1930s British modern fighters.

Discussion in 'Between the wars 1918-1939' started by The Basket, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    I have been checking these out and quite surprised how many new UK fighters were around in the 30s.

    Of course, the Hurricane and Spitfire rules but if these designs failed then one of these may have filled the need.

    Gloster F.5/34
    Vickers Venom
    Martin Baker M.B.2
    Bristol Type 146
    Bristol Type 133

    None of these fighters were as good as the Hurracane of Spitfire but if these designs failed then one of these could have held the line during the BoB.

    Interesting reading.
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    While we all (esp. me) like debating the extra MPH one fighter has vs. another, we forget many times that a fighter plane is just a part of an air force. The impact of not having Hurricane and Spitfire (replaced with one of those fighters) would've been far less important than absence of radar, or such a professional command structure, or absence of trained pilots.
     
  3. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Martin Baker MB-2
    Like all Martin-Baker designs the 'ease of maintenance and servicing was excellent, and perhaps the fixed undercarriage made it less complicated and easy to build. But when 'evaluated at Martlesham Heath the test pilots found it uncomfortable to fly and it was a poor gun platform. The ailerons needed improving and there was not enough rudder area.
    Bristol 146
    Not up to 'speed' - only 287 mph at 15,000, its cause not helped when at the 1938 Empire Air Day it collided on landing with some set-piece scenery at Filton - a write off.
    Vickers Venom.
    Did well with the 625 hp Bristol Aquila engine to get 300 mph, but where was the development potential.
    Gloster F.5/34
    An aircraft that perhaps sadly didn't meet a better end, well liked by pilots who flew her - good visibility, with short take-off and initial climb rate , good speed 316 mph at 16,000 ft. Pity, the first flight wasn't earlier, and/or overseas interest, or indeed a small RAF order just in case any problems with the Merlin!
     
  4. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    These aircraft is pure talk as none was anywhere near a Spitfire but interesting to see that British aircraft design was cutting edge and that modern designs were coming from a number of factories.

    I disagree with the idea that any fighter would have done. The Hurricane just scraped by. If we had to depend on the Venom or Gladiator then bad things may have happened.
     
  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Polish airforce with Spitfires, or with command control as RAF had. What would've you picked?
     
  6. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Uk is an island nation.

    Poland is not.

    Radar and fighters are no good if occupied by a foreign army.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Was early WWII RAF command control any better then Polish Air Force command and control? RAF operations in France and Norway during 1940 were nothing to brag about. Conditions in Poland would have been similiar with a need to support fast moving ground operations.
     
  8. Rivet

    Rivet Member

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    Laugh if you will. I'd have liked to have seen the Blackburn Roc continued in limited production in its floatplane version as an addendum to the Supermarine Walrus that was shipboard carried until the RN pulled them late in 1941 and used the space for more stores/ bigger magazines.
     
  9. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    The Roc and the Fulmar were poor in comparison to what could have been.

    A naval Venom would have been tops.
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    It took 30 days for Germans Soviets to occupy Poland, so that's 30 days of radar-less airforce to battle vs. much greater force. The key role in occupation was played by Luftwaffe.
    Now, with LW bombers in air, the Chain Home radar operating for Poland, we have 30-60 min to scramble fighters and to alert AAA; Polish airfoce is mobilised ready for battle prior Sept 1st. Much better prospect than to have fighters grounded and AAA still in towed position as LW planes are flying over.
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #11 tomo pauk, Apr 24, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
    Of course RAF was better.

    RAF did not have same command control facilities in France Norway, as they have had at the island. Plus, they didn't deployed fighters in numbers at those countries, compared with numbers of fighters in BoB. No 100 oct fuel, too.
    No 'fast moving ground operations' were made by polish Army, so nothing to support inthe 1st place. An air force with radars/command centers is better able to support such operations anyway, than historic Polish AF.
     
  12. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Comparing the British and Polish war effort is trying to compare apples with oranges.

    2 different scenarios.

    One must also remember that both the Hurricane and Spitfire had the Merlin engine which was new at the time. If the Merlin had been a dog like the Vulture, Goshawk or Peregrine then we had 2 fighters which went no where.

    The back up fighters could have offered an alternative with a diffrent engine.

    Also they were designed to be air cooled so they could operate in some far flung corner of the Empire where the climate was hot.
     
  13. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Basically I agrre - hence my earlier comment on the Gloster fighter - if the RAF had those instead of the Gladiator, it would have been a plus in a number of combat areas - I wonder how many more 'Pat' Pattle would have got!?
     
  14. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Agree point 'A' - both the RAF FAA were blinded by the technology of the 'turret' - the Roc a waste of space. Perhaps instead of the technological turret, the FAA could have gone for cannons - and gone for a navalised Boulton Paul P.88a (Hercules engine 4 x 20mm canon).
    Disagree point 'B' - I think the Venom, would have too fragile - lightly built - for carrier use.
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The UK is not a nation. England,Scotland and Wales are. The United Kingdom is,including Northern Ireland,spread over several islands so I take your point.

    Sorry to be pedantic but these things do matter.

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  16. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Both countries have had airforces. The key part of one was absent from another, hence the second one never had oportunity to make a concentration of it's fighter AAA force, like the 1st one managed.

    I see no issues in Bristol Taurus Hercules being fighter engines for BoB; Merlin was fine piece of engineering, but not irreplacable.
     
  17. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Very Pedantic. Matter to whom? The fighter design of 1930s?
     
  18. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that if the Merlin failed to work then you would have a very narrow window to find a replacement. Too narrow. It is irreplacable because you dont have fighters.
     
  19. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have production figures for the Taurus and Hercules for 1939-1940?
    While a prototype Taurus was rated for altitude work no production Taurus was except the MK III. According to "wiki" by April of 1940 suggestions to use the R-1830 instead of troublesome Taurus engines were being made.
    All but the MK III seem to have been rated at 3500ft for max power using 4.75lb of boost regardless of fuel used. It would have been near useless as a fighter engine in the BoB without major modifications.
    The MK III Hercules is the only one in time for the BoB and it runs into the same weight and frontal area issues as the R-2600. 1845-1900lbs and a frontal area of 14.7 sq ft. Not as bad as a R-2600 but then a 1940 Hercules III was good for about 1375-1400hp for take-off and about 1400hp at around 2000ft. High gear is better at around 1210-1250hp at 15,000 -16,750ft depending on source and/or fuel.

    The problem with late arrivals having much influence on the BoB is shown by the Merlin XII and XX, both of which showed up during the BoB but not in enough numbers to really affect things. The battle was fought on the British side by the thousands of Merlin IIIs already built and coming of the production lines, not new models being made a few dozen a week.
     
  20. merlin

    merlin Member

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    I don't see any of the aircraft mentioned by the OP taking a Hercules.
    The Gloster F.5/34 was optimised for the Mercury, could probably have taken later versions of it.
    To get a hercules powered aircraft in time for the BoB, would mean the treasury coughing up a bit extra cash for the Boulton-Paul P.88 prototypes - perversely the 'B' model more likely to fly first, but because of engine problems - it crashes! Hence, the 'A' model flies, successful 'test' programme - RAF order. But delayed entering service due to engine shortages, and problems with the cannons in the wings, (but with the extra time compared to OTL) declared operational to re-equip Squadrons just after Dunkirk!
     
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