Hawker starts early with Fury monoplane- pros cons

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Reading a bit about RAF's pre ww2 fighters, an interesting tidbit ca be read at the Wikipedia entry about Hawker Fury:

    " Designer at Hawker, Sidney Camm, designed a monoplane version of the Fury in 1933. It was not developed until the Rolls-Royce developed what was to become their famous Merlin engine. The design was then revised according to Air Ministry specification F5/34 to become the prototype Hawker Hurricane."

    What might be the consequences in case Hawker was given a go for such a Fury? Does anyone have any data about the proposed fighter?
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I think this refers to the Fury monoplane design submitted by Hawker in October 1933. Hawker had done their performance calculations based on the Kestrel engine although the drawings shown to the Ministry were labelled "Goshawk engine". Hawker would have been well aware that the Goshawk was still the preferred engine at the Air Ministry.
    This design (submitted October 1933) was rendered completely irrelevant because a few months later, in January 1934, figures from Rolls Royce for a new engine, the P.V.12 which would become Merlin, were released by Rolls Royce. Camm was now aware that Rolls Royce anticipated an installed power output of 900hp for take off from this new engine, with relatively small geometric and weight penalties (compared to the Kestrel). The P.V.12 was designed into the Hawker scheme, now generally referred to as the "Interceptor Monoplane", from this time onwards.
    By March 1934 detailed design for the prototype "Interceptor Monoplane to F.5/34" was underway. In August 1934 the Ministry prepared a detailed specification, F.36/34 virtually written around this design. This enabled Hawker to formally tender their design to the Air Ministry on 4th September under the title "F.36/34 Single Seat Fighter - High Speed Monoplane" which of course became the Hurricane.
    The monoplane version of the Fury was a lame duck, killed off by events elsewhere, particularly at Rolls Royce. With it's large and thick wing centre section and lack of power it would have been worse than useless in 1940 had it ever got off the drawing board.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Tanks for the feedback. Do do you have any details about the physical size of the 'monoplane Fury'? Retractable U/C or not? Armament, fuel?
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It was to have retractable undercarriage, hydraulically operated by the pilot with a manual pump. The design had the deep section, rectangular wing centre section to accommodate what would become a typical Hawker retraction system.
    It had an enclosed cockpit and deeper rear fuselage frames. I don't seem to have the wing span. It had four fuselage mounted .303 machine guns as did initial designs for the Hurricane (the awful Vickers guns mounted on the fuselage sides).
    The design had an estimated top speed (with Kestrel) of 270 mph.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Thanks again.
    BTW, could someone please take a look at the 'British secret projects' book for any additional info it might be there?
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Is it in there? It was never much of a project as it became subsumed by what would become the Hurricane project after only 3-4 months. It never got off the drawing board, not even a model was built.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The design was developed to include a retractable undercarriage after discussions with Major John Buchanan of the Directorate of Technical Development (DTD) at the Air Ministry. It was Buchanan that offered the example of American experiments with manually retracting undercarriage on the naval Curtiss XF11C-3 biplane fighter. Camm didn't like the look of the American system at all and came up with his own system, first proposed for the monoplane Hawk, and used on most Hawker aircraft for years to come.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  9. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Okay - so we have a fighter monoplane project, that should be powered with Kestrel (IIs initially? - 590 HP at 11400 ft?) and armed with 4 LMGs. For the sake of discussion (say, RAF wants just to be sure, in case Merlin encounters difficulties/delays), lets say Hawker gets a green light. Gloster (a subsidiary of Hawker) produces it too, instead of Gladiator. Bristol develops produces the radial engined counterpart? A navalised monoplane, instead of Sea Gladiator (also in better numbers)?
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    A 270 mph four gun fighter would have been a disaster in 1940. We'd definitely have been depending on Admiral Forbes (C-in-C Home Fleet) and German ineptitude, rather than the RAF in August 1940.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  11. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    Perhaps we could take the Vickers Venom as a model. 625bhp bristol Aquila and x8 7.7mm Brownings?
     
  12. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    By 1940 (by 1938?) we would surely be looking at Merlinized 8 gun version of the monoplane, earlier versions equipping Greek, Norwegian, Belgian, Yugoslav airforces, as well as Commonwelath AFs?
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Historically the "fall back" should either the Spitfire or Hurricane fail was the Gloster F7/30 which became the Gladiator.
    April 26th 1935 Sorley wrote to the DTD to report.

    "I then suggest we should now speculate the cost of jigs for both the Hawker [Hurricane] and Supermarine [Spitfire] aircraft while the prototypes are being completed. The risk of a dead loss is to my mind small since both designers [Camm, Mitchell] have been notable for their first time successes. We could then select either, or both, for production to commence immediately we have satisfied ourselves on their flying capabilities. If by some mischance they should both fail then we shall still have the Gloster F7/30 to fall back on.
    I am aware that this is an unorthodox method but with the political situation as it is and the possibility of increased expansion close upon us we should take steps to produce the latest design in the shortest possible time. It may be said that the action to tool up for these two aircraft would be unfair to other firms tendering for the 10/35 specification. I suggest that the situation no longer allows for tender feelings for others and we require the best aircraft we can get at the appropriate moment."

    As early as early 1935 the die was cast. The RAF's front line fighter, barring a failure of both Hawker and Supermarine to deliver, was going to be the Hurricane and/or Spitfire.

    Two other things are quite clear. In 1935 the Air Ministry was prepared to ride rough shod over the feelings of other aviation companies to ensure that they got the Spitfire and/or Hurricane as soon as possible.
    Any idea that senior officers at the Air Ministry were not expecting a war with Germany (Sorley's boss Air Commodore Verney supported this letter) is simply not true.

    Many armchair generals like to bash the men who really had the difficult decisions to make using the benefit of hindsight. Sometimes it is nice to show that a few determined officers got something about as right as they possibly could. That's why in 1939 the RAF was confronting the Luftwaffe with the Hurricane and the Spitfire was starting to arrive in numbers.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  14. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Trying to have some discussion here, and not trying to bash people :) Truth is indeed the RAF, at least the FC, was as well prepared for the start of ww2 as practically possible.
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I never thought that you were trying to bash anybody :)
    Some do though. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

    I think one of the Bristol fighters was also considered as a fall back option. I haven't had time to check which one. The Vickers Venom was built to F5/34 from memory and was a horrible looking thing!
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  16. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    No problems, Steve. It's great to have someone like you around :)
     
  17. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I think the Bristol fighter I've seen reference to as a fall back, along with the Gloster fighter, was probably the Bristol 146. The various letters and reports of men like Sorley just refer to "the Bristol fighter" and sometimes the relevant Specification. At the time everyone would have known which one they meant!
    Just like all other competitors to the two Merlin engined front runners it never entered production. I know one prototype was built and had decent performance, but compared to the Spitfire....... or Bf 109.....
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  18. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    I suppose if the Hurricane or Spitfire had failed, the Gloster F5/34 might have been pursued? Although I believe the programme had already fallen some way behind schedule by 1936 due to Glosters commitment to producing the Gladiator?
     
  19. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Waynos is back :)
     
  20. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    Hi Tomo, just having a nosey. It's been a long time :)
     
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