Wednesday, January 4, 2012

SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 Fighter Ground Attack In History

French Joint British Made SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 Fighter

French/British low-altitude ground attack aircraft. The French and British air forces each bought around 200; the SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 also did well on the export market. The Jaguar is a relative small aircraft with a tiny shoulder-wing, giving a smooth ’ride’ at low altitude. It is not very sophisticated, but versatile and effective, and upgrade programs are now extending its capabilities. The British versions are the S attack aircraft (Jaguar GR) and the B two-seat trainer (SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1T). The SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1. A is the French attack version, and the E the French two-seat trainer. The SEPECAT Jaguar M shipboard attack aircraft was cancelled. The SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 International is the export version; it is being licensebuilt in India.

Built to Sepecat Jaguar GR.1 standard as the 62nd production Jaguar to be built at British Aerospace’s’ Warton, Lancs Unit of the 203 delivered to the RAF, of which 165 were the GR.1 tactical strike fighter variant. Serials block XX719 - XX768.

In 4 Aug 78 SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 Fighter Flown to BAe at Warton to be extensively modified from mechanical rod operation of the control surfaces to Dowty Boulton Paul’s electrically signaled digital Fly-By-Wire (FBW) standard; this system was envisaged as being necessary to stabilise control of the next generation of air superiority fighters which would be of unstable and of unconventional aerodynamic design. There was no mechanical reversion system.

In 20 Oct 81 SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 Fighter Flown by BAe Warton’s senior Experimental Test Pilot, Chris Yeo, the Warton based XX765 became the first aircraft to fly with an all digital quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control system with no form of reversionary (back up) control. The actuators were provided by Dowty Boulton Paul. Painted in the traditional MoD (Procurement Executive) ‘raspberry ripple’ gloss signal red, white and Oxford blue paint scheme with forward fuselage and wing roundels and light grey, outlined in white ‘FBW’ initials on the fin, plus the RAE crest and BAe badge on the nose.

Photos Air Pictorial May 1991 p.4; Aircraft Illustrated April 1991 p.175; Aircraft Illustrated Sep 1996 p.88; Flight International 12 Sep 1981 p.816; Scale Aircraft Modelling May 1995 p.112 and June 2003; Sepecat Jaguar in Action/Aircraft Number 197, Squadron Signal Publications p.39; Aeromilitaria Spring 2010 p.4. See also profile in Scale Aircraft Modelling May 1995 p.116 and On Target; Profile 10 Sepecat Jaguar in Worldwide Service (Sands/Freeman) p.29.

The SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 Fighter test programme at Warton, A&AEE Boscombe Down and
Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough, Hants progressively expanded the flight envelope from a basic stable configuration to a highly unstable aircraft; this involved fitting, in 1984, large leading edge strakes to move the centre of lift forwards, and provision was made for 5 cwt. of lead ballast to be carried in the rear fuselage to move the centre of gravity aft.

15 Mar 84 SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 First flight in this further modified form-fifth series of tests. Used for EAP and Eurofighter control systems development work. Photo in this form Aeromilitaria Spring 2010 p.5. Destabilising ballast was also carried in the underwing fuel tanks for some tests. A test probe was mounted on the nose. The RAE test pilot on the Jaguar was Squadron Leader Jon Pierce. The demonstration of the automatic stall departure and spin prevention system produced some impressive aerobatic manoeuvres, never previously attempted on a Jaguar. Test pilots tried to beat the system and make the aircraft spin, but did not succeed. Latterly known as the Jaguar Active Control Technology (ACT) demonstrator aircraft. Once this aircraft had successfully proved the concept the systems developed were incorporated into the Eurofighter 2000 (Typhoon) project.

In 16 Jan 91 SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 Fighter a ceremony at Warton Aerodrome, British Aerospace (Military Aircraft) Ltd., Warton Unit, handed over XX765 to the Loughborough University of Technology, Leicestershire for use as a ground teaching aid for students from the University’s Department of Transport Technology (later the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering and Transport Studies) studying System Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering. Photo of presentation - Air Pictorial May 1991 p.4. The Sepecat Jaguar GR.1 replaced the prototype Jet Provost 1 G-AOBU which initially moved to the Shuttleworth Collection.


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