Translated by BabelFish
At the beginning of the year 1984, the chiefs of staff
of five European countries and reflect a card programs common
concerning a future fighter indicated FEFA (Future European Fighter
Aircraft). Unfortunately for the aforementioned program, this
great project knew many vicissitudes because of the existence of two
firms able to conclude it: British Aerospace and
Dassault-Bréguet. BAe had already a long experiment as regards
programs carried out in co-operation with many companies and in many
On its side, the Dassault-Bréguet company wished to ensure the direction of such a project while allowing the other participating countries to manufacture certain elements of the future European fighter. This difficult situation did not make it possible the five states concerned to concretize their project while choosing a common aircraft, and serious dissensions were done day.
The informed observer will be able to support the idea according to which the Panavia consortium, which had acquired a very great experiment with the development of Tornado, could have constituted the angular stone of the program of the FEFA. Panavia, which depends on British Aerospace, MBB and AERITALIA, had engineering and design departments broken with all the techniques as regards design, of contractions of expenditure, quality control, specification of modern fighters. This consortium also needed urgently of the programs likely to take the continuation of that of Tornado. The recourse to Panavia was not, in the final analysis, possible, because owing to the fact that the European partners of the United Kingdom in this company could not, for internal reasons, to reconsider their original proposals.
A first step was crossed in April 1982, time to which the three partners associated in Panavia trained a common team of engineers. At this time, Italy had not decided yet in favour of a final draft, but MBB had already expressed its sights with the TKF 90, renamed thereafter JF 90. On its side, British Aerospace had conceived various projects in its engineering and design departments of Warton and Kingston. In 1981, P.1110 which resembled of enough close with the JF 90, had evolved to a project answering virtually the AST-414 (Air Target Staff). P.1110 also corresponded to the JF 90 with regard to the size, the masses and the push, whereas P.106 and other studies were of lower size and had only one engine. The principal characteristics of P.1110 were two dual flow jet engines RB.199 supplied with side air intake on which duck plans located enough far behind were fixed from the cockpit. For the JF 90, MBB had decided in favour of a rectangular air intake ventral whose performances were better with high angles of attack. This configuration was adopted by British Aerospace at the same time as the surfaces duck established ahead and low on the fuselage and a vertical stabilizer bidérive. Indicated ACA (Nimble Aircraft Combat), the project was exposed in the shape of a model to the Farnborough Air Show of 1982.
No visible difference existing it between the JF 90 and the ACA, the way to be followed was clearly traced, but at this stage of the program, Dassault-Bréguet started to hesitate and got busy to implement another project baptized ACX. It was not necessary any more so that the West German government and MBB revise their position completely. The West German firm almost completely withdrew program of the ACA, to which it was not going any more to devote but some investments as regards design. On its side, British Aerospace continued to sign from the contracts with the West German suppliers of Tornado for certain electronics components.
Italy, which had not lost the faith in a European co-operation, played a major part in the design of the aerofoil of the ACA. British Aerospace will also profit from an important help on behalf of the British equipment suppliers, of which GEC/Marconi Avionics, Ferranti, Smiths Industries, Lucas and Dowty. When the Paris Air Show of 1983 opened, these companies had already spent for the program of the new plane a total sum estimated at 25 million books. Rolls-Royce had also contributed a significant share to the project.
With the Farnborough Air Show of 1982, the secretariat of State to British defense had made share of its intention to contribute a financial share to the ACA. This declaration was concretized by a contract signed on May 26, 1983 with British Aerospace for the realization of a technological demonstrator, the EAP (Experimental Aircraft Program).
The aim in view by the nations engaged in this program is the development of a future European fighter (Future European Fighter Aircraft, or FEFA). The ACA was a joint project to the three partners of Panavia, project which, if it were adopted one day, would be probably placed under the responsibility for the European consortium with undoubtedly the participation of others associated. As for the EAP, it constituted a purely British effort in the most tangible result resulted in the production of a demonstrator. Of course, the EAP resembles of enough close with the ACA, but it was carried out only with reduced funds.
The construction of the EAP started during the summer of 1984, it had quickly taken form in the factories of Warton. It will accomplish its first flight on August 8, 1986, and reached on this occasion the speed of Mach 1,1 to 9150 m. November 30 of the same year, the apparatus had accomplished 52 flights, and, after one period of stop, the tests began again in March 1987, the hundredth flight being realized next June.
The aerofoil of the EAP, which forms almost a delta, is characterized by apexes extending to the side air intake from the engines, where they form plates of aspirations of the boundary layer. Compared to dimensions of the plane, the wings are very large, British Aerospace seeking to obtain a weak wing load. Such a configuration exerts a major influence on the performances of the apparatus on takeoff and landing like on its agility at all speeds. These capacities are increased by the profile known as supercritical of the wings and by their variable camber. The orders of electric flight of the EAP are inspired by those tested on Jaguar ACT (Activates Technology Controls). All the avionics of the apparatus is connected to a numerical data bus MIL-STD-1553B. When the operations of design of the EAP had started, British Aerospace had decided to return to the monodérive formula of the empennage, so that the new plane received the vertical stabilizer of Tornado. This modification makes it possible to save at the same time time and money and somewhat increased the resemblance of the plane to the Rafale.
Following the example other aerodynamic sets, the aerofoil of the EAP is partly machined out of carbon fibre. The recourse to nozzles of leading edge and shutters of trailing edge made it possible to reduce in notable proportions the landing and takeoff runs, while increasing maneuverability in combat. Actuated by electric orders of flight, the duck plans, which have a perfect aerodynamics, are conceived to compensate for instantaneously the effects produced by the gusts. In addition to they make it possible to the pilot to fly under higher conditions of comfort, these plans decrease the constraints imposed on the structure of the apparatus. Will flaperons, located on the trailing edge of the aerofoil, consist of four sections and can act, if they are used in a differential way, like shutters and ailerons.
With the training in June 1986 of the Eurofighter consortium, which must supervise the development of the future European fighter, a new era opened for the EAP. The apparatus appears among the prototypes whose Eurofighter envisaged construction. It will be used for the development of the orders of flight and the avionics.
As important delays were accumulated in the course of program EFA, the four implied partners try to adopt solutions allowing to accelerate the things. The EFA must have a radar having a double capacity of research upwards and downwards. It will profit from an electric control device of quadriplexé flight, from an arrangement HOTAS and three display screens colors.
The air intake is to be redefined in order to answer the principles of Stealth technology. On this subject, the four partners tried to obtain data on behalf of the Americans, but they encountered a true end not-to receive. The distribution of the program between the interested parts is as follows: 33 % for the United Kingdom and the Federal German Republic, 21 % for Italy and 13 % for Spain. The British will carry out the avionics, before fuselage and the right wing, and the Germans of the West the electronic system of war, the structures, the hydraulic system, the guns, the gear landing, the central part of the fuselage and the vertical stabilizer. The Italians will occupy themselves of the fuel circuit, the test system, the left wing and the back of the fuselage, and the Spaniards of the structures, air-conditioning, half of the right wing and the back of the fuselage.