pathology_doc

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I've caught papacavy's "What If" disease, but this is purely for interest rather than literary purposes.


As we all know, the Fairey Battle was an airplane which, once tested in combat, did not imbue its crews with any confidence that they would come home from attacking defended targets. Let's change things, and equip all Battle squadrons wholesale with Blackburn Skuas instead, with conversion training managed by RN units that already operate the beast, or maybe even have some FAA squadrons operating from land bases in support of the RAF, in the way that the RNAS operated Sopwith Triplanes alongside the RFC in World War 1.

What changes?

For one, we now have an RAF dive bomber, with potential benefits for accuracy and target effect (what was the largest bomb the Battle could carry?), and one which we know from history to be at least competent or it wouldn't have sunk the Konigsberg. Furthermore, the forward-firing armament is much stronger than the Battle's. Flown by aggressive pilots, with a far more substantial gun armament that might be used for ground strafing/flak suppression or taking pot-shots at any enemy fighter careless enough to overshoot or to concentrate too hard on another victim, how might the culture of the RAF's light bomber squadrons have (been) changed?

Barrett Tillman's book on the Dauntless dive-bomber describes numerous air combats that ended successfully for the SBD (either in an outright kill or with the enemy fighter driven off), and the key there seems to be a smoothly-working team with a keen interest in not just surviving but actively killing enemy aircraft once engaged. Yes, the SBD did have the advantage that it had more than a token forward gun armament in later variants - two Browning fifties vs. the four .303s of the Skua, and with two .30 vs one .303 in the rear quarter, and with the Japanese aircraft being more lightly built than German ones - but four .303 is still nothing to sneeze at if your shooting is good enough and I still don't think I'm asking the impossible here.[/size]
[/size]
[/size]Who can fill me in on the Skua? I get the drift that the culture was primarily "bomber crew with a minor in dogfighting", but switch that around or give them a "double major" and I think you could end up with something very different - and potentially superior.

(MODS: I'd considered putting this in the Bar, but it's here because it's a debate of a service's whole culture changing rather than a simple one-for-one type replacement and thus justifies the alternative-history "tag".)
 

uk 75

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I am not very up on this aspect of air warfare but using the TOP GEAR favourite film Battle of Britain I do recall that when the Luftwaffe tried to use Stukas against Britain the RAF gave them a pasting and they were withdrawn.
By the time we used close support aircraft more effectively we had already got air superiority in 1944 over France.
Perhaps a better mix of fighters and bombers would have helped, but mainly much more of both.
 

GTX

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One option instead of the Skua would be for the RAF's Specification P.4/34 requirement to have proceeded as originally planned and have entered service. This would have seen either the Fairey P.4/34 or the Hawker Henley in service.

Fairey P.4/34:

fairey_p4-34_1.jpg


Hawker Henley:

hawker_henley.jpg


The Hawker Henley in sharing some aspects with the Hurricane might have offered some logistical benefit.
 

pathology_doc

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GTX - true, but I'm dealing with what was actually put into the front line as opposed to what only made it to prototype stage.


I did some reading around further use of the Skua in Norway, and it became clear that it did NOT do that well as an attack aircraft, but again, I do wonder whether this was a product of the aircraft itself or the training its crews received. The question I'm mainly getting at is "In France, might it have given a better account of itself, in terms of effectiveness and survivability, than an airplane which could not lift as large a single bomb as the Skua, and which only had a quarter of its forward-firing armament? And if so, might it have changed the RAF's ground-support culture in so doing?"


ETA: A differing perspective of the Skua as a ground-support aircraft: http://freespace.virgin.net/john.dell/Dunkirk.htm
 

JFC Fuller

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I dont see any reason why a Skua would have done any better in France than the Battle did, pretty much anything operating un-escorted that was in service during the battle of France and was a bomber/attack aircraft took heavy losses. And a large part of the problem was fighter command (designed as a home defence force) being unwilling to sacrifice what it saw as its already inadequate strength for the sake of France.

