Early testing of laser capability at DSTL is already melting mortars. This research will feed into the Dragonfire programme – creating a laser capable of becoming an alternative to missiles – used for downing drones and cutting through the hulls of aircraft and armoured vehicles. The technology is not yet ready to deploy, with another 5 to 10 years of research on the cards – and it won’t be a thing of sleek, space age beauty, looking more like a fridge on a truck than a thing of science fiction! But while it might not look the part, its capability will be incredible.
A collection of pictures of a BAC TSR.2 cockpit section on display at the Brooklands Museum in Surrey.
All photos were taken on April 5th 2016
Photos: Tony Wilkins
This TSR.2 nose section was not built for fitting to a completed aircraft but was intended for testing purposes and as such bears a superficial resemblance to an actual cockpit section. According to Thunder-and-Lightnings the tests were to centre around the ejection seat and air conditioning systems but when the project was cancelled it was used for thermal and materials tests in the Concorde programme. It was also used for birdstrike testing which involved firing bird carcasses at various speeds into the windscreen – as if the TSR.2 story wasn’t degrading enough!
As you can see from the pictures, the elements have not been kind to this piece of aviation history. It’s a real shame.
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