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Twin Engined Canon-Fighter Model to ID

hesham

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Hi,

also I found this twin engined canon-fighter or a combat airplane Model,it was from
USA,maybe it was from Bell ?,who can help ?.

http://www.avia-it.com/act/biblioteca/periodici/PDF%20Riviste/Ala%20d'Italia/L'ALA%20D'ITALIA%201939%20010.pdf
 

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Schneiderman

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There are certainly some similarities with the Bell Airacuda so it may possibly be one of Robert J Wood's designs. Unfortunately I cannot find a photograph of him to compare, does anyone have a copy of Putnam's Bell Aircraft since 1935?
 

hesham

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Thank you Schneiderman,

and from the same source.
 

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hesham

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Maybe it was Bell Model-17 ?.
 

Sherman Tank

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Looks like it was a design related to the Airacuda.
 

hesham

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Sherman Tank said:
Looks like it was a design related to the Airacuda.
That's right Sherman,

and the man who in the picture was Lawrence Bell as I guess.
 

Apophenia

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About that Bell Model 17 suggestion. As lark has noted, the Model 17 attack bomber was to be a fairly straightforward Airacuda derivative with tractor engines (Lycomings, in contrast with the Model 9's tractor Allisons). So, we would expect to see the YFM-1's narrow, oval-section fuselage.

Instead, that l'Ala d'Italia photo shows an aircraft with a circular-section fuselage (or close to it). Perhaps this 'cannon fighter' was more closely related to the Bell Model 10 attack aircraft?
 

Schneiderman

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I'm not sure it is Bell in the photograph. In 1939 he would have been 45 years old and the man in the photo looks a lot younger, in fact about the age that Bell was in that 1912 photo
 

hesham

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Hi,

I agree with my dear Apophenia,and I suspected in that at first,maybe it was Bell Model-9
or Model-10 ?.
 

Schneiderman

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Lawrence Bell is the man in the light coloured coat, third from the right. Definitely not the same man as the one holding the model
 

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Schneiderman

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Possible.
Hesham's original photo is credited to the A.C.M.E, but I cannot find who they were. Perhaps it should say A.S.M.E, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
The solution to this problem is going to be found in a US magazine, the article is certain to have been copied from a US source. Maybe in Aviation, Popular Flying or something like that

EDIT. On second thoughts A.C.M.E is probably just Acme, the US press agency.
 

hesham

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Hi all,

please note the similarity between Lawrence Bell in Putnam book and this picture,some
people still keep their young appearance up to 50.
 

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Schneiderman

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No Hesham, look at this photo of Larry Bell from 1941.
The man in the original photo might be Bob Wood, if this is a Bell project, but we would need a photo from that time to be sure.
Let us not jump in and assume this is a Bell project yet, best to look for the original article in a US magazine
 

hesham

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Hi,

I check from the book; American Secret Projects: Fighters, Bombers and Attack Aircraft 1937-1945,
but nothing at all.
 

Apophenia

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Looking again at Hesham's 'cannon fighter', I am even less convinced that this is a Bell concept.

I've done a crude, highly speculative plan view of the Airacuda to contrast with the apparent outline of the l'Ala d-Italia 'cannon fighter'. Other than general layout, there seems to me to be very few similarities.

By contrast with the Bell design, this 'cannon fighter' has a circular- or near-circular fuselage section. To me, the wings have a contemporary Lockheed feel (think Model 10 Electra). The tailplane is also quite different from the Bell - the horizontal tails are set quite far back with no cutouts for rudder movement, and the fuselage seems to terminate in a cone.

The man in the photo has a superficial resemblance to Lockheed's Hall Hibbard. Kelly Johnson preferred twin tails but the horizontal tail placement on his single-tailled Model 22 variants is the same. Not a strong argument, I know ... :p
 

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Schneiderman

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I also have doubts now about any association with Bell Aircraft. The article only talks about 'the designer' with no mention of Bell or any other company, the photo does not reference Bell as the source and the man in the photo remains unidentified, but is not Larry Bell. I'm beginning to think that it is not a design by one of the major aircraft manufacturers and more likely either a small company or just a lone inventor.
The solution has to be amongst the US patents or in one of the US aviation magazines. Still searching
 

lark

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Magazine article October 1939.
Very well probable that model , fits with the model 9 attack aircraft based on the Airacuda.
The model 9 , 10a and 10b attack aircraft were not designed by Woods .

Models of those days were no so accurate compared with the curent ones I think..
 

hesham

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Many thanks my dear Lark,

I also agree with that,but if we expand our search,we can suggest that,maybe
it was from Vultee,specially it had a Project looks like it ?.
 

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ACResearcher

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Hesham, your most recent post (above) is quite interesting. What is the source of the drawing? Can I get a copy of the 3-view, ideally in a larger size?

Thanks in advance.

