The colour scheme on this speculative artwork of the original P.1129 design with semicircular intakes, comprising uppersurface camouflage in Dark Sea Grey and Dark Green, with Anti-Flash White on the undersurfaces and low-visibility fuselage roundel is based on BAC Drawing 57900 of November 1964 for a proposed scheme for the first pre-production batch of TSR.2s.
Макет перехватчика Хоукер P.1103
The P.1129 could trace its roots back to the same company’s P.1121, a strike variant of its P.1103 supersonic fighter project to OR.329. A mock-up of the single-seat single-engined P.1121 was built at Kingston, where it is seen here. The P.1121 was developed into the twin-engined P.1125, which itself led to the larger two-seat P.1129.
All that remains of Hawker’s P.1129 project in terms of hardware is a 1/24th-scale display model of the penultimate development version kept in storage at Brooklands Museum in Surrey. Note the later larger intakes, which replaced the semicircular conical intakes with half-cones originally incorporated on the early P.1129 design.
LAST OF THE DEDICATED BOMBER-KILLERS: The OR.329/F.155 contenders
ISSUED BY THE Air Ministry in mid-1954, Operational Requirement 329 outlined what the Air Staff wanted from the next generation of interceptor aircraft, and Specification F.155 detailed how this requirement should be met. The demands of F.155 included the following:
- the ability to intercept an enemy bomber flying at Mach 1+ within 20min of target contact (approx 250 miles - 400km - from the UK);
- a service ceiling of at least 60,000ft (18,000m);
- the ability to carry armament of a mixture of infra-red homing and radar-guided missiles;
- a crew of two; pilot + weapons officer/navigator.
Thus the result would have to be a rapid-climbing Mach 2+ interceptor capable of carrying at least two collision-course missiles, and which would eventually replace the English Electric P.1B Lightning. Engine manufacturers also set about developing new powerplants for this new generation of fighters, including de Havilland (Gyron/Gyron Junior) and Rolls-Royce (RB.106).
Ten designs were put forward for F.155, but none proceeded beyond the design stage, the 1957 Defence White Paper sounding the death knell of the dedicated bomber-killer. The ten were:
Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow Added to F.155 towards the end of the process, the Canadian Arrow was essentially a stopgap to cover probable delays in the Fairey Delta 3 project (see below).
Avro 729 Little appears to be known about the Avro 729; it was described variously as a single-Gyron-powered all-weather fighter and a twin-engined canard design, as seen here.
Vickers-Armstrongs (Supermarine) Type 559 This canard design with a large air intake beneath the cockpit for its twin Gyrons, one atop another, as on the P.1, was to carry a pair of Red Hebe missiles on dorsal pylons. Deemed too radical
de Havilland D.H.117 Powered by a pair of Gyron Juniors and a D.H. Spectre booster rocket in the tail, the straight-winged D.H.117 was deemed not radical enough, and certainly not enough of an advance on the P.1B Lightning.
Fairey Delta 3 Based on research undertaken with the Delta 2 (F.D.2), Fairey submitted two designs to F.155; a large twin-Gyron-engined Red Hebe-carrying version that would meet the full spec, and a smaller, less ambitious single-engined version that would be easier to develop. The large version was selected by the MoS and Air Staff.
Armstrong Whitworth AW.169 With a pair of Gyron Juniors in nacelles fitted to a razor-thin straight trapezoidal wing, the T-tailed AW.169 would carry Blue Vestas on its wingtips.
English Electric P.8A much modified and larger Lightning fitted with Red Tops on its wingtips, this was considered insufficient advance on the P.1B.
Saunders-Roe P.187 A development of the company’s SR.53 and SR.177 mixed-power concepts, the P.187 was too big from the outset.
Hawker P.1103 This was to be powered by a single Gyron, with detachable rocket boosters mounted mid-wing and Red Hebes on its wingtips.
The single-seat twin-engined P.1125.
The three-view general arrangement drawing of the P.1129 as presented in Hawker’s January 1958 brochure. At this stage the design incorporates the original semi-circular intakes with half-cones, and is seen here with a semi-recessed Red Beard nuclear bomb in its weapons bay. Note the optional wing tanks included on the plan view, in which a cumulative total of some 1,600gal (7,275lit) could be carried.
By August 1958 the P.1129 had been redesigned, retaining the original design’s wings, tailplane and fin but with a slightly longer fuselage - 73ft 6in (22-4m) as opposed to the original 72ft 9in (22m) - and new swept rectangular intakes, as seen in this Hawker drawing labelled “P.1129 Development Supersonic Strike Aircraft”. It is this version of which a display model survives at Brooklands Museum.
Included in the January 1958 brochure was this schematic drawing showing the P.1129’s antennae installations. The aerials marked Violet Picture refer to the homing system fitted to RAF aircraft to locate aerial tankers, among other uses. The X-band sideways-looking aerials forward of the intakes were housed within apertures covered with dielectric material.
Although Hawker was unable to give a great deal of information in its January 1958 brochure about the various electronics, radio and radar systems proposed for the P.1129, for obvious security reasons, the brochure does provide this schematic detailing their locations within the airframe. The brochure goes into some detail regardng the navigation systems and equipment, but is understandably tight-lipped on the radar and fire-control systems.
The brochure does state, however, that the forward-looking radar would contribute to the navigation of the aircraft to some degree, and so provides a few details of the nose-mounted radar equipment. It revealed that this would be a development of Blue Parrot, itself an upgraded version of the AI.23 AIRPASS system devised for low-level operations and target detection, and later fitted to the Blackburn Buccaneer.
After a great deal of wrangling between the two competing parts of the Hawker Siddeley Group - Avro and Hawker - for GOR.339, a final iteration was drawn up incorporating Ferri intakes (with swept-forward lips, as on the Republic F-105), as seen in this artist’s impression. This final HSG submission was presented in a brochure produced by Avro at the end of 1958 - but it was too little too late.