4 Engined Vickers Warwick

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by yulzari, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    Gentleman
    Location:
    Limousin
    The Air Ministry had the problem with Vickers in that their factories were only geared to geodesic construction so the Wellington remained in production throughout the war.

    The Wellington was a cut down Warwick with common parts. Could Vickers have gone for a 4 engined version of the Warwick and not waited until a viable Vulture replacement was available too late?

    The Windsor manage to fit 4 engines in geodesic wings.

    Would heavy Warwick bombers instead of medium Wellingtons have made any difference to how the commonwealth air forces used their bombers?

    The engine candidates are the usual suspects of Merlin and Hercules plus Twin Wasp as supply might allow at any one point.
     
  2. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,161
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    Why bother is the comment that springs to mind. With three front line 4 engined bombers what was the need for a fourth?
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,534
    Likes Received:
    948
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Vickers were able to merge specifications B.5/41 and B.3/42 into the Type 447 Windsor which you have already mentioned. That was to be their four engined bomber.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  4. 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
    Pretty much, Glider. When it first entered service, the Wellington was considered a heavy bomber; this was changed with the arrival of the four engined heavies. The Warwick was designed as a heavy bomber, but even with four engines it would not have been as capable as the Lancaster or (probably) Halifax III. The answer to your question, Yulzari is no, no difference to how the Allies used its bombers.
     
  5. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    Gentleman
    Location:
    Limousin
    I was thinking that Vickers resources were limited to Wellingtons because of their unique geodesic construction system. Given this, could the Vickers output have been improved were it 4 engined Warwicks instead of 2 engined Wellingtons. The Windsor was a generation later and not in a wartime timescale but a shift to Warwick production could have been done within months as the Warwick was the base design with the Wellington being the reduced version.
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    8,005
    Likes Received:
    441
    Trophy Points:
    83
    To stir up the nest: maybe a 3 engined version?
     
  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,534
    Likes Received:
    948
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Of course it was. The first prototype,DW506,flew on 23rd October 1943. Noone then knew that the war would end in August 1945!

    If there had been a perceived need to develop another four engined bomber then it would have been developed. The Halifax and Lancaster were doing the job adequately.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  8. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,912
    Likes Received:
    639
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    As a side note, wouldn't it be nice if both the Warwick and/or the Windsor were available in injected plastic? Are you listening Special Hobby?
     
  9. 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
    #9 nuuumannn, Oct 31, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
    Considering the problems that the Manchester suffered with Vultures, I suspect that a Vulture engined Warwick would have suffered the same ignominies in service without the result of the Lancaster at the end of it, although this wasn't known in the mid '30s. Vickers already had a four engined bomber project in the wings in the mid '30s, though. This was the Vickers 293 to B.12/36 powered by either four Bristol Taurus' Napier Daggers or Rolls Royce Kestrels. They probably would have done this if they were going to invest in a four engined bomber around that time. The Stirling came out of B.12/36.
     
  10. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,176
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    I still think it's a huge shame RJ Mitchell's B.12/36 heavy bomber never flew - it would be interesting to compare its performance with that of the Lanc, Halifax and Stirling.
     
  11. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    Gentleman
    Location:
    Limousin
    I am not sure that I have put my position across clearly.

    Vickers factories were only geared up to make geodesic construction aeroplanes. The Wellington was a fill in until more powerful engines were available and production could change to the preferred Warwick. These were the only practical alternatives available to Vickers to produce in quantity in a wartime timescale.

    Vickers production was a major contributor to the commonwealth air effort so had to be used.

    The more powerful engines were not available in time nor in numbers.

    Given these facts, the only way to move Vickers production onto heavier Warwicks would be using 4 engines (think how many threads have been devoted to saying that Heinkel should have been making 4 individual engined He 177s).

    So now, should Vickers have gone down this road instead of churning out Wellingtons? Please don't say they should have made Windsors instead. If they could have done so then they would have.
     
  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,534
    Likes Received:
    948
    Trophy Points:
    113
    No,they would have been wasting time and money.

    Steve
     
  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
    #13 nuuumannn, Nov 1, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
    The answer is still no. The Wellington pre dated the Warwick and was built to an earlier specification. Assuming that the Air Ministry could have had a four engined bomber when the Wellington was what met the requirement for a heavy bomber at that time is thinking in hindsight. It boils down to official requirements. The specification for what produced the Wellington, B.9/32 and that to which the Warwick was built, B.1/35 was for twin engined aircraft. Building the Warwick as a four engined machine served no purpose at all within Vickers, because it wasn't considered advanced enough, otherwise they would have used the platform for their first modern four engined bomber design to B.12/36. As stated earlier, this was the Vickers 293, which was not built.

    I don't think Vickers intended it to be this way. The Warwick was built to a spec to which the other contestants cancelled their designs and waited for something more advanced, which appeared as B.12/36 and P.13/36; even before the prototype Warwick had been completed, Rex Pierson of Vickers began to realise that something more advanced than the Warwick would be requested, as it was in those specs.

    At that time Wellington production was already underway to fulfil orders for the RAF. I don't think they would have appreciated a decision by Vickers to halt Wellington production to offer them a four engined design that would appear much later (thus leaving a gap in their heavy bomber numbers in service) that would not have offered anything in advance over better designs from other firms that were being conceived for more advanced specifications. The Wellington was ordered for the RAF prior to the Warwick and it was the right choice at the time.
     
  14. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,185
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Hobart Tasmania
    It's geodetic, btw.

    If they could only make aircraft with geodetic type construction, how do you explain them proposing the Type 432 (and building a prototype)?

    Also, when Supermarines started building Spitfires, they weren't geared for aluminium stressed skin construction either!
     
  15. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    Gentleman
    Location:
    Limousin
    Vickers was a vast consortium (including Supermarine) which included the ability to make stressed skin aluminium aeroplanes. However the large production factories were not. Even Supermarine could only make a trickle of Spitfires and it took shadow factories to get production off the ground. Just look at Westland's production record with the Whirlwind.

    Their big factories were totally devoted to the geodesic (or geodetic, there is no consensus) method and would have needed to be shut down and rebuilt with new plant and retrained staff to move over to stressed skin production. The Air Ministry was only too aware of this but were forced to keep the obsolete Wellington in production until after the war rather than suffer no production for some months. This same plant and staff training were in heavy demand already for other factories.

    Vickers themselves could see the future and wanted to change but the time and production loss could not be countenanced. In the Viking they went over to all metal wings as soon as they could. Once the wartime production imperative was over geodesic/geodetic construction was abandoned, the factories shut and were rebuilt for all metal construction of Vikings, turboprop Viscounts and jet Valiants.

    It boiled down to either Wellingtons or Warwicks as the choices.
     
  16. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,779
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    The Warwick was already a stretched Wellington using a number of identical fuselage frames and wing parts. Doing a 4 engine wing would have been doable (perhaps?) but needed a lot more redesign than the bigger two engine wing. Wellington started with a pair of 1000hp class engines. Warwick went to a pair of 1800-2000hp engines, stretching things to four 1300-1600hp engines might have been a bit much.
     
Loading...

Share This Page