Could the cancelled TSR-2 super bomber have won us the lost Eurovision song contest?

The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was the most advanced combat aircraft in the world when it clawed its way into the sky in 1964. Yet this British masterpiece was axed in 1965 – a savage misjudgement that had knock-on effects still felt to this day. We look at some of the pivotal moments in world history that could have been radically different had the Wailing Martyr of Wiltshire’ been saved.

The TSR-2, the culmination of almost sixty years of British aviation know-how was crucified on a crucifix hewn from socialist lies nailed with the myopic hammer of pacifism and burned on a pyre of ragged post-Colonial national euthanasia. Had things been different and this magnificent nuclear totem been erected how might history have changed? We ask Sir Neville Shaman-Squalane, author of Bombed Out: How Britain was destroyed by Ghost Bombers & the Beast of Bodmin Moor & Sexualised Morris dancers to consider a world in which the TSR-2 had survived.

The Three-Day Week

The Three-Day Week was one of several measures introduced in the United Kingdom by the Conservative government in the mid-1970s to conserve electricity – the generation of which was restricted severely thanks to industrial action by coal miners. If the RAF had a fleet of 100 TSR-2s at the time, their turbine powerplant could have been used to generate up to 5400 gigawatts a week, enough to light every home in Great Britain and up to ten discos per town. An example of the Avon engine, not dissimilar to the TSR-2’s Olympus, can be found at Didcot Power Station in the United Kingdom, where four Avon generators are used to provide Black start services to help restart the National Grid in the event of a system-wide failure – or to provide additional generating capacity in periods of very high demand.

The sinking of the Titanic

The sinking of the passenger ship RMS Titanic cost the lives of some 1,500 people and many millions of hours of cinema-goers’ time. The ship sank as a result of hitting an iceberg. Had this iceberg been attacked by a four-ship of TSR-2s armed with free-fall nuclear bombs, the Titanic would still be operating today… perhaps, by now, as an airliner. But sadly this did not happen. Another victim of the foolish Labour Government that peed on the last vestige of Britain’s great aerospace industry, a great multi-headed edifice that had created the immortal Brabazon, indomitable Firebrand and unimpeachable Wyvern.

The death of Princess of Hearts Diana

In the early hours of 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, died in hospital after being injured in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris. Her partner, Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the Mercedes-Benz W140, Henri Paul, were pronounced dead at the scene. This tragic loss was felt by a nation, but could have been avoided. The crash was largely caused by paparazzi photographers on mopeds and in unarmoured cars. A force of RAF TSR-2s based at RAF Marham would have had the range to reach Paris and neutralise this threat within 24 minutes. Low-yield precision guided bombs, or even a ‘show of force’, could have deterred the photographers and prevented this national tragedy. A top speed of mach 1.1 at low level, advanced electronic counter-measures and terrain-following radar, could have allowed this force to penetrate French airspace safely and carry Diana back to the up-lit pastures of England.

Eurovision humiliation

In the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest, the UK-entry Jemini’s excellent ‘Cry Baby’ crawled in at a humiliating 26th place. The event took place in  Riga, Latvia – well within the striking range of the TSR-2’s 2,550 nautical-mile range.  Terry Wogan, long-time commentator on the contest for the BBC, said that the UK was suffering from a “post-Iraq backlash” which affected its low score. Perhaps if Kuwait had been defended by a large force of TSR-2s, it could have defended itself from the 1990 Iraq invasion, killing Hussein and freeing the UK from the woeful mire of the later Iraq invasion and occupation. Perhaps the Baghdad air defences would have scored ‘nul points’ when faced with the might of a low-level interdiction attack by 12 TSR-2s armed with retarded 1000-bombs. It was Britain’s failure to preserve an indigenous military aircraft capability that allowed us to be mocked at Eurovision, proof of which can be seen readily in the scandalously high scores of France and Sweden across the years of this extremely important competition.

As we have seen, TSR-2’s short-sighted cancellation had devastating consequences.

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Join us for the solstice on Bodmin Moor where we will be performing a crystal energy ritual that we hope will bring the superbomber back to life and start a grand new age.


  1. Hugh Bacon

    TSR 2 failure was very similar to the fate of the AVRO Arrow in Canada. Basic factors were cost overruns and a US freeze out. Thus, overseas sales would never happen: projects dead!

  2. Fernando Rolandelli

    Geez, that song is awful… the girl cannot modulate, she is most of the times out of tune. There was nothing else to send?? Yeah, TSR.2s!

    • YuppieScum

      Allegedly, the “auto-tune” box connected to the sound desk was disabled between rehearsals and the live performance, probably by members of the Deuxième Bureau acting on behalf of Dassault.

  3. Ben Hooper

    Quality content right here, if only it had not been slaughtered by a (admittedly cash strapped) government

  4. VespaJack

    There’s a lot to be said for the appreciation of failure. We learn from it. Scars become tougher than just skin. Few countries have been as blessed with these kinds of opportunities as the UK. Just in aviation the list does go on…and on. On this site alone, with The 10 Worst Helicopters..the Percival, that child’s drawing that didn’t fly. I knew not of Jemini. So tragic. The male lead trying so hard. The derrière jewelry on the girl. Such a lot to unpack. Ah, the songs they could be singing us today if they had only won…not unlike the promise of the TSR 2. Or the Brabazon. Or the Princess. Or that bottom shaped blimp in it’s slow-motion crash…perhaps it just needed a little gold chain across it’s girth…Keep swinging England! It’s a lesson to us all.

  5. phuzz

    If the TSR-2 hadn’t been cancelled, then its terrain-following radar could have been used to map mountain-sides for Eddy “The Eagle” Edwards to practise on, thus aiding his training and allowing him to win gold at the 1988 Winter Olympics. Truly a scandalous omission.

  6. Joakim von Anka

    Between Viggen, Ace of Base, Roxette and Gripen, I do not see what difference a bunch of TSR2s could have made, even if aided by Girls Aloud. You will always be outclassed by ABBA and SAAB.

  7. YuppieScum

    Allegedly, the “auto-tune” box connected to the sound desk was disabled between rehearsals and the live performance, probably by members of the Deuxième Bureau acting on behalf of Dassault.

  8. Pingback: 10 MORE of the Worst British Military Aircraft | Hush-Kit
  9. Pingback: 10 MORE of the Worst British military aircraft | Hush-Kit

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