hesham

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Hi,

in 1938,Parnall designed a twin boom heavy bomber Project,with no supporting
tailplane or structure between the booms,how we can find a drawing or a more
Info about it ?.
 

Lottie

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Hi
I served my engineering apprenteship at Parnall's when K Wixey was researching for Putnam book. We found some cylinders of drawings the most interesting of which I kept copies. Attached the type 384 Heavy bomber. Generally as described by yourself. Also note engine layout outer props driven bi lineshafts? ,experimented layout in Parnall Possum of 1923. I also have other drawings of projects as per attached sheet.

Regards
 

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blackkite

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Wow amazing!! :eek: Four engines? Two rotating turrets?
 

Apteryx

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Thanks so much for sharing this incredible beast with us!
 

Schneiderman

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Is this a Basil Henderson design or the work of someone else, possibly as a purely theoretical scheme to show a projected Nash & Thompson low-profile gun turret? The drawing title is hard to read, I believe it says "Preliminary Scheme of Heavy Bomber with **** Gun Turrets" **** may be Light, can you confirm.
Thanks

PS We would all be grateful if you could share any other project drawings and information you have, but quite understand if you choose not to.
 

Hood

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A most interesting find. Certainly a novel layout and design.

I think it might be "with twin gun turrets". I thought it might be two but doesn't look like an O at the end, the first letter looks like a T to me.
Those turrets look something like the large quad 20mm Hispano turrets of the B.1/39 entries, but I guess the Type 384 would slighty pre-date those designs? Is there is a date on the plan?
I wonder if that large inner wing section held all the bomb cellues?
 

Schneiderman

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I read the date as August 1938. Project number is just two higher than the trainer built to T.1/37 and flown in 1938 so that would feel about right.
The turrets are also similar to those on the R.5/39 flying boat projects.
 

JFC Fuller

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Hood beat me to it, this looks a lot like it was designed towards B.1/39 and the associated ideal bomber studies that proceeded it (including B.19/38 from 1938). The timing certainly works for this specification series and its difficult to think of another requirement circulating at the time for which a heavy bomber would be designed. Certainly the very wide turrets, to the extent the fuselage appears shaped to accommodate them, hints at this and so does the matching over/under configuration of the turrets.

Is there any indication which engines it was designed around? The cowlings look radial but the actual engine drawings look more like they are in-line...?

It would be weird if we have a drawing of a Parnell design to this requirement but still not one of the HP design that was down-selected along with the Bristol Type 159.
 

Schneiderman

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Worth cross-checking with this
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,20030.0.html

As a bomber design it looks highly suspect to me; unreasonably complex engine drive system, double blind spots for the guns, restricted bomb bay as a result of large twin turrests. Possible, vaguely, to B.1/39 but probably just conceptual to illustrate how low drag turrets could be installed
 

hesham

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Lottie said:
Hi
I served my engineering apprenteship at Parnall's when K Wixey was researching for Putnam book. We found some cylinders of drawings the most interesting of which I kept copies. Attached the type 384 Heavy bomber. Generally as described by yourself. Also note engine layout outer props driven bi lineshafts? ,experimented layout in Parnall Possum of 1923. I also have other drawings of projects as per attached sheet.

Regards

Wow,amazing amazing find Lottie,and welcome aboard,

please we want to know the other Parnall Project drawings,and many thanks.
 

blackkite

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Schneiderman said:
Worth cross-checking with this
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,20030.0.html

As a bomber design it looks highly suspect to me; unreasonably complex engine drive system, double blind spots for the guns, restricted bomb bay as a result of large twin turrests. Possible, vaguely, to B.1/39 but probably just conceptual to illustrate how low drag turrets could be installed
HmHm.....Anyway very ambitious design.
 

JFC Fuller

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Schneiderman said:
As a bomber design it looks highly suspect to me; unreasonably complex engine drive system, double blind spots for the guns, restricted bomb bay as a result of large twin turrests. Possible, vaguely, to B.1/39 but probably just conceptual to illustrate how low drag turrets could be installed

The turrets are probably meant to be quads. With the exception of the complex drive system the other "weaknesses" you reference would have been very acceptable to the RAF in 1937/38. Bomber designs were being specified to only carry small bombs (hence the wing cells on multiple types and the ludicrous bomb bay/door arrangement on the Stirling) so a restricted bomb bay would have been fine and both the turrets have firing arcs that cover the areas from which Bomber Command thought fighter attacks were possible.
 