See what happened to the Ju-87 over southern England for reference.
 

pathology_doc

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Looking again at the linked website, it's apparent that the Skua was a long way from being the effective airplane it needed to be for my hypothesis to be valid, i.e.


No voice radio (so RAF type fighter tactics and cab-rank attacks out of the question).
No self-sealing tanks.
No armour worth speaking of.
Needing a couple of hundred extra hp to drag all that extra stuff around.
Godawful speed and climb performance.


So it clearly seems to have been the sort of "interceptor" that could be relied on to chase off or nail a shadowing enemy flying boat, but not much more. Oh well. Still, I'd rather have four .303 machine guns pointing forward than one - if nothing else, I could at least feel as good about my forward defensive armament as the Gladiator pilots did about their offensive weapons.
 

Graham1973

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I'm a bit late to this one but I stumbled across an account of the Skua strike on the Koenigsberg in 1940, which rather ironically not only gave the British the first warship kill by aircraft, but the first warship kill by dive bombers.

It makes it quite clear that they were very lucky.

 

Archibald

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The case of the Aeronavale dive bombers is hardly encouraging. Their V-156F and LN-411 were butchered in a mere 4 missions with horrible losses.
For all iys flaws at least the British had a lot of Battles.
They could send 71 of them in one sortie... a number thrice superior to the inventory of Leo-451 and Breguets on hand in North East France on May 10: a paltry TWENTY SEVEN bombers.
The Henley, on the other hand...
 

royabulgaf

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Yeah. My first thought was the Skua would make the Defiant look like the Typhoon
 

Archibald

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Yeah. My first thought was the Skua would make the Defiant look like the Typhoon

And the Roc was the worst of BOTH Skua and Defiant ! oh and they wanted to add floats to that contraption...
 

Tony Williams

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I'm a bit late to this one but I stumbled across an account of the Skua strike on the Koenigsberg in 1940, which rather ironically not only gave the British the first warship kill by aircraft, but the first warship kill by dive bombers.

It makes it quite clear that they were very lucky.
Lucky in some ways, but 5 or 6 hits on target from a total of 16 aircraft, with crews which had not practiced dive-bombing for months, was a commendable hit rate.
 

Hood

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The lesson of 1940 was that any tactical support aircraft needed top cover from fighters to survive getting to and from the battle.
In addition, even diving attacks into the teeth of concentrations of AAA is suicidal. P-51s, P-47s and Typhoons in Europe 4 years later came off worst if they tried to tangle with concentrations of light AAA. Even Il-2s were not invulnerable despite their armoured front ends.

A Skua pilot might feel a little happier that he has four .303in Brownings but in reality they are pop guns if you're facing down a battery of 20mm and 37mm Flak guns.
Could you swap Henley outer wings for Hurricane ones with eight .303in? Probably was feasible, but range would be much less. Would give you a little more hitting power for strafing. A hypothetical Henley Mk.III with a Hurricane Mk IIC wing with four 20mm Hispano would be even better, but as I say you need to put the fuel somewhere. Would have been ideal for North Africa.
 

Archibald

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The lesson of 1940 was that any tactical support aircraft needed top cover from fighters to survive getting to and from the battle.
In addition, even diving attacks into the teeth of concentrations of AAA is suicidal. P-51s, P-47s and Typhoons in Europe 4 years later came off worst if they tried to tangle with concentrations of light AAA. Even Il-2s were not invulnerable despite their armoured front ends.

A Skua pilot might feel a little happier that he has four .303in Brownings but in reality they are pop guns if you're facing down a battery of 20mm and 37mm Flak guns.
Could you swap Henley outer wings for Hurricane ones with eight .303in? Probably was feasible, but range would be much less. Would give you a little more hitting power for strafing. A hypothetical Henley Mk.III with a Hurricane Mk IIC wing with four 20mm Hispano would be even better, but as I say you need to put the fuel somewhere. Would have been ideal for North Africa.

