Author Topic: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW) and other FASS concepts  (Read 4195 times)

Offline kitnut617

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BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW) and other FASS concepts
« on: September 17, 2013, 01:39:09 AM »
I've had a new idea/project forming in my mind just lately, a BAe 844.  This was a proposal to the RAF to install the Nimrod AEW radar system into a A310 airframe when this was all the rage back in the 80's.  The plan evolved after looking at Martin Higgs fantastic C-130 Hercules AEW using the same system and as I already have an Aircraft in Miniature Airbus CC-150 (A310) and also a Cammett Nimrod AEW conversion in the stash,  I figured I could cover two things at once.

One, to build one of my large vacuforms, and two, something out of the ordinary.  I've also made a bit of a discovery, the cockpit parts from an Airbus A400M, seem to fit into the A310 quite nicely, with only a little bit of shape re-profiling to the bulkheads and floor to make it fit perfectly.  And the clear part for the windshield seems to fit quite well too.

But as I don't want to rob the A400M kit of a bunch of parts I've written to RoG to see if I can get the bits I need.  But if I can't, I've another idea, buy another A400M and then use quite a bit of it to make a stretched A400M, maybe a MPA type, something with much longer sponsons which would be weapon bays (seen a C-130 idea along the lines somewhere)

Anyway, the aircraft at the bottom of this pic is what I'll attempt to do --
« Last Edit: February 17, 2022, 10:49:08 PM by kitnut617 »

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 01:40:50 AM »
This will be in 1/72 scale ---

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 10:52:10 AM »
This will be great.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2013, 09:54:13 PM »
Hopefully Greg   ;)

While comparing parts, the bits that come from Cammett (which are still available at Mastercasters BTW) I couldn't help but notice how close the matching faces are for the A310.  I'll have to dig out one of the Airfix Nimrods and do a bit of investigating because these shouldn't be anywhere near the same ---

There's a nice 3-View of the BAe 844 in 'Battle Flight' by Chris Gibson, only it's a bit small.  I think I'll have to take a very high resolution photo of it so I can print it big and nice and clear.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2013, 07:44:36 AM »
I've now got a good 3-View of the BAe 844, kindly provided by Chris Gibson.  Looking it over it is a bit different to the Marconi advert.  I asked Chris if one or the other was an early drawing and we came to the concensus that the Marconi ad' is about a couple of years later than the 3-View.  And this is the one I want to build.

I have to devise a way to transfer the radome to fuselage line and I thought that if I draw a grid that is equally space in both directions (20 each way) I could then transfer points onto the kit fuselage.  I need this line because the radome shape is quite a bit different to the radome on the Nimrod even though it's the same system.  I can use quite a bit of the Cammet conversion though.

I inserted the ad' picture into my AutoCad and then traced the outlines, from here I drew up the grid (top pic).  I then scaled it to 1/72 scale and printed it off.  After that I laid the kit fuselage half over the sketch ( bottom pic).  I can see here that the plan was to change the bottom profile of the A310 under the cockpit area.  This should blend into the radome quite nicely.

The next thing to do now is to make a copy of the radome so I can start revising the shape, this way I can keep the original for what I bought it for, the Nimrod.

The bottom pic doesn't show it very well because of the angle I took the photo at, but the top profile line matches the drawing fairly well around the cockpit/windshield area.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 07:50:30 AM by kitnut617 »

Offline tsrjoe

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2017, 05:39:51 PM »
waw this will look stunning :)

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2017, 05:05:29 AM »
Any updates on this?
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 05:59:52 AM »
Unfortunately no Greg.  I had to put a lot of my projects on hold when the work I generally did for ages, dried up. I had to get any type of job I could find and the first one that interested me was working at YYC (Calgary International). But it's long hours when it's busy and next to nothing when it isn't. So when I have money (to buy things I need for the projects) I don't have time to do it, but when I do have a load of time, there's no money coming in ---- just a vicious cycle ----

