chapter  3
25 Pages

Variable Geometry Aircraft

WithChristopher Layton

M. Dassault built a successful variable geometry prototype, but in January 1971 the single prototype crashed. Boeing designed two aircraft, the tfx for a military requirement and a supersonic transport. During the Second World War the operational speed of aircraft rose rapidly and the turbulence and drag problems of the straight aerofoil were experienced at high speeds. Marcel Dassault's concept of and decision on variable geometry aircraft were their own. The explanation is partly to be found in the organization of the Dassault Company. Overshadowing the whole picture of military aircraft contracts in Britain is a failing in the procurement system which is in marked contrast to the American or French situation. The truth is that the European industry badly needs more of the Dassault style in the management of development. Effort must be concentrated on making the Jaguar, MRCA and Harrier successes, and on further developing these aircraft to fulfil the needs of the RAF and other European airforces.