Would it be possible to swap the Merlin for a Griffon, as done on the Spitfire but not the Hurricane ?

hmmm... French Henleys...

Breguet 693s (and their unfortunate crews) paid a truly horrible toll to the few attacks they tried on the Panzer spearheads. The plane wasn't bad but the tactics were all wrong: they come way, way too low (1000 feet or even less) on a desperately flat land (Belgium, how we love you...) and the flak shot them like giant targets.
Once they moved to 3000 feet, the survivors - fighting the desperate post 5-June Weygand line battle - did much better.

As you say, there was no clear, easy answer to the goddam flak. It was essentially: take the losses, and prevail with colossal number of aircraft.
USSR did that with the Sturmovik, all 36 000 of them, of which 30% were lost.
The Americans, too, with tons and tons of P-47s and A-something attack birds.
Same for Britain: Typhoons, Typhoons, more Typhoons. And others.

1940 France had no such luxury. Mind you, in 1938 the government made the suicidal move of rebuilding first the fighter command, pushing bombers by the wayside. Why ? because fighters were DEFENSIVE weapons and France was terrified of provoking Germany a) before spring 1941 and b) massive bombing raids on Paris and elsewhere (in that case, Rotterdam and Coventry and other cities prove they were quite right).
 
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Fluff

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Maybe your nudging closer, and just move more hurricanes to fighter-bomber roles earlier - once they dropped their bombs they would give enemy fighters something to think about. Would have been a better use of those merlin engines and the work building airframes....
 

kaiserd

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Maybe your nudging closer, and just move more hurricanes to fighter-bomber roles earlier - once they dropped their bombs they would give enemy fighters something to think about. Would have been a better use of those merlin engines and the work building airframes....
And possible (probable? consequential?) further weakening of RAF fighter command (greater losses of Hurricanes in the Battle of France) ahead of the Battle of Britain.
 

Fluff

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Maybe your nudging closer, and just move more hurricanes to fighter-bomber roles earlier - once they dropped their bombs they would give enemy fighters something to think about. Would have been a better use of those merlin engines and the work building airframes....
And possible (probable? consequential?) further weakening of RAF fighter command (greater losses of Hurricanes in the Battle of France) ahead of the Battle of Britain.
No - I mean dont build battles, build more hurricanes, maybe role play it in 38, stick some dive brakes on a hurri and realise its much much better to have a slightly slow fighter, but still a fighter, and once its dropped its bombs, its 95% as good as your front line fighters.

So no effect on fighter strength.
 

Tony Williams

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Maybe your nudging closer, and just move more hurricanes to fighter-bomber roles earlier - once they dropped their bombs they would give enemy fighters something to think about. Would have been a better use of those merlin engines and the work building airframes....
And possible (probable? consequential?) further weakening of RAF fighter command (greater losses of Hurricanes in the Battle of France) ahead of the Battle of Britain.
No - I mean dont build battles, build more hurricanes, maybe role play it in 38, stick some dive brakes on a hurri and realise its much much better to have a slightly slow fighter, but still a fighter, and once its dropped its bombs, its 95% as good as your front line fighters.

So no effect on fighter strength.
And while you are at it, fit the extra "attack" Hurris with folding wings, so they can serve on carriers.
 

Tony Williams

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The lesson of 1940 was that any tactical support aircraft needed top cover from fighters to survive getting to and from the battle.
In addition, even diving attacks into the teeth of concentrations of AAA is suicidal. P-51s, P-47s and Typhoons in Europe 4 years later came off worst if they tried to tangle with concentrations of light AAA. Even Il-2s were not invulnerable despite their armoured front ends.

A Skua pilot might feel a little happier that he has four .303in Brownings but in reality they are pop guns if you're facing down a battery of 20mm and 37mm Flak guns.
Could you swap Henley outer wings for Hurricane ones with eight .303in? Probably was feasible, but range would be much less. Would give you a little more hitting power for strafing. A hypothetical Henley Mk.III with a Hurricane Mk IIC wing with four 20mm Hispano would be even better, but as I say you need to put the fuel somewhere. Would have been ideal for North Africa.

