1943: FAA's ideal combat trio

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    8,002
    Likes Received:
    440
    Trophy Points:
    83
    for the better part of the ww2, three main types of the FAA's planes were 'long endurance' fighter/recon (2 seater), 'short endurance' fighter, and a torpedo bomber. By 1943, the new types are bound to replace the old ones. So how would the new ones looked like, if you were in charge. Take plenty of time to design them, and do use the historically available bits pieces, along with historical state of the art. At least 2 types of domestic engines are required, and you may use one LL engine type additionally. The torpedo bomber need to be a good dive bomber, too.
    We need reasonably plenty of planes for operations, not only, in Mediterranean, so they should be deployed prior the invasion of Sicily.

    The debate about better choosing the LL planes (complete ones) vs. domestically produced is superfluous here.
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,778
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    For the torpedo bomber there is only one choice, Swipe the engines from the Typhoon and build Blackburn Firebrands ;)

    Actually, in 1943 you have a choice of 3 British engines including the Sabre which rather limits the choices, Merlin and Hercules are the only engines available in quantity.
     
  3. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,343
    Likes Received:
    409
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Motor Mechanic
    Location:
    Lancashire
    NOOOOOOOO the Firebrand was like virtually every other monstrosity to come out of Blackburn a terrible plane. Blackburns design team should have been tried for crimes against aerodynamics :lol:
     
  4. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,185
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Hobart Tasmania
    Seafire, Sea Mosquito, Swordfish...
     
  5. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    #5 ShVAK, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
    Short range fighter: Sea Hurricane IIC. The land-based Hurricanes were just past their sell by date as fighters in '43 but for the FAA it was close to ideal. Easier and cheaper to repair than a Seafire, wider tracked landing gear made it easier to land and handle on carriers and it had very good firepower and decent maneuverability. Top speed was a bit low but still far better than the Fulmar and other types it replaced in service (although it sacrificed some versatility otherwise).

    Long range fighter: Sea Mosquito would be an obvious pick for this role and as a torpedo bomber, however I don't think it entered service until the very end of the war. Beaufighter X would be a solid option if it could be modified for carrier work (doubtful as it was probably too big). Firefly was available by March 1943 but not actually operational until mid '44. If not possible to field any of these by '43, stick with the Fulmar Mk II.

    Torpedo bomber: If the Sea Mosquito or Beaufighter aren't available the two best choices are either the Albacore or the Barracuda--both of which are less than ideal. The archaic Swordfish had the better record but the Albacore's enclosed cockpit had numerous operational advantages particularly in bad weather. Both types were slow and vulnerable. Barracuda was more survivable and performed fairly well in Operation Tungsten but had several issues--hydraulic leaks, decreased performance in hot weather (more of an issue in the Pacific) and some handling quirks that all killed quite a few pilots. If the hydraulics can be fixed by '43 I would prefer the Barracuda Mk II, otherwise my vote is for Albacore or Swordfish Mk IV (enclosed cabin).
     
  6. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    #6 nuuumannn, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
    Hmmm, great idea for a thread. Short range fighter; navalised Boulton Paul P.94, essentially a Defiant without its turret and fitted with either 12 .303s or 4 x 20 mm in the wings - the prototype Defiant K8310 without its turret was actually faster than the Hurricane and it was predicted that the P.94 would have been faster than the Spitfire II. Replace the P.94 in '43 - 44 with the P.103 from the same firm; an advanced Centaurus engined, cannon armed fighter.

    Two seat, long range fighter; another Defiant derivative, again without the turret, but with a purpose built observer's cockpit. Commonality is the key here; operating the same airframes at sea for different roles is enormously beneficial spares wise.

    Torpedo bomber; has to be Grumman Tarpon/Avenger over the Barracuda. A more reliable and readily available aircraft through LL.
     
  7. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Too bad it didn't have a torpedo worth dropping and it couldn't carry an RN torpedo.

    The ideal trio in 1943 is really the Barracuda, Firefly and Seafire III.
     
  8. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Too bad the Boulton Paul P.94 wasn't built, either, would have made an excellent naval fighter. This is a hypothetical thread, therefore the Tarpon/Avenger could fire RN torpedoes. Given reality, you're right; Barra, Firefly and Seafire for sure, although Wildcat, Hellcat and Corsair were most certainly welcome.
     
  9. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The Avenger still can't dive bomb, even if it had a decent torpedo.
     
  10. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,185
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Hobart Tasmania
    That is true. But there is no real reason why ot couldn't have been done earlier - except for priorities.
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,778
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    Were their any restrictions as to which carriers could operate Sea Mosquitoes? elevator size, deck length, arresting gear.etc.
     
