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Notes

 

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FGA-2 KESTREL

and
   
FGN-2 SEA KESTREL

The story which didn't happen ... outside Atlantic Air Combat
 

Preamble
There was that story about a Mexican peasant entering a church for the first time in his life with his guitar and a large sombrero on his head.  The church as fully packed and as he walked in looking for a free seat, he heard people wispering him "...el sombrero... el sombrero...".   He continued to walk up to the front of the church having found nowhere to sit as as the Padre was welcoming him with a large smile, he turned over to the crowd and said : "At the general request of the audience, I will thus sing El Sombrero.   Indeed my favourite song !".

While the Hawker Siddeley Harrier first flew before 1963, its protracted development posponed its operational debut to a date beyond the scope of AAC.   But since it's asked for repeatedly, let's fly ... the Sombrero !   Or the Kestrel for that matter.

Real Life Harrier (main) Variants
Without pretending to be fully accurate nor totally comprehensive, here is a summary of the Harrier production.  Included in the list are three fantasy batches of "FGA2/AV-6B Kestrels" and FGN2 Sea Kestrels, the latter being a cheat naval variant for the Fleet Air Arm.   To Complement this particular iteration, the Vosper Thornycroft Harrier Carrier proposal will be shifted through time by a couple of decades and made available to an entrepreneurish Royal Navy.

Q

Variant

Name

Pegasus

lbf

1960

1970

1980

-

-

1980

-

-

1990

-

-

2000



















6

P1127

- P03 13500

1960

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

9

FGA1

Kestrel (AV-6A) P05 15200

1964

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

8

FGN1

Kestrel P06.100 21000

1964

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

8

FGA2

Kestrel P06.100 21000

1964

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

8

AV-6B

Kestrel P06.100 21000

1964

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

6

P1127

- P06.101 19000

1966

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

61

Gr1

Harrier P06.101 19000

1967

-

-

41

Gr1A

71

61

Gr3

76

-

-

-

17

Gr1A

Harrier P10.102 20500

-

1971

-

-

-

-

17

Gr3A

76

-

-

-

40

Gr3

Harrier P11.103 21500

-

1976

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

0

Gr3A

Harrier P11.103 21500

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

28

T2/T4

Harrier P11.103 21500

-

1970

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

102

AV-8A

Harrier P11.103 21500

-

1971

-

47

AV8C

79

-

-

-

-

-

-

8

TAV8A

Harrier P11.103 21500

-

1975

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

11

AV-8S

Matador P11.150 21500

-

1976

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

7

1998

2

TAV8S

Matador P11.150 21500

-

1976

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2

1998

57

FRS.1

SeaHarrier P11.104 21500

-

178

-

-

-

-

33

FRS2

1995

-

-

-

3

T4N

Harrier P11.103 21500

-

-

1983

-

-

-

5

T8N

1995

-

-

-

18

FRS.2

SeaHarrier P11.106 21500

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1995

-

-

-

0

T8N

Harrier P11.106 21500

-

-

1983

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

30

FRS.51

SeaHarrier P11.151 21500

-

-

1983

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

4

T60

Harrier P11.151 21500

-

-

1983

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

(2)

T4i

Harrier P11.151 21500

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2002

-

-

-

166

AV-8B

Harrier.II P11.106 21450

-

-

1983

-

-

-

72

AV8E

1996

-

-

-

28

TAV8B

Harrier.II P11.106 21450

-

-

1983

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

72

AV-8D

Harrier.II/NA P11.107 23800

-

-

1989

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

46

AV-8E

Harrier.II+ P11.107 23800

-

-

1993

-

-

-

-

-

1993

-

-

-

16

AV-8E

Harrier.II+ P11.107 23800

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1995

-

-

-

2

TAV8E

Harrier.II+ P11.107 23800

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1995

-

-

-

12

EAV8B

Harrier.II P11.152 21450

-

-

1987

-

-

-

11

AV8E

1996

-

-

-

2

TAV8B

Harrier.II P11.152 21450

-

-

1987

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

8

AV-8E

Harrier.II+ P11.107 23800

-

-

1996

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

13

T10

Harrier P11.105 21750

-

-

1994

-

-

-

-

-

-

12

T12

2003

43

Gr5

Harrier.II P11.105 21750

-

-

1987

3

Gr5A

1989

53

Gr7

1990

-

-

-

19

Gr5A

Harrier.II P11.105 21750

-

-

1989

-

-

-

20

Gr7A

2002

10

Gr9A

2003

34

Gr7

Harrier.II P11.105 21750

-

-

1990

-

-

-

-

-

-

10

GR9

2003

(20)

