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  BOMBER, RECONNAISSANCEVirtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / BAC  


Attack and reconnaissance bomber first flown on 27 September 1964 and designed for service with the RAF. Powered by two 136.2kN Bristol Siddeley Olympus 22R turbojets. Max level speed Mach 2.05-2.5. Could perform completely automatic sorties without visual reference and had an accuracy of weapon delivery within "tens of feet". Cancelled because of defence cut-backs.


The prototype TSR.2 made its first flight on 27 September 1964.

The TSR.2 had a central computer, head-up display and terrain-following radar - standard in today's combat aircraft.

If it had entered service, the TSR.2 would still be one of the world's best bombers.


It is thought that the TSR.2 would have had better combat performance than the General Dynamics F-111.

Of 49 TSR.2s planned in the first stage of the programme, only four were built.

The only TSR.2 to fly logged 13 hours 9 minutes in the air before cancellation.


BAC TSR.2A three-view drawing (1000 x 431)

 ENGINE2 x Bristol Siddeley Olympus 320, 13884kg
  Take-off weight36200-43500 kg79808 - 95902 lb
  Wingspan11.28 m37 ft 0 in
  Length27.13 m89 ft 0 in
  Height7.32 m24 ft 0 in
  Wing area65.03 m2699.98 sq ft
  Max. speed2390 km/h1485 mph
  Cruise speed1345 km/h836 mph
  Ceiling16500 m54150 ft
  Range w/max.fuel6840 km4250 miles
  Range w/max payload1280-1850 km795 - 1150 miles
 ARMAMENT2700kg of weapons internally, 1800kg externally


Comments1-20 21-40
Bert, 26.05.2020 19:57

This beautiful bird is on display at RAF Cosford Museum


Barry Kevin Flewitt, e-mail, 21.04.2013 13:38

My wife's stepfather was a draughsman at BA. He said that he could remember Harold Wilson standing on steps of Preston town hall, stating that. 'The TSR2 will not be cancelled.' So much for the honesty of politicians. He also said that the titanium parts were a devil to work with. Since WW2. Various British governments, have seemed determined to destroy our remaining aerospace industry. We can only guess at their personal motives.


John, e-mail, 24.09.2012 05:57

Barry, they scrapped all of the Arrow dies, jigs, blueprints and [along with it] 14,248 Avro Canada jobs in not much more than a moment PLUS 15,000 jobs at all the little subs and suppliers across Canada. We wound up buying Bomarcs [useless] then used Voodoos from Uncle Sam. Our aviation industry was pretty much trashed that day [Black Friday] in February, 1959. Now we are flyinh CF-18 Hornets and seem [in Ottawa] to be hell bent on buying a pig in a poke, the F-35. we need twin engined aircraft for Arctic operations and the F18A Super Hornet would be excellent. A known quantity, a much lower price and our chaps already know the Hornet.


Grummancat, e-mail, 25.07.2012 19:08

As an American, I wholeheartedly agree with anyone who says Britain should revive her aerospace industry! I am sick of seeing the same damn airplanes everywhere in America let alone the rest of the world! Even within America- just a few years ago on any given aircraft carrier, you had A-7s, A-6s, EA-6Bs, S-3s, F-14s, F-18s and E-2s. Now you have the F-18 and that's pretty much IT! OH WAIT- you got the F-35 now. Oh boy. REAL diversity -_-.


John Rigby, e-mail, 25.09.2011 01:00

As a school boy in Preston, Lancs during the final days of the TSR2 I can vividly remember seeing her during the final flights. Even now she still send shivers down my spine and a pain in my heart to think of what Britain lost because of the mindless socialist Labor party!


paul scott, e-mail, 24.04.2011 23:41

tc - Duncan Sandys was awarded a knighthood because he was Churchill's Son-in-Law! The same way the TSR-2 was cancelled NOT because of costs, but to appease America - think Lockhed Starfighter bribes, think F-35. Whilst I like our association with America, if we went to go it alone, we could afford our own ICBM system and defence strategy - by going it alone, I mean leaving Europe, not taking so many of the world's refugees etc - paranoia? No, Just like Camm said re politics killing off aircraft like the TSR-2 - policies killed it off, not economics!


Kevin Morrow, e-mail, 16.04.2011 20:58

Get the TSR.2 out of that hanger the aircraft don't belong in a museum... It needs to be up in the skies again not grounded for memories flying around showing off again showing us what it can really do. If the US don't want them then don't give it to them let's have it flying and replace the F111 because it's a faster bomber!!!

God I love aviation...


Xenia, 20.01.2011 16:43

Arrow and TSR.2 both cancelled... Kestrel... at least the UK didn't sign an agreement with the US like Canada did, promising never again to try developing a fully home-grown military system.

The US got what they wanted out of it all, though: had the Arrow and TSR.2 gone ahead, the British Empire /Commonwealth would have been (still /again) the dominant player in military and technological fields, and still would be, with all the new developments built on the work done back then... and instead, we're falling for Lockheed's "Sale of the Century" all over again, Round 1 was the F-104, Round 2 is the F-35.