  12. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Here's a report on the Sea Mosquito:
    http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/mosquito/sea-mosquito.pdf
    Basically, it would be a very tight fit in Indomitable, and the two Implacables, but it would not fit in the smaller elevators on the 3 Illustrious class.
     
  13. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Problem was that the Mossie didn't like carrying torpedoes; Coastal Command retained the Tor Beau for that reason (and Bristol produced the Brigand to replace it). As a rocket launcher it was fine, but torpedoes introduced undesirable handling in the Mossie.

    As for dive bomber role, I know Tomo suggested that the torpedo bomber should also be a dive bomber, the only real option is the Barracuda, but I'd go for the Dauntless as a seperate aircraft, purely because it was better as a dive bomber than a dual purpose type. Although the RNZAF did use the Avenger as a dive bomber, perhaps not to the same extent as the Dauntless, as they also had a squadron of those as well.
     
  14. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The Dauntless had fixed wings and wouldn't fit into the hangers of the first 3 armoured carriers.

    if the RN had the Barracuda II, Firefly I and Seafire III on all their carriers on Jan 1 1943, it would easily have the most capable trio in any navy.

    The Barracuda II could carry a heavier load than the Dauntless and it carry a wider range of external stores including a torpedo, and it would fit in any RN carrier. It was the most capable strike aircraft in the world on Jan 1 1943 and it actually entered squadron service in March 1943. All we need do is move it's development forward by just a few months. In an ideal world the Griffon engined Mk V would have replaced the Mk II.

    The Firefly I was, in some ways, the RN's counterpart to the Dauntless . It could carry up to 2 x 1000lb bombs or 2 x 90gal DTs and was a combined strike, recon and fighter aircraft. If available on Jan 1 1943 it would have easily outclassed the Dauntless and it was also a very capable fighter, and it could have been available if given higher development priority.

    The Seafire III could also have been available on Jan 1 1943, and it would have easily been the world's premier carrier borne fighter. Fully developed with a 90gal drop tank, it was even capable of long range escort missions and with more development it could have had these capabilities on Jan 1 1943.
     
  15. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    Sorry Tomo
    IMHO at best only one domestically produced, scrap Firefly program and put released Griffons into Barracudas (like later Barra V), so one would have had a torpedo/dive-bomber with adequate power. as the fighter acquire Corsairs. Firefly was a passable strike a/c but as a fighter it was slow and poor climber, so scrap the program. Seafire was a good short range fighter but Corsair could handle interceptions and also had range to serve as escort fighter and had capacity to serve as strike a/c.

    Juha
     
  16. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Corsair wasn't ready for carrier service until late 1943.
     
  17. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    Hello RCAFson
    that means a year earlier than your candidate Firefly ;), 1830 Sqn was formed with Corsairs in June 43 IIRC.

    Juha
     
  18. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The First FAA squadron to receive the Firefly was 1770 squadron in Oct 1943. But my point is that the Firefly could have been ready earlier, and in any event the Corsair was not domestically produced.
     
  19. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    OK, so FAA Corsairs had 4 months head start over Firefly and in fact Corsair was carrier ready already in summer 43, at least that was what the command of VF-17 thought.

    And yes, Corsair was US plane but the fact is that there were no a good British designed carrier fighter from say mid 30s to later part of 40s when Sea Fury and Sea Horned arrived. Sea Gladiator, Skua, Fulmar and Firefly were all too slow and but Sea Glad had poor roc for their time. Seafire was a delight to fly but really was too fragile and too short-legged. Barracuda was underpowered, Albacore wasn't a star performer, Swordfish had its merits and worked well from MACs/CVEs as A/S platform but at least from 41 was too slow and short-legged for proper CV work. So only reasonable option was to acquire US made fighters, with more powerful engine Barra might have been OK as torpedo- and dive bomber.

    Juha
     
  20. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    You're hijacking the thread now.

    You have to place each aircraft within it's proper timeframe and then consider what was available elsewhere at the time (G. Sea Gladiatior - F3F - A5M or Fulmar - F3F - A5M, for example). On Jan 1 1943, the USN wasn't flying the F4U from it's carriers, nor even the F6F, but was still flying the F4F-4. At this point in time the FAA was flying the Sea Hurricane IIc and Seafire II (along with the Martlet) while the Fulmar II was largely phased out. It is pretty easy to see that the Firefly I would have been a considerable advance over the Martlet or F4F-4. The Firefly could have been ready on Jan 1 1943 if given priority development whereas I doubt much could have been done to speed development of the F4U or F6F especially from the UK.
     
Loading...

Share This Page