Biplane Hurricane

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by vikingBerserker, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I've often wondered, had this ludicrous contraption gone into service, how much damage would be done, on the ground, by the jettisoned upper wing!
    I realise desperation fuels invention at times, but this one has always seemed a really strange one to me!
     
  3. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #3 bobbysocks, Dec 15, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
    i didnt read the article but would think that once jettisoned it would float to the ground via a parachute so you could reuse the upper. would be an expensive proposition if not...
     
  4. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, a bunch of trucks with crews scouring the counrtyside for these wings. Hangars full of repair people. Then an hour for each re-install crew, per plane, to turn-a-round for take off again.

    In actual fact, how long Was the turn-a-round for a Hurricane to be re-armed and re-fueld to get back into battle????
     
  5. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    I believe it was done in approximately 30 minutes during the Malta air battles though I dont know whether that was fuel, Oil, Oxygen and ammo.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I'd have to check, but as far as I know, the Hillson, or 'slip wing' Hurricane didn't see service, although I believe it was intended to extend range, to get it to Malta, as an example.
    I haven't looked at the article yet, but those photos, and some film footage I've seen, did not show any form of parachute or other retarding system to control the descent of the jettisoned wing. It looked bl**dy hairy too!
     
  7. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    I was under the impression that it was to increase lift for a shorter take off run. Perhaps in lieu of a catapult. I would have thought it would add drag and weight so reduce range, unless it contained fuel.
     
  8. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Wasn't the main purpose of the wing to serve as an oversized drop tank?
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It was a crazy scheme. The original Bi-Mono, as this type of contraption was known, was built by F.Hills and Son (hence Hillson) and first flew in 1941. It dropped it's upper wing into the Irish Sea. I've no idea whether it was retrieved.

    Any development, like the Hurricane (F.40) version, would have arrived too late for Malta as the US entry into the war and her offer of a carrier to transport aircraft into the Mediterranean made it unnecessary. The Bi-Mono Hurricane didn't fly until 1943 and the wing was never separated in flight.

    The US entry also made a much more serious scheme redundant. The plan was to tow a Hurricane behind a tug, Wellingtons were to be used, from Gibraltar to a point close to Malta where the Hurricane would drop its tow and fly into the beleaguered island. The Wellington couldn't take off from Gibraltar with the Hurricane in tow since the air strip was only 950 yards long, but an ingenious scheme whereby the Hurricane would pick up its tow once airborne was developed and tested at Staverton, near Gloucester, during 1941. Restarting the Hurricane's engine after a 700 mile tow might have been a brown trouser moment.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It certainly did that. The maximum speed of the Hillson Bi-Mono was lower than the stalling speed of the monoplane which made for an interesting few moments after shedding the upper wing. As I said above the Hurricane version never tried a wing separation, probably wisely. The scheme was abandoned due to the poor performance of the Bi-Mono.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  11. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    #11 pbehn, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
    The British are a queer bunch, after turning the Fury into the Fury monoplane then into the Hurricane they stick another wing right back on the top of it. some things shouldnt leave the drawing board, methinks it could easily rip the tail off.,
     
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  12. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The wing being a lifting body would probably go up when released.

    There were several WW1 fighters that experienced upper wing failures, when they did, the wing went up. The damage to the rest of the airframe was caused by the attaching struts and wires.
    Lothar Richtoffen ( Manfred's brother ) successfully landed, somewhat, a Fokker triplane that lost it's upper wing.


    But these strange designs that came out during Britain's most stressful period, pre and early BOB, sort of remind me of the desperate designs that came out of the 3rd Reich during it's last months.
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The slip wing idea was a pre war one. Aircraft were getting much heavier and take off runs were getting longer. The slip wing concept, as developed in the Hillson Bi-Mono prototype was originally seen as a way of getting an aircraft into the air with a shorter run.

    A popular idea for increasing range was composite aircraft. Hills and Sons also worked on a composite dive-bomber. It was a non-starter not least because the British Air Ministry and RAF had no interest in dive bombing and the combination never flew.

    Both these odd projects were private ventures, they were not financed by the British government. I've no idea what happened to Hills and Son, I do know that they took over a well known confectionary factory to make and repair propeller blades during the war.
    That's all good for the war effort but the factory was 'The Chocolate Works' home of the delicious 'Terry's Chocolate Orange' and 'Terry's All Gold', a disaster for those with a sweet tooth :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  14. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Hills' Manchester plant, based at Barton, used the large hangar, still there, for overhaul and contract work on types such as Tiger Moth, Proctor and others, and I believe also built some types, though I can't remember all the details . Somewhere, i have a photo of rows of Tiger Moth fuselages, standing on their noses, awaiting final work.
     
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  15. YakFlyer

    YakFlyer Member

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    Pretty sure you are right Tomo. Purely for endurance/ferry.
     
