British WW2 Turret Fighter Projects



Can't find a source for this, but I think I've seen a profile of a proposed Spitfire variant with a second crew-position for a gunner and a remotely-aimed gun turret/barbette. Can anyone direct me to more info.? Likewise, does anyone know of other proposed turret-modifications of existing types (like the Blackburn Skua-to-Roc conversion)?
Just to forestall any misunderstanding: I mean a genuine turret-Spitfire design and not one of (e.g.) the many entertaining but totally hypothetical Spit-variants from 'The Spitfire Project', at
Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Supermarine Type 305, theres a bit of history in BSP 1935-1950 by Tony Buttler

37ft span 30" 6' length 242sq ft wing area 5650lb all up weight 1x 1000hp Merlin Estimated maximum speed 315mph @ 15000ft. Armametn 4x0.303" Lewis guns in rear turret.
Three-view of Type 305 attached.

The Type 305 isn't quite a Spitfire yet. It was based on the January 1935 F.37/34 submission.

For the Type 305, the empennage and wings remained unchanged (other than removing the four wing guns). The fuselage is similar but the retractible radiator (behind cockpit) was replaced by a fixed chin position radiator.


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Yes indeed Smurf , I saw a drawing (sideview) in a model magazine long time ago.
It seems it was a mock turret but there should also have
been a concept with a highly streamlined turret aimed by
a second crewmenber looking backwards on his seat...

(but this is faraway from the 'Spit turretfighter' idea...)

AFAIK, the Hawker Demon was the first true turret fighter -- the Hart prototype J9933 was fitted with a Frazer Nash hydraulic turret (single Lewis gun) in 1934. Boulton Paul built the production turret Demons (which I guess shows the long-term value of direct production experience).

F.5/34 led to the Bristol Type 146 (Mercury IX/Perseus) evolving into a turret fighter (with a Perseus or Hercules) for F.9/35. The Hawker Hurricane led to their turret fighter, the Hotspur.

There is a sort of convergent evolution thing here. Both Hawker and Bristol types had morphed into two-seat army co-operation types (to meet A39/34 for a Audax/Hector replacement). Bristol's Type 146 became the two-seat Type 148. The Hurricane became the two-seat Henley to P.4/34 (for light bomber).

There was also a Fairey submission for F.5/34 based on the Battle. (Considering the timing, Fairey would have been better off basing its F.5/34 submission on their P.4/34 light bomber that eventually became the Fulmar prototype.)

I believe that the rest of the British turret fighter submissions were original designs. But how about turret fighter designs leading to non-turret fighters? Gloster's twin-Aquila F.5/33 turret fighter concept led to the built non-turreted twin-Taurus F.9/37. And then there was Boulton Paul's planned P.94 single-seater derived from the Defiant.

BTW, images attached came from Air International Vol4` No1 (with a bit of tweaking) and I added the Bristol Type 148 sideview to a re-arranged 3-view.


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I know I said "Thanks in advance" in my original post but further thanks are definitely indicated for such helpful and informative posts - much appreciated.

Peter Allen's splendid 'Flitzerart' site ( is already well-linked to these pages, but the 'British Secret Projects of WW2' page ( has colour profiles and plans of original turreted designs like the Boulton Paul P97B and the Bristol F.11/37.
All best and thanks again,

Another turret Mosquito, this one with Bristol B.XI (from Air Int'l Vol 24 No2).

And a photo (from Planes Vol 1 No2) of Justo's turret Beaufighter sideview. The A&AEE test pilot made one of my favourite all-time comments: "entry into this aircraft is difficult; it is recommended that it is made impossible".


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Below, three-view of the Boulton Paul P.92 turret-fighter.
Image comes from the following page on the P.92/2 flying scale model:


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here is the Supermarine Type 305 for Spec. F9/35.


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Was this targeted on the Boulton-Paul 'Defiant' niche ??

I can't see any forward-facing guns...
Yes, designed to the Demon replacement spec, F.9/35, for a 2-seat, four-gun turret fighter.

Armstrong Whitworth F.9/35 - 2 x AS Terrier pusher props, 4-gun turret behind and above pilot's cockpit. Prototype K8624 was to be an AW.34 conversion, order cancelled.

Boulton Paul P.82 = Defiant

Bristol Type 147: turret fighter development of single-seat Type 146 (and thus related to Type 148 army co-op for A.39/34). Turret was a well faired, remotely-controlled 4-gun barbette. Type 147 was Perseus powered, Type 147A was to have a Hercules.,3537.msg28110.html#msg28110

Fairey F.9/35: Hercules-powered engine and its four-gun turret, when facing rearwards, was blended flush with the pilot's cockpit.

Gloster F.9/35: single-engine (Hercules?) turret fighter

Hawker F.9/35 = Hotspur.

Supermarine 305: remote turret relative of Type 224. Originally planned with 4 x Brownings, Buttler says later plans replaced these guns with 4 x Lewis .303" guns.,3537.msg28022.html

Vickers F.9/35: Merlin-powered turret fighter
Funny how the Model 305 has been labelled as the "Gun Turret Spitfire" in some sources. From the top I understand, but in profile I can't see a hint of a similarity here... ???
Also you give the Bristol 147 as being Perseus-powered, while I have it with a Pegasus... Which is the correct version? ???
Stargazer2006 said:
Also you give the Bristol 147 as being Perseus-powered, while I have it with a Pegasus... Which is the correct version? ???