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Schneiderman

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JFC Fuller said:
The turrets are probably meant to be quads. With the exception of the complex drive system the other "weaknesses" you reference would have been very acceptable to the RAF in 1937/38. Bomber designs were being specified to only carry small bombs (hence the wing cells on multiple types and the ludicrous bomb bay/door arrangement on the Stirling) so a restricted bomb bay would have been fine and both the turrets have firing arcs that cover the areas from which bomber command thought fighter attacks were possible.
I'll have to diagree with that. Complex and unproven drives are most unlikely to have been considered acceptable and in a world where tail turrets were ubiquitous this layout offers a poor substitute. You may be right regarding the bomb load.
I think what kills this for me is that Parnall really had no significant design capability at this time. Nash and Thompson bought-out Parnall mainly to acquire the factory space required to undertake their ever-expanding order book for turrets and the residue of the Hendy business was hardly up to the task of taking on a project of this size. To me the 381 was a quick and simple suggestion to enable low profile turrets to be tested and this 348 is a conceptual design for a bomber equipped with such a design. It would seem that Boulton Paul's turret was prefered, for reasons unknown, but that, too, was soon abandoned.
 

JFC Fuller

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Schneiderman said:
I'll have to diagree with that. Complex and unproven drives are most unlikely to have been considered acceptable and in a world where tail turrets were ubiquitous this layout offers a poor substitute. You may be right regarding the bomb load.

I think what kills this for me is that Parnall really had no significant design capability at this time. Nash and Thompson bought-out Parnall mainly to acquire the factory space required to undertake their ever-expanding order book for turrets and the residue of the Hendy business was hardly up to the task of taking on a project of this size. To me the 381 was a quick and simple suggestion to enable low profile turrets to be tested and this 348 is a conceptual design for a bomber equipped with such a design. It would seem that Boulton Paul's turret was prefered, for reasons unknown, but that, too, was soon abandoned.

The only way of mounting the heavy quad cannon turrets was to have them near the center of gravity so all the B.1/39 designs mounted them in upper and lower configurations towards the center of gravity (see the Bristol Type 159 as an example of this). Even when twin 20mm turrets were considered for the Lancaster and Halifax they were proposed in upper/lower nearer to CoG positions with the tail position replaced with an observer to spot targets for the gunners.

It is only the engine configuration that stands out as being particularly silly in this design when placed against the B.1/39 requirement. Everything else matches what was then Bomber Command thinking, specifically around the ideal bomber effort. Having limited design capability never seems to have been an inhibitor to British aircraft firms dreaming up elaborate schemes to air ministry requirements.
 

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I'm with JFC Fuller here, this design feels too much like the B.1/39 designs to be a coincidence.

Looking at this and the Type 281 there is close similarity, especially in the plan view, if you remove the rear fuselage, add two booms and stretch the sharply-swept inner wing trailing edge back then the result would be very similar. So I would say the 281 inspired the 284 but I doubt its a twin-boom Type 281 variant as a pure research aircraft as there would be no need to add two engines and the outer driveshafts. So it seems to be a proposal to make a functional bomber design. The fad for individual 250-500lb bomb cells could well have been accommodated in the big inner wing section (double or triple rows perhaps). I would agree this was not a formal submission however.

Maybe Parnall had their ear to ground or more likely heard about the spec from Nash & Thompson. I would agree with Schneiderman that Nash & Thompson were probably the inspiration behind Parnall drawing up this study. It makes sense the turret manufacturer might have wanted a aircraft designer's opinion of the feasibility of the Ideal Bomber specification before embarking and investing on a new development. Indeed, the unofficial status of the design might have given Parnall the confidence to play with the driveshaft-driven outer props, in a sense they had nothing to lose.

I wonder if the short illegible word with a wonky 'T' isn't actually 20mm making the description "with 20mm gun turrets". If so, that would remove much of the doubt.
 

Schneiderman

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Hood said:
....Maybe Parnall had their ear to ground or more likely heard about the spec from Nash & Thompson. I would agree with Schneiderman that Nash & Thompson were probably the inspiration behind Parnall drawing up this study. It makes sense the turret manufacturer might have wanted a aircraft designer's opinion of the feasibility of the Ideal Bomber specification before embarking and investing on a new development. Indeed, the unofficial status of the design might have given Parnall the confidence to play with the driveshaft-driven outer props, in a sense they had nothing to lose.

Don't forget that Parnall were wholly owned by Nash and Thompson by this date, the business was all about selling turrets so initiating a conceptual design that +/- fitted B.1/39 would have been a sensible study to undertake.
 

Schneiderman

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JFC Fuller said:
The only way of mounting the heavy quad cannon turrets was to have them near the center of gravity so all the B.1/39 designs mounted them in upper and lower configurations towards the center of gravity (see the Bristol Type 159 as an example of this)....
You are absolutely right, the B.1/39 contenders are all equally compromised in arc of fire, so the Parnall concept is no worse
 

Lottie

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Hi
Have general arrangement drawings of all listed below designs. Will get drawings from attic and expand data below with draughtsman, dates and any other details not present listed.

