1940: RAF 'ideal' Bombers in France

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by merlin, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. merlin

    merlin Member

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    In France in 1940 the RAF were equipped with the Fairey Battle, and the Bristol Blenheim.

    Seems unlikely to be able to get rid of all the Battle Squadrons!!

    But what aircraft do you think is realistic to have instead?

    Blenheim still seems likely, but could it take a bigger engine e.g. Perseus or Pegasus ?
     
  2. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I don't think there was anything better than the Blenheim available to the RAF at the time. If the British had put more energy in obtaining a more modern bomber of this class earlier then maybe they could have shared in the production of a French design such as the Potez 633. I think at this time both the British and French were looking to America for its light and medium bombers though.
     
  3. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    When you think about it, the RAF was lucky to have the Blenheim. It was only through private investment in the early '30s that the Blenheim came into being, otherwise the RAF might still have been equipped with Hawker Hart variants...or just more Fairey Battles. There really was nothing much else available at the time, unless production of Martin Marylands could have been speeded up and the output released for RAF service...which I doubt. There was always the Martin B-10...ok, maybe not!
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    A bomber shaped as A-20 (high- or shoulder-wing of rather thin profile, good bomb bay), but with 2 Merlins and 2-4 gun turret? Or, pre-Mosquito (ie. unarmed bomber)?
    BTW, the DB-7 in French service ended the war of 1940 with distinction.
     
  5. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    Honestly I think the best bet at this time would be to have BAFF Squadrons composed almost entirely of Hurricane fighter-bombers.
     
  6. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    ...should be an license buildt french in airplane.
    The french Br-690 series light attack bomber was an excellent A/C by the standarts of the time. The Armé d´la air established a 1938 contracts for 100 A/C to be delivered by 1939.


    There were different versions with radials from french and US manufacturers so I guess it wouldn´t be impossible to fit a Bristol Mercury XV instead for an RAF variant.
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    possibly a development of obe of the protype predecessors of the Mosquito....possibly the DH91 albatross or the DH95 flamingo. The flamingo, with 1000 hp Merlins instead of the 890 radials it received asa transpirt would probably have possessed a speed over 300mph, making it a hard target
     
  8. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    None of these would be any good unless the RAF actually practiced/trained for tactical bombing attacks AND provided some sort of fighter escort for the tactical bombing raids.

    The French aircraft are a dead end. The French crews fought and flew bravely and accomplished a bit more than the RAF but not without prohibitive losses for any extended campaign.

    Br-690 series light attack bomber;
    From Wiki, 230 built, The Armée de l'air received only 211 examples (others still in factory?) 119 lost, 68 due to direct enemy action, and a further 14 were written off as too heavily damaged. The 5 attack groups suffered a 63% loss in aircraft and 50% in crews.

    THE French aircraft were designed around the small Gnome-Rhone 14M engine (same as used by the HS 129) and even the P W R-1535 two radial radial interfered with the pilots vision.
    Sticking large diameter 9 cylinder radials on it would have been like flying in a tunnel for the pilot. Extra weight and drag is going cancel out the extra power pretty well.
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The DH95 flamingo was bigger than a Lockheed Hudson. Even with 1000hp Merlins you are going to need rockets to hit 300mph.
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    BTW, any luck for a Hercules-powered bomber to take part in the Battle of France?
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Not in enough numbers to make any difference.

    "The first Beaufighter was delivered to RAF Tangmere for trials with the Fighter Interception Unit on 12 August 1940, and the first operational machines were received by 29 Squadron and 604 Squadron on 2 September"

    The Hercules powered Wellington doesn't show up until late 1940/early 1941 ( the MK II with Merlins doesn't show up until October and it beat the MK III.)

    A handful Of Saro Lerwicks were produced by the summer of 1940.

    The Halifax I doesn't show up in service until November.

    I am not sure but it doesn't look like very many engines (a few dozen?) in the Spring of 1940?
     
  12. merlin

    merlin Member

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    A Hercules bomber - could be the Bristol P.13/36 medium bomber - perhaps the Air Ministry specifies an alternative engine the Deerhound, that would concentrate the minds of the Bristol engine people !!

    With two x 1500 h.p. engines it had an estimated max speed of 315 mph, it could have replaced the other smaller twin-engine RAF bombers - Blenheim, Beaufort Hampden. Though, being a bigger aircraft it would have meant more crew.
     
