Janes All The World's Aircraft 1964-1965

The specification of the TSR.2 was based originally on Operational Requirement 339 for an aircraft to replace the Canberra in its long range interdiction and reconnaissance roles. In its present form, the TSR.2 can far exceed these requirements. It is suitable for all types of attack duty, with weapons ranging from rocket projectiles to high-yield nuclear missiles, and may be used in the strategic deterrent role.

Official news of the TSR.2 development programme was given on January 1, 1959 with the announcement that the main contract for a new supersonic attack and high/low-level reconnaissance aircraft for the Royal Air Force was to be placed with Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd, who would share the work equally with English Electric Aviation. Both of these companies are now incorporated in the British Aircraft Corporation and the design of the TSR.2 has been undertaken at Weybridge and Warton by a joint project team.

Weybridge works has responsibility for the fuselage, electronics and armament installations. Preston is reponsible for the wings, rear fuselage, power plant installation, fuel system, powered controls and autostabiliser system.

First photographs and some details of the TSR.2 were released officially on October 25, 1963. The general appearance of the aircraft is shown in the adjacent illustration of the first of 20 development and pre-production models. This aircraft (XR219) flew for the first time on September 27, 1964. A contract for 30 TSR.2s has been negotiated and it is expected that many of the pre-production models will eventually be brought up to operational standard for squadron use by the RAF.

The high-wing configuration of the TSR.2 was chosen to avoid undesirable airflow patterns over the horizontal tail surfaces. For the same reason, turned-down wingtips are utilised instead of the wing anhedral that is usual to ensure stability on aircraft in this class.

To meet the requirement for short-field operation, the TSR.2 has large blown flaps extending over the full span of the wings expect for the turned-down tips. To make this possible, all control surfaces are at the tail.

Aluminium-copper alloys are used in those portions of the airframe that are not subjected to high kinetic heating. Elsewhere, it has been necessary to utilise aluminium-lithium alloys imported from the United States, with ICI titanium alloys in areas adjacent to the engines. Much of the fuselage and wing structure embodies integrally-stiffened machined skins. The landing gear legs are forged and machined from an ultra-high-tensile Ni-Cr-Mo-Va steel evolved by English Steel Corporation.

The navigation attack system of the TSR.2 is the most advanced yet fitted to any aircraft developed for Western air forces, particularly in respect of flexibilty and all-weather operation. A mixed Doppler-inertial navigation system is used, with blind fixing from sideways-looking radar. The forward-looking radar, with the automatic flight control system, form an automatic terrain following system whioch will keep the aircraft at a pre-set height above local ground level under manual or automatic control under all weathers. Crew efficiency does not deterioate on long-range low-level sorties as the high wing loading minimises the gust response of the aircraft. Comprehensive analogue and digital computer facilities are provided to handle the navigation and attack data. The position of the aircraft is shown continuously on moving map displays in both cockpits.

Completely automatic sorties, including attack at high or low level, are possible, without any visual reference; but the crew monitor all phases of the mission and the pilot can take over control at any time. The pilot has a "head-up" display, in which basic flight data are projected onto his windscreen and are visible to him without the necessity of looking down into the cockpit critical phases of the flight or the attack. All systems are fail-safe. For example, the aircraft enters a climb automatically in the event of any failure of the terrain-following system.

On reconnaissance missions, weapons are replaced by a detachable ventral pack containing batteries of cameras and other equipment. High definition sideways-looking radar can be used to indicate only moving objects on the ground, obliterating all stationary objects from the display. A TV-type reconnaissance system can transmit pictures to a local ground station by day or night to present an immediate tactical picture of forward combat areas.

The TSR 2 is fitted with a Bristol Siddely Cumulus gas-turbine auxilliary power unit, enabling it to remain at dispersal for long periods without any ground support except refuelling facilities. It has a ferry range of several thousand miles and has provision for flight refuelling. Precise information details are secret, but it is able to operate from small off-runway areas, could penetrate many hundreds of miles into enemy territory on combat missions and is expected to exceed Mach 1 at low level, and Mach 2at high altitudes. The accuracy of its weapon delivery capability is officially stated to be within "tens of feet".

