Wacky Allied fighter ideas

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Maxrobot1, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

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    IMG_0004.jpg
    This appeared in the February, 1943 issue of Popular Science magazine. I wonder how many other weird designs were proposed on the Allied side? We all know of the strange wonder weapons the Germans were considering.
     
  2. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    As goofy as it may seem, the Russians actually built as least 2 polymorphic aircraft, in the late 30s early 40s. That word isn't my creation.
    Except they went from a biplane to a high wing monoplane.
    The landing gear retracted into the lower wing, then the lower wing retracted into the bottom of the upper wing.
    The Nikitin-Shevchenko IS-1 and IS-2, and a IS-4 was started but never completed. The first 2 were flight tested.

    And someone was claiming Russian aircraft designers of that era were afraid to be very innovative in their designs.

    I wonder if Nikitin and Shevchenko ended up cutting trees in Siberia?
     
  3. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    by no means were the germans the only ones with a penchant for stupidity....

    Presenting the Hafner Rotabuggy. A British-built “rotor kite” or autogyro, it was essentially a helicopter air frame built onto an ordinary Jeep. Designed to be dropped onto enemy territory during airborne operations, in tests the Rotabuggy managed to fly for several minutes at speeds of more than 60 mph (100 km/h) reaching an altitude of several hundred feet. Only one was manufactured in 1944. None were ordered.

    Flying Jeep.jpg
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Ruiians designers could be inventive ... IF they were successful. Failures once wasn't a death sentence. Multiple failures were not good for your health.

    They DID come up with a flying tank and a design for a flying submarine. Thankfully, noboy ever "asked" them to build the flying submarine.
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    How about the Hillson FH.40 "slipwing" concept based on a Hurricane?

    Hillson_FH40_Hurricane[720].jpg


    Or the Miles M.39 Libellula?

    Miles_M39_Libellula.jpg


    The Curtiss XP-55 (while bore a strong resemblance to the M.39)

    Curtiss_XP-55_Ascender_in_flight.jpg


    Or the Antonov A-40 flying tank?

    Antonov_A-40.jpg
     
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  6. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if the xp-55 design was the inspiration for the rutan varieze or if it was just a coincidence...lol

    varieze_2_HQry5_69.jpg
     
  7. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nothing like the same level of crazy designs of old these days it seems... :(
     
  8. Gixxerman

    Gixxerman Member

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    F*ck me, as if being a tanker on the eastern front wasn't bad enough, they actually expected some of those poor bu*gers to 'fly' , er, 'land' several tons of armour into combat!?
     
  9. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    That was the plan, at least.

    Fortunately, the project didn't get far but not because of problems with the gliding T-60...the test pilot said it had remarkable handling...but because the TB-3 or Pe-8 intended to tow it could not get up to a safe enough speed because of extreme drag.
     
  10. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Is this what happens when a Daddy Defiant and a Mummy F3F get together? :)
     
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  11. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    Was there a time when "swing wings" were considered wacky? They worked so are now normal, but its a pretty wild idea to start with!
     
  12. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    only way I could see the A-40 landing easy is if the driver had the engine started and the treads spinning at full speed upon landing....and even then. what was the max speed of the tank as apposed to the stall speed when flying. it would be like landing with the brakes on....talk about "sticking" a landing..lol! the weight of the thing would have made it a nightmare to try to tow. just getting off the ground would have been a huge task. even if they set it on a wheeled dolly kind of like a 163 I figure you would need it tethered to 2 or 3 planes be able to get enough airspeed just to get it off of the ground.
     
  13. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Nope...to land the tank, the gearbox was in neutral and the tank simply skidded until the tracks gained traction and then brakes applied, much like an aircraft's main gear.

    The Soviets were pioneers at light armor delivery (and just about the only nation that tried such methods), they carried tankettes suspended under the wings of a TB-3 and they tried various methods of air dropping them, including water landings.

    The TB-3 flew so slow that an airdrop at low altitude was fairly simple. And it should be mentioned that the tanks were dropped separately from the crew...lol
     
  14. rinkol

    rinkol Member

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    The idea is the kind of thing you might be able to sell to a non-technical person with a few powerpoint slides. It is actually a pretty frightening idea if you think it through and consider some of the issues:

    - the effect on the profile of the lower wind when the upper wing is raised - i.e., an airfoil with a concave upper surface doesn't sound like a great idea
    - handling will be further affected by the weird aerodynamics as you extend and retract the upper wing
    - the weight of the mechanical components and structure needed to make this work and provide sufficient rigidity

    Instead of getting the speed of a monoplane and the maneuverability/low speed capabilities of a biplane, you are more likely to get the worst of all worlds.

    Interestingly, the plane in the illustration has a contra-rotating prop and ejector exhausts.


    Fowler flaps and slots are a much more logical idea for trying to obtain the end result.
     
  15. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Good observations, Rinkol. In fact, it would make more sense to fold the lower wing into the upper wing, that way you at least retain a clean flow over the upper surface of the top plane (the upper surface generating most of a wing's lift). Irrespective, the transition period would have been diabolically frightening. It is a fascinating (but scarily wacky) concept!
     
  16. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    now that is a horse of a different color! without a flight crew to guide it in makes more sense. if you can fly low and slow over fairly flat terrain and release ( which I think would be the best tactic) you would suffer less possible damage. unmanned and drop from higher alts could be disastrous.
     
  17. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Which is the way the Russians did it with the IS-1 and 2.
    But they had doubts about being able to maintain the aircraft in the field, plus the question of how the complicated mechanism would handle battle damage.
    With a top speed of 281 mph for the IS-1, and a estimated top speed for the IS-2 of 315, nether were fast enough as monoplanes to justify further development.
     
  18. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    That tactic, if the timing is just a little off, or not dropped exactly accurately, might end up supplying you enemy with a tank.
    But not much of a tank. At 6 tons, the T-60 was about equal to a Panzer Mk I.
     
  19. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    its still great against a machinegun nest or light infantry
     
  20. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The air-dropped tanks being tested (and in some cases, actually deployed) were theT-27 and T-37A tankette. These were typically dropped seperately from their crew.

    The winged tank was the T-40, which was to be towed to their destination by either a TB-3 or a Pe-8, released and then glide in to the target area. The tank's crew was intented to be onboard during this method of deployment.
     
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