How badly would a plane like this perform?

Discussion in 'Flight Test Data' started by Clay_Allison, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    #1 Clay_Allison, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
    A Hawker Hurricane re-engined with an Allison V-1710-39, loaded with 4x .50 caliber MGs, and equipped with a thinner NACA Laminar Flow wing?

    This is part of my ongoing quest to play "armchair general" and come up with a scheme whereby an American export fighter could be created and equip the developing air forces of the less industrialized nations with a fighter capable of competing with the air forces of our enemies (and hopefully taking a toll on them).

    Here is my idea:

    Since the Canadian Car and Foundry Company was able to make Hurricanes and I'm sure assembly could be set up at any number of American factories that used old fashioned tooling and techniques, or car factories that were left out of the bidding for tanks and Jeeps , I'm sure that building 1000s under license on this continent would be possible.

    Since the Allison was a mass production friendly engine that was highly available, it should be really easy to adapt a power egg for it suitable for mating to the Hurricane airframe.

    I realize that wings have to be designed specifically for each plane, but there is no reason that I can think of that NACA couldn't design a wing that would be thinner and less drag-intensive than the one the Hurricane was stuck with.

    I know there are a half dozen better armament options than just sticking 50 caliber machine guns on an aircraft but for some reason, we didn't do it. So I figure 4x.50 or whatever armament in flexible gun bays that the end user wants to add would be adequate to destroy an enemy aircraft with good gunnery skills (bad gunnery skills will miss the enemy anyway unless you have him dead to rights).

    My question is, would the resulting fighter be worse than a P-36 Hawk, P-35 Seversky, or comparable aircraft?
     
  2. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Parasite drag is a sum of a lot of components with the wing being the largest..impossible to know what a 'thin wing' would achieve in the normal flight envelope. It's primary feature ('thinness') would be about transonic effects - which was only important in terminal dives..

    L/D is important for general performance so any change in wing profile must take into account a favorable change from existing wing.

    Why change from Merlin to Allison?
     
  3. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    Early war availability in the US. Eventually we had enough Packard V-1650 Merlins to spare, but as always I want my fighter to be available in the early part of the war.
     
  4. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    #4 Colin1, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
    You didn't, not really
    The Packard Merlin was prioritised for Merlin Mustang production, other programs had alot of difficulty getting hold of them.
    Both the P-40 and the P-38 programs stood little hope of acquiring the type, with not a hope in hell of getting hold of -3s. In fairness, people were just as concerned over P-38 production downtime that would have been incurred but it wasn't generally easy getting hold of a Merlin outside of NAA.
    The P-40 was generally considered a superior platform to the Hurricane, I can't see the US War Department allocating V-1650s to the latter.
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    As always, which year?

    Allison delievered 14 engines in 1938, 46 engines in 1939 and 1175 engines in 1940 using 512 employees, 1,213 employees and 7,347 employees respectivly. factory space went from 93,598 sq/ft to 404,652 sq/ft to 1,221,660sq/ft. figures are from Dec of each year.

    Dec of 1941 Allison had 12,348 employees
    Dec of 1942 Allison had 16,865 employees
    Oct of 1943 Allison had 21,115 employees

    At times Allison was hiring 100 men per day.

    At one point when the goal was 1000 engines a month (Dec 1941) Allison couldn't get enough machine tools to fill it's floor space. In Sept of 1941 they had 200 machine tools undelivered while holding a A-1-C priority rating. Allsion was listed as BEHIND 525 other prime contractors!!

    Allison eventually wound up with over 300 subcontractors suppling parts and sub-assemblies, not including standard hardware like nuts and bolts. If those suppliers are include the number of suppliers jumps to around 1,250.

    Cadillac was suppling crankshafts, camshafts, connecting rods, piston pins, compleate reduction gerar boxes and more.

    THis idea of yours that there was all kinds of spare production capacity in this country just standing around unused doesn't seem to stand up.
     