Parnall type 381 Gunnery Research Aircraft
3 Man crew, Pilot, Radio Operator/Loader and Gunner.
2 Bristol Hercules HE6 engines, Wingspan 63’ 6”, Length 61’ 3”
2 different versions upper and lower turret.
Designed around 15/11/1938
No turret identification, but looks on drawings as a large calibre weapon as there is a seat for ‘gunner’ drawn and shells stacked in racks alongside gun. Drawing of gun also looks large. Sound proofing in roof above pilot and radio operator? (see air enthusiast sept 1994)

Parnall type 383 Gunnery Trainer
2 Man crew, Pilot and Gunner.
Single Engined Gipsy King Wingspan 32’ Length 30’
Turret Nash and Thompson FN5
Designed around 30/8/1938

Parnall type 384 Heavy Bomber Heavy Turrets (2)
4 Engines, 2 inline each side with rear engines turning airscrews outboard via line shafts? (As experimented in the Parnall Possum of 1923)
Span 91’ 10” Length
Designed around 30/8/1938

Parnall type 401 Research Aircraft
Single Engined Bristol Mercury
Span 42’ Length 35’ 11”
Turret Nash and Thompson FN5
Designed around 30/8/1938

Parnall type 401 with Turret
Single Engined Bristol Mercury
Span 42’ Length 35’ 11”
Turret Nash and Thompson FN33
Designed around 13/2/1940
 

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hesham

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Oh my God,Lottie you made my day,

many thanks,and please if you have a drawings to Type-383 and Type-401 (anther design)
can you send them and thanks,also I want to ask you if this one is Type-383 or not ?.
 

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Schneiderman

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Hesham, according to Lottie's post the 383 had a Gipsy King engine and a FN5 turret (as fitted to the Wellington, front and rear). That artist's conceptual drawing has a radial and no turret.
Basically it sounds like the 383 was similar to the DH Don, lets see what Lottie posts.
 

hesham

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We have in this forum a very good painters,

who can make those two drawings clearer ?.
 

Lottie

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Hi
Found copies of other Drawings, have not got others out of roof yet.
Hope these are of interest, sorry they are not clearer ,photos of prints.


Regards
 

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Schneiderman

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Lottie this is all great new information, thank you so much for sharing.
 

hesham

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Many thanks to you Lottie,you made my day.
 

Lottie

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Have looked through prints I have, most of the schemes have no extra information apart from draftsman George H. Stone or J.O. Eke.
Numerous other prints of Parnall Type 382 trainer. One of which is a blue print showing all the mechanical linkages in the cockpit area and another showing the different stages of final assembly of the type. If I remember correctly there were many detail drawings of this type in the rolls that were found.
There seem to be some odd drawings of Hendy types I cannot identify.
A very unusual print is of a copper sheath to protect the leading edge of a propeller fitted to a Mongoose engine. The aircraft model I think fitted this was the Peto submarine launched type.

Where this collection of drawings is now I do not know.
Any other information I can give please ask. I am always on lookout for any Parnall related info.
 

Schneiderman

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Many thanks Lottie, all new information is of value.
George H Stone I do not know but J.O.Eke was part of Supermarine's design department at the time of the Stranaer, Walrus and early Spitfire, so had considerable design experience.
Do you have copies of the original drawings for the Type 381? the drawings and artwork in Air Enthusiast are a bit contradictory.
I do hope the other drawings that you refer to have found a good home in an archive somewhere.
 

hesham

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Many thanks to you Lottie,

and if you have any more drawings,please send it.
 

hesham

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Amazing work my dear Schneiderman,

and as you did with Model-384,please can you make this with Model-383 and Model-401 ?,and thanks.
 

Schneiderman

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Are the outboard engines smaller than the inboard ones?
See #19. There are radials for the inner props and some type of V water-cooled driving the outers. These engines are located in the booms adjacent to the wing trailing edge and drive the outer props via long diagonal shafts. A totally impractical installation which is one reason why I see this scheme as no more than schematic and not aimed at any particular specification
 

hesham

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Hi,

if someone can make a better quality of those drawings ?,and thanks to him.
 

nfilippone

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I apologize for suddenly injecting myself into this interesting thread, but since it is Parnell related, I thought one of you might be able to help me. I have been searching, without success, for a 3-view of the Parnall Possum in order to scratch build a model of it. For whatever reason, the Putnam book on Parnall does not provide a 3-view. Would anyone be able to direct me to a source? Thank you.

Regards, Nick Filippone
 

hesham

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Welcome aboard Nfilippone,

hard to find,but I will check from Air Pictorial or Flying Review.
 

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