Stéphane: I believe that Perseus is correct -- being also used in another turret fighter, the Roc, and being intended for the Type 148. [BTW: the Type 148B had a Taurus so that engine might have been intended as an alternative for the Type 147.]

The Pegasus seems mostly to have been used in bomber types.

Stargazer2006 said:
Funny how the Model 305 has been labelled as the "Gun Turret Spitfire" in some sources. From the top I understand, but in profile I can't see a hint of a similarity here... ???

Too true. Some of the minor detail differences in wings and tailplane can be attributed to the relatively early stage of Type 300 development at the time that the Type 305 design was drawn.
In the 'Turret Fighters-Defiant and Roc'- Crowood , Alec Brew
mentions two Bristol 147 entries to Spec.F9/35.
One with Perseus and one with Hercules.

In the Putnam about Bristol Aircraft they a labelled as Bristol 147A and Bristol 147B...
Hi! Boulton Paul P.92 turret mockup.

P.92 three side view drawing.


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So I take it that the four Hispano turrets in the mockup didn't have room for a second crew member to help with reloading.

Would this also be true of the turrets in B.1/39 competition? See:,29519.0.html

hesham said:

here is the Supermarine Type 305 for Spec. F9/35.

The caption for the pictures says 6x20mm cannon - surely this is inaccurate?
Hi! Larger image.


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Hi! Bristol 147 and 148.

Excellent contribution for Defiant project.(P.85A.P.85B, P.88, P.96, P.103A and B, P.105B and P.107, etc),8329.0/all.html


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Hi! Gloster F.34/35 and F.9/37 early configulation.

Later F.9/37.

PDF file.


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Hi! Defiant.


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F.18/40 Night fighter with turret.
Boulton Paul P.97B.
Picture source.

Good explanation.
"The P.97 was designed with several alternative armament layouts. The most conventional had fixed forward firing cannon and the Turret from the Boulton Paul Defiant carried above the wing (P.97B). There was also a version with the standard cannon but without the turret (P.97A). A raised navigator's position replaced the turret. In both cases the six cannon were to be carried in a weapons bay within the central nacelle, below the mid mounted wings.

A more radical version would have been armed with twin 20mm cannon, carried in slots on either side of the nose, and capable of moving up or down. This would have been for ground attack missions, allowing the aircraft to fly level while hitting ground targets. Although the P.97 didn’t get built, the movable cannon concept was used in a modified form on the post-war Avro Shackleton. "


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Bouton Paul P.96.

Good explanation.

Model picture.

THree side view drawing.


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Hi! Blackburn Skua.
Generally Skua is called bomber, but had fighter role.


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Hi! Blackburn Roc floatplane prototype. And retracted turret fairing.,_1939-1945_-_Blackburn_Roc_floatplane.jpg


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Schneiderman said:
blackkite said:
Miles M.22 alternative version had four gun turret.
Four guns, yes. Turret, no.
Ummm.....Which opinion is correct?

I added Skua.,3537.15.html
blackkite said:
Schneiderman said:
blackkite said:
Miles M.22 alternative version had four gun turret.
Four guns, yes. Turret, no.
Ummm.....Which opinion is correct?

Well since the original post with the M.22 hs been removed I guess you know. The 3-view clearly showed four fixed guns in the nose and no turret.
Terrible sorry I made a mistake. I deleted M22A three side view drawing contrary to intention.

How do you think about the possibility of Miles M.22A alternative version.


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Defiant had same retractable turret fairling, too. Sorry for off topic.
The first picture shows Battle of Britain.


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blackkite said:
How do you think about the possibility of Miles M.22 alternative version.

Don Brown says that Miles suggested a version with a Boulton Paul turret but that is not the one in the drawing, which has four fixed cannon in the nose
Hi! Bristol F.11/37.

F.11/37 Twin-engine two-seat day & night fighter/ground support


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Hi! Hawker Hotspur.
Hotspur's base is Henley.

Hotspur Wikipedia.
"The Hawker Hotspur was a Hawker Henley redesigned to take a Boulton-Paul semi-powered four gun turret. It was designed in response to Air Ministry Specification F.9/35, which required a powered turret as the main armament to replace the Hawker Demon."

"In the same fashion as the Henley, the Hotspur used standard Hurricane outer wing panels. One prototype aircraft, K8309, was built in 1937, fitted with armament of four 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in a Boulton Paul dorsal turret plus one .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun mounted in the front fuselage. The completion of the prototype was delayed until 1938, by which time the rival Boulton Paul Defiant had already flown. The Hotspur first flew on 14 June 1938 with only a wooden mock-up of the turret and with ballast equivalent to the weight of armament."

Henley wikipedia.

Hotspur picture source.
Henley picture source.
Hotspur three side view drawing source.
Henley three side view drawing spurce.


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