Two-seat attack and reconnaissance aircraft.
Cantilever high-wing monoplane. Aerofoil varies, particularly at root, to ensure optimum efficiency. Very low thickness/chord ratio. Anhedral on tips only. Sweepback on leading-edges 60°. Structure makes extensive usage of integrally-machined skin-stringer panels. No fences, vortex generators or sawcuts. Full-span blown flaps, except on wingtips
All-metal structure, making extensive use of integrally-machined skin panels. Airbrakes on top and bottom of fuselage on each side, between wings and tail unit.
One-piece all-moving vertical tail surface. All-moving horizontal surfaces ("tailerons") operate together for pitch control and differentially for roll control. Each horizontal surface has a control surface inset in its trailing-edge, but these are locked in high-speed flight. All controls fully powered by electronically-controlled hydraulic jacks developed by H. M. Hobson Ltd.
Hydraulically-retractable tricycle type, manufactured by Electro-Hydraulics Ltd. Main units retract forward into air intake fairings, nose unit rearward. Each cantilever long-stroke main unit has two wheels in tandem. Twin-whewl nose unit is steerable hydraulically and can be lengthened hydraulically before or during a take-off run to put the aircraft into a take-off attitude. Dunlop wheels, disc brakes and Maxaret anti-skid units. Dunlop and Goodyear (alternatives) special high-strength low-pressure tubeless tyres. Irving brake-parachute can be reefed to avoid control difficulties in cross-wind.
Two afterburning turboject engines developed from Bristol Siddely Olympus 22R and each with potential thrust of 33,000 lb (14,9750 kg), mounted side-by-side in the rear fuselage. Engine air intakes of variable-area type with movable half-cone shock-bodies. Large integral fuel tanks in both wings and fuselage (the TSR 2 is stated to have an unusually high fuel-to-AUW ratio).
Crew of two in tandem on Martin-Baker 8VA rocket-powered ejection seats, under individual rearward-hinged jetisonable canopies in air-conditioned and refregerated cabins. Ejection cycle is timed so that navigator leaves first if pilot actuates his ejection system. Navigator can eject by himself.
Air-conditioning system by Sir George Godfrey & Partners maintains mean temperature of 15°C in cockpits, with provision for ventilated suits, and also cools the electronic equipment. Duplicated air-cycle cold-air units. System includes Normalair pressure control units, Teddington Aircraft Controls temperature control units and Marston Excelsior fuel-cooled heat exchangers. Hydraulic system, pressure 4,000 lb/sq in (280 kg/cm2), utilises ICI DP.47 Silicodyne H fluid. Rotax electrical system utilises two 30/55 kVA solid-rotor alternators, each driven by one of the main propulsion engines through a Plessey constant-speed drive. Bristol Siddely Cumulus APU provides pneumatic power for turbojet starting and air-conditioning on ground, and shaft power for hydraulic and electrical services on ground.
Detals of equipment and functions are given above. The central digital computer system, supplied by Elliot Flight Automation, receives dat from Ferrantin inertial platform, Ferranti forward-looking radar, EMI side looking radar, Decca Doppler and Smith air data system. Computer feeds position and steering information to navigator's instrument display (by Smiths) and to the Rank-Cintel head-up display, to the Elliott autopilot and to the weapons arming and release systems. HF communications and ILS equipment by Marconi. Radio by Plessey. IFF by Cossor. Radio-altimeter by Standard Telephones and Cables. Ferranti moving-map displays. EMI side-looking roconnaissance radar and Line-scan optical scanning system, with TR unit by Mullard.
Dimensions (approx):
Wing span 37 ft 0 in (11.28 m)
Length overall 89 ft 0 in (27.13 m)
Height overall 24 ft 0 in (7.32 m)