I was very interested to read (Flight International, 5-11 November) about the proposed STOBAR option for the UK Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF) in which the need for a cheap-to-operate airborne early-warning system platform was highlighted. Twenty years ago I suggested that the Shorts 330/360 airframe could provide a basis for such an option, and I still believe that to be the case.

There are numerous 330/360 airframes available which could be picked up for next to nothing in CVF budget terms. It has a capacious cabin volume which could house radar equipment and operators. Re-engined with more-powerful engines it could surely be operated from a STOBAR CVF.

I'm not an engineer, but surely the simple parallel chord, high-aspect ratio wing could be modified to incorporate a wing fold. Given its endearing aerodynamic qualities, I can't see that the addition of a radome atop the fuselage would cause insurmountable problems.

Leo Marriott Weston Super Mare, UK

Source: Flight International