AFTER the EAGLE

The machinations over replacing the cancelled TSR2 turned into a saga in themselves. In the Buccaneer, the RAF ended up with a splendid low-level strike aircraft rather by default, but — via the F-111K and a host of other contenders — it took a long time to get there WORDS: CHRIS GIBSON

TSR2 — or Eagle — XS944 in the markings of No 237 Operational Conversion Unit, earmarked as the OCU for the type. It went on to fulfil that role for the RAF’s Buccaneers.
CHRIS SANDHAM-BAILEY
F-111K — or Merlin — XV884 in No 12 Squadron colours. This serial was allocated to the first production example.
CHRIS SANDHAM-BAILEY

“Unless we abandon almost all our current commitments outside Europe we shall need an aircraft of the TSR2/ F-111A class for the strike/reconnaissance role in the 1970s and no alternative aircraft will suffice.”

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view. You can also access it if you’re subscribed to one of our Key Publishing magazines.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Why not join our community of aviation enthusiasts? Pick one of our introductory offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content.