What Happened To The Black Valiant "Pathfinder" WJ954

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Just watched a couple of videos illustrating WJ954, a valiant B mk2, that had a full bogey landing gear configuration that retracted into streamlined fairings built into the wings, apparently developed for low level flights, was slightly and other aviation witchcraft, was im sure involved to make its top speed at sea level 100mph faster than that of the B.1. Does anyone know the fate of what seemed to be quite an interesting aircraft?
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http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=39674 #8 'The third and final Valiant prototype to fly was the B2 low-level pathfinder which flew with the late Brian Trubshaw as co-pilot on 4 September 1953. This version of the Valiant never entered RAF service and after a landing accident in 1958, development of this version stopped.' http://www.raf.mod.uk/history_old/val2.html 'As the first production B.1’s were being finished off, the B.2 prototype (WJ954) flew for the first time on the 4th of September 1953. The B.2 was a one-off prototype stressed for low-level, high speed penetration as a target marker required by outdated RAF WW2 tactics. Shown off at Farnborough a few days later, the aircraft had two major visible changes - the nose was longer and the undercarriage was now located in big fairings underneath the wings instead of within the wing itself. This meant the wing could be a stronger structure for its low level requirements. WJ954 continued as a flying test-bed for a while but was eventually transported to Foulness in 1958 to be destroyed by having various weapons fired at it to assess the vulnerability of modern aircraft to gunfire.' http://plane-crazy.purplecloud.net/Aircraft/Jets/Valiant/vickers_valiant.htm http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/valiant/full/hitchwj954a.jpg http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/valiant/full/hitchwj954b.jpg
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I assume then the fairings were whitcomb pods similar to those on the Victor mk2. If so then they were a way of "area ruling" an existing airframe to help reduce transonic drag.
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I assume then the fairings were whitcomb pods similar to those on the Victor mk2. If so then they were a way of "area ruling" an existing airframe to help reduce transonic drag.
Yes (Kauchman carrots), and somewhere to but the main undercarriage units without cutting into, and weakning the wing main spars. Vital for its low level role.
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Yes (Kauchman carrots), and somewhere to but the main undercarriage units without cutting into, and weakning the wing main spars. Vital for its low level role.
Using them to store the u/c was a bonus then. On the Victor they were used as chaff dispensers (pre tanker).

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Rods
http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=39674 #8 'The third and final Valiant prototype to fly was the B2 low-level pathfinder which flew with the late Brian Trubshaw as co-pilot on 4 September 1953. This version of the Valiant never entered RAF service and after a landing accident in 1958, development of this version stopped.' http://www.raf.mod.uk/history_old/val2.html 'As the first production B.1’s were being finished off, the B.2 prototype (WJ954) flew for the first time on the 4th of September 1953. The B.2 was a one-off prototype stressed for low-level, high speed penetration as a target marker required by outdated RAF WW2 tactics. Shown off at Farnborough a few days later, the aircraft had two major visible changes - the nose was longer and the undercarriage was now located in big fairings underneath the wings instead of within the wing itself. This meant the wing could be a stronger structure for its low level requirements. WJ954 continued as a flying test-bed for a while but was eventually transported to Foulness in 1958 to be destroyed by having various weapons fired at it to assess the vulnerability of modern aircraft to gunfire.' http://plane-crazy.purplecloud.net/Aircraft/Jets/Valiant/vickers_valiant.htm http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/valiant/full/hitchwj954a.jpg http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/valiant/full/hitchwj954b.jpg
The aircraft was destroyed by the use of continuous rods against the fuselage not gunfire. Apart from this Valiant there was a Victor and two Washingtons involved in the trial. All firings were made using experimental models of Blue Jay, Red Dean or VR.725 warheads -]"Vickers 'Valiant Type 673' This unique aircraft, derived from the standard 'Valiant B mk.1' was specially designed for intruder missions involving high speed and high 'g' at low altitudes. Consequently, it was considerably stronger, structurally, than the B Mk.1. For this reason, its fuselage strength and construction (conventional skin and closely spaced Z-stringers) were considered to be similar in parts to that likely to be used in more modern supersonic medium bombers such as the Soviet 'Blinder' aircraft which C.R. warheads may be required to defeat. For the purposes of the trial, the full-length valiant 673' fuselage was assembled, complete with inner wings, and mounted in the normal flying attitude on supports under the wing roots. Dead loads were applied to the upper surface of the tail plane to reproduce the approximate level-flight bending and shear stresses at the attack station. The target was attacked at Stn.963, in the bomb bay deflector region, in mainly tension and shear loaded material, from a direction of 450 above abeam."
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I am sure I recall seeing this Valiant at Farnborough in 1953/4 -

