Author Topic: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'  (Read 15542 times)

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2019, 10:01:04 AM »
Where would be a practical location for an In-Flight Refueling probe to be mounted as part of a SLEP upgrade for the Canberra and B-57?

I'm guessing a fixed probe to the right of the cockpit, similar to the A-4G's, or a folding probe in the same place, similar to the A-7's - depending on how much work you wanted to put into maintaining a more streamlined shape.
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Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2019, 10:56:48 AM »
Where would be a practical location for an In-Flight Refueling probe to be mounted as part of a SLEP upgrade for the Canberra and B-57?

I'm guessing a fixed probe to the right of the cockpit, similar to the A-4G's, or a folding probe in the same place, similar to the A-7's - depending on how much work you wanted to put into maintaining a more streamlined shape.


Pretty much the same conclusions I had with the IFR probe.  On the Canberra it would probably be best to go with the A-4/A-3 style probe attached along the side of the fuselage.  On the B-57 there might be a bit more wiggle room for an A-7 or Tornado style semi-retracting probe as there would be room for the extension/retraction mechanism within the fuselage.  My own personal preference for the B-57 would be to have both the boom receptacle and probe and drogue style IFR features on the aircraft.  The A-7/Tornado style along the side of the fuselage and the boom receptacle located behind the canopy on top of the fuselage.  An alternate location for the boom receptacle might be on the inboard wing leading edge (like the F-84G Thunderjet).
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Offline M.A.D

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2019, 11:14:35 AM »
Where would be a practical location for an In-Flight Refueling probe to be mounted as part of a SLEP upgrade for the Canberra and B-57?

I'm guessing a fixed probe to the right of the cockpit, similar to the A-4G's, or a folding probe in the same place, similar to the A-7's - depending on how much work you wanted to put into maintaining a more streamlined shape.

I too immediately thought of the fixed In-Flight Refueling probe of the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. I'm thinking it would be plumbed externally-mounted, so as to save time/cost routing it through the inside of the Canberra.

Getting back to the notion of a more effective  'strike bomber' SLEP, with the ability to use RB04 missiles as a stand-off weapon against both ships and important land targets, I envisaged the RAAF simply adapting the Ericsson mapping and navigation radar, from the Saab A-32 Lansen; this radar worked in conjunction with the RB04 anti-ship missile, to the Canberra
The forward antenna of the Ericsson mapping and navigation radar being housed in a large blister fairing underneath the fuselage. The Canberra's bomb bay being utilised for a long-range fuel tank and or removable 30mm ADEN cannon pallet or a removable EW/ECM pallet.


M.A.D
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 12:08:45 PM by M.A.D »

Offline elmayerle

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2019, 12:13:32 PM »
Where would be a practical location for an In-Flight Refueling probe to be mounted as part of a SLEP upgrade for the Canberra and B-57?

I'm guessing a fixed probe to the right of the cockpit, similar to the A-4G's, or a folding probe in the same place, similar to the A-7's - depending on how much work you wanted to put into maintaining a more streamlined shape.


Pretty much the same conclusions I had with the IFR probe.  On the Canberra it would probably be best to go with the A-4/A-3 style probe attached along the side of the fuselage.  On the B-57 there might be a bit more wiggle room for an A-7 or Tornado style semi-retracting probe as there would be room for the extension/retraction mechanism within the fuselage.  My own personal preference for the B-57 would be to have both the boom receptacle and probe and drogue style IFR features on the aircraft.  The A-7/Tornado style along the side of the fuselage and the boom receptacle located behind the canopy on top of the fuselage.  An alternate location for the boom receptacle might be on the inboard wing leading edge (like the F-84G Thunderjet).
I like the idea of having both refueling capabilities.  It costs a bit in weight and complexity, but it allows you to refuel from any tanker out there and I consider that a useful trait.   

Theoretically, if one wanted to pay for the engineering and accept the additional weight, there is no reason why a F-35A derivative could not have both (call it the F-35D for "Dual Refueling').

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2019, 03:09:11 PM »
One problem with a refueling probe on the right side of the Canberra's fuselage.  There is a crew access door there.   It might make life a little bit difficult with getting in and out of the aircraft for the crew!

