This was a talk given by David Morton about a former British aviation project. In 1951 the UK’s economy was in a very poor state, the global political scene was changing, and the government was considering what military threats there were and what steps to take in terms of national defence. It put out a tender for a new design of aircraft, and the British Aircraft Corporation was set up, combining Vickers and General Electric. The result was the TSR2 project, though it took 14 committees to inaugurate it! There were many difficulties to overcome in developing the TSR2, including the need for the undercarriage to fold into the body of the aircraft.
Eventually, because of continued quarrels and spiralling costs, in 1965 the project was cancelled under a new Labour government. All documentation to do with TSR2 had to be destroyed, as also the planes themselves. However, two of these were cleverly hidden under tarpaulins behind some hangers, and are now to be found as static displays at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and the RAF Museum at Cosford!
Despite the abandonment of TSR2, the engineers were able to carry their new knowledge forward into other aviation projects such as Concorde. The talk included many other details about the TSR2 and its history and aroused a lot of interest.