  6. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #6 Shortround6, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
    Actually, until the Merlins were put into the P-51 the US didn't quite know what they were going to do with them. First contract signed was for 9,000 engines with 2/3 going to the British and 1/3 going to the US without any clear idea just which planes would use them. Of course it was over a year from when the contract was signed to when the first production engine rolled out the door so there was a little time to figure out what to do with them:lol:


    Edit: the P-40 was used to arm our allies. One book claims it flew with 28 different nations. I am sure than counts all the British commonwealth Nations as seperate but still!!
     
  7. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    There probably was a political hubbub going on, but down on the production lines the P-40 wasn't getting the -3; it had enough trouble getting hold of -1s for the F and L. This would have been what, 1942? I doubt the US would have looked at or considered the Hurricane at this stage of the war and back when it was comparable with planes like the P-36 et al, the engine wasn't available.

    Clay hasn't stamped any timeline into his what-if, when is this fighter due on the scene?
     
  8. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the time line is the key.

    Original contract was signed in Sept 0f 1940? before the 2 stage Merlin was developed. Once the 2 stage engine was placed in production the single stage version delieveries slowed just a trickle of replacement engines and not enough of them. British gave the US 600 Merlins to be broken down for spare parts or used as replacement engines for Fs and Ls and some of the F/ls were rengined in the field with Allisons to get around the spares shortage. (US planners hadn't allocated enough engines as spares to begin with. Around 50% more engines than airframes was considered usual.)
     
  9. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    thats because they were . I know that the Brits wanted Canada to use our forces as replacements for Brit units much as they wanted in WW1 and both times it didn't work I'm assuming the Aussies and Kiwis were of the same mind
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    I am not try to disparage any of the Commonwealth Countries or their contribution to the war effort.

    It is just the manor in which the aircraft may have been distributed. Some Commonwealth Countries may have recieved their aircraft direct from the US while others may have recieved theirs from UK stocks. In some cases they may have gotten them from both sources.
    With some Individual Commonwealth squadrons operating as part of a larger UK group, wing, or air force they do tend to get a bit lost in the scope of things.

    My apoligies :oops:
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I am under the impression the Lancaster bomber had priority for Packard built Merlin engines.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    I am under the impression that there was a division of production. 2/3 going to the British and 1/3 going to the US.
    How each nation used their "allocation" may have been up to them.

    At least that may have been the original plan. The US may have wound up with only 22% of the Production.

    Of course with only the P-40F/Ls and the P-51s actually using the Merlins keeping more in the US might have only resulted in more crated engines being left at the end of the war.

    anybody got any stories of large numbersof P-51 airframes sitting around waiting for engines?
     
  13. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    Sorry about that. I was thinking deliveries to Commonwealth and Soviet units in January of 1942, with the order placed January of 1940. With two years to design a better wing, get the factories running, get priorities sorted, and get destinations figured out I think it could be done.
     
  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Not without either building a compleatly new Allison factory or doing some other rather amazing production trick.

    By the end of 1941 208 P-38s had been accepted. 939 P-39s total had been accepted, 926 in 1941. The P-40 was the champ, 2248 accepted in 1941 for a total to date of 3026 p-40s. there are also 138 P-51s.

    This totals 4519 engines installed in aircraft with another 812 Allisons to be installed in January of 1942. Of course if you are delivering planes to Russia in Jan, you probably had to complete the planes in Oct/Nov to get them ready and onto the ships. Of those 2248 P-40s built in 1941 over 1/3 were built in the last 3 months of the year.

    Getting priorities sorted would probably mean a lot fewer P-39s and P-40s.

    Unless you think the factories could be expanded at a much greater rate than they were.