What I was able to get though was a whole set of frame section drawings for the whole fuselage of an A330. I was told it is practically the same as the A310 except longer. My plan is to work this out into a 3D drawing.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 06:03:09 AM by kitnut617 »

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2022, 12:06:18 AM »
After a long hiatus --- this has got back to the forefront.  This all came about a year or so ago when Harro (hobbes on the forums) created FASS domes in 1/144 scale to fit a 1/144 Nimrod kit. I asked him if he could scale them up and I gave him some sizes to work with. He did just that too, and I bought a set as soon as it came up on his Shapeways page. His business there goes by the name 'Acme Engineering' and he has all sorts of stuff aircraft and space related.

I also bought a couple of sets of some smaller domes I asked him to do too, these were to be used on another of the concepts shown in that 1984 advert (see top of thread). This was to be for the Canadair Challenger and as I have a couple of the Execuform Challengers in the stash, I thought I would use one for the FASS project. If anyone is interested, there a photo of the FASS Challenger in Chris Gigson's book 'The Air Stall and the AEW'.

So some progress has been made on the BAe 844, I've assembled the A310 fuselage paying particular attention to having it as round as possible and to the correct dimensions, I then chopped the nose off. I decided as I stated further up the thread, I would use the nose off an A400M kit, this has an almost the same diameter fuselage as the A310 does --- in 1/72 scale at least. I've used it because in the advert the windshield and side windows are quite a bit different than the A310 windshield and the A400M windshield looks about right. I also decided that my build of the BAe 844 I would 'enhance' a bit. I thought I would incorporate the low mounted cabin door of the A400M into my build, it seems to me a more practical arrangement for an 'in service' aircraft.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2022, 12:11:26 AM »
So here's some new photos of the progress I've made, but be warned, this is a 'long term' project.

Top pic is the A310 fuselage assembled, second pic is where I chopped the nose off and thrid pic, attaching the A400M nose

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2022, 12:17:57 AM »
I have now got to modify the underside of the A400M nose as it has a flat bottom to it. About 80% of the fuselage is circular, but the bottom 20% is more or less straight across as you can see in the top pic. I then made a keel that matches the side profile of the underside of the nose section, I also made some bulkheads so I can reprofile it too. Second pic is a side view. I've utilized all the cockpit detail of the A400M in the nose section too (third pic) and bottom pic is the patterns I'll use for the bulkheads/frames
« Last Edit: February 16, 2022, 12:20:28 AM by kitnut617 »

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2022, 12:19:21 AM »
Here I've attached the two domes to each end of the fuselage for a trial fit up.

The bottom pic, shows the three dome sizes I have, all are 1/72 scale with the Cammett conversion for the Nimrod in the middle for reference.

One thing I have discovered though, I've got the size wrong for the Challenger, it's way too small if I compare it to the photo of the display model in Chris's book. So I'm going to use the small ones on an HS 125, actually a U-125A kit.

As I said I bought a couple of these small domes, but after my discovery I change my plans. I gave one set to Carl but now I'll talk to Harro again and see if I can get some slightly bigger ones for the Challenger. I'll buy two sets again too, as my plan is now to do a CRJ-200 FASS AEW too. I might even get three sets, then I can do a Dash-8 AEW, the fuselages of the three aircraft being practically the same in cross section.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2022, 12:39:13 AM by kitnut617 »

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2022, 01:06:32 AM »
Off to a good start
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2022, 01:11:49 AM »
Thanks Mate!

As you can see the domes for the BAe 844 are huge so they are quite obviously not Nimrod scanners. Chris's book does give a clue as to what was planned for it. Inside the back cover of the book are two 3-Views, top one of a BAe 844, while the bottom one is of a proposed concept called a LARC AEW. LARC stands for Large Aircraft Replacement Concept for those who want to know.

