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Author Topic: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944  (Read 4803 times)

Offline martinletts

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Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« on: January 12, 2011, 11:44:27 am »
Hi guys,

I've found a new subject for my next model that's right up my street, but alas I can find no other info on this other than in Secret Projects Flying Wings and Tailless Aircraft.

I had started to CAD-up an initial three view based on the small illustration shown in the book, but more info would be extremely helpful. Does anyone have any ideas or recommended reading? From the text it says that Hill made a couple of bomber designs (this one being the largest).

Best regards.

Martin
http://www.xplanes3d.com

Visualisations and aviation art of experimental and prototype aircraft projects.

Offline hesham

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2011, 03:52:01 pm »
Hi,

also the Short Bros-Hill Pterodactyl MK VIII as transatlantic airliner project.

http://webspace.webring.com/people/du/um_5166/brit/odd_air.htm

Offline martinletts

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2011, 11:25:48 pm »
Hi.

Thanks for that, it seems to be designed along the same lines, it would have been quite an imposing sight!
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Offline martinletts

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 03:15:12 pm »
Hi Guys.

Sorry to resurrect this again but I seem to be drawing a blank everywhere. I'm trying to find out anything (at all) on this project, other than the only source I have which is Bill Rose's Secret Projects book. I don't suppose anyone knows if he is contactable?

Cheers.
http://www.xplanes3d.com

Visualisations and aviation art of experimental and prototype aircraft projects.

Offline steelpillow

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 04:42:26 am »
Derek James, "Database: Westland-Hill Pterodactyls", Aeroplane, September 2010, pp59-73:
The Westland-Hill Pterodactyl VIII passenger airliner, a true flying wing, was "variously described as having three or five Rolls-Royce Griffon pusher engines" and variants were tested in the wind tunnels of the Canadian National Research Council (NRC) from ca. 1943. Around the same time, the VIII was being proposed for the UK postwar civil planning which led to the Bristol Brabazon. Hill was in Canada at the time, as Scientific Liaison Officer to the government there, and the NRC later went on to build its own Pterodactyl-style research aircraft.

I would suggest that if a bomber was being planned, Hill would have been smartly fetched back to the UK. As you can see from the images posted above here, Rose's "bomber" looks uncannily like a three-Griffon variant of the Mk VIII passenger plane. I would be hard put to say that he is correct.

BTW, James makes no mention of Short Bros. in the context of the Mk.VIII. The Mk VII project had been a flying boat designed in cooperation with Saunders-Roe, while Hill did not officially become a Consultant to Short's until he returned from Canada in 1945. Is there any provenance to the claim that the 1943 Mk VIII was a Short-Hill collaboration? For example, might Short's have been involved in the Brabazon Committee proposal?

« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 04:51:31 am by steelpillow »
Cheers.

Offline Schneiderman

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2017, 09:25:00 am »
There is a little more on the Mk.VIII project in Peter Lewis' article in Air Pictorial June 1973. Again no mention of a bomber derivative but it would not surprise me at all if such a concept was considered.

Offline steelpillow

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 09:55:31 am »
Thank you. I will look up the Lewis article.

Meanwhile something sent me back to my notes from the Tailless Aircraft Advisory Committee (TAAC) file at the National Archive:
Letter from Lockspeiser (DSR) to Hill, 6 April 1944 - Hill had apparently approached several firms with a proposal for a postwar tailless aircraft, but only Short's were interested. The Minister had suggested lines to proceed & Hill apparently knew it.
So that rather answers my question.
Cheers.

Offline Schneiderman

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2017, 10:21:18 am »
Any idea how he managed to work for/advise Short and General Aircraft at the same time?

Offline steelpillow

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2017, 10:48:19 am »
Any idea how he managed to work for/advise Short and General Aircraft at the same time?

Presumably he was an independent consultant working for each part-time as occasion demanded, much as the engine designer Frank Halford did for both de Havilland and Napier during the 1930s. Flight published a supersonic swing-wing proposal of his in 1951, under his own name.
Cheers.

Offline Schneiderman

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2017, 11:54:25 am »
I guess so, its just that he comes across as quite deeply embedded within each of them

Offline steelpillow

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2017, 12:12:44 pm »
I guess so, its just that he comes across as quite deeply embedded within each of them
Does that idea of embedding in the GAL 56 programme come from other evidence? (Me showing my ignorance again).
Cheers.

Offline Schneiderman

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2017, 01:43:19 pm »
I just find it a bit surprising that he was working as co-designer for projects with both companies, it seems a rather greater degree involvement than just being a consultant. For example with both GAL and Shorts he co-authored patents with their chief designer; with GAL it is for swing-wing aircraft designs and wing-tip ailerons. I assume that there was no overlap in time for his work with each company but it is an unusual situation.

Offline steelpillow

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2017, 02:19:45 pm »
I just find it a bit surprising that he was working as co-designer for projects with both companies, it seems a rather greater degree involvement than just being a consultant. For example with both GAL and Shorts he co-authored patents with their chief designer; with GAL it is for swing-wing aircraft designs and wing-tip ailerons. I assume that there was no overlap in time for his work with each company but it is an unusual situation.
Yes, it is a but unusual. But that GAL swing-wing work intrigues me. Would it have been a precursor to his 1951 supersonic proposal? Never did my byline feel more apt - so many projects, so little time.
Cheers.

Offline Schneiderman

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2017, 02:23:41 pm »
Yes, I know what you mean. I'm trying to focus on various 1930s design trends but the research trail just keeps drawing me onto later and peripheral issues.

Offline Schneiderman

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Re: Pterodactyl Bomber project c.1944
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2019, 12:06:01 pm »
It turns out that the image Hesham posted in #1 is not the VIII but a joint project between Short and Hill based on, and enlarged from, the work he had done on the VIII in Canada.  Here is a little more information from an article in Aeroplane 9th July 1948