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The RAF changed their WW2 doctrine about 'target marking' aircraft insisting on 'main force' only. The B2 was a very handsome machine.
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I remember seeing it at Wisley looking forlorn 56/57

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I am certain that the designation involving the word "Intruder" is just a cover for the word nuclear. I understand they ran out of funds and the concept was cancelled. Maybe the real reason it was cancelled was it was too good and upset the balance of power. I think now it was the same for Skybolt and TSR2 - they were just too good and the Ruskies could never have caught up. Who could believe that the Valiant B2 was ten years ahead of its time and could have achieved the height of legend the same as Vulcan and Victor. I saw its carcass on the back of a lorry but was surprised to find it was re assembled then ripped to bits with the rod charges, the tail was sliced off and the fuselage ripped to pieces with the rod charges.
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...same for Skybolt and TSR2 - they were just too good and the Ruskies could never have caught up.
Why on earth would Whitehall not want to be ahead of "the Ruskies"? Is it not possible that the real reason why the B.2 wasn't developed was the two aircraft you mention...the Victor and Vulcan (not to mention that missiles were just over the horizon)? It makes sense that as the other two bombers matured and entered production, the oldest of the trio wasn't needed. No great conspiracy. While I'm not up on USSR bomber programs of the 50s, I believe not even the US or USSR had three heavy strategic bombers in production at one time.
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If anything it's more probable it upset the Americans.

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Plus the UK budget at the time. The reason for cancelling so many promising projects at the time was lack of money.

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These we wuz robbed conspiracies are less credible than the alternative - of good reasons. Valiant B.2 needed a new engine (to be RR Conway) and very clever avionics: industry was already struggling to produce NBS and Avon/Olympus/Sapphire for Mark 1 V-Bombers. When PM Attlee moved Medium Bombers from R&D into Production in 1950 under Korean rehearsal for WW3 he still hoped that the trickle R&D work on UK A-Bomb (to be Blue Danube) need not lead to the grotesque expense/resource diversion of production: he hoped he could porter US weapons. RAF would carry them into USSR ahead of USAF/SAC from Oxfordshire/Morocco/Spain and N.America, way-pave (now: SEADS)+recce. Eventually that did happen. In 1950 too many spy scandals deferred such notions, so we did our solo Bomb. US paid* half the build cost of Valiant B.1, which is why we took 104 of them, despite intending very brief operation to bridge to proper Mediums, all for high level work. Some could do recce/ECM, rendering a bespoke B.2 superfluous. It was chopped not to please murky US industrialists, but to concentrate UK resources on higher priorities. There are equally good reasons explaining all the other Aero-conspiracies. US (industry and pols) did not concern themselves with the competitiveness of UK military Aero: frankly, my dear, they did not give a dxxn. They did get agitated in 1953/54, after Korea, over well-priced/early delivery offers of Britannia/Comet/Viscount to US carriers: US perceived these as only possible due to US-funded Mutual Security Program data and material. (See J.A.Engel, Cold War at 30,000ft.,Harvard,2007: I can't prove they were wrong). (*added 6/7 iaw #19 to give source: H.Wynn, Official History, RAF Nuclear Deterrent Forces, HMSO,1994,P.55: "About half the cost of Valiant procurement was paid for under {MAP}")
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Did say 'if anything'.. meaning 'if any 'conspiricy theory' is true'. It is even more likely to me that the mundane and logical answer Ken gives is the real explanation. Still, as a general point I am not sure we can in fact second-guess the thoughts and feelings of US industrialists in the 1950's. It does appear to one who was born later to have been an odd and sometimes unfathomable time in terms of the motivations and fears of some quite powerful people.

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Some strange notions expressed here. Valiant B2 was abandoned because the Air Staff didn't want/need it as there was no longer any requirement for a pathfinder/target marker. There was no political reason behind it at all. If the switch to low level operations had happened sooner then it's likely that Valiant B2 would have been ordered and the history of the V-Force may well have been very different. With Valiants designed specifically for the low level role, the Victors and Vulcans might well have been withdrawn sooner than they were, and it would probably have been the Valiant that would have survived longest. As for Skybolt, the story is simple - the US pulled out because it was troublesome and expensive, and they had other (better) systems in the pipeline. It was offered to Britain but Britain wouldn't shoulder the rest of the development cost, so it was abandoned. No conspiracy. As for TSR2, it was simply far too expensive and the RAF eventually accepted that F-111 was more affordable and more likely to be delivered within a reasonable timescale, and so they agreed to accept F-111 instead of TSR2. As Alertken says, the many conspiracy theories are all nonsense. There was commercial competition but in terms of military programmes the US never stressed over British policy. The old stories about the US trying to kill-off TSR2 are nonsense. The US (McNamara) wanted Britain to build TSR2, not abandon it.

