Another use for the Boulton Paul Defiant

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by magnocain, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    I was thinking and I thought of a good use for the Boulton Paul Defiant. I know it is no good as a fighter, but what about as a ground attack plane? If several Defiants were to form a cricle around a (German) infantry ( or any other soft target) column and point their guns inside, they could have a constant circle of death. They wouldn't have to strafe back and forth like normal fighters, only fly around the target.
    They would need extra ammo and air superiority, though.

    What do you think?
     

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  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    It's an interesting idea, but they would be suseptable to ground fire much like the AC-130 gunships are in that role today.
     
  3. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Agree with GG. I'd love to have seen a Defiant with wing armament, she might have had a chance then.
     
  4. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Flying around in circles is going to get you shot down.

    Defiant is a fine plane but it doesn't do nothing that needs done.

    It could have been a British Sturmovik but would have suffered similar losses.

    And a Beaufighter or Mozzie was a better heavy fighter.

    I said before that the Defiants Merin engine was best used in something else....even though she was a fine machine.
     
  5. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    #5 Watanbe, Jun 29, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2009
    I would agree with that. Essentially a nice plane but was made to fulfill a particular role in a concept that in reality just doesn't work. If the plane was developed further and equipped with decent radar you never know it could have been made a decent NF, where its lack of Forward Firing armament and mediocre performance wouldn't have been such a shortcoming.

    Remember also the .303 isn't damaging enough I would imagine a quick .50cal strafe, cannon attack or rocket salvo would be more effective and less risky. The British already some very effective tankbusters anyway, Hurrican, Typhoon, Tempest, Beaufighter, Whirlwind, Mosquito the list of planes who could perform better in that role is a long one.

    Good to see you developing alternate strategies, it certainly is interesting.
     
  6. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    The best alternative role for the Defiant after 1940 would probably have as an airfield decoy
     
  7. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Harsh but fair.
    A combat ready ground attacker Defiant in 1940 would have done much better than the Fairey Battle. But a donkey on roller skates would have done better than the Battle.

    Another role for the Defiant could have been cannon fodder. After 1940 the Defiant loses its point. So using it in secondary roles like target tug is a good use of an honest plane.
     
  8. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    Well the Battle is another example really. A plan that was a fairly competent flyer but the concept behind its design was very badly flawed!
     
  9. Deanimator

    Deanimator New Member

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    A worthwhile concept in 1918. Not worth the bother in 1940. Four .303 guns just didn't amount to much as air-to-ground armament when the Defiant saw action, especially when the aircraft itself was so helpless against other aircraft. It's the equivalent of the Ju-87 minus the bombs and the 37mm guns later fitted. It might have been useful to the Italians in Abyssinia, but the Germans weren't armed with muskets and spears.

    Pretty much the only things the Defiant was reasonably good at was night fighter and night intruder. I'm sure having one dive under you and pull up in front of you with four .303s in your face was really disconcerting to a Do17 or He111 pilot on final approach.
     
  10. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Sorry don't have the source, but I remember ready in an aircraft magazine this year, of the Blackburn Roc shooting down a German aircraft in the Battle of Britain!!
    It was at a Naval airfield, where the Station Commander had the bright idea of manning the turrets of Rocs, ready for an air ready, and sure enough they got lucky.
     
  11. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    While these Defiants were flying around in circles what do think the Luftwaffe would be doing?

    The original concept of the Defiant was to intercept enemy bomber formations, fly alongside a bomber and fire a broadside into the fuselage. These enemy bombers were most likely to be German and operating in form Germany and it was not envisioned that they would be escorted by fighters as they would not have the range. Had this been the case the tactics may have worked. However the Germans spoiled things by occupying France giving them air bases from which fighter escorts could operate. The defeat of France was also something they didn’t envision.
     
  12. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Ever see the movie "Ronin"?

    I don't think I would want to be in a plane with another plane directly across from me, firing somewhat at me!
     
  13. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I think it would have been great for strafing troops - as long as you had control of the air.
     
  14. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    magnocain did mention air superiority in his opening post:
    I think that Waynos still had the best idea for the Defiant, though! :lol:
     
  15. RAF Liberators

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    Take out the turret and use it as the MU in a B-24 Liberator and whip out the engine and use it in a fighter... Oh wait they did both of those already :D
    Lets face it, it was obsolete before the start of the war, it could of had more of a role as a night fighter.
     
  16. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Traiining airframes for aspiring fitters and riggers,
     
  17. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Are those planes the tankbusters, or the "planes that could perform better" then Defiant as fighter-bombers?
     
  18. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    Planes that could perform better than the Defiant the planes I mentioned were all very effective in the close support role however.
     
  19. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    They would be shooting down at an angle.
     
  20. brewerjerry

    brewerjerry Active Member

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    Hi
    Maybe give it drop tanks and use it as a night time fighter escort with the night bombers ?
    Cheers
    Jerry
     
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