Would it be possible to swap the Merlin for a Griffon, as done on the Spitfire but not the Hurricane ?
Timing would be a problem. Work on the Griffon did not start until 1938, and first flight was in 1941. By the time it was ready for service the Hurris were well obsolete.
 

Archibald

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The lesson of 1940 was that any tactical support aircraft needed top cover from fighters to survive getting to and from the battle.
In addition, even diving attacks into the teeth of concentrations of AAA is suicidal. P-51s, P-47s and Typhoons in Europe 4 years later came off worst if they tried to tangle with concentrations of light AAA. Even Il-2s were not invulnerable despite their armoured front ends.

A Skua pilot might feel a little happier that he has four .303in Brownings but in reality they are pop guns if you're facing down a battery of 20mm and 37mm Flak guns.
Could you swap Henley outer wings for Hurricane ones with eight .303in? Probably was feasible, but range would be much less. Would give you a little more hitting power for strafing. A hypothetical Henley Mk.III with a Hurricane Mk IIC wing with four 20mm Hispano would be even better, but as I say you need to put the fuel somewhere. Would have been ideal for North Africa.

Would it be possible to swap the Merlin for a Griffon, as done on the Spitfire but not the Hurricane ?
Timing would be a problem. Work on the Griffon did not start until 1938, and first flight was in 1941. By the time it was ready for service the Hurris were well obsolete.

I meant for the Henley but it was merely a target tug by 1941 and as you say Griffon come too late for 1940 many battles.
 

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While it's generally accepted that a fighter-bomber will outperform a light-bomber, there are circumstances in which the second pair of eyes means the light bomber outperforms the FB. This was particularly seen in South East Asia and PNG where it was easier to spot targets concealed under tree cover or in small clearings with two pairs of eyes looking.

And of course the Il-2 Shturmovik throws the whole Western conclusion into question.
 

PMN1

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I'm a bit late to this one but I stumbled across an account of the Skua strike on the Koenigsberg in 1940, which rather ironically not only gave the British the first warship kill by aircraft, but the first warship kill by dive bombers.

It makes it quite clear that they were very lucky.
Lucky in some ways, but 5 or 6 hits on target from a total of 16 aircraft, with crews which had not practiced dive-bombing for months, was a commendable hit rate.

And from what i've read...no proper sight??
 

royabulgaf

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Yeah. My first thought was the Skua would make the Defiant look like the Typhoon

The Defiant could have actually been the answer...take that turret off and it becomes the P.94...as fast as a Spitfire.
Yes! It could be built with either 12x.303 or 4x20mm. It wouldn't be a dogfighter, but it could be in service by 1941. No use for the battle of France, but really useful for North Africa.
 

Graham1973

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I'm a bit late to this one but I stumbled across an account of the Skua strike on the Koenigsberg in 1940, which rather ironically not only gave the British the first warship kill by aircraft, but the first warship kill by dive bombers.

It makes it quite clear that they were very lucky.
Lucky in some ways, but 5 or 6 hits on target from a total of 16 aircraft, with crews which had not practiced dive-bombing for months, was a commendable hit rate.

And from what i've read...no proper sight??

Indeed, there is a review of a book on the Skua which explains just why that was...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZv-ljnNxaQ


...a bad case of inter-service rivalry
 

Avimimus

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Barrett Tillman's book on the Dauntless dive-bomber describes numerous air combats that ended successfully for the SBD (either in an outright kill or with the enemy fighter driven off), and the key there seems to be a smoothly-working team with a keen interest in not just surviving but actively killing enemy aircraft once engaged. Yes, the SBD did have the advantage that it had more than a token forward gun armament in later variants - two Browning fifties vs. the four .303s of the Skua, and with two .30 vs one .303 in the rear quarter, and with the Japanese aircraft being more lightly built than German ones - but four .303 is still nothing to sneeze at if your shooting is good enough and I still don't think I'm asking the impossible here.