Gr7A

Harrier.II P11.107 23800

-

-

2002

-

-

-

-

-

-

20

Gr9A

2003

(10)

Gr9

Harrier.II P11.105 21750

-

-

2003

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

(30)

Gr9A

Harrier.II P11.107 23800

-

-

2003

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

The Faked Story
Quite impressed by the initial batch of Kestrels tested by the Tripartie (UK, USA, FRG) Evaluation Squadron, and under pressure by the raising tensions with the USSR, Hawker Siddeley steamed ahead with an enhanced variant of the aircraft with improved warload and fuel carrying capacities, with this last point receiving specific attention as the rather limited range of the aircraft had been pointed out.  Not only did the internal fuel capacity improved somewhat but all five external carrying stations were now of the "wet" type, allowing their users greater flexibility when playing range against warload.   Also, while Rolls Royce (who was absorbing rather than merging with Bristol Siddeley) prefered a step-by-step conservative approach in engine development, engineers at Hawker were much impressed by a batch of test engines produced by Bristol.  While realiability clearly wasn't an issue anymore, the life cycle of these Pegasus 5 Mk100 variant remained indeed short (still only 50 hours operating time between overhauls), the increased thrust was too much to be missed and would better show what this aircraft would be capable to do, than the version Rolls Royce intented to put into production.  Bristol had assembled thirty of these advanced engines, enough for the 24 Kestrels FGA.2 Hawker was putting together (6 for the RAF, 12 for the Luftwaffe who showed as potential large customer, and 6 for the US Army who redesignated them AV-6B), so Hawker just purchased them outright.

Soon after however,
Germany dropped off the programme as the rising international tensions lead them to totally give up all VTOL research to concentrate on existing and proven designs, to the extent of selling their own VTOL programmes, the VAK-91to the Swiss Federal Aviation Factory, and the VJ101) Argentinian FMA, both government owned industries.   Then; learning that one of the testing nations had abandonned the Kestrel project, the Fleet Air Arm lost no time in securing the "German" airframes for their own purpose.  The manoeuvre costed them 4 airframes to the benefit of the other two partners, but at least the FAA now had a step inside and a say in future developments.  Actually, they managed to have "their" examples fitted with a radar, the only real difference from the land based variant.  The AN/APS4 was a rather limited and obsolete type (something the RN was familiar with - re the Gannet), but it was lightweight and enough for a small pre-production batch.  Together with the proposed modern variant of escort carrier put forward by Vosper Thornycroft, which would soon be completed as Audacity class carriers, it showed the world the FAA was indeed tradition and beyond.  Their sea-going VTOL aircraft was adequately renamed the Sea Kestrel - FGN.2
Specfications
The below simplified summary is centered on the initial Harrier version.  While both the FGA2 and "FGN2" borrow ideas from the future to make them "operational", these details will be kept within reason.  The only departure from reality will be the engine performances in order to ensure the flyability of the aircraft and fun.

The maximum take-off weight in VTOL mode is taken from "standard" litterature without any more precaution.  It is understood however that in real life the Harrier Gr.1/AV-8A could not really take off with ANY ordnance (ie: no external stores but empty drop tanks, and empty gun pods), with only the AV-8B being able to do it, provided the water injection tanks would not be empty (it wouldn't do it in dry mode), and at the cost of an engine change at the end of the flight.  This thus contradicts what is usually found in many publications.  

As far as AAC is concerned, the possibility to take off vertically with some weapons load (and full fuel...) is too tempting to be abandoned.  Numbers may be reworked in due course, but this capacity will remain as a cheat.

Engine
The fantasy Bristol Pegasus 5/Mk100 imagined for the Kestrel FGA.2 thus have the same "dry" output as the Pegasus 11/Mk103 "wet" output (with water injection) which is considered as the main variant of the early Harrier models.  Yet another cheat naturally, but while AAC will handle after-burner it will normally do away with water injection.  Depending on necessity, either the "dry" (re: B-52J) or "wet" output will be retained, as in this instance.

