posted on Dec, 30 2006 @ 06:22 AM
Of the many 'would have been' planes on that link only two, the SR.177 and the P1154, were ever seriously followed through to full scale development
intended to result in actual hardware, all the rest were just design proposals, though I have always had a soft spot for the COD/AEW twin jet design
meant for the CVA-01.
The P1154 was, imho - even though it pains me to say it - quite rightly cancelled as it stood no chance of becoming a successful operational type. The
aims of the design were just too far reaching, Rolls Royce were still grappling with PCB development as late as 1980 and even forty years later
Supersonic STOVL fighters are stilol a decade away from service. Its just a shame we insisted on shoehorning the Spey into the F-4, a straight buy of
the F-4J would have been much better.
The SR-177 however foreshadowed what was to happen to the TSR-2 only a few years later. After the RAF discovered that the EE Lightning met all its
needs as far as a short range interceptor went and lost interest (and also after the infamous 1957 white paper on defence) the SR-177 was definitely
still going ahead for the RN and the Luftwaffe, more political pressure forced the RN out of the equation but still the Luftwaffe was prepared to
carry on alone, they wanted it it so much.
The British however would have preferred to ditch it altogether and was preparing to offer the Luftwaffe the (inferior, but in production) Lightning
instead but US pressure was brought to bear and the offer was never made, after further US pressure directed at Germany the 'shock' announcement was
made that it had been decided to drop the SR-177 in favour of buying the (vastly) inferior F-104 instead and Saro never produced another plane and
even ended up making polystyrene packs for mushrooms instead!
All of which is true, even the last sentence.