Studying the LARC 3-View reveals a number of interesting features that were planned, some of which I'll incorporate in this BAe 844 model. The LARC has a pair of really bulbous domes on it, and reading the notes, it says they were for scanners of 12'-0" x 8'-0". The domes tally with the domes in the Marconi advert for the BAe 844. After Harro's domes arrived I did a comparison and they are just about spot on for size so I've determined that these huge scanners were what was planned at this stage. I should say that Chris told me that all the 3-Views and renderings in his book on the BAe 844 (and the BAe 847 [A300 based]) were taken from information and drawings Chris had found in the Archives and dated around 1980 to 1982, and is mostly about putting the Nimrod equipment into each of those two aircraft (A310 and A300). This concept I'm building is from a couple of years later, 1984 so is the most advanced. Chris said to me that after consideration and despite what he's written in the book, he thinks this 1984 version was actually what was offered to the Saudis.

Chris writes that the BAe 844 and BAe 847 were expected to be half empty so there was talk of using them as transports or tanker/transports too. However, with the much bigger scanners and associated equipment, and after studying cutaway drawings of the Nimrod and E-3 Sentry and seeing just how jam packed they are with equipment, I don't think there will be a lot of empty space left. I do like the idea of it also being a tanker though, I can see how that could be an advantage, so I've bought the refueling pods for the Airbus MRTT to go on my model too.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2022, 01:36:36 AM by kitnut617 »

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2022, 01:44:01 AM »
Oh! I should say too, that this will be a RCAF operated AEW/AWAC. The time line works because Canada acquired the Airbus A310's in the early '80's and called them CC-150 Polaris, I'm thinking as the RCAF was already operating the CC-150's, and the BAe 844 is basically an A310, I'd call it a CE-150 (T) Vultus, (which is Latin for 'Lookout')   ;)

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2022, 01:56:12 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline apophenia

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2022, 09:18:24 AM »
Robert, your BAe 844 is a thing of wonder and awe! Loving the in-progress shots (not to mention seeing just how much thought and energy your put into these conversions)!

Digging the CE-150(T) Vultus name and designation too.

Once you get the sizing sorted for an AEW Challenger or CRJ-200, might I suggest the name Vedette? As you probably know, vedette means a mounted sentry but it also gives a nice historical tie-in from Canadian Vickers to Canadair  ;)
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2022, 09:42:34 PM »
Thanks Stephen, I appreciate your comments.   :-[

Yes -- I think Vedette would be an excellent choice for a name. Thanks for the suggestion. So Challenger would be Vedette, and the CRJ-200 a Vedette II  ? 

The idea with the CRJ is the Challengers used were second hand bought off various airlines so didn't have many hours left on them. Plus, as Chris mentions in his book, there wasn't a lot of room in them and radar system probably worked at half power. So the CRJ was selected as a replacement with the equipment being a direct swap from the Challengers, even to the extent of using the modified fuselage ends of the Challengers ----

Offline apophenia

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW)
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2022, 09:51:37 AM »
... So Challenger would be Vedette, and the CRJ-200 a Vedette II  ?  ...

I like it! Which brings up plausible designations for your pair ...

RW Challenger DND Designations

CX-144 -- Canadair CL-600 (2nd prototype)
CC-144A - Canadair CL-600
CE-144 -- CC-144A mods for 414 & 434 Sqns
CP-144 -- CC-144A mods (project cancelled)
CC-144B - Canadair CL-601
CC-144C - Bombardier CL-604
CC-144D - Bombardier CL-650 (CC-144A repl.)

Note that the CE and CP CL-600 mods didn't retain the VIP transport's A suffix. So, I'd guess that - regardless of Canadair/Bombardier model type, a Challenger AEW variant would be designated 'CE-144A' and the CRJ variant would be 'CE-144B'.

Mind you, DND often plays fast and loose with aircraft designations so you can too! Maybe, just for fun, make the Vedette a 'CE-144E' and the Vedette II a 'CE-194A'?

... as Chris mentions in his book, there wasn't a lot of room in them and radar system probably worked at half power...

