BoB after: how would you like to see Spitfire further developed?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Again, you are in charge, this time in Supermarine during the Summer of 1940, and the task is to develop Spitfire further. What would be the main areas of interest/change/improvement? You may choose the 'mild' changes (models to enter services in 1941) and more radical (for 1942 on).
    If you think that Spitfire was developed further historically as it would be ideally, I acknowledge that in advance ;)
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Swipe a few hundred Merlin XXs from the bomber boys for starters. ;)
     
  3. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    And several hundred more from Hurricane II production + a longer range version with fuel system a la Mk VII´and VIII
     
  4. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    Give the undercarriage a wide track
     
  5. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Switch Production to the P51
     
  6. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    Oh Oh, In coming!!!
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The Spitfire airframe was somewhat expensive to produce. I would strive to lower production costs and replace wing mounted machineguns with Hs.404 cannon. Naturally it would get improved Merlin engines as they become available.

    Any other changes are likely to increase production costs, which is the opposite of our objective. Lightweight fighters such as the Me-109 and Spitfire will remain in service to bulk out aircraft numbers. They are not a substitute for newer, larger aircraft models such as the Fw-190 and Mustang.

    I agree with the suggestion that Britain acquire large numbers of Merlin engine powered Mustangs for long range missions. But airframe production should remain in North America where aluminum was in plentiful supply. Merlin engines for these Mustangs can be manufactured either in Britain or in Detroit.
     
  8. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Agree about the Merlin XX; with boosts level in use from 1941 and further, maybe the Fw-190 would not be such a threat?
    The increased fuel oil tankage would increase the usability of the plane, more so for all theaters, not only for Asia/Pacific MTO.

    Good call, the Seafire would benefited also from that.
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    As far as the BoB, that was a done deal. While MK IIs started to be delivered by Castle Bromwich during the battle the vast majority of the fighters used had been manufactured before the battle started.

    Changing over to the metal covered ailerons sooner would have been nice and going for the MK III with a normal wing as already mentioned would have cut the need for the hi and low MK V models. One plane being able to cover both heights.
     
  10. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    You are a card Neil...
    I love Canadian humour :lol:
    John
     
  11. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    after the BOB the Spitfire production should be cut back (produce just enough for an intercepter version to protect UK) to allow for production space for an aircraft that is able to carry the fight to the LW.
     
  12. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Improvements to the perfect interceptor fighter?

    More power / rate of climb
    More firepower. Maybe .50 MG or 20mm cannons
    Move that fuel tank that burnt so many pilots
    A greater range
    Higher ceiling

    Most of these came as a natural progression as WW2 progressed.

    JOhn
     
  13. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    We did that with the Lancaster.

    John
     
  14. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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    +1 on the undercarriage wide track + more fuel RR Crecy with 2 stage at 18 lb's boost.
     
  15. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

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    Not an easy task, structurally.
     
  16. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The main near time improvement could've been the installation of Merlin XX.
    The long term change might include the development of the new wing, that would feature a wide track gear, tailored for 4 cannons per plane. Some fuel tanks in wings, too. In case the wing is of laminar type, the speed on two-stage Merlin should be akin to P-51s, with better climb. The teardrop canopy would've improved the visibility, as it did in other fighters of the era. The Griffon installation should proceed as historically.
     
  17. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Forget the laminar flow wing....

    The two main things they needed to do with the Spitfire was add tankage (which was shown to be possible) and do some detail work with the radiator installation (to minimise drag).

    Other areas to work on are using 4 x 20mm or 2 x 20mm + 2 x 0.50s, strengthening the win so that external tanks could be carried.

    Also, dump Mk IX production in favour of VIII and XIV as soon as possible.
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you are talking about a Merlin powered Spiteful :)
     
  19. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Kinda; the wing area would not be reduced, though. I'd like to see the leading wing radiators, too, akin to that Tempest prototype.

    Hi, wuzak,
    Why should we forget laminar flow wing in this case?
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The "laminar" flow didn't really do a lot for drag on it's own. What it did do was allow more interior volume for the same drag. Most WW II laminar flow wings only held the low drag airflow another 5-10% of the airfoil over a normal wing. In other words don't expect much of a change in performance over a normal Spitfire but you could wind up with more volume in the wings for fuel tanks.
     
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