FAA flying hardware, 1937-45?

tomo pauk

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
334
Reaction score
208
Or, in other words, lets give to the FAA some attractive hardware that gets the job done and then some. Whether something later to be made earlier, or something that never flew, or a substantial mod to an existing design. Limitations of availability of engines, armament and electronics remain - use what was actually available to the designers/manufactures in the UK.
Bonus points if the stuff is likely to be used by other services/forces, and it is good enough to be licence produced.
 

NOMISYRRUC

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
236
Reaction score
372
In Post 100 on Page 3 of the Alternative RAF 1936-41 thread "The Powers That Be" decided to turn the Fairey P.4/34 into the Fulmar in 1936 instead of 1938. That should have been enough time for Blackburn and Boulton-Paul to build Fulmars instead of the Roc and Skua respectively.

In that post I also had 400 Hurricanes ordered from Gloster in 1936 instead of 400 Henleys. In the "real world" the Henley order was reduced to 200 which Gloster delivered between November 1938 and September 1940. However, the Hurricane was ahead of the Henley in development. I think Gloster could have delivered its first Hurricane in the first quarter of 1938. This is based on Hawker delivering its first Hurricane in October 1937 and Gloster delivering the last of the 225 Gladiators ordered in 1935 in February 1938.

In the "real world" the Air Ministry ordered 378 Gladiators from Gloster in 1937 and 1938. They were delivered between September 1938 and April 1940. These 378 aircraft included 98 that were converted to or completed as Sea Gladiators.

However, "in this version of history" the ordering of 400 Hurricanes in 1936 instead of the 400 Henleys results in the Air Ministry ordering 378 Hurricanes in 1937 and 1938 which included 98 aircraft that were converted to or completed as Sea Hurricanes.

That's 326 extra Fulmars instead of the 190 Skuas & 136 Rocs and 98 Sea Hurricanes instead of 98 Sea Gladiators. The improvement in firepower may be as useful as the improvement in performance.
 

Hood

ACCESS: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
2,845
Reaction score
3,534
Would you keep all those extra Fulmars as pure fighters though or be tempted to make them into fighter/bombers?

Sea Hurricane might not have been accepted as a concept pre-1940 by the Navy and with more Fulmars they might consider the 'eight-gun fighter' ticked off the equipment to-do list.

One thing that has to happen, don't let them add a torpedo to the Firebrand and maybe keep it with the Griffon and leave the Sabre for a Mk II version.
 

tomo pauk

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
334
Reaction score
208
One thing that has to happen, don't let them add a torpedo to the Firebrand and maybe keep it with the Griffon and leave the Sabre for a Mk II version.

Hopefully the Firebrand never happens.
 

NOMISYRRUC

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
236
Reaction score
372
One thing that has to happen, don't let them add a torpedo to the Firebrand and maybe keep it with the Griffon and leave the Sabre for a Mk II version.

Hopefully the Firebrand never happens.
If I remember correctly from Norman Friedman's British Carrier Aviation (and I'm prepared to be proved wrong on this point) the specification that produced Firebrand was written to prove that it was the Admiralty's range and payload requirements were the cause of the poor performance of British naval fighters and not the second crewman.
 

NOMISYRRUC

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
236
Reaction score
372
Would you keep all those extra Fulmars as pure fighters though or be tempted to make them into fighter/bombers.
In the case of the 190 built by Blackburn instead of the Skua, yes. This is the relevant section from Post 100 in the RAF 1936-41 thread.
  • The changes to naval fighters are:
    • IOTL 190 Skuas and 135 Rocs were put on requisition from Blackburn on 6th June 1936. The Skuas were ordered from the Firm the next month. However, the Roc contract (for 136 aircraft instead of 135) wasn't let until April 1937. Furthermore, the aircraft were ordered from Boulton Paul instead of Blackburn.
    • ITTL the Admiralty and Air Ministry decided to turn the Fairey P.4/34 into the Fulmar in 1936 instead of 1938. Fairey's factories were busy building Battles and Swordfish so the 325 Fulmars were put on requisition from Blackburn instead of Fairey. In common with OTL 190 aircraft would be ordered in July 1936 and 136 in April 1937 for a total of 326 Fulmars instead of 190 Skuas and 190 Rocs. However, all the aircraft were ordered from Blackburn because the Air Ministry wanted Boulton Paul to concentrate on building Hurricanes.
    • AIUI the was Fulmar stressed for dive bombing and ITTL it was formally designated a Fighter Dive Bomber (F.D.B.) aircraft because some of them were being built instead of the Skua.
 

NOMISYRRUC

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
236
Reaction score
372
Sea Hurricane might not have been accepted as a concept pre-1940 by the Navy and with more Fulmars they might consider the 'eight-gun fighter' ticked off the equipment to-do list.
That's rather plausible because as far as I know the Sea Gladiator was a stop gap for the Fulmar. On the other hand the FAA needs an aircraft to "make up the numbers" while the Fulmars being built instead of the Roc and Skua are delivered.
 

tomo pauk

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
334
Reaction score
208
If I remember correctly from Norman Friedman's British Carrier Aviation (and I'm prepared to be proved wrong on this point) the specification that produced Firebrand was written to prove that it was the Admiralty's range and payload requirements were the cause of the poor performance of British naval fighters and not the second crewman.