I'd question installing a flight refueling probe on an RAAF Canberra.  The RAAF didn't have any flight refuellers available before their acquisition of ex-QANTAS 707s in 1988,  So, unless you want to purchase some flight refuellers as well as updating your Canberras, they won't be doing much refueling while flying.

I'd much rather go for updated engines, more avionics (ie radar, ECM) and new guided weapons (Exocet. Kormoran, Penguin, RB04)

Offline M.A.D

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2019, 04:39:31 PM »
I'd question installing a flight refueling probe on an RAAF Canberra.  The RAAF didn't have any flight refuellers available before their acquisition of ex-QANTAS 707s in 1988,  So, unless you want to purchase some flight refuellers as well as updating your Canberras, they won't be doing much refueling while flying.

The money saved on upgrade vs the purchase, infustructure, training of a new strike aircraft - be it A-5B Vigilante, TRS.2 or TFX will undoubtedly leave the Australian government/RAAF with money for a proper and sensible air refuelling tanker fleet to support the SLEP Canberra's. Add to this the reality that such a tanker fleet, no matter how small, will be utilised by other RAAF/RAN assets. Add to this even further, the use of airborne refuelling tankers will add to the points of the compass that SLEP Canberra's will be able to attack given targets - circumnavigate around known air-defence threats, etc...

In fact, I'm sure someone in the original forum I mentioned earlier suggested modifying some of the Canberra's to act as surrogate airborne refuelling aircraft, so as to support the 'strike' SLEP Canberra's to their targets - aka Douglas A-4 Skyhawk buddy/buddy system like!!

 
Quote
I'd much rather go for updated engines, more avionics (ie radar, ECM) and new guided weapons (Exocet. Kormoran, Penguin, RB04)

Granted, the updated engines, avionics and weapons will be a must!!


I'm wounding if it would be feasible for GAF to build and graft Canberra B(I).8 forward fuselage and cockpit to the existing RAAF Canberra's? By doing so, increasing crew operability, comfort and safety .....

M.A.D





« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 08:14:57 PM by M.A.D »

Offline Kerick

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2019, 09:49:49 PM »
If you want to get the most from a SLEP aircraft AAR would be a must have. Don’t forget the advantage of working with allied Air Forces that use AAR.
As to where to put the probe, running it down the side of the fuselage to some point where it would connect to the main fuel tanks would make the most sense. Something like the A-3 Skywarrior. Not the most elegant solution but probably the most practical.

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2019, 03:21:32 AM »
Canberra with Refueling probe:




And also operating in a buddy refuelling style role:


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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2019, 03:51:24 AM »
Some additional thoughts for this, assuming we are looking at a RAAF platform:

  • Maybe have the scenario be that in the early 60s when the RAAF was considering the Canberra replacement, there is a recession or at least economic slowdown (or perhaps simply the options to replace are deemed too expensive).  Either way, the decision is made to not replace the Canberras but rather to keep them in service.  This removes the F-111 etc from the picture and gives a reason for upgrades.
  • Another, less savoury scenario, is that in the 1960s as countries started to condemn Sth Africa over its apartheid policies, Australia decides to stand with Sth Africa.  As such sanctions also are applied to Australia (or at least major orders such as F-111s etc are prevented from occurring.  As such, the Canberras are forced to soldier on.

The issue with these scenarios though is that they might restrict the sort of fancy upgrades some are thinking of.
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Offline M.A.D

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #34 on: August 09, 2019, 04:08:01 AM »
As to where to put the probe, running it down the side of the fuselage to some point where it would connect to the main fuel tanks would make the most sense. Something like the A-3 Skywarrior.

Yes, exactly like the A-3 kerick!

