[What If] Bugatti P-100 as a fighter plane?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by SPEKTRE76, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. SPEKTRE76

    SPEKTRE76 Member

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    What if you could turn the Bugatti P-100 into a fighterplane? What would you change about it and what guns would you give it or other armament?

    Mre personaly, I'd give it (for first entry into the war in 1940):

    • 'Tri-blade' contra prop
    • RR Packard Merlin V-1650-7
    • 2 x Hispano 20mm cannons in the nose 200rds each (think Me-262)
    • 2 x .50CAL wing guns mounted mid wing just outside teh landing gear pivot 350rds each
    • Can carry 1 x 250lbs bomb or 2 x HVAR rockets

    bugatti100cut.jpg
     
  2. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I dunno about that requirement. From the profile, I don't see where they are located and I think the racket they would make with the pilot so close to the front would be ear-busting.
     
  3. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    V-1650-7 isn't available until 1943/44.

    No Packard Merlins available in 1940.

    Best Merlin available in 1940 probably the XII until late in the year when the XX becomes available.

    Power drive will have to be split at the engine to give the two driveshafts that the Bugatti had going either side of the cockpit - no room to go under the pilot's nuts as in the P-39.

    I think the Hispano 20mm was difficult to synchronise, and with contra props that will be even more difficult. Best armament I could see is 2 x 20mm in the wings.

    There was a proposed military version - the P.110.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The racket would certainly be ear-busting along with busting a few other things. Hispano cannon were never synchronized. Blowing your own prop/s off makes for a short fight.

    Race planes never made a good basis for a fighter plane. For instance Nice low drag canopy= absolutely dismal rear view.
     
  5. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Plus, they usually have no space for equipment.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Probably better to start all over again and design something decent?!
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    No self-sealing fuel tanks (SS tanks eat into fuel volume, vs. non-SS tanks), no armor installed. Since the airframe is built light (so it can be really fast), the permissible G loading is already not something worth speaking about, it gets worse when the plane is militarized. With buried canopy, situational awareness is abysmal. Is there enough space for a decent radio, too? Space for armament ammo?
     
  8. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I just don't see how the design could remain even remotely the same when you replace two 5 litre straight eight engines with one 27 litre V12.
     
  9. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    that's what i was thinking....not without sacrificing the outboard wing tanks ( to clear the prop) maybe...but i dont know if there is enough room there either.
     
  10. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    hmmmm, sounds like an A6M..................
     
  11. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they should actually see if the plane can fly. To my (limited) knowledge it never even taxied.
     
  12. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    There's a company in Oklahoma that's been constructing one for several years.
    It won't have Bugatti engines in it though.
     
  13. SPEKTRE76

    SPEKTRE76 Member

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    Daddy likes.
     
  14. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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  15. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if the plane would have been better off as a pusher.

    Extend the ventral fin to protect the prop. Still use it to house the tail wheel.

    Mount 2 x 20mm under and to the side of the pilot (roughly where the driveshafts go on the P.100). Give the pilot a bit more of an upright seat, thus requiring a bubble canopy of some description.
     
  16. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Another thought.
    With that small rudder, and the V tail, what would the spins characteristics been like????
    The V tail Bonanza is Not one to put in a spin on purpose!
     
  17. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    It's got a rudder and vertical stabilzer, just because it's below doesn't mean it doesn't work. It might even be more effective in a spin.
     
  18. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The excitement around the P100 has resurfaced, most notably at facebook, about how this aircraft would have "revolutionized" aircraft design during WWII. I have to disagree.

    The the He100, which was built for speed on a lightweight, compact airframe, it influenced only a few other aircraft and never went into production, itself. The Me209V1 was designed as a lightweight racer but it's design never went anywhere in the military aspect. There's plenty of other examples, but the point being, that this may have been innovative in several respects, it was not close to being practical for a warplane.

    It's speed was derived from it's streamlining and light weight. Once you add armor and weapons, it's weight will jump considerably. Add to that the much needed self-sealing tanks and there's another hit to the weight. And speaking of fuel tanks, this aircraft is woefully short on fuel capacity. Unless this was a "point defence" fighter, there would need to be additional fuel. How would the pilot fare if the internal radiators were damaged, since the cockpit has no barrier to the fuselage.

    Assuming it made it into combat, the "innovative construction materials" of laminated wood and balsa wood may not be able to take the excessive forces of a turning battle. This airframe was designed to go in a straight line, and fast. Not twist, turn and dive as was necessary in the course of combat. Strengthening the airframe would add another hit to the airframe's weight, too.

    And with two inline 8 cylinder engines, it has to be a maintenance nightmare. Not very practical on the battlefield, really. It also has a "computer" onboard that automatically works the flaps and/or the landing gear. Not something that I would really want, to be honest. It's also stated that it's the first plane ever that had automatic controls like this, yet the Stuka had a "computer" that assisted in pulling out of a dive while the pilot was in a "gray out" condition.

    It's also being being said that the forward sweep of it's wings are a first, but the Poles and Germans had been playing with this theory before the P100 was designed. And they couldn't have stolen the P100's design, however, since it was a secret...

    While I agree that this is a unique aircraft, there seems to be a pumped up mystique about it that in reality, isn't there.
     
  19. l'Omnivore Sobriquet

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    Definitely, and most typicaly : a sport plane.
    A civil aeroplane.
    Aviation fun is not only military...
    And this cannot reduce the P-100 mystique an ounce.
     
  20. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    If you have ever been to Oshkose and seen the P.100 in the EAA Museum, you'll know it isn't big enough to be turned into a fighter. It is tiny with two small engines.

    Better look somewhere else ...
     
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