Landplane bomber version of Blackburn B.20

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by wuzak, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    The Blackburn B.20 was a twin Vulture float plane with retractable floats - the main float retracted into the fuselage, while the stabilising floats folded up to form the wing tips.

    With the floats retracted the wing span was 82ft (25m), compared to 90ft 1in (27.5m) for the Manchester. The wing area was 1,066 ft² (99 m²) against the Manchester's 1,131 ft² (105.1 m²). The B.20 was almost the same length as the Manchester (within 4in/101.6mm). But the MTOW of the B.20 was 15,000lb (6,803kg) less than that of the Manchester.

    Performance wise the B.20 was officially estimated to have a top speed of 306mph @ 15,000ft (Manchester 265mph @ 17,000ft). However, Tonny Buttler indicates in British Experimental Combat Aircraft of World War II that reports show that the B.20 was able to do 345mph in testing, before the prototype crashed.

    The B.20's bomb load of 8 x 250lb bombs is far smaller than the Manchester's 10,000lb+ load, but that was constrained by the type being a float plane/flying boat with the bombs held inside the inner wings only, plus the intended role as maritime reconnaissance and ASW aircraft. As a land plane the aircraft could have a proper bomb bay and without the float it could probably take 4000-6000lb bomb loads without worry.

    With the float gone and the lower fuselage better streamlined the performance should be increased. Making it in an unarmed bomber, or only retaining the rear turret, could yield some more performance improvements.

    In the end the B.20 was thought to be lost from aileron flutter. The Vultures didn't give teh same difficulties experienced in the Manchester, but perhaps that was because they weren't being asked as much in this application.

    So, what do you think - could a landplane B.20 bomber have been a useful aircraft in BC's inventory. Think 360-380mph top speed, 4000-6000lb bomb load, and approximately 1500 miles of range.
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    If the Vulture performs, the plane will too. As you've said, forget the floats, install the proper bomb bay you're set. Maybe ditching all of the armament?
     
  3. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    Some wheels might help?
     
  4. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I expect that when they convert it to a landplane bomber they may add some wheels!
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I think it would be difficult to convert an aircraft built as a flying boat,to a specification for a flying boat (R.1/36) into a land based bomber. It's an interesting idea but I doubt it would have worked.
    A couple of practicalities immiediately spring to mind. With such a high wing where will the undercarriage go? The engine nacelles already have intakes on the bottom. Would it be possible to attach it to the fuselage on such a large aircraft? The B.20 was to carry bombs in the wings,would this be sacrificed?
    It would have involved a major redesign,effectively resulting in a new type. Blackburn could have used any lessons learned from the B.20 in the design of a land based bomber,I just don't think it would be a B.20 in any meaningful way.

    Steve

    BTW,before the pedants chirp in I know that technically the retractable float would make the B.20 a float plane rather than a flying boat :)
     
  6. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    How about making it mid-wing, shortening the fuselage and wingspan, and building it out of wood? It would need a name, of course, since the Air Ministry preferred names to just numbers; how about Mosquito, which sounds sharp enough?
     
  7. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    There is also the problem that Blackburn planes of the period generally beat the air into submission rather than flew.:lol:
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    :lol: Well the Skua and the Botha.............
    The Firecrest looked okay :)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  9. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    Let us not speak of the Firebrand.
     
  10. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Actually the Botha wasn't a bad looking aircraft...the performance sucked, though. As for the Skua, it has a face only its mother would love!
     
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