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Sorry if you get the impression I thought we were robbed. There were many factors why such projects failed. As I said, money, a not always realistic policy/specification, political in-fighting and incompetence. That America strong-armed us I doubt very much. If I remember correctly, the TSR2 specification was originally written by RAF officers. The specs were very demanding and not realistic. A lower spec would have been more affordable and possible. The fact that Lord Mountbatten was bad-mouthing it a number of times didn't help. The forced merger of the aviation industries at the same time shows bad timing. You can run through a whole list of projects that died at the time. Money was a major influence of course, the UK was as good as bankrupt. The F-111 being more affordable than the TSR2? We bought Buccs and Tooms in the end, after that Jags and Tonkas.

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The specs were very demanding and not realistic. Very much so - and they kept changing and growing as time went by. Mountbatten was bad-mouthing it He wasted his time as nobody listened. Australia abandoned TSR2 because they wanted to buy American - their government records confirm this. Our Government finally told Mountbatten to keep his mouth shut. merger of the aviation industries at the same time shows bad timing It was deliberate. Vickers and EE became BAC as part of the agreement to give them the TSR2 contract. BAC was blackmailed into existence. The F-111 being more affordable than the TSR2? We bought Buccs and Tooms in the end, after that Jags and Tonkas F-111 was way cheaper because it was to be bought on credit. Buccaneer was the eventual replacement for TSR2, F-111 and AFVG. Tornado was in effect the direct replacement for AFVG. Jaguar was a more complicated project that started out as a trainer but became a partial replacement for the Hunter and Phantom (so Phantoms could go to AD to replace Lightnings). There was no mystery to any of these projects. Valiant B2 being one of them. Problem is that a lot of nonsense was written about all the projects and a great deal of it simply wasn't true.
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Did say 'if anything'.. meaning 'if any 'conspiricy theory' is true'. It is even more likely to me that the mundane and logical answer Ken gives is the real explanation. Still, as a general point I am not sure we can in fact second-guess the thoughts and feelings of US industrialists in the 1950's. It does appear to one who was born later to have been an odd and sometimes unfathomable time in terms of the motivations and fears of some quite powerful people.
Again, why would anyone in the US be against a British aircraft that the US wasn't going to buy (It had its own) an had little chance of export sales (thus in the minds of conspiracy buffs, be a danger to US sales?). The Americans didn't export strategic bombers (except for a B-47 given to the Canadians for an engine development program), so the success of the B.2 (or any other V-bombers) would have been of no consequence to the Americans. And if Alertken is correct, if the US did pay for half the cost of the Valiant B.1 fleet, you theory makes even less sense. And if the B.2 did need clever avionics, there is a fair chance that some of those would have come from America or from UK firms with US backing, and the sinister US industrialists you're so worried about would have made a quid or two.
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I am not worried about US industrialists sixty years ago, why would I be? However, I am getting increasingly worried about this forum. My 'theory makes even less sense'.. I do not recall positing a theory apart from saying Alertken is probably right. I did not want an argument.. and if you had read what I wrote there probably wouldn't be one. I added the observation there were some screwy people around in both the US govt and industry in the 1950's. That's all. I wish I hadn't. Increasingly, otherwise rational - and previously reasonable - people are apparently trawling these threads looking for someone to argue with - even turning a blind eye to what has actually been written if it makes it harder to get agitated about the 'statement'. Maybe it's the weather.
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If anything it's more probable it upset the Americans.
That theory...which seems to indicate you agree with some conspiracy against the Valiant B.2. Again, you suggest something, then offer no proof or compelling logical argument other than your distrust of the US. "...there were some screwy people around in both the US govt and industry in the 1950's.". What's that based on, the US not paying for the other half of the Valiant? :) Duncan Sandy probably had more to do with the death of the B.2 than any American. So far on this thread we've heard the UK scuttled the aircraft because it was either too good (post 21) or you blaming the Americans despite the fact you a seem to agree with Ken and his rational explanations, then say you still think the Americans must of had had something to do with it. You can't have it both ways. You either agree with Ken or you don't. I'm not picking on you. I've been on this forum forever, and very few of the old guys are left. What we do have here now is a generation of younger people, I just don't want them to carry on some ideas that have no real basis in fact. Feel better? :)