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Secret Projects humour. Sort of. Opinion wanted.

pathology_doc

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In affectionate and, I hope, respectful parody of the Secret Projects series, I occasionally feel inspired to write a fictional "Carthaginian Secret Projects, Fighters, Bombers and Guided Weapons 1945-2012", for publication online on 1 April next year.

The aim would be to develop a series of 'serious' alternative-universe projects. Carthage would be assumed to have been conquered by the Italians in the early part of World War 2 (old hatreds die hard!!), then liberated and reconstructed by the Allies, effectively forming a confederation of most of the Mediterranean North African states with the exclusion of Egypt. Government would be capitalist oligarchic democracy with a nominal leaning towards the West, such that non-nuclear technology would be made available on a five-year delay on its first availability on the US or British front line, and nuclear technology would not be transferred, while indigenous technological developments completely independent of outside assistance could be expected to fall about ten years behind where not based on captured German knowledge (and would not include nuclear technology).

Illustrations would mostly be three-view sketches, this being purely for fun.

Would others welcome this, or not?
 

Grey Havoc

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Sounds interesting.
getsmiley.php
 

Nik

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You've got the possibility that a number of also-ran projects may find root there...

DeLanne, Burnelli etc...

IIRC, DeGaulle flew around in a Burnelli transport built under license...
 

Arjen

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Will you include The Stealth Blimp?
 

Grey Havoc

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IA-58B Pucará COIN/Torpedo Bombers delivered in the late 1980's perhaps. :)

EDIT: And a development of the SAAB VIRUS 2 as a A-4 replacement at the same time.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,12757.0.html
 

pathology_doc

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The approach I've taken thus far is to regard Carthage as preferring indigenous development to external purchases, though these are made from time to time. Their policy prior to WW2 is to buy approx. 1/3 of their aircraft off the shelf, then licence-build the remaining 2/3 and take the opportunity to make local improvements. So e.g. their maritime patrol a/c prior to "their conquest by Italy/Germany in 1940" is a VIckers Wellesley with the long cowling and uprated engine of the Long Range Development Flight models (and some of the tankage too), and with the .303 Vickers guns replaced by the .50-cal variant used in surface AA mounts.

I am currently considering the "story" of how Saro turns to the Carthaginians in the aftermath of the Suez crisis and the Sovietization of the Middle East, pushing the SR177 rocket/jet fighter as just the thing for the defence of the Capital (not to mention the saving of the project's @r$e), and on what (reasonable) grounds this offer is first considered and then rejected; plus equally fictitious interlinks with other real cancelled projects (British and otherwise).

There will be a missile section too. Expect AIM-9B performance in a Red Dean-sized package, at least until the mid sixties, so this is an area where foreign purchases (and sales efforts!) will abound.

I see there have already been some nominations. So if you've got a favourite cancelled project and want to see it either die a deserved death all over again or possibly somehow struggle to a difficult and low-numbers-built existence, name it here, drop me a link to someplace where its actual fate is discussed, and nominate "live", "die", or "author's pick". *evil grin* (The torpedo-Pucara is a very interesting one, given that the Carth. Air Force's pick for a bomber just prior to WW2 is the Fairey Swordfish.)


Stealth BLIMP?
Nah, forget it. Coastal AEW Blimp? That's another matter... (Moored or flown high enough so that downward-firing ejector seats can be used. Once a missile starts on its way in, that's the only thing left to do...)
 

Grey Havoc

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The torpedo-Pucara is a very interesting one, given that the Carth. Air Force's pick for a bomber just prior to WW2 is the Fairey Swordfish.

Thanks. Here's another suggestion:

index.php


index.php

I, ah, 'borrowed' these two great pics from: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,6030.0.html
And:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3656.0.html

Some more details: http://www.aviastar.org/air/usa/curtiss_f-87.php

Maybe a quick thinking member of a trade mission from Carthage, with good contacts in Washington, grabs the production rights for this in November 1948, in a rare exception to the five-year rule?

