British Prototypes in 1/72 scale
The British aircraft industry produced many unique aircraft, often flown only as prototypes. The designs were especially revolutionary after 1945, in the Cold War period many secret projects were undertaken:
- Shorts SC-1
- Fairey Delta 2
- Fairey Rotodyne
- Saunders-Roe SR-53
- Handley Page HP-115
- P1127 (Hawker Kestrel / Harrier)
Also check out: FRENCH PROTOTYPES
The BAC TSR2 was the famous supersonic attack aircraft , first flown in 1964. It featured a crew of two with very modern avionics, an internal weapons bay, high wing design with small span and blown flaps. It had modern control systems and a one piece moving vertical tail. The TSR2 was intended to replace the Canberra as a long range interdiction a/c. Several aircraft were built as prototypes but due to political pressures the very advanced project was cancelled and the TSR2 was never put into production. Last flight was in 1965.
The TSR2 1/72 scale model used here was the vacuform Contrail model. It was a terrible model to built with many bad fitting parts, irregular surface detailing and a terrible canopy and overall outline. As at that time in 1990 no other model was available in 1/72, the model was indeed finished after lots of time and desperate moods.
Nowadays, superior models of the TSR2 are available both in plastic as in resin and both in 1/72 and 1/48 scales. I recommend that you use one of these. (NOTE ADDED 2006: you can now buy the injection moulded Airfix kit of the TSR-2). Look here for a building report....
gear, scratch made
The Short SC-1 was a VTOL research aircraft flown in the U.K. in 1957. It was especially made to test the Roll Royce RB-108 engine, and it featured no less than 5 Rolls Royce RB108 engines, 4 of them in the vertical position in the central fuselage. It was only 9.11 m long with a span of 7.16 m. Two SC 1s were built, but one crashed in 1963, killing the pilot. It was subsequently repaired and they both continued flying until 1967. The research results were later used in other VTOL aircraft such as the Harrier.
Way back in 1990, no model was available
of this aircraft in 1/72 scale, so a scratch built model
was made. A good scale drawing was obtained at an Open Day at Fairford
in the U.K.
The Fairey Delta 2 was flown in 1954 and was built to investigate the characteristics of a delta wing at transonic and supersonic speeds. In 1956 a 1,000 mph overland speed record was set and the results of the work were later used on the Concord with the Delta 2 featuring the "drooping nose".
The Fairey Rotodyne was envisaged to provide passenger transportation between city centres using the vertical landing and take-off advantages of a helicopter and the speed of a conventional aircraft with a wing. It flew in 1957.
The Rotodyne featured a large rotor with ramjets on the tips and two large propellers on Napier engines for horizontal speed, reaching a topspeed of 300 km/hour. The Rotodyne was never put into production as it had very high noise levels.
The rotor head was also detailed.
The Saunders-Roe SR-53 was an experimental mixed power interceptor which first flew in 1957. The SR-53 featured a "Spectre" rocket engine for dash speed performance and a Viper turbojet, capable of a dash speed of over Mach 2.4 although that was never reached. Sounds like "Thunderbirds doesn't it ?..."
It was a real interceptor design with two Firestreak tip missiles and a single pilot. It never was put into production; the program was terminated as the political believe was radically changing into unmanned missiles and not in manned interceptors in 1958.
Forty years later, we still have manned combat aircraft....
The SR-53 model of Airfix
in 1/72 is rather basic but can be refined and made into a nice little
model. Add a metal pitot, improve the cockpit and fit some braking tubes/
lines to the undercarriage and that's about it!
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British Prototypes page ...
Other interesting References:
- British prototype aircraft, Sturtivant, Haynes group, 1980
- Project cancelled, Derek Wood, Bobs Merrill
The French also made models various prototypes in the fifties and sixties, some of them seen here....
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Created May 28, 2001
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