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BAe P.110

Lightweight Multirole Fighter Proposal

United Kingdom | 1981

"The BAe P.110 was a brief stop in the road to the Eurofighter Typhoon - only a full-sized mockup was completed by engineers at Warton."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/09/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The road to developing the excellent Eurofighter "Typhoon" (detailed elsewhere on this site) led British aero-industry down many paths during the 1970s and 1980s. One of these became the BAe P.110 project fighter which went on to reach the mock up stage when this full-sized specimen was built at the Warton facility. The single seat, twin engine entry fell to aviation history but nevertheless retained its place in the annals of the EF2000's ultimate creation arriving in the 1990s - today the design taking its place as one of the dominant fighters anywhere in the world.

The P.110 was a private-funded venture and promoted as an single-seat, twin-engine, lightweight multirole fighter with inherent agility - traits (beyond the twin-engine approach) comparable to the contemporary General Dynamics (now Lockheed) F-16 "Fighting Falcon". Its general design (including some 40% lightweight carbon-fiber construction) was largely conventional with a pointed nose assembly housing Ferranti pulse Doppler radar, the single-seat pressurized cockpit directly aft, and the twin engines arranged in a side-by-side format. The mainplanes (of cranked delta-canard shape) were seated aft of midships along the sides of the fuselage and, forward of these members, were canards for enhanced agility at high angles of attack. Outward-canted tailfins were each attached to the top surfaces of the engine housings. The intake arrangement to aspirate the powerplants involved side-mounted openings to either side of the cockpit - cockpit itself was covered over in a lightly-framed three-piece assembly offering exceptional vision for the pilot.

The aircraft was designed around the logically-friendly concept of parts-sharing (including various systems and in-service engines) with the PANAVIA "Tornado" variable-geometry wing strike fighter then in RAF service. The quadruplex digital Fly-By-Wire system, proven on a flyable SEPECAT Jaguar attack aircraft testbed, was penciled in for the needed handling. The initial engine fit was the Turbo-Union (Rolls-Royce, MBB, and Aeritalia) RB.199-67R afterburning turbofan and this would later be followed-up on with a more advanced propulsion installation. In this fashion, the fighter's development, operational, and support costs could be held in check to an extent.

Internally, the fighter was slated to carry a single 27mm Mauser automatic cannon as standard for close-in work. As a multirole platform, the aircraft was being designed from the outset to support all of the current-generation RAF air-dropped and air-launched ordnance options including guided bombs , air-to-surface missiles, and Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs). Between eight and fourteen weapons of various types could be carried (externally) across multiple hardpoints (including wingtip mountings). A typical bombload could reach 14,000lb or a total of twelve AAMs could be carried aloft depending on battlefield role required. At least three hardpoints would be plumbed for jettisonable fuel tanks (a single ventral centerline mounting and 2 x underwing points).

Drawings of the P.110 were formulated in the early part of 1981 and the fighter was more or less finalized before the end of that year. Plans were made to feature no fewer than six flyable prototype forms by 1986 and operational-ready airframes coming off assembly lines by the end of 1988. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) was scheduled for sometime in or around 1989.

With uncertain MoD interest in the potentially expensive project, BAe was forced to seek overseas funding help and generate potential export sales to British allies around the world. This led to the physical full-scale mockup completed at Warton. Alongside partners in Germany (mainly MBB), who favored other qualities in a future fighter design, the fighter was reworked with a ventral intake arrangement. While the P.110 went no further than the stated mockup, it contributed in many ways to the resulting EF2000 design flying today.

As drawn up, the P.110 had a running length of 51.3 feet and a wingspan of 33.2 feet. Gross weight was estimated at 30,845lb. Performance figures went on to include a maximum proposed speed of Mach 1.9 to Mach 2.1 (approximately 1,455 mph to 1,615 mph).

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the P.110 Lightweight Multirole Fighter Proposal.
2 x Turbo-Union (Rolls-Royce, MBB, Aeritalia) RB.199-67R afterburning turbofan engines developing 30,845lb of thrust with reheat.
1,616 mph
2,600 kph | 1,404 kts
Max Speed
59,055 ft
18,000 m | 11 miles
Service Ceiling
1,553 miles
2,500 km | 1,350 nm
Operational Range
65,000 ft/min
19,812 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the P.110 Lightweight Multirole Fighter Proposal.
51.3 ft
15.65 m
O/A Length
46.4 ft
(14.15 m)
O/A Width
16.4 ft
(5.00 m)
O/A Height
20,944 lb
(9,500 kg)
Empty Weight
30,865 lb
(14,000 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the BAe P.110 Lightweight Multirole Fighter Proposal .
Proposed with support for an internal automatic cannon, air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, precision-guided bombs, and conventional drop bombs.

Also optional fuel tanks for increased operational ranges.
Notable series variants as part of the BAe P.110 family line.
P.110 - Base Project Designation.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the BAe P.110. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): British Aerospace (BAe) - UK
National flag of the United Kingdom

[ United Kingdom ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 1700mph
Lo: 850mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (1,616mph).

Graph Average of 1,275 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
1 / 1
Image of the BAe P.110
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The BAe P.110 Lightweight Multirole Fighter Proposal appears in the following collections:
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