British possible Battle of Britain fighters that never made it.

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by helmitsmit, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. helmitsmit

    helmitsmit Member

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    There are two that stick in my head: The Miles M 20 and the Martin Baker MB2. If any info, thoughts or other aircraft that could have but didn't let me know.

    Having said that the Martin Baker MB 5 could have been one of the greatest ever built! Why wasn't it put in production??? I haven't heard any good reasons and it wouldn't have entered production long after the Hawker Tempest i.e. before the end of the war.
     
  2. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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    Do you no what the MB-6 looked liked I would love to no.
     
  3. helmitsmit

    helmitsmit Member

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    There wasn't an MB 6 as such it was an ejection seat. Do you mean MB 5?
     

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  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I think ,the main reason that RAF didn't enter MB-5 production ,was the RAF superiority in tha air with Tempest,Spitfire,Mustang and Thunderbold fighters.Besides the war was about over.The second reason was that the jet airplanes appeared and they seemed to be better for the future.

    There some pics of Martin Baker planes.Source unknown.
     

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  5. helmitsmit

    helmitsmit Member

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    True if the Martin Baker wasn't better then the planes you mentioned. However, it was almost perfect...

    "The MB5, a low-wing monoplane, fitted with a 2,340hp. Rolls-Royce Griffon 83 engine driving a pair of three-bladed counter-rotating propellers, was an aircraft of sleek and pleasing lines. Underslung radiators were placed beneath the belly of the fuselage, aft of the cockpit. This arrangement, as well as reducing the cooling drag, led to a slim and clean nose which, with the long spinner enclosing the propeller hubs, gave an exceptionally good view over the nose and leading edge of the wings. Fighter pilots flying this aircraft for the first time were full of praise of this essential tactical feature.

    The fuselage primary structure of MB5 was of the now familiar steel tube construction, covered and faired with light, detachable metal panels, which offered exceptional accessibility to the equipment installations and for servicing. The engine-mounting consisted of two molybdenum-steel tapered cantilever booms, and here too the layout provided easy access to engine components and accessories. The engine was neatly cowled with panels which could be removed easily to lay bare the engine in a few minutes.

    The wing was of the single-spar type, with the spar and leading edge forming a torsion-box of remarkable stiffness and strength; primary wing structure details were simple to produce and easy to repair. Flying controls were operated by torsion bars, which gave excellent positive control coupled with light operation. A sturdy wide-track undercarriage gave exceptionally good taxiing qualities, whilst its pneumatic operation was simple, effective and entirely trouble free.

    It was, however, in the pilot's cockpit that one of MB5's main attractions lay. The cockpit was exceptionally well laid out, with all controls coming easily and readily to hand, within the pilots reach. Instruments were grouped in an orderly fashion, allowing routine cockpit checks to be done in logical sequence. Fuel control was centred in one lever - a feature dear to the hearts of fighter pilots. Accessibility for servicing was provided by mounting the instruments on hinged panels, which opened into the cockpit. A special primary control-unit was neatly installed in a manner economical in space, yet effective in operation, and having the advantage of bringing vital control components within the easy scrutiny of routine inspection. The cockpit was cleanly floored, an unusual feature then in British military aircraft, which gave a pleasing impression of spaciousness combined with businesslike utility.

    Official reports of the day stated that the cockpit could advantageously be copied as standard for fighter aircraft. A one-piece transparent tear-drop canopy of neat design was fitted, provided with wheel control for operation by the pilot. The mechanism was perfectly balanced and easy to operate, whilst jettisoning was clean, safe and effective.

    The four-cannon installation, utilising Martin-Baker flat belt-feed mechanisms, was exceptionally well arranged. The functional efficiency and destructive power of this weapon was noteworthy among contemporary aircraft, whilst the excellent accessibility of the installation permitted easy servicing and ensured a quick turnaround under operational conditions.

    Not all its virtues rested in the excellence of its engineering, for in the air MB5 was unquestionably ahead of contemporary piston-engined fighters, with a top speed of 460 m.p.h. Early flight trials, in the capable hands of Bryan Greensted, quickly established it as an exceptionally good aircraft, and some older readers will remember the polished demonstration of MB5 by Squadron-leader Zurakowski as an outstanding event at the Farnborough Air Display of 1946.

    Pilots liked the ease of taxiing provided by a wide-track undercarriage, the excellent all-round view, the absence of swing on take-off and landing, the spectacular rocket-like climb, the surge of power, quickly responding to throttle openings, with a corresponding bite into the air urging the aircraft forward, and the feeling of confidence given by a robust structure. They also liked sitting in a clean cockpit from which the aircraft could be flown effectively with precision and safety.

