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boulton Paul P.94 (single seat Defiant)

Archibald

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Thread to discuss the "sans turret" variant of the Boulton Paul Defiant, proposed in august 1940. 12 machine-guns in the wings :eek:, Merlin XX engine, 610 kph...
Is there three-views or pics of the plane ?
 

Jemiba

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Oh, it's just a Defiant without turret ... ;D
(from Alec Brew, "Boulton Paul Aircraft""
 

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red admiral

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A larger, heavier, draggier Hurricane II with 70kph speed advantage on the same power? I don't think so somehow.

Also proposed to mount 4x20mm Hispano like Hurricane IIB
 

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From Tony Buttler’s ‘British Secret Projects, Fighters and Bombers 1935-1950.

Prototype Defiant K8310 eventually had its turret removed and in August 1940 was flown as an unarmed flying demonstrator for a fixed-gun version called P.94, which was intended for rapid production using many complete Defiant components. The P94 had the turret replaced by 12 0.303” MG disposed in each side of the wing centre section in nests of six – 4 20mm cannon replacing 8 of the 0.303” in two nests of two each were an alternative while the MG could also be depressed 17 degrees for ground attack work. P.94 had a 1,100hp Merlin XX, which offered a maximum speed of 360mph at 21.700ft, a sea level climb of 3,250ft.min and would get to 25,000ft in 8.1 minutes. To allow the type to act as a long range fighter two 30-gallon auxiliary tanks could be carried and in production the aircraft would use standard Defiant jigs. The P94 was never ordered but Boulton Paul also proposed to convert the now single seat Defiant prototype into a 4 cannon fighter demonstrator. The Air Ministry’s rejection of this idea was recorded at a company board meeting on 26th September 1940.
 

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Speed looks a bit optimistic; but then lots were around then
 

Nick Sumner

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Anyone happen to know what the range of a Defiant Mk II was? Mk I had 104 Imp gallons for 465 mls, Mk II had 159 gallons.
 

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P.82 Defiant NF Mk.II Specifications;

Span ft in (m): 39 4 (11.99)
Length ft in (m): 35 4 (10.77)
Height ft in (m): 14 5 (4.39)
Gross Wing Area ft2 (m2): 250 (23.23)

Empty weight lb (kg): 6,281 (2,849)
Normal take-off weight Ib (kg): 8,424 (3,821)
Max take-off weight Ib (kg): 8680 (3937.2)
Fuel: 100 octane only. Fuel tank size 159 gals in total.

Engine hp (kW): 1x liquid cooled Merlin XX 1,280 hp (954 kW) at 3,000 rpm
Max Speed/Height mph (km/h / ft (m): 313 (504), at 19000 (5 791.2)
Max Level Speed mph (km/h): 250 (402) at sea level (indicated for both the mk I & II on source4**)
Initial rate of climb: 2000 ft/min (609.6m/min)
Cruising speed: 260 mph at 20000ft
Service Ceiling ft (m): Sources varies from 30,348ft (9,250m; 5,7miles) to 33,600ft (10,242m)
Max range: 550 miles (885.13km)

Armament: 4x.303 Browning machine guns, with 600 rounds per gun, mounted in the Boulton Paul Type A Mk.II hydraulically-powered turret.
 

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Boulton Paul P.94 : surely with Merlin XX of 1480 Hp , 610 km/h + 12 gun .
 

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Nick Sumner said:
Anyone happen to know what the range of a Defiant Mk II was? Mk I had 104 Imp gallons for 465 mls, Mk II had 159 gallons.

I don't think there was much estimating done, more a case of basing it on actual flying performance i.e. it wasn't quite a fast as the Spitfire but much faster than the Hurricane (even the Mk II).
If the option was made earlier e.g. after the debacle over Holland in May, then maybe the Air Ministry's response may have been different.
 