AlanG
 

Schneiderman

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Its probably a good idea if we look at the whole article, brief though it is.
The aircraft is armed with a single 37mm cannon capable of 100 rounds per minute, and is intended, apparently, as an interceptor to destroy more conventional multi-gun fighters. That does not sound like a concept which would have been developed by a major aircraft company, multi-gun designs were favoured by all air forces, and the article also doubts whether it would have been successful idea. The man in the photo is only referred to as "the inventor".
 

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CiTrus90

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I'll translate it, just in case it may be of some help.

"Cannons on board!

This puzzled gentleman, holding a small aircraft in his left hand and a big bullet in his right, is an inventor. But he isn't - like a simpleton could think - the one who invented the bullets bigger than the aircraft they have to hit, or vice versa; he's the inventor of the "aerocannoniere" [loosely translatable as "cannon fighter"]. The model he's holding up is, indeed, that of a twin engined aircraft that should be armed with a 37mm cannon, capable of a firing rate of 100 rpm. By his word, "fighters" and "fight(er)" [this is just my interpretation but there seems to be some overlapping here, apparently the term "caccia" is meant to be used in regards to a small, agile, single seat fighter, while "combattimento" should be used for a heavier two seat aircraft, sort of like a zerstörer?], even those armed with eight 12 or 14mm machine guns, should get pulverized. But we think that against a hundred 37mm shells, even a couple thousand bullets with smaller caliber and fired at the same time, can't be neglected."

Back in the pre-war period there was some interest for these sort of "cruiser fighters/bomber destroyers", see here a list for some of them: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,7951.0.html
 

Grey Havoc

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Could the cannon mentioned be the T9?
 

Schneiderman

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T9? That's the Express bus to Cardiff Airport ;D
 

Apophenia

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I wondered about Vultee too ... which got me wondering about submissions to Circular Proposal X-608. This 'aerocannoniere' doesn't look anything like the known types - the Vultee XP1015 or the twin-boomed Lockheed Model 22 or Hughes D-2. That leaves Boeing, Consolidated, Curtiss, and Douglas.

lark said:
... The model 9 , 10a and 10b attack aircraft were not designed by Woods .
lark: In your scan from the Schiffer book Cobra! (posted by Skyblazer in the Designations section), those Bell models (plus the Model 17) were attributed to "J.Strickler". That would be Bell engineer and test pilot John F. Strickler Jr. So, does anyone know what Jack Strickler looked like back in the day?

Grey Havoc: The cannon could well be the 37 mm T9 (although the round shown in the l'Ala d'Italia photo has a fairly distinct bottleneck, whereas the neck on the T9/M4's 37x145mmR casing is quite subtle). Speaking of the T9, could our 'aerocannoniere' be a generic concept study by someone involved with the design or production of the cannon ... ie: the Browning Arms Company or Oldsmobile?
 

hesham

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Useful analysis my dears,

and for Jack Strikler,here is a total picture to Bell team or part of it and he
was in the view in 1947.
 

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lark

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J.Strickler was according to the 'Cobra' list project engineer
for the Bell model 9 and 10a & 10b.
He seems not the man with the model on the photo...

I still think that the caption in Bill Norton's book showing the
so called model 17 is not correct. The drawing fits much more to
the description (see Cobra book) for the model 10.
 

sienar

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Hope I'm not muddying the waters here too much

American Armament Corporation worked on several designs for 37mm canons for aircraft during the 1930s. They also gave suggestions for how these canons should be employed in an aircraft, such as a defensive turret and single canon mounted in the nose on a movable mount. Furthermore, they even went through the effort of creating illustrations of said installations in a hypothetical bomber.

The first scan of this bomber is from; http://www.luftfahrt-bibliothek.de/zeitschrift-flugsport-oskar-ursinus-luftsport-luftfahrt-luftverkehr/luftsport-luftfahrt-luftverkehr-flugsport-1936/zeitschrift-flugsport-1936-luftsport-luftverkehr-luftfahrt.htm

The next two are from;http://www.luftfahrt-bibliothek.de/zeitschrift-flugsport-oskar-ursinus-luftsport-luftfahrt-luftverkehr/luftsport-luftfahrt-luftverkehr-flugsport-1938/zeitschrift-flugsport-1939-luftsport-luftverkehr-luftfahrt.htm

Now looking into this a bit further I managed to find some images of the round this AAC canon used. Comparing images of it and the M4 round vs the mystery photo in this thread makes me think the mystery aircraft has an AAC 37mm in it. The shoulder of the cartridge is unlike an M4 round, but looks quite similar to the AAC. Maybe a gun expert could do a better job of ID'ing it?

Its also worth noting that some sources say the airacuda was designed for the AAC 37mm originally. There are some other sources that say 5 manufacturers were seriously considering this armament, but unfortunately no list of the interest clients.

