Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks
Aviation / Aerospace

Fairey E.R.103 (F.155T)

Mach 2 High-Altitude Interceptor Proposal [ 1955 ]

The Fairey E.R.103 was drawn up as part of the F.155 high-speed, high-altitude interceptor requirement for the British Royal Air Force - it was rejected.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/19/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

In the quest to supply the British Royal Air Force (RAF) with a new, Mach 2-capable all-weather, high-altitude interceptor/fighter, many industry players attempted to satisfy the service's requirement known as "Operational Requirement F.115T" (or OR F.115T). F115T was formed from discussions had by authorities during the mid-1950s and was formally drawn up on January 15th, 1955 - the goal to counter the threat being posed by Soviet supersonic high-altitude, nuclear-capable bombers with a design replacing the in-service Gloster Meteor and Javelin jet fighters. The result was a bevy of designs put forth during the period that would emerge from the usual defense industry players like Armstrong Whitworth (AW), de Havilland (DH), English Electric (EE), Hawker, and Fairey.

The requirement was centered on a powerful performer able to meet any inbound aerial threat head-on. This meant multiple jet engines (and even rocket propulsion) figured into the mix to provide the needed Rate-of-Climb (RoC) as well as dashing speed while specific attention needed to be paid to overall aerodynamic design intended to reach the Mach 2 flight envelope. This advanced aircraft would also have to support "Airborne Interception" (A.I.) radar in its nose and most likely a crew of two to spread out the workload. The radar would be mated to a complete weapons system that had yet to be developed and perfected, a system centered on the delivery of capable Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs).

All this would have to be made operational by a 1962 deadline.

For Fairey engineers, one submission intended to fulfill the role was based in the existing single-seat, single-engine "Delta 2" experimental research aircraft of 1954 - this single-engine product was completed and flown through two examples and collected important data on supersonic flight. It was decided to rework this design, retaining its relatively compact footprint and as many existing components as possible, to expedite delivery of the new RAF Mach 2 interceptor-fighter. For Fairey, the new design was known as "E.R.103".

Traits to be carried over in E.R.103 were the single-seat cockpit, single-engine installation, and the unique ability for the nose section to "tilt down" (aka "droop-nose") along a hinge when the aircraft was running along the ground, taking-off, or coming in for a landing to help increase pilot vision.©MilitaryFactory.com
The engine would be buried in the aft-section of the fuselage, aspirated by rectangular intakes located along the sides of the fuselage and exhausting through a singular circular port under the tail. The nose section would house the radar fit (this to become a Ferranti A.I.23 series unit) with the cockpit positioned just aft. Views were to be obscured some by the framing of the canopy as well as the elevated fuselage spine aft of the position. The wing mainplanes would become large-area surfaces of delta form which negated use of horizontal tailplanes and provide wingtip hardpoints for the carrying of one AAM per wing member. A single vertical fin would be set over the tail section. Ground-running was to be accomplished via a retractable tricycle arrangement with a lengthened nose leg giving the aircraft a pronounced "nose-up" attitude when on the ground.

At this point it was seen that the missile-of-choice would become the "Blue Jay" Mk.4 series AAM.

Power stemmed from a single de Havilland "Gyron" afterburning turbojet engine of unknown thrust output and this would be paired with 2 x de Havilland "Spectre" rocket boosters for short bursts of performance power. Engineers estimated a maximum speed around Mach 2.5 at operational altitudes reaching between 60,000 and 90,000 feet with all systems engaged. As such, cockpit pressurization and an ejection seat was a must as well as titanium construction for the temperatures produced at such high-speeds/high-altitudes.

This early F.155 project entry was ultimately passed on by British authorities leading Fairey to draw up plans for a much larger interceptor-fighter along the same lines (again to expedite final delivery). This form incorporated a twin, side-by-side engine arrangement again augmented by rocket-boosting performance - a combination of 2 x Rolls-Royce RB.122 (enlarged versions of the earlier RB.106 series units) or DH Gyron afterburning turbojets with 2 x Spectre rockets. Like the earlier E.R.103, and the Delta 2 research plane before it, this enlarged F.155T proposal would have used the droop-nose function for close-to-ground actions. Missile-carrying was now moved to underwing hardpoints from the wingtips as this offered better, stronger support for heavier missiles.

Like the E.R.103, the newer F.155T offering was also rejected by authorities before the end and all work on manned fighters was halted after the 1957 defense review (the "Defence White Paper" of April 1957) due to the perceived onset of the "Missile Age". The review irreparably damaged British aero-industry with many major brand names more or less forced to merge capabilities.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Development Ended.


National flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom (cancelled)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

56.3 ft
(17.15 m)
37.6 ft
(11.45 m)
66,359 lb
(30,100 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Fairey E.R.103 (Delta II) production variant)
Installed: 2 x de Havilland Gyron afterburning turbojet engines with 2 x de Havilland Spectre rocket boosters.
Max Speed
1,917 mph
(3,085 kph | 1,666 kts)
74,524 ft
(22,715 m | 14 mi)
10,000 ft/min
(3,048 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Fairey E.R.103 (Delta II) production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
2 x Blue Jay Mk.4 Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs) at wingtip mounts.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 2

E.R.103 - Interceptor-fighter development of the Delta II research airplane; single-engine configuration with 2 x Spectre rocket boosters for added performance.
F.155T - Enlarged version with twin-engine arrangement and underwing hardpoints for missiles; 2 x Rolls-Royce RB.122 OR 2 xde Havilland Gyron afterburning turbojet engines with 2 x Spectre rocket boosters.

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 Ukranian-Russian War
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

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.

Images Gallery

1 / 1
Image of the Fairey E.R.103 (F.155T)
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing all American military medals and ribbons.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)