Specs

 

FGA.1
Kestrel

FGA.2
Kestrel

FGN.2
Sea Kestrel

Gr.1
Harrier

AV-8A
Harrier

FRS1
Sea Harrier

 

 









Length

-

12.954m

14.376m

14.376m

14.376m

14.376m

14.173m

Wing.span

-

6.985m

7.696m

7.696m

7.696m

7.696m

7.696m

Height

-

3.277m

3.454m

3.454m

3.454m

3.454m

3.759m









Weight

Empty

9800 lb

10700 lb

11000 lb

12200 lb

12200 lb

13000 lb

Crew

 

150 lb

150 lb

150 lb

150 lb

150 lb

150 lb

Fuel (7.6lb/gal)

Internal

4940 lb

4940 lb

4940 lb

4940 lb

4940 lb

4940 lb

 

 

14890 lb

15900 lb

16200 lb

17290 lb

17290 lb

18090 lb

Gun pods

(150 rpg)

-

2  900 lb

2  900 lb

2  900 lb

2  900 lb

2  900 lb

Playload

Fuselage

-

12000 lb

12000 lb

12000 lb

12000 lb

12000 lb

Playload

Wings/inner

21000 lb

22100 lb

22100 lb

22000 lb

22000 lb

22000 lb

Playload

Wings/outer

-

2  700 lb

2  700 lb

2  650 lb

2  650 lb

2  650 lb

Weight

MTO/STOL

17000 lb

25300 lb

25600 lb

26390 lb

26390 lb

27190 lb

Weight

MTO/VTOL

14419 lb

20000 lb

20000 lb

20000 lb

20000 lb

20000 lb









Playload(+guns)

Max (STOL)

-

7600 lb

7600 lb

7300 lb

7300 lb

7300 lb

Playload(+guns)

Max (VTOL)

-

4100 lb

3800 lb

2710 lb

2710 lb

1910 lb









Fuel.Internal

 

-

650 gal

650 gal

650 gal

650 gal

650 gal

Fuel.External

Fuselage

-

1250 gal

1250 gal

-

-

-

Fuel.External

Wings/inner

-

2250 gal

2250 gal

2100 gal

2250 gal

2100 gal

Fuel.External

Wings/outer

-

2  85 gal

2  85 gal

-

-

-









Fuel (Imp gal)

Total (ferry)

-

1570 gal

1570 gal

850 gal

1150 gal

850 gal

Fuel (Imp gal)

Total (CAP)

-

1400 gal

1400 gal

850 gal

1150 gal

850 gal

Fuel (Imp gal)

Total (CAS)

-

varied

varied

850 gal

1150 gal

850 gal









Engine

Pegasus.X/Mk

P5

P6.100

P6.100

P11.103

P11.103

P11.106

Engine

Thrust.dry

15500 lbf

21500.lbf

21500.lbf

21500 lbf

21500 lbf

21500 lbf

Egine

SFC

0.76

0.76

0.76

0.76

0.76

0.76









Speed

Max (sea level)

617 kn

635 kn

635 kn

643 kn

643 kn

643 kn

Speed

cruise

-

-

-

-

-

-

Speed

stall

-

-

-

-

-

-

Climb

 

30000 ft/min

22000 ft/min

22000 ft/min

22500 ft/min

22500 ft/min

22500 ft/min

Ceiling

 

55000 ft

55000 ft

55000 ft

51200 ft

51200 ft

51200 ft

Range

internal.fuel

-

-

-

200 nm

200 nm

-

Range

int/ext fuel

-

-

-

-

-

-









Recce

Camera

1 forward

1 oblique

1 oblique

1 oblique

1 oblique

1 oblique









Radar

-

None

None

AN/APS4

None

None

Blue Vixen

 
External Stores
So, the FGA.2 is essentially an AV-8C before its time, although the external load carrying capacity has been tweaked a little.  While not exhaustive (FAE bombs, mines, etc are not illustrated with only conventional bombs being shown), here is a summary of external loads being carried by the FGA.2 Kestrel and its naval derivative.  Worth noting : 
only the external pylon is wired for AA missiles (mainly the AIM-9B, but the radar equipped Sea Kestrel may also handle the AIM-9C)
the twin AIM-9 launchers are not anacrhonic since the device itself existed since the early 1960s
the triple AGM-87 launcher is probably a better candidate for criticism
70mm FFAR was more an American weapon, whith the 68mm being an European one, and thus used by the RAF.  The 51mm FFAR however is a typical and exclusive Fleet Air Arm weapon.
all combinations are possible, but only one AIM-9B(C) may be carried on the external pylon when twin loads are installed on the inner pylon
the under wing pylons have been tweaked to handle the British 700lb bomb
as mentioned somewhere above, all external stores carrying positions are of the "wet" type
a Recce (photographic reconnaissance) pod maybe carried on the centreline position to complement the inboard oblique camera located in the nose
the centreline position should be used for the luggage pod
 

 

___________