BAC TSR.2: Chiaroscuro.

The TSR.2 is a still bleeding wound to a lot of people in the UK, just like the previous M.52. This incredible design was a world beating tactical, strike and reconnaissance aircraft (T.S.R) years ahead of its time when it saw the light in the middle 1960’s. Utterly sophisticated, it was conceived with multiple on-board digital computers to process the data available by its innovative radar and sensors. Those gizmos were placed inside a superb airframe capable of long distance weapon delivery (to a target 1000 nautical miles away) with relatively short take-off/landing performances. Very fast, it was conceived for supersonic flight at ultra low level to pass under Soviet radar/air defence screen. All in all, potentially one of the most powerful weapon for the NATO arsenal to have. And yet it was destined never to see service. The reasons?. Well, there were various, all intricate and still controversial….and they’ve been discussed and re-discussed endlessly.

This wonderful photo of the only complete survivor (XR220) depicts magnificently the awesomeness of the TRS.2. Such an elegant piece of machinery.

Photo: © Mike Freer.

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