By 1940 Westland was proposing a dive bomber with a turret containing 4x0.303 - so it isn't impossible. However, the development of automatic cannons meant that daylight attacks were quite vulnerable. The SBD at Midway were approaching from higher altitude and facing a small number of interceptors that were climbing to meet them - and many of them would have already expended their cannon ammunition on the torpedo bombers (the A6M had ~11.5 seconds of cannon ammunition on board).

In Europe, once the move to the higher velocity MG-151 had taken place and armoured glass was installed - the attacking fighters could easily engage at a range where the 0.303 were ineffective - at least in daylight combat... at night engagement ranges were shorter and the 0.303 could be quite effective.

The entire idea that bombers flying in formation could defend themselves (with rifle calibre or even with multiple 0.50 calibre machineguns) was flawed. Even the British plans for bombers with 4x20mm or even 12x20mm defensive guns might have had a hard time due to the need to frequently reload the cannons. It'd be interesting to see a simulation of that though.
 

Avimimus

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Hypothetical.JPG

Here is a first step towards my solution to your question.

There is still work to be done - I would cut down the rear fuselage (making it even more like the Ar-198 or the Hampden). I'd also probably raise the engine higher (and possibly stagger the seats) in order to improve forward/downward view for both the pilot and the navigator. Finally I'd enlarge the wing to increase manoeuvrability (for defence and night flying) with the added bonus of potentially increasing the bomb load by 25%.

The result would be an affordable single engined night bomber, with enough manoeuvrability to make it a hard target for night fighters (as well as being safer to fly at night and being able to conduct last minute corrections for low level bombing), engineered to be capable of stability at high speeds (allowing it to conduct a shallow dive prior to the bomb run in order to reduce the time in which it would be vulnerable to anti-aircraft guns and searchlights). It'd also be able to carry a slightly higher bomb load (assuming there wasn't a headwind) and attack from lower altitudes and with better downward visibility than the Battle (allowing it to achieve similar or greater accuracy).

Small flights could slip through the enemy lines Sturmovik style to produce constant harassment against specific targets, while larger daylight bombers would hit the more important targets from higher altitudes.

Please feel free to make improvements (particularly raising the engine to give forward/downward pilot visibility, and increasing the wing area). I wonder if a He-119 style engine shaft would work (probably not worth it given the development risk and added weight though)!
 

Avimimus

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Hmm... I think moving the wing backwards (and the centre of gravity obviously) would also allow for improving pilot visibility.
 

Archibald

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The entire idea that bombers flying in formation could defend themselves (with rifle calibre or even with multiple 0.50 calibre machineguns) was flawed. Even the British plans for bombers with 4x20mm or even 12x20mm defensive guns might have had a hard time due to the need to frequently reload the cannons. It'd be interesting to see a simulation of that though.

Case in point: French bombers with H-tails. Ever wondered why ? Because a HS-404 gun was to defend the rear and blast fighters out of the sky.

Two big issues however
a) the "turret" wasn't powered except by the muscles of the unfortunate gunner
b) the drum (not a belt) had only 60 shells yet weighed 25 kg or more. Reloading was as nearly impossible as aiming.

The H-tail also added weight and drag.

The LeO-451 was typical of that idiocy - unfortunately.
 

Archibald

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View attachment 661526

Here is a first step towards my solution to your question.

There is still work to be done - I would cut down the rear fuselage (making it even more like the Ar-198 or the Hampden). I'd also probably raise the engine higher (and possibly stagger the seats) in order to improve forward/downward view for both the pilot and the navigator. Finally I'd enlarge the wing to increase manoeuvrability (for defence and night flying) with the added bonus of potentially increasing the bomb load by 25%.

