Save TSR 2
Thursday 4th February 1965
The TSR 2 was a new prototype of the British Aircraft Corporation. A jet, whose role was to be a tactical strike/reconnaissance aircraft, but was under threat, due mainly to government budget restraints being imposed, this was of major concern to the 12,500 workers at the Preston division of the company who had been working on the project.
On this day in 1965 the M.D. for the Corporation, Sir George Edwards issued an optimistic statement only hours after it was announced that 14,000 Hawker Siddeley workers would lose their jobs due to a loss of two military contracts. In it he urged all those employed on the project to ‘go to it’ and show the government that the aircraft is capable of everything the team promised. He mentioned previous aircraft where battles over budget had been fought and which had so far been overcome such as Concorde and the successful jet airliner the VC-10.
The Prime Minister Harold Wilson vaguely referred to the matter in the House of Commons stating: “The state of our economy demands a healthy and balanced aircraft industry. We can all help in the coming months to give the nation that healthy and stable industry. The challenge has to be taken up by us all. It is one which is worth all our efforts.”
Sadly, the project was eventually cancelled due to spiralling costs and constant in-fighting on how Britain should manage its future defence needs.
23 aircraft were built but only one was ever flown.