Thanks for your input

M.A.D

Offline M.A.D

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #35 on: August 09, 2019, 04:10:41 AM »
Canberra with Refueling probe:




And also operating in a buddy refuelling style role:



Nice find Greg!!😯
So it isn't too far out there then, and hence encouraging

Thanks mate

M.A.D

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2019, 04:12:41 AM »
Going back to possible more fanciful ideas:

Add in rocket boost:




The "T.22" radar trainer configuration, were actually fitted with an extended "pointy nose" to house the "Blue Parrot" radar fitted to the Royal Navy's Blackburn Buccaneer strike aircraft:





Plus you can get conversion kits:



Other engine options:

Bristol Olympus 104 powered, real world version:




The Olympus 104 engines providing 58 kN (13,000 lb) thrust each compared to the RR Avon RA.3 Mk. 101 engines which were rated at 28.9 kN (6500 lb) each.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 05:51:27 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline M.A.D

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2019, 04:25:22 AM »
Some additional thoughts for this, assuming we are looking at a RAAF platform:

  • Maybe have the scenario be that in the early 60s when the RAAF was considering the Canberra replacement, there is a recession or at least economic slowdown (or perhaps simply the options to replace are deemed too expensive).  Either way, the decision is made to not replace the Canberras but rather to keep them in service.  This removes the F-111 etc from the picture and gives a reason for upgrades.
  • Another, less savoury scenario, is that in the 1960s as countries started to condemn Sth Africa over its apartheid policies, Australia decides to stand with Sth Africa.  As such sanctions also are applied to Australia (or at least major orders such as F-111s etc are prevented from occurring.  As such, the Canberras are forced to soldier on.

The issue with these scenarios though is that they might restrict the sort of fancy upgrades some are thinking of.

Thanks again Greg for giving scenarios a thought mate.
I've long been contemplating a two-path scenario background option for the Alternative ADF ORBAT, which I'll PM you about your thoughts, if you wouldn't mind?

Hence this forum subject, as to whether I can keep the Cambarra valid and cost effective as an offensive platform; or look at other options that are not TRS.2 or TFX, as they go against my backstorys mantra that the ADF reframe from cost and operational risk of not committing/purchasing 'off the board' weapons/weapons systems.

M.A.D
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 04:31:11 AM by M.A.D »

Offline elmayerle

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2019, 05:49:05 AM »
Just a thought, perhaps the SLEP might also include the B-57's rotary bomb bay?  I can see that simplifying a few things.   I know EE looked at doing one but could never sell it to the RAF.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2019, 07:20:09 AM »
Just a thought, perhaps the SLEP might also include the B-57's rotary bomb bay?  I can see that simplifying a few things.   I know EE looked at doing one but could never sell it to the RAF.

Probably because of the RAF's aversion to the Buccaneer that the Navy was trying to push onto them   ----   ;D

Offline elmayerle

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2019, 07:26:57 AM »
Just a thought, perhaps the SLEP might also include the B-57's rotary bomb bay?  I can see that simplifying a few things.   I know EE looked at doing one but could never sell it to the RAF.

Probably because of the RAF's aversion to the Buccaneer that the Navy was trying to push onto them   ----   ;D
All the more reason, then, for the RAAF to adopt it for their Canberra SLEP.  If they get aerial refueling support earlier, perhaps some of the saved money could go toward purchasing Buccaneers?

Offline M.A.D

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2019, 05:31:12 PM »
In 1969, the USAF had successfully  modified sixteen Martin B-57B's into Martin B-57G's under the project name 'Tropic Moon' The interesting thing to me is that these B-57G's were equipped with a laser guidance system that supported the carrying and launching of up to four 500-lb "smart bombs" on the underwing pylons. These B-57G were used in combat from September 1970.

So I'm thinking, with US approval, the laser guidance system and Paveway might be made available to the RAAF and utilised on the SLEP Canberra Mk 20's for stand-off precision strike. 😯

M.A.D

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2019, 07:14:11 PM »
I think you'd need B-57 noses to make that actually work.  Nose changes were relatively simple as the Canberra proved.  All you needed to do was unbolt the nose at the pressure joint and bolt a new one on.  It was how the B(I)8 was developed and the PR9 created,  As the B-57 was essentially a Canberra with the exception of the nose and the rotating bomb bay you should be able to fit a B-57 nose to a Canberra fuselage without too much trouble.

