Alternate FAA fighter

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Jan 13, 2006
With the Fulmar not available till 1940 the FAA was forced to purchase Gloster Gladiator in 1938 to replace Hawker Nimrod's in fleet service.
However Gloster had built a monoplane fighter to specification F.5/34, how much better could this aircraft been if purchased by FAA I assume RAF had priority on Spit Hurricane and perhaps even Merlin production.

Aero Engines Ltd of Bristol had production rights for Hispano-Suzia engines in UK, Supermarine proposed H-S engines as an alternative to Merlins in there 313 project.
Could the Gloster F.5/34 accept a H-S 12Y-45 with Szydlowski-Planiol supercharger?

Perhaps Blackburn or Fairey could provide Gloster with design of wing fold mechanism.
It would make more sense to fit a Taurus or a Hercules on it instead of the Mercury. I suggest this as I would expect it to gain weight as self sealing tanks and armour would have been needed. ( I am assuming that these were missing in 1936) and these would give extra power to counteract this.
That said no doubt it would have been a lot better than the Fulmar or Gladiator. The only question I would have is its range, does anyone have any idea what range this plane had?
Specification F4/35 was for an interception fighter rather than a Zone Fighter (such as F7/30 which led to the Gladiator). As such it had considerably shorter range, endurance being around 1.67 hours compared with 3 for the Gladiator. (You have to be a little careful making direct comparisons because the RAF changed the way it expressed endurance during the period between the two).

On a related note, after the Norwgian campaign (which gave the FAA its first combat experience with the Sea Gladiator, Lt. Cdr Cockburn of 804 Sqn submitted a fairly toxic report for the Admiralty saying that 1. the Gladiator had insufficient performance to chase and hold the aircraft employed by the enemy 2. In view of the short time available for interception, FAA fighter should have 8 guns and 3. To prevent carriers having to turn into wind (to fly off and land aircraft) so frequently, FAA fighters should have reasonable endurance (say 5 hours). He concluded '1 and 2 above can be complied with by giving us Spitfires; 1,2, and 3 can be complied with by giving us practically any US Navy fighter.'

Which is roughly what, eventually, happened


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