_Del_

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Might have been a proposal just to provide airframes as fast as possible. Middle of the BoB, so it probably needs that context. Aug 1940 saw over 400 single engine RAF write offs. Assuming Hurricanes and Spitfires were being pumped out at or near full capacity, the ability to start turning out single seat Defiants using the jigs already in place might have had some value. No need to wait to set up a new line and tooling to produce more Hurricanes or Spits. More as an emergency measure to augment available airframes, I would think rather than an attempt to replace the Hurricane.
 

cluttonfred

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_Del_ said:
Might have been a proposal just to provide airframes as fast as possible. Middle of the BoB, so it probably needs that context....

See also the Miles M.20 proposed in the same context with performance better than the Hurricane despite the fixed gear and worse than a Spitfire but with much more fuel and ammo than either for better combat endurance.
 

hesham

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From Aerei Nella Storia 8-9/2010
 

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nuuumannn

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Might have been a proposal just to provide airframes as fast as possible.
Pretty much it. It's worth noting that Defiant delivery to squadrons didn't match production; the hold-up being the manufacture of turrets. BP could have produced the airframe relatively swiftly with minimal modification; adding fuel tanks to the rear fuselage and so forth. This also meant that throughout the BoB (and the aircraft's short career as a day fighter) there were only two active squadrons that operated it, 141 and 264 Sqn. A photo from my own collection.
 

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blackkite

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nuuumannn

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Thanks Blackkite. The second and third pictures show a Defiant NF.II fitted with AI radar. A single kill was made using the radar, but it was found to be difficult for the pilot to use and fly the aeroplane simultaneously. There was no room for the radar box in the turret. Note the larger radiator and oil cooler/carburettor intake of the Mk.II Defiant.
 
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blackkite

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Thanks a lot. Sharp information!
 

robunos

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Might have been a proposal just to provide airframes as fast as possible.
Pretty much it. It's worth noting that Defiant delivery to squadrons didn't match production; the hold-up being the manufacture of turrets. BP could have produced the airframe relatively swiftly with minimal modification; adding fuel tanks to the rear fuselage and so forth. This also meant that throughout the BoB (and the aircraft's short career as a day fighter) there were only two active squadrons that operated it, 141 and 264 Sqn. A photo from my own collection.

Also remember that the Defiant had been designed and engineered for ease of production. For instance, compound curves were eliminated as much as possible, and the rear fuselage skin was cut as one piece, the stringers attached to it while flat on the bench, and then wrapped around the structure.

cheers,
Robin.
 

_Del_

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And again, unlike alternatives such as the Hurricane, Spits (or Miles M.20) with (probably) better performance, the Defiant line already exists and is operating undercapacity. We can start cranking out more Defiants off the line with very little lead time from the word go.
Compare that with the timeline for building a new factory or production line including tooling, jigs, and fixtures and finding where/how to draw skilled workers from other projects to increase production of the alternatives.
So it probably makes a good deal more sense in that time-sensitive context than it looks to without it.
 

nuuumannn

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Also remember that the Defiant had been designed and engineered for ease of production.

Indeed it was. I suspect politics enters the fray with Boulton Paul and production as it was assigned the Blackburn Roc fitted with a BP turret, which from what I've read, the company was not happy with producing. Completing the Rocs also delayed Defiant production or at least took up space and manpower; the Roc was also delayed by changes to the Skua made by Blackburn, which then had to be incorporated into the Roc at BP - it was of course a slow and cumbersome (lame duck!) fighter. BP also proposed to convert the unarmed prototype Defiant into a four cannon armed fighter, similar to the P.88 (a projected fighter powered by a single Hercules or Vulture), but the Air Ministry rejected the idea on 26 September 1940.
 
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kaiserd

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I suspect politics enters the fray with Boulton Paul and production as it was assigned the Blackburn Roc fitted with a BP turret, which from what I've read, the company was not happy with producing. This also delayed Defiant production; the Roc of course being something of a lame duck as a fighter.
Among the lamest of ducks (the comparison maybe unfair on ducks...)
 

nuuumannn

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Among the lamest of ducks (the comparison maybe unfair on ducks...)
Indeed! Even the Admiralty recognised in 1939 that it was a non-starter before it had set foot on a carrier.
 
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