Author Topic: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K  (Read 5480 times)

Offline Rickshaw

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Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« on: May 12, 2014, 10:56:40 AM »
Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K

By 1960, it was obvious to the Admiralty that it needed to update it's Fleet Air Arm's fighters.   The UK air industry was seriously lagging behind in many areas and naval aircraft was one which mattered to their Lordships at the admiralty.  The US Navy had leapt ahead in the 1950s and become the world's most advanced naval air force, bringing into service a succession of advanced aircraft and the carriers to operate them.  The FAA therefore decided that it should engage in some technology transfer, as it is now termed and have an American aircraft license produced in the UK to operate from the existing and future classes of RN carriers.

What was wanted was a powerful, supersonic fighter which had a long range and could incorporate many British pieces of kit as possible in order to keep the cost down.  While the F-4 Phantom II was the preferred aircraft, there were doubts it could operate off the smaller British carriers without substantial and expensive modifications of both the aircraft and the carriers.  It was also, at this point still very much an unknown quantity, early in it's development and service life.  The F-8 Crusader was already operational with the US Fleet and was proving to be an excellent fighter.  It also had the advantage that it utilised only one engine which the reasoning went obviously must make it cheaper to purchase and operate!

Negotiations were opened with the Crusader's manufacturer, Chance-Vought.  Short Brothers of Belfast had unused manufacturing capacity and was therefore selected as the license manufacture.  Based on the two-seat TF-8 trainer, with pilot and radar observer/navigator.  Rear fuselage manufacture was to be done in the United States while the front fuselage production and final assembly was to be done in Belfast.  The decision was made to substitute a British Engine and the RB.168-25R Spey turbofan, 12,000lb dry thrust, 20,000lb reheat. was chosen, offering superior performance and fuel consumption over the US J-57 turbojet engine normally utilised.  It also lifted the maximum speed slightly to nearly Mach 2. The US radar, the AN/APQ-84 was replaced with a version of the Ferranti Airpass I system utilised on the RAF's Lightning fighter which allowed the aircraft to utilise Firestreak and later Red Top IR guided and Blue Top radar guided air-to-air missiles.  The four M139 20mm revolver cannon were replaced by two 30mm ADEN revolver cannons in cheek pods, which if necessary could be easily removed to reduce weight and drag.  With the variable incidence wing and BLC (Boundary Layer Control) blown ailerons and flaps, it was able to be flown on and off the smaller British carriers with relative ease and only minimal modification.

The aircraft depicted is one from HMS Eagle, 899 NAS, in 1972, carrying a full load of two Red Top IR guided missiles, two Blue Top Radar guided missiles and two 30mm cannons.







The Model

Inspired by several threads over at What-if on the F-8K, it is the Academy F-8E kit, mated to the Airmodel TF-8 conversion with some Pavela Harrier 30mm cannon pods and the Red/Blue tops came from Capt'n Canada and Buzzbomb.  The Blue tops were constructed with Sparrow radomes after cutting the IR nose off of a standard Red Top.  The bang seats are Neomega (fantastically detailed and it was a shame to stick them in 'cause none of it can really be seen).
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 10:08:37 AM by Rickshaw »

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 12:28:01 PM »
Beautiful!!  One small correction, the Spey would've replaced the J57, not the J79, and likely been lighter, to boot.  Too, you might need to enhance the radar in order to use the Blue Top missiles as I suspect they'd need an illuminator, much as the Sparrow III did.

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 12:41:48 PM »
Nice, very nice.
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Offline FAAMAN

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Re: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 02:10:43 PM »
Absolutely outstanding Naval Whiff!!!  :) :) Love the 'Twosader' (pity there was only one in the real world), great shape!! Very well imagined and thought out,  :-* love it!!!  :P :P

But I do have to agree with Elmayerle about the radar's needs, and I would worry about using the Spey as the Brit re-engined F-4s were slower than their J-79 powered bretheren due to the shape changes needed to fit the Spey into the F-4s fuse. Of course I could be wrong and the Spey is just what the F-8/TF-8 needed. :)
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2014, 02:16:25 PM »
Tease, I keep talking and you keep building, I need to pull my finger out. Great job, top looking should have been.

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2014, 04:07:49 PM »
Beautiful!!  One small correction, the Spey would've replaced the J57, not the J79, and likely been lighter, to boot.  Too, you might need to enhance the radar in order to use the Blue Top missiles as I suspect they'd need an illuminator, much as the Sparrow III did.

All taken care of.  You're right it should be the J57 not the J79.  Can't imagine where that came from.  The Spey's big advantage would have been in fuel consumption.   As for the radar, I did mention, "a version of the Ferranti Airpass I system," which would obviously have an illuminator.   The Airpass was quite a versatile radar design and advanced.  It was developed into the Blue Parrot set used on the Buccaneer and from there to IIRC the FLR on the TSR2 and Blue Fox on the Sea Harrier.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2014, 08:20:16 PM »
Perhaps because the V-1000 version of the Crusader, for export, did use a J79?   Yeah, the updated and improved radar would do it (perhaps they could even sell that installation to the USN?).

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2014, 11:07:34 PM »
But could it operate off a modernised Majestic class CVL?  ;)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:09:46 PM by Volkodav »

Offline Litvyak

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Re: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2014, 11:07:57 PM »
OMG that is sexy! That airframe is like it was designed for that scheme!
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Re: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2014, 02:00:44 AM »
Nice model of an "almost was" Brian. :)
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Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2014, 02:07:51 AM »
Smart work, I like the missiles too!  :)
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Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Crusader FAW F-8K
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2014, 07:32:36 AM »
Nice job!  :)
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