"Live", by the way.
 

pathology_doc

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The five-year rule is as much a measure of Carthage's technical competence to maintain the aircraft once bought as it is to make things interesting. Also, remember what happened to the SR177 rocket fighter and the F-20 Tigershark among others - when the constructing nation's own air force/procurement system (strike out as relevant) turns a project down, it tends to sour potential foreign buyers!

As it stands, the first indigenous Carthaginian jet aircraft makes its first flight in 1949 (cf 1941 for Britain, 1939 for Nazi Germany) with a DH Venom-sized fighter following in 1954. No way are my hypothetical Carthaginians going to be able to manage the XF-87 in the post WW2/pre-Korea period (when the best fighter in their air force is a Spitfire VIII with a bubble canopy and the extra two cannon fitted). So, alas - rejected! :'(
 

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:( Pity. Here's another one. Early 80's, Hawker Siddeley HS 1187-9. Carthage helps out with funding in the mid-70's, allowing the initial studies to proceed to actual development and test hardware, to a point where both the RAF and USAF become seriously interested. Carthage however gets the first production models since it was in on the ground floor, so to speak. Plausible?

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11746.0.html

'Live' if possible.
 

pathology_doc

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Grey Havoc said:
:( Pity. Here's another one. Early 80's, Hawker Siddeley HS 1187-9. 'Live' if possible.

Die, at least in terms of direct sales, because it's still too unorthodox, sophisticated and complex. Sorry. However, let us argue that the Harrier appeals greatly because of all the fighting going on next door, and the salutary lessons Israel provides to those who leave their planes neatly lined up on the tarmac and rely exclusively on long, long fixed runways...

So: instant easy $$$ from an enthusiastic Harrier buyer (the "low" half of a high-low mix that includes an indigenous Century-series-style "hot rod"), plus the support contract, plus the training to bring the Carthaginian 'erks' up to speed, and money down on the table to buy AI-equipped Sea Harrier if it hatches right ---> enough company money for Hawker to bring the 1187 to the flight line eventually and shove it in the Ministry's face interest everybody who's got (or wants) a small carrier they can put V/STOL fighters on - that's Spain, Italy and India on board for sure, and the US and Australia taking a lot of notice. The Ministry pretty much has no choice after that, I'd imagine.

Fair deal? ;D
 

pathology_doc

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Playing around with ideas, I have basic outline "histories" for the primary first, second, and third-generation jet fighters out till early 1970.

Now trying to calculate likely weights and performances from rough-sketch three-views. As a rough guide, I'm going to assume:

1) Weight = weight of most similarly sized and shaped real-world airplane plus 5% penalty for not being as advanced in alloys, construction techniques, calculating stresses (having to allow larger margins). Ditto drag.

2) Penalty for trying to fit another engine in (as GD supposedly considered doing for evolved F-111 designs) = add 15% to structure sans engines, i.e. subtract engine weight from airframe weight, add 15% to that, then add the weight of the extra engine back in. Fair? Or should I pick a higher or lower penalty?

Alternatively does anyone know of rules of thumb for this, e.g. what a fuselage should weigh per foot of length and square foot of cross sectional area? And is there anywhere I can find coefficients of parasite drag for long-since-retired military aircraft? Wikipedia is sometimes an immense help, but is too variable to depend upon.
 

Kryptid

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pathology_doc said:
Alternatively does anyone know of rules of thumb for this, e.g. what a fuselage should weigh per foot of length and square foot of cross sectional area? And is there anywhere I can find coefficients of parasite drag for long-since-retired military aircraft? Wikipedia is sometimes an immense help, but is too variable to depend upon.

In accordance with Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach, there are in fact ways to estimate weight. One way is by multiplying the wetted (exposed) area of one of the aircraft components by a typical weight per unit area value.