  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure how much more "concentrate the minds the minds of the Bristol engine people" you could do. Roy Fedden was not an easy task master. Fedden was anticipating war with Germany and had toured German factories in the late 30s. Bristol management was always at odds with him and might have been glad to shut down sleeve valve development. They had sunk several million pounds into it and just about zip for sales by 1939. Fedden resigned (was forced out?) in 1942 before work was completed on the Centaurus. A strange thing to have happen in the middle of a war to one of the top British aero-engine engineers.

    Fedden and crew probably took a look at the Deerhound and made a vow not to drink in any pubs near the Armstrong-Siddeley works. :)
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    RAF needs an equivalent to Ju-87 and/or Ju-88. Then they've got the accuracy and payload to destroy important targets such as Meuse River bridges.

    Development of such an aircraft is no accident. Germany put a lot of resources into their development, especially Ju-88. If RAF want a similar aircraft it's going to cost some money during 1935 to 1939. But it's certainly doable.
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    No doubt the design would need work, but there was time to do that. If the air ministry had been less inflexible to its requirements, DeHavilland may have been influenced to put the effort in to make the DH95 a viable bomber, instead of downrating it to a transport.

    DeHavilland came to a similar conclusion to what you are saying (and rightly so....the problem was simply that with the technology available at the time, the specs were un- achievable), and wrote to the air ministry saying that the spec to which it was built was unattainable on two engines. Something had to give. De Havillands solution was to produce an extremely aerodynamically clean two seat unarmed bomber made out of wood. This aircraft was powered by 2 x 1000hp engines and weighed 13-18000lb empty/fully loaded. Fully loaded it had a top speed in excess of 360mph

    The Hudson had an all up weight of 12-17500lb.

    The dimensions of the two aircraft (Mosquito/Hudson) were:

    Hudson:

    Length: 44 ft 4 in (13.51 m)
    Wingspan: 65 ft 6 in (19.96 m)
    Height: 11 ft 10 in (3.62 m)
    Wing area: 551 ft² (51.2 m²)


    The Mosquito

    Length: 41 ft 2 in (13.57 m)
    Wingspan: 54 ft 2 in (16.52 m)
    Height: 17 ft 5 in (5.3 m)
    Wing area: 454 ft2 (42.18 m2)

    Comparing these statistics, the hudson is dimensions and the Mosquito, they are very similar. Hudson is 97% of the weight, 107% the length, 121% the wingspan, 71% of the Height, and 121% of the wing area

    The DH95 by comparison (bearing in mind its transformation to a transport) compared to the Mosquito was as follows:

    Empty weight: 11,325 lb (5,148 kg)....85%
    Loaded weight: 18,000 lb (8,182 kg)..00%
    Length: 51 ft 7 in (15.73 m).............124%
    Wingspan: 70 ft 0 in (21.34 m)........130%
    Height: 15 ft 3 in (4.65 m)................88%
    Wing area: 651 ft² (60.5 m²)...........143%

    I agree that the design of the DH95 as completed was in no way a psooible bomber, but the purpose for which it was conceived, if the air ministry had been a bit more flexible (shorter range, no defensive armamanet, lighter bombloads). The design needed to be made compact, and more aerodynamically clean, but none of these were insurmountable problems. DeHavilland certainly thought it possible, but gave up in the finish when it became clear the air ministry were not going to budge......and that produced that memorable success the Manchester.
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    This would of course have run counter to RAF doctrine at the time and would never have happened. However, for once, I find that I agree with you in this hypothetical scenario.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  17. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Nice plane but mechanical trickery takes a while to sort out. The British were still trying to figure out how to make constant speed props instead of two pitch props in 1940. Many of their twin engine planes could not feather the prop on a dead engine so a lot fewer planes and crews made it home than would be the case with fully feathering propellers.
    Trick planes are all well and good but you have to be able to make them in quantity in time.
     
  19. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    I like Greymans idea. Apply boot to RAF backside and get Hurricanes with bomb racks into production. Have the RAF invest some time in practice hitting ground targets and co-operating with the Army. it wouldnt make much difference to the Battle of France but it would make a honking big difference to the Desert campaign. Battles and Blenheims are kept for night raids and aircraft like the Lysander get produced in sufficent quantities for sundry useful but not massively important tasks well away from the front line.
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree. However it's what Britain needed for CAS.
     
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