SMALLSPACE 4 MAY HAVE BEEN A SCIENCE FICTION fest, but what-if scenarios surely belong in the genre too. Just as well, as these aircraft models were well worth a look.
The 'What-if' Special Interest Group (SIG) had a stand at Smallspace 4 that concentrated principally on British projects of past decades, the header pic showing the Saunders-Roe SR177 interceptor. Sad to say - and despite keen interest from both British and German armed forces - the real thing never reached flight status, let alone squadron service.
Developed from the Saunders-Roe SR53 hybrid jet-rocket fighter, the SR177 (below) was a heftier beast altogether. Wingtip stations toted a missile each, with underwing drop tanks carried to extend range in the air.
This Harrier concept (below) featured large wingtip radars matched to shipboard systems, enabling an ground-air datalink.
The P1130 (below) was an all-weather fighter design, based on the hugely successful Hunter fighter. As conceived, the two-seat P1130 had a large radome in the nose, housing a powerful radar.
Lineup of 1:72 scale aircraft from the What-if SIG.
A radical design aimed at the US Navy (below) that combined a fighter based on the Douglas X-3 research aircraft with a much larger robotic nuclear bomber. An amazing looking concept, and one that looked really good on display at Smallspace 4.
More on Smallspace 4 tomorrow.