Lastly is a page from an old issue of flight, available here;https://www.scribd.com/document/193059280/1936-3454

It mentions that the gun was 100rpm, just like our mystery photo caption

EDIT: added a quick comparison image. Personally I'd bet this is an AAC concept aircraft for demonstrating their weapon mount/idea.
 

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hesham

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OK my dear Lark,

and maybe it was Bell Model-10,and good research Sienar.
 

Apophenia

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sienar said:
... Personally I'd bet this is an AAC concept aircraft for demonstrating their weapon mount/idea.
I think we have a match :) Nice work sienar!
 

Schneiderman

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Not quite there yet! AAC applied for two patents for aircraft armament in 1934, both for turret systems, but nothing later. I think that the idea that it is a 'proof of concept' project has merit, far more than pursuing the Bell option, but finding a US source for the photo and article is the key.
 

sienar

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The head designer of AAC was a man named Bryan Pope Joyce. Hopefully a photo of him will pop up but I haven't been able to find one as of yet.

Making things confusing though is that AAC was apparently created by the Miranda brothers, quoting a Time article posted in full here; http://www.network54.com/Forum/330333/thread/1123951804/4/Mysterious+automatic+cannon

"Miraculous Mirandas. Mexican-born (1897, 1898), U.S.-naturalized (1930) Alfred and Ignacio Miranda have had quite a career. When their father's New York City export business went broke (he backed the wrong general in Mexico's Madero revolution of 1910), they left school to learn the export business themselves. By 1921 they knew enough to form their own outfit, Miranda Bros. Inc., prospered by selling things below the Rio Grande. First it was automobiles. Then they became minor-league merchants of death, unloading leftover U.S. war supplies in Latin America and in the Balkans. The leftovers ran out. So the Mirandas formed their own manufacturing company, American Armament Corp., to make light artillery and ammunition.

.......

The Mirandas have had lots of bad luck. Most of their corporate clients (like Seversky) did not really get into the big time until after the Mirandas' contracts had run out. One of their Latin-American deals ended, in 1940, in a Federal sentence for violating the President's 1934 neutrality proclamation by selling bombs to Bolivia (via Chile) in the Gran Chaco War. The bombs went into Curtiss-Wright planes and Curtiss pleaded guilty to the same charges — but the Mirandas were sent to Lewisburg Penitentiary while Curtiss got a $220,000 fine. This year their main American Armaments plant was requisitioned by the Government, turned over to Vultee.

Badgered Brewster. For the Mirandas, the Brewster deal was the saddest of all. In 1939, brother Ignacio decided that Brewster's export arrangements were 1) feeble, 2) expensive. Brewster paid a 3% ''finder's fee" commission on all business, plus 10% to the resident foreign agent, but had almost no foreign business.

Ignacio sold Brewster's president James Work on the Miranda Bros, at a 12½% maximum commission. (The purchaser paid for it in higher prices.) Miranda-sold orders poured in from Britain and Holland, both rearming.

Thus, even before their overhead began, the Mirandas sank $1,550,000 in their Brewster venture, bringing a $107,000,000 foreign backlog to the company.

Brewster's Buccaneer dive-bomber was full of mechanical bugs. The U.S. Navy took over, then moved out in a month and put in aviation oldtimer Charles A. Van Dusen. By this time the Miranda-Zelcer 10% stock interest was frozen in a voting trust, the commissions due them on new deliveries were frozen in stockholders' suits, and Brewster itself was solidly frozen in production and financial red tape. In came still another management — this time Miracle Man Henry J. Kaiser himself."


So the founders/backers of AAC also managed foreign armament sales on the side, mostly for aircraft companies, and they ended up owning stock in Brewster as well as managing their foreign sales.

The wing does have a bit of a Brewster look to it....
 

Schneiderman

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Ignacio Miranda also had dealings with Seversky when he sold aircraft to Japan, so another strand worth investigating
 

lark

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Wile searching for more info , I came to this..

... Perhaps in response to "Hap" Arnolds concerns(who wanted to see a
heavily armed , multi seat fighter) the Material Division at Wright Field initiated a 1934
study... Wright Field evaluated two designs. The first , designs 301, was a modified Martin B-10 airframe
used as "bombardement accompanying weapon".

The second designs ,designated 313 was a two place pursuit type...

Perhaps this info could be usefull for further research..

Source : Cobra , Bell Aircraft Corp. 1934-1947.
Birch Mathews - Schiffer. pages 32 and 33.
 

hesham

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Thank you for the Info my dear Lark.
 

tallguy

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A drawing of that B-10 version would be nice...
 

hesham

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Hi Tallguy,

but unfortunately we don't have a drawing to Bell Model-10,but just a description.
 

Schneiderman

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I'm running out of ideas rapidly for where to look for extra information. So far nothing in the US technical aviation magazines, popular science and flying magazines, or patents. The original photo posted by Hesham is a standard press photo so there surely has to be another newspaper or magazine that used it.
 

tallguy

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I meant the Martin escort fighter version of the B-10:)
 
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