For fighter aircraft, the listed values are:

*9.0 lb/ft2 (44 kg/m2) of exposed planform area for a wing.
*4.0 lb/ft2 (20 kg/m2) of exposed planform area for a horizontal tail.
*5.3 lb/ft2 (26 kg/m2) of exposed planform area for a vertical tail.
*4.8 lb/ft2 (23 kg/m2) of wetted area for a fuselage.

For bombers and transports:

*10.0 lb/ft2 (49 kg/m2) of exposed planform area for a wing.
*5.5 lb/ft2 (27 kg/m2) of exposed planform area for a horizontal tail.
*5.5 lb/ft2 (27 kg/m2) of exposed planform area for a vertical tail.
*5.0 lb/ft2 (24 kg/m2) of wetted area for a fuselage.

This do not include the weight of the engines.

A way is mentioned to calculate the length of an aircraft based on its weight, but presumably the equation can be reversed to calculate weight from length. I don't feel like trying to figure it out myself, but feel free to do so if you wish. Anyway, the original equation is aW0C, where a and C are certain values listed in Table 6.3 in the book. W0 is the aircraft take-off gross weight.

For a typical jet fighter, a is 0.93 and C is 0.39. If want to calculate a likely length for such an aircraft with a gross weight of 44,500 (the F-15C), we get 0.93(44,500 pounds)0.39 = 60.44 feet. The actual length is 63.75 feet, so it's not too far off.

For various aircraft types:

Military Cargo/Bomber: a = 0.23, C = 0.50
Jet Transport: a = 0.67, C = 0.43
Jet Trainer: a = 0.79, C = 0.41
Jet Fighter: a = 0.93, C = 0.39
Twin Turboprop: a = 0.37, C = 0.51

Hope this helps.
 

pathology_doc

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It helps A GREAT DEAL; God bless you. :D

(It also gives me yet another airplane book I want to buy, so on that note my wife will probably say "God damn you!" :p but who's the author and where can I get it? LOL)

To clarify - the wing, horizontal and vertical tail areas are the S that would go into Lift = CL x 1/2rho.V2 x S while the fuselage wetted area is the TOTAL surface area of the fuselage skin, yes?

Actually, not taking the weight of the engines is quite convenient; because THAT information is usually available on Wikipedia, and any inaccuracies of that source probably don't matter much given how horrifically overweight some real aircraft turned out to be with ACTUAL ENGINEERS working on the problem.
 

Kryptid

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pathology_doc said:
It helps A GREAT DEAL; God bless you. :D
You're quite welcome.

(It also gives me yet another airplane book I want to buy, so on that note my wife will probably say "God damn you!" :p but who's the author and where can I get it? LOL)
I do highly recommend the book. I've learned a great deal from it. The author is Dr. Daniel P. Raymer (who used to work for Rockwell). I got my copy from Amazon.com

To clarify - the wing, horizontal and vertical tail areas are the S that would go into Lift = CL x 1/2rho.V2 x S while the fuselage wetted area is the TOTAL surface area of the fuselage skin, yes?
If S is exposed planform area (not the total area of the reference wing) then yes. Total surface area of the fuselage skin is also correct.
 

Kryptid

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I have a used, 4th edition. Don't know what differences there might be between additions. Buying a used book doesn't seem to hurt, though (just a few scribbles in places. This is a textbook afterall).
 

pathology_doc

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Then that's what I've gone and got. Besides, this IS all for fun after all, and I'd rather spend $12.00 than $112!!

And there's something nice about an older textbook - I collect mid 1950s guided missile textbooks for this very reason!

Played around with the equations you gave me and somehow contrived to have a 50ft long, 55ft span fighter come out at 10,000lb!! Afterwards when deciding what engine to put in and choosing a RR Nene, I realised I'd made the fuselage grossly undersized w.r.t. diameter! It was, however, a valuable exercise in working out what weights ought to be from a concept sketch diagram. Shall now busily pretend to be the Carthaginian Bureau of Aircraft Design for a few months.

