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BAe P.110

Lightweight Multirole Fighter Proposal [ 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.

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).©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Development Ended.


National flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
(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.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.
Survivability enhanced by way of onboard electronic or physical countermeasures enacted by the aircraft or pilot/crew.
Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
Mainplanes, or leading edges, features swept-back lines for enhanced high-speed performance and handling.
Small foreplanes ahead of the mainplanes reduce wing-loading and / or enhance maneuverability during high angle-of-attack or stall actions.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
Assisted process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to eject in the event of an airborne emergency.
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.

51.3 ft
(15.65 m)
46.4 ft
(14.15 m)
16.4 ft
(5.00 m)
Empty Wgt
20,944 lb
(9,500 kg)
30,865 lb
(14,000 kg)
Wgt Diff
+9,921 lb
(+4,500 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the P.110 production variant)
monoplane / mid-mounted / delta, w canards
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
Delta with Canards
The delta planform is enhanced by way of canards (small foreplanes) seated ahead of the mainplanes, improving angle-of-attack and low-speed / stall control.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the P.110 production variant)
Installed: 2 x Turbo-Union (Rolls-Royce, MBB, Aeritalia) RB.199-67R afterburning turbofan engines developing 30,845lb of thrust with reheat.
Max Speed
1,616 mph
(2,600 kph | 1,404 kts)
59,055 ft
(18,000 m | 11 mi)
1,553 mi
(2,500 km | 4,630 nm)
65,000 ft/min
(19,812 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 P.110 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)
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.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft automatic cannon
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft external fuel tank

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
P.110 - Base Project Designation.

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