If that was the case, it is cringeworthy beyond belief.
 

tomo pauk

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
334
Reaction score
208
For the Fulmar to be much better performer than it was historically, it will need a better engine. Both Mk.VIII and Mk.30 Merlins were with low-altitude supercharging, thus sacrificing the altitude capability (much to the comfort of the Axis bombers). So FAA/Fairey needs to get their hands on the Merlin X, alnd then on the 20 series - those were outfitted with 2-speed superchargers, making them very useful both down low and high up.
Alternatively, us the Hercules' 2-speed supercharged versions in the nose.
 

EwenS

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
327
Reaction score
562
One thing that has to happen, don't let them add a torpedo to the Firebrand and maybe keep it with the Griffon and leave the Sabre for a Mk II version.

Hopefully the Firebrand never happens.
If I remember correctly from Norman Friedman's British Carrier Aviation (and I'm prepared to be proved wrong on this point) the specification that produced Firebrand was written to prove that it was the Admiralty's range and payload requirements were the cause of the poor performance of British naval fighters and not the second crewman.
Well the conclusion reached following submission of the various paper proposals in Jan 1940, according to Friedman (p208), was that it “showed”, rather than “proved”, that a second seat cost about 25mph airspeed. But that was not what the Admiralty had in mind nor set out to achieve when it drew up the specs in the first place.

In 1939 the RN began to look for a Skua replacement as a single engined two seat fighter as an escort fighter, then being the main role for RN fighters. At the same time it sought a turret fighter as a Roc replacement. These were N8/39 and N9/39 respectively. The intention was that they should be based on the same basic airframe. The submissions when received were disappointing so everyone was asked to re-tender. That was around Dec 1939.

But around the same time the RN discovered it had to undertake a new role, defence of its bases like Scapa Flow as the RAF didn’t then have the necessary resources. It also found its existing fighter aircraft were not fast enough to catch the intruders. So it was facing many challenges.

So thoughts began to turn to a “special purpose fighter” with a pared back spec - single seat, shorter range etc, being the only way to get increased speed. But it was still intended that it should be carrier capable with all the restrictions that that implied re take off/landing distances, stalling speeds, dimensions etc.

So in Dec 1939 word of the change of mind leaked out and the aircraft companies had to seek clarification of what the RN was now actually seeking. As a result, the turret fighter requirement was dropped, and they were asked to tender for two types:-
1. A two seat fixed gun fighter and
2. A single seat fixed gun fighter.
But the intention still seems to have been to base both types on the same basic airframe. So, for example Fairey tendered both single and twin seat aircraft with either Griffon or Sabre engines to spec N9/39. I suppose it made sense to someone to still base both types on the one airframe given the relatively low quantities required for RN use.

At the tender conference in Jan 1940, only one month later, the aircraft companies were asking why all this had not been thought about earlier and the RN was putting it down to war experience already showing that the pre-war spec sought was inadequate and higher performance was required even for the two seater. A distinct change in Admiralty policy. But it also highlighted just how rushed the whole process had become, especially with the single seat version. It must also have been a difficult meeting as there were 7 companies involved with multiple entries for one and/or other spec submitted and to be considered.

A decision was needed fast, so the Result was that the Fairey Griffon powered two seat design was chosen to fulfill one slot (becoming the Firefly in due course) and “...the Blackburn design with Hercules HE6M engine had valuable features which should be tried and an order for twenty-five aircraft was placed. (This became the Blackburn Firebrand).” (Quote from Fairey Firefly by W Harrison). That Blackburn design even had a fixed undercarriage per Friedman, which shows just how far it was from the Sabre engined retractable undercarriage aircraft that finally emerged a few months later in June 1940 to fulfill the new spec N11/40.

Around the same time it was agreed to extend Fulmar production beyond that originally envisaged, and to seek a navalised Spitfire as an interim aircraft for the single seat role. Then we get into the whole availability question, orders for Martlets etc.
 

alejandrogrossi

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Sep 20, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
143
Sea hurricane II.jpg
FAA want a 2 seat fighter (navigator role)
So what about this, with folding wing
With this wing folded, they enter in the lith of the Ark and illustrious (22ft wide)
 

Attachments

  • SH fw.gif
    SH fw.gif
    9.3 KB · Views: 6
  • Screenshot4.jpg
    Screenshot4.jpg
    150.5 KB · Views: 6

alejandrogrossi

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Sep 20, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
143
That was my 2 seater version for Sea Hurricane
But later in the war, was made by amercians. And actualy exist.
So RN keep presion to the Admiralty, and make the SH 2 seat (with navigator/observator crew) very early in the war
1642353597028.png

1642353411347.png
1642353560285.png

1642353442551.png
 
Top