Jump to content

Recommended Posts

After a difficult start, with some founding members of the consortium bailing out and the ever constant threat of cancellation in the high inflation 1970's, Panavia's Tornado programme had matured to produce an outstanding aircraft but by the mid-1980's the Panavia consortium could see the end of the production line looming and began to openly discuss a follow-on programme. Politically, they were steered away from anything that might interfere or compete with the recently launched Eurofighter project and with whispers that both the US and the Soviet Union were studying low-observable technologies the Panavia board decided to seek funding for a small tactical attack aircraft with stealth technology based on the 'in house' MBB (Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm) Lampyridae design for a medium range missile-armed interceptor.


Scaled around a non-afterburning version of the General Electric F101 (licence built by the Turbo-Union consortium) rated at 18,000lbs dry thrust the development of the Firefly initially proceeded quickly helped by data from MBB's previously secret scale models and wind tunnel testing but the fall of the Berlin Wall in late 1989 led to a sharp reduction in funding and with almost no possibility of a production order from Germany due to the expected costs of reunification. The programme was effectively reduced to a 'technology demonstrator' status with BAe Warton being selected for the manufacture of a single prototype with the UK government independently issuing BAe with a paid study contract to explore the possibility of equipping the aircraft for carrier operations in a seperate UK only programme confusingly known as Firefly NSF (Naval Strike Fighter).


However, the success of the F-117 Nighthawk in the Gulf War of 1991 led to the programme securing full development funding and an initial production order for 200 Lampyridae for Germany, Italy and the UK was authorised in June 1991 with an additional UK order for 40 Firefly NSF's. The first flight of Firefly P.01 took place from Warton on April 29th, 1993 almost a full year before the first flight of the Eurofighter prototype and this was almost immediately followed by an export order for 80 Firefly aircraft for Saudi Arabia (as an amendment to 'Al Yamamah II') leading to much heated debate in the UK on the export of stealth technology and a later scandal regarding alleged bribes to Saudi officials. The first production aircraft was the Firefly GR.1 for the RAF and the first examples entered service in 1997 with No.41 squadron. The first Firefly NSF's entered service with 767 Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy in 2001 as the Firefly GR.4 only remaining in service until 2010 when they were sold to India.













Russouk2004's cracking little MBB Lampyridae has a beautifully simple single PSD template available making it easy to produce an 'in service' example of the Firefly.

Edited by Spinners

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done Spinners!


LOL...this plane will be a easy papercraft one! :grin:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL...this plane will be a easy papercraft one! :grin:


A company was created to make it....


but they folded!

  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  


Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..