WI - no Short Stirling

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by merlin, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. merlin

    merlin Member

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    If the Stirling isn't ordered, how soon could Shorts have a military version of the Short "G" Class flying boat?

    Bearing in mind that the Sunderland was a re-design of the "C" Class flying boat designed for Imperial Airways.
    The "G" Class, had four Hercules engines (the Sunderland initially had Pegasus), with a span of 134' 4", length 103' 2" and a range of 3,200 miles - it was intended for non-stop mail service across the North Atlantic.
    Info, on the aircraft is a bit vague re: prototype - only that first "G" Class boat the Golden Hind first flew in June 1939. Later it and two others were taken over by the Air Ministry and militarised - turrets, radar etc.
    But, earlier production - equals no blind spot in the mid-Atlantic for the U-boats!!
    Comments please.
     
  2. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    would shorts not have been contracted to build an existing design like the Wellington for instance if they had no design of thier own?

    a long range flying boat would have been a considerable help in the battle of the atlantic but when would you expect it to be in service?
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    As long as RAF Bomber Command controls funding the replacement for the Shorts Stirling will not be a flying boat.
     
  4. merlin

    merlin Member

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    But, why would you think the 'flying boat' is a replacement for the Stirling's bomber duties!?
    In OTL, the Boulton-Paul design was initially highly favoured - until Mitchell's lobbying.
    So, assuming B-P (I'll call it the Barnsley) does get produced - perhaps I should have stated that, then Stirling is stillborn, hence the question .. Do we get a similar Sunderland progression, or is there the opportunity to militarise the "G" Class design?
    And, yes I expect that Short's would be sub-contractor for the 'Barnsley' - but that wouldn't be straight away, and seems plausible that there could be spare capacity for this to happen.
    But curious to see what others think.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Historically Britain had no spare industrial capacity and that goes double for aircraft. Why do you think Britain procured so much war material from the USA? In regards to aircraft, Britain was handicapped by a relativley small aluminum industry.
     
  6. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    Not too sure what point you're trying to make there? :s we clearly had the capacity to produce Stirlings! I suppose the big question is why wouldn't the Stirling be ordered? Maybe if they don't order the Stirling they'd want to re-build the Supermarine 316? I suspect not as that's a lot of work for a company that they really needed to be focusing on fighters at the time. That leaves Britain without a 4 engined heavy BUT we would still have the results of specification p.13/36, the Manchester and what eventually became the Halifax. So I don't really think it would change a great deal as we would get the two better bombers anyway! All we'd lose is a few months of the Stirling.
     
  7. Mustang nut

    Mustang nut Banned

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    If the stirling hadnt been hamstrung by ridiculous requirements on wing span, take off and some other mad cap ideas it may have been a decent plane.
     
  8. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Might be opportune show some dates:

    July '36 B.12/36 Spec. to AWA, Boulton Paul, Handley Page, and Vickers. Shorts were later added to invitations to tender.
    Oct '36 Tender conference - Vickers first, and Boulton Paul P.90 second.
    24 Nov '36 After talk with R J Mitchell placings revised to - Supermarine first, B-P second.
    Jan '37 Two Supermarine prototypes ordered, plus Short - it had experience in building four-engined monoplanes.
    Oct '37 Treasury agree funding.
    11 May '39 Stirling maiden flight - crashed
    Aug '40 Full flight trials with second aircraft
    12 Aug '40 Supermarine mock-up was examined, the Merlin version was cancelled, it was just now the Hercules to contine.
    26 Sept '40 part complete fuselages were severely damaged during a bombing raid over the Itchen factory.

    Some stats:
    Boulton-Paul P.90
    Span 100', length 77' 3" w/area 1,450 sq ft., max weight 47,922 lbs

    Short S.29
    Span 102' length 86' 6", w/area 1,300 sq ft., max weight 53.100 lbs
    Short S.29 (revised)
    Span 100', length 86' 8" w/area 1,300 sq ft., max weight 56,000 lbs
    Stirling Mk I
    Span 99' 1", length 87' 3", w/area 1,300 sq ft., max wght 70.000lbs

    Stirling was too long, and the weight grew too fast the wing area needed to go up, else to plane won't go high enough. This should have been apparent!!
     
  9. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    What other requirements was there, besides that the Stirling should fit existing hangars?
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    One tale says the fuselage had to fit into 3 standard sized shipping crates. The hanger door story may be just that. Some Hangers did exist with 124ft doors. There were also landing speed requirements and even ground pressure requirements. Main wheels could only have so many pounds per square inch pressing on the ground to avoid putting ruts into the grass fields. This lead to BIG tires. The 100ft wing span limit may have been from the treasury in an attempt to limit size and thus cost. Accountants should not design airplanes :)
     
  11. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, they often do!
     
  12. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Again to quote from BSP p.100 (what a coincidence).

    "Author's Note: Many published sources have stated that the Stirling's span ws limited to under 100 ft by the size of RAF hangars; RAF and Air Staff policy is then usually criticised for contributing to the Stirling's poor ceiling and performance, but the 'hangar limit' is another false story. The largest RAF hangars actually had 120 ft doors while B.12/36 requested 'good facilities for maintenance in the open'; in truth the 100 ft limit was to prevent the aircraft from becoming too large while key problems with the Stirling was its ever increasing weight".
     
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