The result would be an affordable single engined night bomber, with enough manoeuvrability to make it a hard target for night fighters (as well as being safer to fly at night and being able to conduct last minute corrections for low level bombing), engineered to be capable of stability at high speeds (allowing it to conduct a shallow dive prior to the bomb run in order to reduce the time in which it would be vulnerable to anti-aircraft guns and searchlights). It'd also be able to carry a slightly higher bomb load (assuming there wasn't a headwind) and attack from lower altitudes and with better downward visibility than the Battle (allowing it to achieve similar or greater accuracy).

Small flights could slip through the enemy lines Sturmovik style to produce constant harassment against specific targets, while larger daylight bombers would hit the more important targets from higher altitudes.

Please feel free to make improvements (particularly raising the engine to give forward/downward pilot visibility, and increasing the wing area). I wonder if a He-119 style engine shaft would work (probably not worth it given the development risk and added weight though)!

With that high-medium wing it looks a bit like a Fairey Barracuda.

As for the gondola... it was another plague of late-30's french aircraft, except this time for reconnaissance.
The T-3 battlefield reconnaissance plane (a dismal failure) and the Potez 63-16 to replace them - they all had it... and it wasn't pretty.
 
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pathology_doc

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Please feel free to make improvements
The most alarming thing about this design is that the undercarriage appears to plug into the base of the gondola, which is mostly glass with only thin frames visible. The gondola appears to take up so much space that could easily be filled with a weapons bay.
 

Avimimus

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Please feel free to make improvements
The most alarming thing about this design is that the undercarriage appears to plug into the base of the gondola, which is mostly glass with only thin frames visible. The gondola appears to take up so much space that could easily be filled with a weapons bay.

Bombs would be carried in the wings (consistent with late 1930s British design practice).

That part of the image was filched from the Arado Ar 198

Yup... I started making the image... then went to grab the part and realised the narrow tail of the Ar-198 and wings were also closer to what I'd imagined... I think the biggest difference would be that I'd move the engine higher in order to allow glazing to let the pilot look downward (and/or move to a side-by-side seating)... that and the obvious transition to British parts.
 

Avimimus

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The entire idea that bombers flying in formation could defend themselves (with rifle calibre or even with multiple 0.50 calibre machineguns) was flawed. Even the British plans for bombers with 4x20mm or even 12x20mm defensive guns might have had a hard time due to the need to frequently reload the cannons. It'd be interesting to see a simulation of that though.

Case in point: French bombers with H-tails. Ever wondered why ? Because a HS-404 gun was to defend the rear and blast fighters out of the sky.

Two big issues however
a) the "turret" wasn't powered except by the muscles of the unfortunate gunner
b) the drum (not a belt) had only 60 shells yet weighed 25 kg or more. Reloading was as nearly impossible as aiming.

The H-tail also added weight and drag.

The LeO-451 was typical of that idiocy - unfortunately.

I think such an armament would've worked on something like a "four-engined mosquito"... by having an airspeed which is close to the interceptor a simple turn away would force any interceptors to approach from the rear... the gun mount could thus be designed to be quite limited in traverse and elevation (saving weight, making reloading easier, and allowing a balance that would increase controllability)... of course, the aircraft couldn't fly in formation using such tactics.

Anyway, the cannon armed turrets I was referring to were powered: https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/british-b-1-39-heavy-bomber-competition.29519/

I still have doubts about the 'flying fortress' concept being viable though!
 

T. A. Gardner

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The Skua was more of a glide bomber than a true dive bomber. That is, it entered a relatively shallow dive to approach the target and then deliver its payload. It would be the worse of two worlds. In the attack, it would be in a shallow dive making it a perfect target for defending flak

What was needed right from the start was more like the Me 110E/F. That is, an aircraft that carries a good forward firing armament that can act as flak suppression when necessary, and carries upwards of a 1000 kg bomb load in total. Being relatively fast and having good range means they can be sent against a variety of targets at least have a reasonable chance of defending themselves while delivering a serious bombload.

