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|In 1955, the F.155T
requirement was issued for a new interceptor for the RAF. This
machine was to be capable of all-weather interception of targets flying
at 60,000 feet and Mach 1.3 using guided weapons. From start up
the fighter was to reach 60,000 feet at a range of 70 nautical miles
from base in 6 minutes at a speed of at least Mach 2. Several
companies submitted designs to meet the requirement; Armstrong
Whitworth, De Havilland, English Electric, Fairey, Hawker, Saunders-Roe
and Vickers. Almost all the designs used rockets for boost at
high altitudes and carried 2 or 4 missiles.
For further information on these and other post-war British fighter designs, please consult the excelent "British Secret Projects: Jet Fighters Since 1950", by Tony Buttler. A detailed history of the development of British Guided Weapons can be found in "British Secret Projects: Hypersonics, Ramjets and Missiles", by Chris Gibson and Tony Buttler.
|The Vickers Armstrong
(Supermarine) Type 559, featuring a canard layout with endplate
tailfins, two stacked turbojets with rocket boosters in the wing
trailing edge and carrying two Red Hebe radar guided AAMs on the top of
the fuselage. The aircraft is shown in 25 Squadron colours.
In service, the winning F155T design would have been used by Javelin
|The Saunders Roe
P.187, developed from the SR.53 and SR.177, featuring a conventional
clipped delta wing and T-tail. Two turbojets were placed
side-by-side in the rear fuselage, with four rocket boosters above
them. Two Red Hebe radar guided AAMs and two Red Top IR guided
weapons could be carried. The nose forward of the cockpit slid
down to improve visibility on landing. The aircraft is shown in
41 Squadron colours.
Armstrong-Whitworth AW.169, the largest of the submitted designs.
Four turbojets were to be fitted in two underwing pods, each pair fed
by a single intake. The rocket booster was fitted in the lower
fuselage. Two Red Hebe radar guided AAMs were carried on the
wingtips, and the WSO was seated in a partially submerged cockpit
alongside the pilots' more conventional accommodations. The
aircraft is shown in 46 Squadron colours.
|The initial proposal
from Fairey was based on their Delta II research machine, and was only
capable of using the smaller Red Top IR guided weapon. A rocket
booster was fitted on either side of the fuselage aft and the entire
cockpit and nose drooped for landing.
|The Fairey Delta III,
the joint winning design, (along with the AW.169). A much
enlarged development of the Delta II research aircraft. Two
rocket boosters were fitted between the turbojets in the aft
fuselage. The normal weapons load was two Red Dean AAMs under the
wings, but four Red Top weapons could be carried as an
alternative. The pilot and WSO were seated side-by side and the
forward fuselage, including the cockpit, could be "drooped" to improve
visibility on landing.
of the Fairey Delta III in service can be seen here.
|The de Havilland
DH.117. A relatively small design, powered by two turbojets under
the fuselage and a rocket booster in the extreme tail. The
armament of two Red Top AAMs was carried under the trapezoidal wings
and the pilot and WSO were seated in tandem. This design came a
"bad fourth" in the competition.
|The English Electic
P.8. A development of the P.1B (Lightning), this design
featured a new wing (with the familiar arrow-head planform) and an area
ruled fuselage. There were no booster rockets, and the armament
of two Red Top missiles was carried on the wingtips.
|The handsome Hawker
P.1103 was a single engined machine, with the booster rockets in
removable pods on the wings. The weapons - Red Hebe is shown here
- were carried on the wing tips. This design was to lead to the
P.1116 and P.1121 strike fighters.
|Very much an addendum
to F155T, is the Avro 729. Based on the small mixed power Avro
720 (the prototype of which was partially constructed), the 729
featured an enlarged cockpit, but little else is known as the design
was never officially tendered.
|The Avro Canada Arrow
was also considered for RAF service, allthough not strictly for the
F155T requirement. Instead the CF-105 would have been ordered
instead of the Thin-Wing Javelin, to requirement F153. However,
had this occurred then the F155T requirement might not have been
raised, so it is a worthwhile inclusion here.