posted on Jan, 29 2006 @ 06:22 AM
It is difficult to say - there is so much mythology about the TSR.2 (and I recognise your attachment to it and its cancellation). When you consider
how long it took to design and build, with ever changing specifications, etc (See Project Cancelled - Derek Wood) and then put it in time context, you
really have to compare it on a technological level with, say, The North American XB-70.
Now, the XB-70 was built to a specification that was no longer viable due to surface to air weapon technology, and the TSR.2 succumbed to politics
rather than anything else, so there is a vast difference in why the aircraft never went into service.
Notwithstanding the politics of finances and the "last manned aircraft", I recall there was quite a controversy at the time regarding long fixed
runways versus VTOL, which did as much to kill the aircraft as anything else. Some British journos still haven't gotten over it - eg - Roy Braybrook,
who still believes that all combat aircraft should be hidden among the trees and take off vertically, notwithstanding the fact that they have inherent
disadvantages, and in spite of the fact that the only people yet to fly a supersonic VTOL aircraft have been the Russians (Yak-141) and the French
(Mirage IIIV) and neither of them put these aircraft into service.
As with the Canadian Avro Canada Arrow and the XB-70, I'll have to go with the Scottish verdict of - Not Proven.
Just as an afterthought, we in Australia have particular needs of the aircraft that we buy - I am constantly annoyed, for instance that manufacturers
around the world offer us products that just won't do the job we require, both from a range point of view and the fact that we can only afford so
many aircraft - which must be multi-role - we can afford nothing that is particularly specialised (for instance F-22 and F-15 before it would have
been useless to us). With the role of our F-111s partly being maritime strike (with Harpoon), I'm not at all sure how something like that would have
fitted with TSR.2. The F-111 certainly has fitted in very well with our requirements, and unfortunately, from our point of view there is really
nothing on the horizon with which to replace that aircraft and still fulfill the roles it performs for us.
[edit on 29/1/06 by The Winged Wombat]