Thursday, December 19, 2019

Blast from the past....Armstrong Whitworth AW.681

Note.  Thank God that either the British Govt killed their defense industry with idiotic after idiotic white paper or as many Brits think the US military industrial complex did. If whoever didn't they'd be a force to be reckoned with. Going over the list of projects that they killed in the crib is stunning.  If even half were allowed to go into production the sun still might never set on the British empire...and even if it did they'd be a major arms innovation center today and into the future.

The Armstrong Whitworth AW.681, also designated the Whitworth Gloster 681 or Hawker Siddeley HS.681 - due to industry mergers - was a pretty unique transport design from Britain’s 1960s aviation industry. Fulfilling a similar short takeoff and landing specification as Lockheed’s C-130, Armstrong Whitworth produced a solid contender in the AW.681, featuring vectored thrust nozzles, boundary layer control, blown flaps, leading edges and ailerons.
Then they took things a little further, trading the four Rolls-Royce RB.142 Medway engines for four Bristol Siddeley Pegasus turbofans, to obtain VTOL capability. These were the engines which went on to power the Harrier. It would have been an interesting sight. Thanks to the swept shoulder-mounted wings and high T-tail, it would have also resembled today’s C-17 and A400M.
The entire project was scrapped in 1964 when the moment’s Labour Government announced a defence spending review, opting instead to buy the American Lockheed C-130. As a result the company closed it’s Coventry factory, making 5000 redundant.
Source: apostlesofmercy

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