    Why this aircraft was not put into production remains one of the aircraft industry's minor mysteries, and one which is often the subject of interesting speculation. Some will say that, as a piston-engined aircraft, it came too late to be acceptable in the advent of jet fighters. However, had a decision about its future been taken early by the authorities, it could have gone into production soon enough for it to have reached squadrons in sufficient numbers to have been engaged effectively in World War II. Disappointment in failing to put MB5 into production was felt keenly by all at Martin-Baker and shared by many Royal Air Force officers and other officials."

    ...as you can see.
     
  6. merlin

    merlin Member

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    The initial question is in two parts.
    For the first question relating to possible Battle of Britain fighters, the quickest answer is to refer you to a previous 'thread' (a couple of pages back) 'Alternative RAF aircraft in the Battle of Britain'

    For the second part - yes in principle the MB5 could have been an excellent addition to the RAF's order of battle. Why wasn't it ordered - almost certainly 'lack of confidence' in Martin Baker's ability - being a small company - to mass produce the aircraft when it was required.
     
  7. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I agree, the MB-5 was better that the rest of RAF fighters but there was no need to produce a new plane when The RAF was equipped with such a great number of verified in struggles fighters.And this I've meant.
     
  8. helmitsmit

    helmitsmit Member

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  9. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    wrong- the MB.6 was an aircraft, but granted it stayed a plan only the only picture i have of it is from Flypast magazine...........

    and we didn't need the MB.5 pure and simple..........
     

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  10. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    One possible reason for the decision not to produce 'emergency' fighters to support the Spitfire and Hurricane was that we already had 200 fighters in reserve for use in an emergency.
    These were 200 Hawk 75-A4's which were held at Colerne, Wroughton, Little Rissington and Lossiemouth maintanence units.
    These were good little planes, that whilst not up to the standard of the Spitfire/109E could take care of themselves in a defensive situation and had done quite well in France.
     
  11. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    if we needed them i have no doubt we would have used them, we'd sooner see the entire RAF destroyed than a jerries marching up the Mall.........
     
  12. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    Lanc, that isn't the Martin-Baker MB.6. That is a post-war fighter with an Avon engine.

    The real MB.6 is below and looks like the squirt.

    The Martin-Baker MB.5 was a real dog. They only got the problems with it sorted out in 1946, by which time the need had gone. Its not much of a suprise really. Mr Martin wasn't a very good aircraft designer and had a preoccupation with tailless aircraft with the result that they were dangerously unstable and had to have tails added to them.
     

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  13. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but that goes against everything I have ever heard or read about the MB5. It had rave reviews from its test pilots for performance, cockpit layout and handling, from maintanence for its accessibility to key areas and and use of access panels.

    It most certainly could have been used during the war but we didn't need it and jets were clearly the way ahead.

    He was an excellent designer and as we know led the way in ejection seats saving countless lives.

    Can I ask what your sources of information are ?
     
  14. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    that's close to a contradiction, we wouldn't have been able to make any use of her.............
     
  15. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    The information is from Sir James Martin's biography by S. Sharman

    In 1944, the MB.5 was a dog. The test reports and reviews are from 1946 when it was flying well.

    Here is a quote from the early trials in 1944;

    "Greensted[test pilot] however remembered very clearly his first flight in the MB5, and he recalled ; "Right from the very beginning I suppose you could say that it was a badly designed aircraft because it didn't work in the sense that it was directionally unstable. It was an absolute wine to fly because it wouldn't keep itself straight."..."I still don't understand why the thing wasn't right when I first flew it. After all, the theory of design of aircraft at that stage was pretty advanced and I don't understand how he could make a mistake about the directional stability..."

    Yes, he designed ejection seats pretty well. But not aircraft.
     
  16. helmitsmit

    helmitsmit Member

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    Can I ask what your sources of information are ?[/QUOTE]

    Yeah here is the site Martin Baker History MB5

    Why? I thought the instability was for the MB1 and MB2 where Martin Baker was obsessed with tailless aircraft but he changed and made the MB3 with a Sabre engine.
     
  17. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    The site quoted seems to support everything that I had heard about the MB5 I noticed this comment on the site

    'Early flight trials, in the capable hands of Bryan Greensted, quickly established it as an exceptionally good aircraft,'

    I don't know which quote is more accurate, all I can say is that it wouldn't be the first time that an aircraft needed some changes identified from the first flight.
     
  18. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    Well he wanted to make the MB.3 with a Griffon engine but the Air Ministry forced him to accept the Sabre instead.

    The formal RAF trials with the MB.5 were in Feb 46. By then it had matured into a good and safe aircraft.
     
  19. helmitsmit

    helmitsmit Member

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    Did the unstable MB5 have the same tail unit as the 1946 one.
     
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