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Late 1930s and/or WWII fighter flying boats?

cluttonfred

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I know of a number of WWI and 1920s designs for fighter flying boats--various Macchi and Caproni designs and the Supermarine Baby and related racers, for example. I also know of a number of post-WWII designs for jet flying boat fighters like the Saro and even the Convair Sea Dart.

Does anyone know of any prototypes or projects for fighter flying boats from the late 1930s and/or WWII periods? I'd also be interested in single-seat or perhaps two-seat attack flying boat designs that could have taken on a fighter role. It would be great to see what R.J. Mitchell could have done with a specification for a flying boat fighter, for example.

The only one that comes to mind for me is the Blackburn B44, a Blackburn Firebrand with the retractable hull of the Blackburn B20 experimental test aircraft. It's in the WWII-era volume of BRITISH SECRET PROJECTS. There is an artist's impression and a little info online on John "Dinger" Dell's site (scroll down).

I am specifically asking about flying boats, not float seaplanes. There are a lot of single- and twin-float seaplanes that would fit the bill, I am talking about aircraft with boat hulls, whether amphibious or water-only flying boats.
 

Justo Miranda

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Please see http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2276.0/highlight,blackburn%20b%2044.html
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2313.0/highlight,blackburn%20b%2044.html
 

borovik

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A couple of projects of 30-ies of the Soviet Union.
IM "Marine Fighter" by Shavrov and
Fighter "Alpha"MPI (morskoy podvesnoy istrebitel = marine suspended fighter) engineer Vasil'yev (1937)
Sources: Aviation and Cosmonautic "1998 № 11-12
G. Petrov "Seaplanes and ekranoplans of Russia 1910-1999"
 

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cluttonfred

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The Shavrov IM figher appears to be an extrapolation of the mass-produced Shavrov Sh-2 amphibian. See the Wikipedia and Virtual Aircraft Museum entries for photos, 3-views, specs. My Russian is almost nil, but the caption to the 3-view that Borovik posted seems to indicate a 400 hp engine. Considering that the three-seat Sh-2 had a maximum speed of only 86 mph with its 100 hp engine, it seems unlikely that even a smaller and aerodynamically neater version would have done much over 200 mph with 400 hp (the Italian Cant 25 biplane fighter/observation flying boat of the same period could only do 150 mph with similar weight and horspower). Still, with a couple of machine guns and light bombs the Shavrov IM could have made a useful close support aircraft operating from forward bases near the front lines and hunting enemy observation aircraft like the Fieseler Storch.
 

burunduk

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The IM drawing isn't too accurate.
Jupiter has 9 cylinders, but there are only 5 on drawing.
It seems this drawing really was "modified" from Sh-2 one.
 

hesham

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cluttonfred

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Wow, 315 kph/196 mph maximum speed is pretty pitiful for that Loire 210 as a fighter in 1937, even a floatplane. For comparison, a Mitsubishi F1M "Pete" was faster than that as a biplane and a two-seater.
 

Jemiba

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Maybe a silly question about the KB-2 MPI/Vasil'yev "Alpha"MPI:
What was this elaborate construction of the rotating cover for ? As far as I can see
from the drawings, it was above the waterline at all times, so the increase of internal
volume couldn't be the reason.
 

hesham

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Great find Schneider,


but was the designer French or from anther country ?.
 

Arjen

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hesham said:
Great find Schneider,


but was the designer French or from anther country ?.
It looks like RJ Mitchell could have designed it - I'm curious as to what makes you think he didn't.

Jemiba said:
Maybe a silly question about the KB-2 MPI/Vasil'yev "Alpha"MPI:
What was this elaborate construction of the rotating cover for ? As far as I can see from the drawings, it was above the waterline at all times, so the increase of internal volume couldn't be the reason.
Assuming the rotating cover has a water tight seal against the float - if it doesn't, you'll have a very leaky float - this construction provides reserve buoyancy. It also allows the fuselage to protrude into the retracted float, which offers opportunities to reduce the frontal area of the aircraft with float retracted, while offering more space inside the fuselage for equipment or fuel. A float that's simply hollow on top is likely to be swamped when the aircraft is water borne at any speed.
 

Jemiba

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Arjen said:
...- this construction provides reserve buoyancy.

Thanks Arjen ! I should have used from the beginning the 3-view to check, not the colour profile !
Because there, the auxiliary float is shown too long, I think, and if that additional volume becomes effective,
the auxiliary floats would already be undercutting and quite probably torn off !
 