The French were on the right path with planes like the Potez 630 and Breguet 693. These had the potential to make good ground attack planes. They carried a reasonable bombload, and both could be fitted with a mix of 20mm and 7.5mm guns. Coming in at very low level, they could use time delay fuzed bombs and be effective against a defended target.

Hit and run works better than coming in at altitude and then diving on the target.
 

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The French were on the right path with planes like the Potez 630 and Breguet 693. These had the potential to make good ground attack planes. They carried a reasonable bombload, and both could be fitted with a mix of 20mm and 7.5mm guns. Coming in at very low level, they could use time delay fuzed bombs and be effective against a defended target.

The Potez was terribly underpowered (it had the wrong, old brand of radials 14 cylinders with only 700 hp each) slow, and as such a death trap for its crews in any role - fighter, bomber, or reconnaissance.

There were kind of three generations of 14 cylinder radials (from G&R but also from Hispano Suiza) - 700 hp, 1100 hp, and 1600 hp. Unfortunately the oldest generation was by far the most available.



----



----


----

The Breguet was much better but still too fragile, and still with those wrong engines.

The bomber variant of the MB-174 (the MB-175) had powerful enough 14N with 1080 hp each. They flew 60 miles faster than the Potez for the same mission of reconnaissance - with 800 hp + is it hardly surprising.

The seventh Breguet 691 finally got those more powerful engines and become the 697, and then the 700.
Now THAT could have been interesting: a mix of Breguet 700 and MB.175. Unfortunately both flew in the winter of 1939... way, way too late. A rather large number of MB.175s were near completion at the end of June 1940.

Potez never put 14N on their 630 or 670 series AFAIK.

The next step would be the 14R with nearly 1600 hp... if it can made work, of course
(hint: it couldn't: neither in 1939 nor in 1942 nor in 1946. Gnome&Rhone was marred by severe issues including greed and corruption - guess why SNECMA was created in 1946 and publically owned ? some big bosses of French aviation before the world were corrupt pigs and morons)

Bre 697 Intended as a pre-prototype for the Bréguet 700 C2 heavy fighter. Powered by Gnome-Rhône 14N-48/Gnome-Rhône 14N-49 engines which offered 50% more power than the 14M, the Bre 697 prototype displayed a sensational rate of climb, and was as fast as a Bf 109E. The Bre 700 was expected to offer even higher speed and would have been very heavily armed.
 
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EwenS

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The Skua was more of a glide bomber than a true dive bomber. That is, it entered a relatively shallow dive to approach the target and then deliver its payload. It would be the worse of two worlds. In the attack, it would be in a shallow dive making it a perfect target for defending flak

How do you define “a true dive bomber”? Anything over 45 degrees is generally considered dive bombing.

Eric Brown tested the Skua during WW2 in 70 degree dives which was considered normal for the aircraft. Other tests pre war recorded something like an average 78 degrees. It was equipped with dive flaps and a bomb crutch to ensure its 500lb underfuselage bomb cleared the prop.

For the USN the SBD Dauntless dived at 70-75 degrees and the SB2C Helldiver at 75-80 degrees.

For the Japanese the tactics with the D3A Val called for 70 degree final dives.

It was only aircraft like the Stuka and Vultee Vengeance that were designed for 90 degree dives.

So please explain why the Skua doesn’t qualify if all these others do?

Edit:- now found what I was looking for. From Peter Smith’s “Skua! The Royal Navy’s Dive Bomber” on the Konigsberg sinking:-

“While Church’s second attack was the shallowest approach [40 degrees is noted in the previous paragraph] , and most of the Skuas went in at a 60 degree angle, several attacked at 70 degrees and a few aircraft dived at a 50 degree angle.”
 
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Arjen

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A construction test flown in the Ar 198. According to William Green, the Arado was the initial favourite against the Fw 189 - then testing revealed the Arado's disappointing flight characteristics. Kranzhoff in his Bernard & Graefe book on Arado confirms this. No mention by either author of hesitations about its construction.
 

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