visited our shores are abound in some circles.

Pity MM isnt here, he would probably know if there are any RAF pilots on exchange but wouldn’t the testing still be in house with NG?

He'd not be able to tell you...

That said, it's a matter of record that the U-2 and F-117 programmes both had RAF personnel involved before the aircraft was known to the public; the MoD refused to admit that we'd had anyone on the U-2 until the CIA released the history of the programme under an FOI a few years ago (up to that point, the MoD had blocked publication of the glossy paperback the DoD/CIA planned to release about the early years of the aircraft's service on the grounds it would reveal our involvement).
 
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Rumors the prototypes visited our shores are abound in some circles.

Pity MM isnt here, he would probably know if there are any RAF pilots on exchange but wouldn’t the testing still be in house with NG?
Doubt it howver in saying that would not surprise me if some of our liaison personnel with TS ..RAF test pilots or VSO would have a wee glimpse.

Has to officially acknowledge it is up and airworthy..before its unveiling later 5is year.

cheers
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
He'd not be able to tell you...

That said, it's a matter of record that the U-2 and F-117 programmes both had RAF personnel involved before the aircraft was known to the public; the MoD refused to admit that we'd had anyone on the U-2 until the CIA released the history of the programme under an FOI a few years ago (up to that point, the MoD had blocked publication of the glossy paperback the DoD/CIA planned to release about the early years of the aircraft's service on the grounds it would reveal our involvement).
First journalist allowed near the F-117 was a Brit - JDW's Nick Cook.
 
Don’t forget also, if we are launching conventional Storm Shadow, how would they know we hadn’t sneaked a nuke one in?

Why I believe ASMP has just the one job - Its (or was) a very distinct missile, xith a distinct flightt charecteristic launched from a small number of airframes of a specific type.
Theres no mistaking it for anthing else les grenouilles may throw
 
He'd not be able to tell you...

That said, it's a matter of record that the U-2 and F-117 programmes both had RAF personnel involved before the aircraft was known to the public; the MoD refused to admit that we'd had anyone on the U-2 until the CIA released the history of the programme under an FOI a few years ago (up to that point, the MoD had blocked publication of the glossy paperback the DoD/CIA planned to release about the early years of the aircraft's service on the grounds it would reveal our involvement).

RAF pilots received awards for operational flying of both the U-2 and F-117
RAF pilots have been embedded in F-22 and B-2 squadrons from the start.
 
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diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
RAF pilots received awards for operational flying of both the U-2 and F-177
RAF pilots have been embedded in F-22 and B-2 squadrons from the start.
Very early in the F177 programme the RAF were asked to send two test pilots from Boscombe Down to write a report on the aircraft, reportedly it was the CO of ETPS and and a McKenna trophy winner Flt Lt Dave Southwood who was on staff there.
 
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Very early in the F177 programme the RAF were asked to send two test pilots from Boscombe Down to write a report on the aircraft, reportedly it was the CO of ETPS and and a McKenna trophy winner Flt Lt Dave Southwood who was on staff there.

We were offered the F-117 by the Reagan administration in 1986, but turned it down (there are some files about 'Project MOONFLOWER', as it was known, in the Thatcher Archive).
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
We were offered the F-117 by the Reagan administration in 1986, but turned it down (there are some files about 'Project MOONFLOWER', as it was known, in the Thatcher Archive).
Was it because the UK being so small there was really nowhere to 'hide' it unlike places like Tonnopah in the middle of nowheresville.
 
Was it because the UK being so small there was really nowhere to 'hide' it unlike places like Tonnopah in the middle of nowheresville.

The sources as to why we rejected it aren't declassified yet, as far as I know...

But it was damned expensive to operate; we'd no idea when we'd be able to admit to having it; we'd no means of hiding it until then - as you suggest - and unless we had a squadron based out in the US alongside the USAF, then the chances of an odd-looking aeroplane in RAF markings being seen by spotters were rather high. I suspect that the cost would'e been first on the list of actual reasons. And second and third, for that matter...
 
Very early in the F177 programme the RAF were asked to send two test pilots from Boscombe Down to write a report on the aircraft, reportedly it was the CO of ETPS and and a McKenna trophy winner Flt Lt Dave Southwood who was on staff there.
It wasn’t the CO as per say it was a Sqn Ldr Cruishanks. It was not long after Dave Southwood graduated from ETPS and was featured on BBC1 Test Pilot series every Monday night back in 1987.


The COs at the time was Group Captain Ron Burrows, Wing Commander John Bolton, tutors Sqn Leaders Vic Lockwood (who was a deCade and half ago chief pilot for FR Aviation / Draken) and James Giles.

The overall boss of Boscombe Down at the time was Air Commodore David Bywater who I met in the mid 90s as he was airport manager for EGSC, working for Marshall’s. He was also heavily involved in the Rooivalk Attack helicopter marketing (futile as it was) for the AAC Attack helicopter competition in 94.

Speaking of Marshall’s, one of their senior test pilots is Iain Young who Was Senior Rotary Wing tutor during the filing of the series. He’s featured in all episodes. I’ve met him back In 2006, seems nice guy...previously he was test pilot with Brittan Norman.

Then Group Captain Ron Burrows was funnily a graduate of USNTPS at Pax River in early 70s and he’s seen in documentary on Pax River in 1971 @21:06 chatting to colleague in the wardroom.


Cheers
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
The sources as to why we rejected it aren't declassified yet, as far as I know...

But it was damned expensive to operate; we'd no idea when we'd be able to admit to having it; we'd no means of hiding it until then - as you suggest - and unless we had a squadron based out in the US alongside the USAF, then the chances of an odd-looking aeroplane in RAF markings being seen by spotters were rather high. I suspect that the cost would'e been first on the list of actual reasons. And second and third, for that matter...
Genuine question: couldn't we have begged some space at Macrihanish?
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
The sources as to why we rejected it aren't declassified yet, as far as I know...

But it was damned expensive to operate; we'd no idea when we'd be able to admit to having it; we'd no means of hiding it until then - as you suggest - and unless we had a squadron based out in the US alongside the USAF, then the chances of an odd-looking aeroplane in RAF markings being seen by spotters were rather high. I suspect that the cost would'e been first on the list of actual reasons. And second and third, for that matter...
A lot of the F177 was commercial off the shelf equipment mainly I believe from the F18, but the coatings were the problem. A very difficult aircraft to photograph using an auto-focus lens.
 
Genuine question: couldn't we have begged some space at Macrihanish?
We sold for a quid around decade and bit ago ...

But in its heyday as home to us naval weapons storage facility, SEAL Team Det 80s till early 90s...rumors of USAF secret squirrel a/c landed in dead of Night and ushered into the Gaydon Hangar as i. Types not found in Janes director or Flight International listings or Bill Hunstons books for that matter,

In book I have on the F-117






354069DC-B146-410F-8554-10A068973881.jpeg


when talking about US/U.K. trust, it’s written black and white DoD put Macrihanish as forward deployed base not Lakneheath etc.

cheers
 

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