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Schneiderman

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In June 1936 Blackburn proposed their BB5 project for a twin-engined 2/3 seat amphibian reconnaissance/fighter. 2xBristol Aquila, Gross weight 8500lb, 50ft span, length 39ft 6in, max speed 260mph. The armament was four machine guns in a remote controlled dorsal turret. Think of it as a scaled-down B-20 as it aircraft would have had a retractable hull and retractable wing tip floats, but plus a retractable undercarriage and folding wings for stowage onboard carriers.
 

hesham

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Schneiderman said:
In June 1936 Blackburn proposed their BB5 project for a twin-engined 2/3 seat amphibian reconnaissance/fighter. 2xBristol Aquila, Gross weight 8500lb, 50ft span, length 39ft 6in, max speed 260mph. The armament was four machine guns in a remote controlled dorsal turret. Think of it as a scaled-down B-20 as it aircraft would have had a retractable hull and retractable wing tip floats, but plus a retractable undercarriage and folding wings for stowage onboard carriers.

Thank you my dear Schneiderman,

any drawing ?.
 

Schneiderman

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Yes.....but. The documents come from the BAe Systems Heritage archive and I do not have clearance to share at the moment.
 

hesham

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Schneiderman said:
Yes.....but. The documents come from the BAe Systems Heritage archive and I do not have clearance to share at the moment.

OK and thanks.
 

cluttonfred

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Clarification of an old post...thanks to a Russian OCR extraction and Google Translate, I can confirm that the Shavrov IM project drawing posted by borovik reads:

проект
(1930 г.)

"Истребитель морской” под 400-сильный мотор "Юпитер”

project
(1930)

“Marine Fighter” under 400-strong Jupiter motor


That suggests a 400 hp Shvetsov M-22, a license-built Bristol Jupiter 9-cylinder single-row radial, though the drawing still shows the 5-cylinder M-11 of the Shavrov Sh-2.

Shavrov 'IM'.jpg
 
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riggerrob

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I know they are not strictly fighters, but what about the whole: Loening, Grumman and Columbia series of amphibians?
These amphibious biplanes were mainly used for scouting, target-towing, utility, search and rescue, but could carry small bombs or depth charges and many were armed with a machine gun or three. Some Grumman Ducks flew short-range anti-submarine patrols early in WW2.
They sort of looked like floatplanes with large center floats and small balancing floats under wingtips. The key difference was that fuselages faired into center floats to create large passenger cabins. They had full-length fuselages and full-length center floats. Most crews included a pilot, observer/rear gunner and maybe a second observer. The last Grumman Duck to escape from the Phillipines carried a total of 7 people! See the book "I Saw the Fall of the Phillipines.mman-designed)

Grover Loening started the line with his OA-1A amphibian of 1927. He sold a 165 OA-1As - mainly to the US Navy - between the wars.
Leroy Grumman took over with his up-dated J2F1-6 Duck (1936). Duck was by far the most popular of this genre (total of 584 built).
Columbia took over Duck production (330) during WW2 when Grumman got too busy building fighters and torpedo bombers.
In 1946, Columbia built a pair of XJL monoplanes that looked like up-dated Ducks.
The oddest looking of that ilk was the 1931 Great Lakes XSG prototype that looked like a Duck missing a chunk of fuselage between the observer and rudder.

As an aside, I vaguely remember a photo of an Edo prototype of a monoplane, single-seater flying boat with a high-mounted, tractor engine.
 
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cluttonfred

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The Loening OL series and the Grummand Ducks were certainly armed but I don't think any of them were used (or ever intended to be used) as fighters. Still, I have always loved the look of the Loenings, maybe an LSA version with lots of space for camping gear. ;-)
 
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Grey Havoc

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From the Blackburn B.44 thread:

(h/t Justo Miranda for the side profile below)
 

riggerrob

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One photo of a Sikorsky flying boat prototype from the 1930s.
 

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Schneiderman

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In June 1936 Blackburn proposed their BB5 project for a twin-engined 2/3 seat amphibian reconnaissance/fighter. 2xBristol Aquila, Gross weight 8500lb, 50ft span, length 39ft 6in, max speed 260mph. The armament was four machine guns in a remote controlled dorsal turret. Think of it as a scaled-down B-20 as it aircraft would have had a retractable hull and retractable wing tip floats, but plus a retractable undercarriage and folding wings for stowage onboard carriers.
BB5_1.jpg
 

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