Dammit, the Empire needs to wake up again! Between the UK, Canada, Australia and everyone else, we've got the brains and the resources, we don't need to be reliant on the Americans! Let's get cracking on the Arrow II and the TSR.3!


Damien Burke, e-mail, 17.10.2010 02:01

Boffin - the tailplane flaps were for additional pitch authority at low speeds, and were geared to tailplane angle, but locked in place when the mainplane flaps were up.

My truly comprehensive book on the subject - "TSR2 - Britain's Lost Bomber" - is available from next week.


boffin, e-mail, 15.09.2010 11:09

Does anyone out there know what airfoil section was employed on TSR-2. For example was it a 6-figure NACA design or an undisclosed profile. Also, whilst it employed differential tailplane movement for roll motion, what function did the elevator extensions perform over and above the all-moving horizontal stabilizer.


john sankey, e-mail, 14.08.2010 14:15

Think back to WW2. As part of the USA Lease Lend deal the secrets of Whittle's Jet were handed over. The UK finished paying off Lease Lend only a few years ago. No wonder US aircraft manufacturers have such a lead on this country. Think of ConcordeNow we are sucked in ? Iraq ? Afghanistan.


Keith, 28.04.2010 00:30

The real problem was Harold Wilson was in Moscow every other month. Sold us out completely to the Soviets. Blue Streak - same story - same person!


Tim McLelland, e-mail, 01.09.2010 22:19

You might be interested to know that a major new book on TSR2 is published by Ian Allan in September 2010, written by myself. TSR-2: Britain's Lost Cold War Strike Aircraft (Classic Publications) ISBN-10: 1906537194
It will be the first book to provide a complete and honest account of the TSR2 story and judging by some of the comments on here, some of you might be quite surprised by the true story, as it's not quite how you imagine!


Brian Gerrard, e-mail, 09.03.2010 23:22

I also worked on the TSR2 terrain seeking radar and was there the day she was cancelled. We were aware of the problems with the TFX (later F111) and were shown film of the crashes. The problem with the undercarriage was resolved on the morning of the cancellation. To quote the navigator who I knew personally, on a flight up the north sea, he said " We flew up the north sea with only one afterburner working and we made 2 PR Lightnings look like Tiger Moths". A few days before the cancellation we were informed that they had got the Olympus engine up to (memory) 68,000lb static thrust. Most fast jet aircraft (including the Americans) owe a lot of their technology to the TSR2 as also do Civil Jets. Had TSR2 gone into service it would have upset the balance of power between the East and West. The Warsaw pact countries would have had no counter measures to combat it (neither did the Yanks!). This was a major factor from the Americans to put pressure for it's cancellation. Notice all of the jigs for her were destroyed making it virtually impossible to ever put her into production again. How many other aircraft have ever been scrapped to this extent.


PBG, 08.02.2010 20:08

The TSR outruns the Blackbird? Keep dreaming. Its skin couldn't withstand the temps of flight speed that fast nor could its engines come close to the high Mach ramjet efficiency of the Blackbird. All you whiners about the demise of the Avro Arrow need to take along look at the Mig 25. Avro was heavily inflitrated by the KGB and the Mig 25 is pretty much a two-stabilizer Arrow.


d.jay, 10.01.2010 15:58

I would not call Polaris and then trident leaving Britain defenceless. Britain was and is not the global super power it once was and couldnot aford both combat aircraft and missiles. The gulf is against a third world nation not a third world war which was the bigger threat in the 50s and 60s.


tc, 09.01.2010 12:05

Ducan Sandy was the man that killed the aerospace industry in The Uk
He nearly killed the bucaneer and nearly the lightening programs
he thought that manned aircraft was not neede no more
Omg imagine the raf or the rn without those aircraft or the harrier
if he had his way Britain would be defenceless
Has I said what do plolictions know about defence
Oh great about budgets hey lets just surrnder no manned aircrat only missiles
My point is this The Tsr 2 programme is not the only one to suffer because of Budget constriants
Hell how would the Raf fight in the gulf with only missiles
That what Ducan Sandy wanted lol.


d.jay, 08.01.2010 21:47

Duncan Sandy is allways seen as the vilain of the british air industry but can any one tell me how a manned aircraft can defend against ICBMs? May be he was thinking about defence costs rarther than aircraft fans.


tc, 03.01.2010 12:21

whose Ducan Sandy opps been sacarstic there
another witlees fool doing defense for the better of a nation
Oh hell i Fogot they Knighted the fool for wrecking the aerospace industry in Britain
Oh well whose knows about defense then the poloticians lol


Dave webber, 07.12.2009 15:12

TSR 2 (Techological Sleek Revolutionary TIMES TWO)What an aircraft nothing would have touched,it not even the Failure one eleven sorry F-111,the government failed the aircraft industry the country and more importantly THE RAF,Labour muppets doing a monkeys job Nothing new there then.LONG LIVE TSR-2 in our hearts at least


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