    As an example Wright went from building 2325 R-1820s in 1940 to 4687 R-1820s in 1941 and going to 9846 R-1820s in 1942. I don't have figures for the P&W R-1830 but P&W quadrupled the floor space of their Hartford factory during these years (1939-1941) and Ford built a compleatly new factory for R-2800 production of R-2800s that started at 887,717 sq.ft. with Machines and equipment ot make 800 engines a month being ordered in Oct of 1940. This factory was eventually expanded to 4 times it's original size with a target production of 3400 engines per month. This is after the time period you are talking about but it may help give an Idea of how these factories expanded or started from bare ground and compeated for priorities for steel framing, concrete, lighting and wiring etc, in addition to needing machine tools, cranes, dollies and other equipment. Trained workers were a little hard to come by too. A lot of these companies had to train new workers and even Allison by the end of 1943 had a work force that was over 30% female.

    How many of your "1000s" did you want in Jan of 1942?
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to build a new factory it should be for additional Merlin engines.
     
  16. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    I can't get past my first thought, why not try the V-1710 in the P-36 instead? Oh that was done wasn't it :D

    I realise my considerations are simplistic here but nonetheless...

    Thinking about the aero industry of various nations, it seems for American exports ca.1939 the all metal design was prudent, though for many other nations mixed construction using older airframe production techniques/skills would fit better with existing industry if the aircraft was to be license produced rather than exported in which case sure something like a Hurricane or Hurricane-hybrid or new mixed construction design would be smart, fitted with export V-1710's like the -39 since the big limiting factor on international contemporary fighter design in the early war was the availability of good aero engines. Look at Italy for example, the Macchi C-200 was a great design but only mediocre engines were available until later.

    The real limiting factor on international fighter design was the fact most small nations were stuck with Kestrel, Jupiter, Mercury, Hispano-Suiza, Rhone, Fiat, Fafnir or Bramo engines which are all in the 800hp class and most of these are large frontal section radials, most inline engines available at the time were in the 650hp class at best (Kestrel II and HS 12Y were exceptions and quite impressive, but might be considered the limit of D-Motor evolution). The Wright Cyclone was probably the most powerful engine available in the world at the time (capable of 1200hp under 5000ft in ca.1938 ), though some new engines the Merlin, Daimler, Jumo and Allison promised to be even more powerful being derived from aerial racing prototypes, but these were all strategically important engines and availability was limited.
    The United States with its mass production ability, of Cyclones, Twin Wasp and Allison engines was in the unique position of helping smaller nations tremendously with supply of contemporary aero-engine performance en par with the leading nations best fighter types.

    But if you were going to build the a/c in the US and export it to small nations, the question again remains, why not just re-engine the P-36 with the Allison since this was a contemporary and proven airframe design, easy to build and modern (for 1939).
    And yet that was precisely what happened historically. Maybe they knew what they were doing.
     
  17. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    Or you could just order more P-36s

    The P-36 was a pretty inexpensive plane and the Finns and French liked it. Just add slightly better armament (4x.50) and fire suppressed fuel tanks (tube from exhaust into fuel tanks, not as good as self sealing but cheaper and lighter).
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Saving a few hundred dollars on a 40-50,000 dollar fighter doesn't seem like good sense.

    While a plane might have been "good enough" in 1940 that doesn't mean it was viable fighter in 1942.

    Considering most French planes for them to say the P-36 was good is damning with faint praise.

    An updated P-36 would have interesting though. a bit better cowling and a bit of streamlining might have halved the diference in speed between the P-36 and P-40.
     
  19. thom regit

    thom regit New Member

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    Designing and mounting a new wing on an elderly aircraft like the Hurricane would be a pointless exercise. Yes, it was kept in production for a long period during the war but this was only because the facilities were up and running. It's time had past; it was of an older generation (wooden formers and stringers covered by fabric) and a more aerodynamically advanced aircraft built of then modern materials would surely have been the direction to go. In other words a new aircraft. Can you say P-51?
     
  20. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    How about allowing Howard Hughes build a lightweight figther built around a slightly larger H-1 racer and the R-1830, with two 50s and two 30s or four .50s, and some typical, for the day, protection. Flying in 1937, should have been cheap, fast and maneuverable, possibly equalling or passing the performance of the contemporary Bf-109 and Spitfire.
     
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