As far as engines go, shall use this: http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/ngnsim.html and will use published size, thrust and SFC figures for British centrifugal engines since the program does not model those.

Update - still waiting on the book: mail strike where I am. After weights, next thing I realise I need to be able to calculate (or fudge somehow) is the zero-lift drag coefficient. Am hoping the book will help with this. Any other ideas out there?
 

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By the late 1960's, would Carthage's aviation industry be capable of undertaking (not necessarily successfully) a project like the Blackburn P.141?
 

pathology_doc

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You may have something there. The story of the TSR.2 and BAC's attempt to sell it to the Carthaginians (among others) will form part of the text - the Carthies saw what had been happening "thus far" (although I haven't yet determined exactly when they come in) and wanted no part of it. They weren't at all interested in the nuclear strike capability (the TSR.2 raison d'etre) because they didn't have nukes and figured (rightly) that NATO would pitch a fit if they tried to acquire them (remember their sworn historical enemy - "Rome" (Italy) - is a NATO member). Nor were they interested in an airplane whose development was so convoluted and slave-of-two-masters-ish (three if you count Bristol-Siddeley) that even British industry was having trouble building the thing in a timely and affordable manner. The back-story I've written is that they went to English Electric looking for a Canberra follow-up (they didn't ever have Canberras but they certainly wanted what came after) only to find that the Canberra follow-up had been hijacked and swallowed up by GOR.339.

On the other hand, something that a company the size of Blackburn could build on its own with off-the-shelf components is a different matter. Coincidentally I was just working on thought-bubbles last night for the Carthaginian Air Force's sixties-to-eighties strike aircraft - they've just finished designing and building a Century-series-like interceptor, and their next call is whether to (a) design something completely different for the attack mission, (b) restress the interceptor and/or redesign the wing to hang heaps of weapons underneath a la the F-15E, (c) get a design from abroad and build that, (d) buy something off the shelf.

If you were the Blackburn rep and I were the Carthaginian procurement officer, I'd be asking you what this thing would do (apart from Mach 2) that couldn't be accomplished by buying two squadrons of (slightly modified) Buccaneers instead, how much more it would cost, and when the first fully combat-ready airplanes could be ready. If this is truly an MRCA competitor, the first question I'd ask is "Does it have an inbuilt gun armament or how easily can one be fitted?" The Carthaginian Air Force categorically rejects any design that doesn't have a gun, even if it's only an Aden with a hundred rounds for "finishing off the wounded" or nailing an enemy interceptor that's careless enough to overshoot.
 

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"Does it have an inbuilt gun armament or how easily can one be fitted?" The Carthaginian Air Force categorically rejects any design that doesn't have a gun, even if it's only an Aden with a hundred rounds for "finishing off the wounded" or nailing an enemy interceptor that's careless enough to overshoot.

[Salesman mode]Very wise, sir, very wise. Well sir, I'm pleased to say that our P.141 even in it's baseline configuration can be fitted with, among other things, 2× 30 mm x 113B ADEN Mk 3 cannons, made in Britain of course, with all the quality that implies. And, because it's a highly modular design, you can of course vary the integral armament of the P141 to suit your precise needs! Not to mention that the P.141 baseline can easily carry 1-2 of any of a wide range of gun pods.[/Salesman mode]
 

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Hang on, when did the P.141 become the P.148? And why is the Blackburn rep trying to sell me on a DEFA 552 fit when he should be offering a pair of Adens? :p
 

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Woops, my mistake on the 148. Fixed. I'll alter my sales pitch and mention the ADEN.
 

pathology_doc

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Non, monsieur!! Zut alors! To hell with you, and the escargot you rode in on! ;D

I will, however, look seriously at both versions of MARTEL. Is the datalink for the TV version built into the aircraft, or do I still have to sacrifice a hardpoint to carry it?
 