I can see that. According to Danish friends, the Challenger is already pretty cramped in the MP/SAR role. The CRJ may not be as 'sporty' as a Challenger but the Regional Jet has plenty of space in that ol' tube. And who needs a 'sporty' AEW anyway?

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Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW) and other FASS concepts.
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2022, 10:47:42 PM »
Noice   :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:  I'll definitely use some of those.

Which brings me to my BAe 125-800 project ---- if there's not a lot of room in a Challenger, there's even less in a Dominie AEW that I'm planning.  It was going to use one of my Airfix Dominies, I was going to stretch the fuselage, upgrade the engines, revise the wing for high lift devices, and give it a more robust undercarriage. My plan is to make a RN fleet AEW.

Then I realized most of that is done on the -600 and -800 series aircraft.  I tried to find a Matchbox -600 but that's like looking for hen's teeth, but fortunately, Sword make a -800.

The kit I have is a U-125A and has a radome under the fuselage, but that won't be used as such. Much like the Side Track system that was planned for the Harrier and other types, this would also keep in constant contact with the carrier control room, but also have an operator (or two) on board who can work independently. It would have FASS scanners instead of the wing tip side looking scanners of Side Track.

A pic of my Side Track F-35B

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW) and other FASS concepts
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2022, 06:58:36 AM »
So at the moment, I'm planning on building five models which will get the FASS treatment. And I've been doing some comparing.

In this group of photos, you can see the difference between each one for size, and they're all 1/72. But as I was saying above, the BAe 844 concepts that are shown in the book 'The Air Staff and the AEW' are all based on if the equipment was taken from the Nimrod and placed in or on the A310. And you can see why they were thinking that the A310 would be half empty.

So working with the largest at the back, there's the BAe 844, Nimrod, CRJ-200, Challenger and then the HS 125-800.

A couple of things stood out, the Nimrod has a fuselage diameter of 10'-0", and the Challenger/CRJ-200 is 9'-0". The CRJ is not far off the length of the Nimrod, in fact comparing the CRJ with a Comet Mk.1 kit I have, they're almost the same length. I'm playing with the idea of maybe buying a BPK CRJ-700 or 900 kit and using that instead of the 200.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW) and other FASS concepts
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2022, 07:25:28 AM »
I went off on a tangent last night, thinking about a possible new project, it would involve a kit of the Global Express. As the fuselage diameter is the same as the Challenger/CRJ's fuselage, and they're quite close in diameter of the Nimrod, I was thinking as the Sentinel variant has the large canoe under the fuselage, what if one was to remove the pannier off a Nimrod and put that under the Global Express, we'd have a modern Nimrod -----

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW) and other FASS concepts
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2022, 11:09:09 PM »
I've been pondering how I would modify the steps that get mounted on the cabin door, I will have to add more steps into it. But I've got a solution to it, Brian (rickshaw) posted a link to Titan Model Kits, which is associated to Click2Detail as far as I can make out, and I went on their new websites. And what do I find ----

 I love it when a plan comes together
« Last Edit: March 09, 2022, 05:27:26 AM by kitnut617 »

Offline kitnut617

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW) and other FASS concepts
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2022, 05:28:02 AM »
Thanks for moving the thread Carl.

Offline apophenia

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Re: BAe 844 (Airbus 310 AEW) and other FASS concepts
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2022, 11:46:58 AM »
Robert: Very cool comparison photos. Slightly OT but what jumped out at me was the degree of size difference between the HS 125 and the Challenger. You kind of have to see them close together to really appreciate that!

On the switch from CRJ to Global Express, you gain almost 100 km/h in top speed. I suppose that slower speed handling is also an issue for AEW&C operations.

I don't recall ever hearing any kind words about CRJ-200 slow-speed handling (especially high altitude and slow). By contrast, the Global Express is said to have surprisingly good low-speed flight characteristics (down to 110 knots when 'clean' ... which is pretty much the 'dirty' stalling speed).

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