Offline Jonesthetank

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2019, 09:42:50 PM »
The B57 nose would also give you the safety of twin ejection seats, as opposed to the B(I)8 set up of ejector seat for the pilot, out the side door for the navigator.

With the B57 nose you could add the B57G equipment fit "easily" without the need to try and fit it round the B(I)8 nose set up.

Fingers twitching for B57G Style GAF Canberra profiles!!

Cheers

Mark
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 09:54:56 PM by Jonesthetank »

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2019, 02:13:46 AM »
Did Aus ever consider the Nimrod? If so then the
Spey 250/251 would make sense for the Canberra
SLEP due to commonality.
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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2019, 03:08:20 AM »
As the B-57 was essentially a Canberra with the exception of the nose and the rotating bomb bay


And the engines.  The Canberras had RR Avons whereas the B-57s, for the most part, had Wright J65s which were in essence, license built Armstrong Siddeley Sapphires.  Supposedly the The this change was driven due to the USAF's need for operations within hot climates and intention to fly at a slightly higher maximum gross weight than the RAF's operating practices.  Both of these could also have been carried over to the RAAF (with the original Canberra acquisition).  Perhaps a different Canberra B.20 would be the B.2 with additional fuel tanks in the wings plus Armstrong Siddeley Sapphires.  This could also possibly spur a Sapphire Sabre as well instead of the Avon Sabre...

The B-57 also had either eight 12.7 mm Browning machine guns or four 20mm M39 cannon in the wings.


« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 05:27:14 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #46 on: August 10, 2019, 03:34:30 AM »
The B57 nose would also give you the safety of twin ejection seats, as opposed to the B(I)8 set up of ejector seat for the pilot, out the side door for the navigator


I don't think so, the other crew were also on ejection seats.
Top pic shows where the two crew behind the pilot sat on theirs (for the bubble canopy variants), bottom pic shows the hatch above the navigator (for the B(I).8 types)

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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #47 on: August 10, 2019, 03:52:37 AM »
In 1969, the USAF had successfully  modified sixteen Martin B-57B's into Martin B-57G's under the project name 'Tropic Moon' The interesting thing to me is that these B-57G's were equipped with a laser guidance system that supported the carrying and launching of up to four 500-lb "smart bombs" on the underwing pylons. These B-57G were used in combat from September 1970.

So I'm thinking, with US approval, the laser guidance system and Paveway might be made available to the RAAF and utilised on the SLEP Canberra Mk 20's for stand-off precision strike. 😯

I had thought of LGB equipped Canberras as well - especially when i saw this image in my searches:



I think you'd need B-57 noses to make that actually work.  Nose changes were relatively simple as the Canberra proved.  All you needed to do was unbolt the nose at the pressure joint and bolt a new one on. 

The B-57G took a bit more than just the nose change - see here:



Of course there are other options too, depending upon era.  For instance, one could simply fit a AN/AVQ-10 Pave Knife targeting pod (as was used on some Vietnam era F-4s and A-6s:





Pave Knife is available in kit form too. ;)
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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #48 on: August 10, 2019, 05:16:31 AM »
This could also possibly spur a Sapphire Sabre as well instead of the Avon Sabre...

I just remembered that the North American FJ-3 and FJ-4 Fury both had a J65 so perhaps my idea is not so far-fetched after all.  Therefore a RAAF B.20 fitted with Armstrong Siddeley Sapphires could also result in the CAC Sabre being the Sapphire Sabre.  this would also result in commonality with the A-4Gs squired later on.  We may even see a Sapphire Mirage development (mirroring the real world Avon Mirage).  Ah, the twists one simple change to history could take...
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 05:44:51 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Re: RAAF English Electric Canberra 'SLEP Program'
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2019, 06:17:29 AM »
Did Aus ever consider the Nimrod? If so then the
Spey 250/251 would make sense for the Canberra
SLEP due to commonality.

Australia did evaluate the Nimrod - see here.  I suppose if the HSA bid had come off one could see the Canberras being given an update.  One would still probably need to remove the F-111 from the scene though.  Alternatively, perhaps the RAAF decides to keep them in service (they did last on to 1982).  Thus one might have even seen some thing like this more often:

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