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pathology_doc said:
Non, monsieur!! Zut alors! To hell with you, and the escargot you rode in on! ;D

I will, however, look seriously at both versions of MARTEL. Is the datalink for the TV version built into the aircraft, or do I still have to sacrifice a hardpoint to carry it?

[Salesman]Ah, you require a stand-off strike option. As I've already said, sir, the P.141 is highly modular, with all the benefits that confers, including the relatively easy integration of practically any electronic systems you, the customer desires, including those currently only available as podded systems.[/Salesman]
 

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Oh goody gumdrops. And by "modular" systems, are we talking "return to factory for fit" or are we talking about the line erks swapping them in and out?
 

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pathology_doc said:
Oh goody gumdrops. And by "modular" systems, are we talking "return to factory for fit" or are we talking about the line erks swapping them in and out?

[Salesman][mournfully]Alas, while the modular nature of the Blackburn P.141 simplifies maintenance requirements a great deal, some systems and airframe assemblies/components will still require 3rd line maintenance facilities for full-scale repair and/or replacement.[/Salesman]
 

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A shame. I was hoping for something along the lines of the Lightning's Firestreak/Red Top/RP/cameras pack options. (I believe there was also a guns option with two Adens.)
 

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pathology_doc said:
A shame. I was hoping for something along the lines of the Lightning's Firestreak/Red Top/RP/cameras pack options. (I believe there was also a guns option with two Adens.)

[Salesman]You are thinking along the lines of something similar to the F.53s variant of the Lighting that was sold to the Saudis a few years back, I take it. Does this mean your country is currently not interested in procuring a dedicated recon version of the P.141? How unfortunate. Well, I'm sure that our design is more than flexible enough to meet your needs in that regard.

I take it you wish to be able to use both the day and night recon packs, as designed for the F.53s? We will make preliminary representations to BAC right away. Will you also be requiring the option of the Microcell rocket pack, with the 2 inch unguided rockets?[/Salesman]
 

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That would be F.53, I think. F-35 is still some time in the future. :p ::)

When your P.141 has the same modularity as the Lightning, we will be back for another look. ;D
 

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Ack! What is it with me this weekend! Fixed! Now excuse me while I go and bang my head against a wall.
 

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Grey Havoc said:
Ack! What is it with me this weekend! Fixed! Now excuse me while I go and bang my head against a wall.
:::whisper::: Hey, good news! The American's are really, really happy with you pitching sales for an aircraft they haven't even thought of yet! Good on you! ;)

Randy
 

pathology_doc

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Also, the Carthaginian Bureau of Aircraft Design has just completed 1961 studies for a transonic light-medium bomber with a still-air range of up to 2000 miles and a bombload of up to four 2000lb bombs internally or equivalent external loads, and the government has indicated a preference for buying local. :p
 

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[grumble]

;)

Let's roll back the clock a bit. Do you think the aircraft industry of post-war Carthage would be able to handle a light strike aircraft based on the design of the Bugatti 110P?

EDIT: Here's an initial profile that Flitzer did on it:

index.php
 

pathology_doc

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Not with that bloody silly salami slicer in front, no.

On the other hand... *squints* Let's see what sort of gas turbine engine we could fit in that.

Also, trying to sell a "Roman" aircraft to Carthage could land you in hot water. "This... is... Caaaaaaaarthaaaaaaaaaaaage!" sort of hot water. ::)
 

Grey Havoc

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pathology_doc said:
Also, trying to sell a "Roman" aircraft to Carthage could land you in hot water. "This... is... Caaaaaaaarthaaaaaaaaaaaage!" sort of hot water. ::)

Ah, I hadn't thought of that. That might require some ducking and weaving. Maybe something on the lines he hated Italy so much he became a Frenchman? ;D


Not with that bloody silly salami slicer in front, no.

On the other hand... *squints* Let's see what sort of gas turbine engine we could fit in that.

From the Bugatti 110P thread:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5_IA9SsYXlk
 

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