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Folland Fo.147

Swing-Wing Trainer / Light Strike Proposal

Folland Fo.147

Swing-Wing Trainer / Light Strike Proposal

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
IMAGES
Overview



The Folland Fo.147 was proposed as an evolution of the Folland Gnat lightweight fighter-trainer with a built-in swing-wing capability.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United Kingdom
YEAR: 1961
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Folland Aircraft - UK
PRODUCTION: 0
OPERATORS: United Kingdom (abandoned)
National flag of United Kingdom
UK
Technical Specifications



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Folland Fo.147 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2
POWER: 2 x Rolls-Royce RB153R afterburning turbofan engines of unknown thrust output.
ADVERTISEMENTS
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Armament



Assumed support for gun pods, rocket pods, and conventional drop bombs of the Cold War period.
Graphical image of an aircraft machine gun pod
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Variants / Models



• Fo.147 - Base Project Designation; cancelled.


History



Detailing the development and operational history of the Folland Fo.147 Swing-Wing Trainer / Light Strike Proposal.  Entry last updated on 6/21/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Into the 1960s, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) found itself in need of a budget-minded Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) with inherent light strike capabilities. This led to a series of design brochures being published by the various British aero-industry players of the day. The Folland Fo.147 became a product of this period and held roots in the classic twin-seat, single-engine Folland "Gnat" fighter-trainer of 1959 (this aircraft is detailed elsewhere on this site). The Gnat found modest value on the global stage for its time, serving in the air forces of Britain, Finland, and India.

The Fo.147 was formed from the proposed supersonic, missile-armed, twin-seat, twin-engine Gnat Mk.5 fighter-trainer model. Key to Fo.147's design was integration of a "Variable Geometry" (VG) - or "swing wing" - capability in an effort to exact every ounce of speed and performance from the compact aircraft. Folland engineers believed that a VG arrangement in the Gnat could bring about speeds in excess of Mach 2 all the while retaining the proven inherent qualities of the existing aircraft - in this way, the revision would help increase all performance aspects of the original including operational range, straight-line speed, and operating ceiling.

Within the Fo.147 application, the wing sweep mechanism would allow the mainplanes to actively sweep (as needed) from an angle of 20 degrees to as much as 70 depending on the current flight phase - allowing the modified Gnat to operate equally-effectively at both low- and high-speed flying envelopes. Power would be provided through 2 x Rolls-Royce RB.153R series afterburning turbojet engines in a side-by-side arrangement within the body of the aircraft - these aspirated by side-fuselage intakes.

Another unique quality of the Fo.147 proposal, beyond its intended swing-wing capability, was the use of a rotating/retracting canard foreplane unit ahead of the cockpit section. This would take the place of any horizontal tailplanes in the design, leaving just the single vertical fin mounted aft of, and above, the engine installations.

A tandem, two-seat cockpit would feature pressurized workspaces for the crewmen and ejection seats were a must for enhanced survivability. Like the proposed Gnat Mk.5, the Fo.147 could be equipped with an Airborne Interception (AI) radar in the nose, most likely the Ferranti AI.23 series unit. Ground-running would be made possible by a retractable tricycle arrangement.

Dimensions included an overall length of 51 feet with a wingspan measuring 36.5 feet. Gross weight reached 18,500lb. With its engine pairing and unique wing arrangements, Folland engineers estimated their unique aircraft to have a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 with near-Mach 3 speeds deemed possible at some point.

While the Fo.147 and its related aircraft, the proposed Fo.148 featuring a more conventional tail unit, were ultimately abandoned, the requirement was eventually filled by the SEPECAT "Jaguar" (detailed elsewhere on this site). Beyond a single prototype, thirty-eight "Jaguar B" / Jaguar T.2 AJTs, offering an inherent secondary attack functionality, were taken into service.




Media







Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 1700mph
Lo: 850mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (1,687mph).

Graph average of 1275 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
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Graph showcases the Folland Fo.147's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (0)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
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0

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.


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