Air Enthusiast 1997-05
T.Buttler - Early Wing-Swingers
Panavia 200 MRCA, photographed during its first flight on 14 August 1974
P.01, the prototype Panavia Tornado, with its wing swept forward for low speed flying, showing the ‘slot’ that accommodates it in fully swept mode. P.01 D-9591 was first flown from Manching on August 14, 1974.
Second Germany Tornado, P.04, flew for the first time at Manching on September 2, 1975 in fully swept configuration.
Second Italian-assembled Tornado, P.09 X-587 during weapon trials - note the large number of calibration marks on the fuselage. P.09 made its first flight on February 5, 1977. Advances in fly-by-wire and stealth technology may ensure that the Tornado can be considered as the first - and final - word in variable geometry from a British (and European?) point of view.
Full-scale mock-up of the Miles M.52 supersonic research aircraft, 1944, which may have helped to inspire the GAL ‘Transformable Delta’.
Plan views of Professor Hill’s original ‘Transformable Delta’ design for General Aircraft dated June 2, 1948 showing low speed (upper) and high speed (lower).
Boulton Paul P.111A VT935, the squat fuselage and centre-body mounted pitot tube reflecting the P.121 project.
Boulton Paul P.121 project.
Artist’s impression of the P.121.
The English Electric P.1 prototype supersonic fighter to Specification F23/49 photographed on October 10, 1954. ER.110T used F23/49 as a reference point so the five submitted designs might be considered as swing-wing rivals to the P.1.
Blackburn and General Aircraft B.90. Forward view shows the aircraft with the wings in fully swept position.
Composite of Blackburn and General Aircraft’s second proposal for a transonic aircraft with variable-sweep wings, February 1949.
Blackburn and General Aircraft’s ‘Mk.3’ single Sapphire proposal to Specification E16/49, June 1950.
The ‘Mk.3’ transonic research aircraft with two stacked Sapphire engines, June 1950.
Bristol Type 183.
Internal layout of Saro’s P.149 project.
Rejected stacked engine layout considered for the P.149 included to show its similarity with the English Electric P.1 and Short SB.5.
General Arrangement of the Saunders-Roe P.149.
Artist’s impression of the P.149.