  16. YakFlyer

    YakFlyer Member

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    I still find it amazing, even with time, from the mid 30s, when the 109/Spitfire and Hurricane were the mainstays of the two airforces of the day, that the Americans could make a fighter of roughly the same specifications go faster, higher, and quadruple the range of those earlier fighters and still function as a fighter, a mere 4-5 years later. Astonishing stuff.
    I am a HUGE fan of the Hurri/Spit and an enthusiast of British Aircraft first, but it still is amazing looking back, that those two were quite hopeless until the air war made it back into Europe where forward bases enabled the Spitfire in particular, to be effective again, as it was in 1940. Where as the Mustang and Thunderbolt were valuable and highly effective as soon as they first saw service - no matter where the front line was.


    yakflyer
     
  17. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It's not amazing at all. If you examine the specifications and doctrine which resulted in those two British aircraft the Air Ministry got exactly what its asked for. It didn't want a fighter with greater range (your other parameters are debateable). It wanted an interceptor and dogfighter, roles at which both were excellent and in which the Spitfire were never bettered and rarely equalled. Both were designed for the air defence of Great Britain, in fact ADGB was the name of the predecessor of Fighter Command, not offensive operations across the Channel. The role of ADGB/Fighter Command fighters was to destroy enemy bombers, thereby defending Britain's infrastructure and people. A situation in which enemy fighters would be based near the French coast with the ability to reach southern airfields and, in an extremely limited way, London was not envisaged or planned for. That's why some other 1930s designs (like turret fighters) proved rapidly obsolete.

    Comments such as yours have to be put in a correct historical context. The planners of Britain's air defence in the 1930s did not have the benefit of our hindsight. By 1939 they had got more right than wrong. In 1940, after Dunkirk and the fall of France, history shows that it was just as well that they had.

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  18. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    The Mustang had the benefit of 5 years of aerodynamic advances. Thats a whole different generation ahead of the Spit, Hurricane and Bf109. If the RAF had wanted a P51B/C/D Mustang it would have had to wait until at least 1943 for a large number of aircraft. By then its possible Britain would have been knocked out of the war. As for the Thunderbolt great aircraft but a Spitfire with the maximum extra fuel that the RAF allowed had a greater range than most wartime Thunderbolt models.
     
  19. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    #19 pbehn, Dec 20, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
    The Mustang was so exceptional it was ordered as a dive bomber originally (the apache) to talk about "higher" means fitting a British merlin engine. The British ordered 620 Allison engine Mustangs how many did they receive? The Allison engine Mustangs would have been useless in the BoB and Malta as they couldn't perform at altitude. By the time the B/C/D versions were introduced in Europe the war and the Spitfire had moved on. Yes the Mustang had great range and speed but flying to Berlin without 1000 bombers to escort would be a pointless task. The spitfire first went into service with a clear canopy but the P51Mustang had a dated cage design as did the razorback Thunderbolts. As Stona said the Mustang was 5 yrs behind and therefore 5 yrs ahead in design, that doesn't mean the first versions were much use at all for what they were ordered for, the defence of the UK. By late 1944, fitted with merlin engines extra tanks advance gun sights it was an escort fighter without peer, however the first Griffon engine Spitfire flew in August 1942. The UK was at war with Germany which meant it had to defend its airspace from bombers and later V1s until late 1944. The various Spitfire marques were almost always upto that, never designed as an offensive fighter, in a 1 on 1 the spitfire was usually the better plane. Certainly when the mustang was introduced it couldn't have escorted a raid on the UK it didn't perform at high enough altitude. This isn't knocking the Mustang, it was a fantastic plane eventually but please don't say it was brilliant from the outset or that it was seen as being brilliant ( the USAF didn't believe they needed escorts in 1941/42). It couldn't beat a MK 1 spitfire because it didn't exist when the MK1 was front line The P51D was significantly out performed by its contemporary Spitfire the MKXIV except in range. As this thread is about the Hurricane bi plane variant I must say the poor Hurricane gets a bad press, it did its job. Sure it was outperformed by the 109 but in the BoB Hawkers could make them faster than the LW could shoot them down and they were just good enough to make the LW give up, hurricanes did after all score more kills than Spitfires. Thankfully they didn't all have a 700LB wing strapped above.
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Actually the British were still using two squadrons of Allison powered Mustangs on V-E day. Granted they were using them for tactical reconnaissance and not air superiority but that has to be a near record for the European theater seeing as how the LAST Allison powered Mustang rolled out the factory door in May 1943, two years before. They were using six squadrons of Allison powered Mustangs at the the time of D-Day. Decline was due to lack of spare parts.
    As far as being " ordered as a dive bomber originally (the apache)" goes, they built over 770 non-dive bombers before the first dive bomber version rolled out the door.

    Typhoon wasn't much good at altitude either but they managed to put them to good use too.
     
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