Vickers Type 432 + 'Artemis' Missile.


you're right about the identity of the German bomber. Adrian Mann's beautiful art can be found on page 7 from British Secret Projects: Hypersonics, Ramjets and Missiles. The illustration seems to be pure "whatif" since no details about the Vickers 432 consideration to be armed with AAM can be read from the text.
The Artemis is described on pages 29 and 30.
Sorry for offtopic, but if you are at such small distance from your target, and you are behind it, no need to spend costly missile. Guns are enough.
"no need to spend costly missile. Guns are enough"

But it would be quite difficult for the artist to get both the fighter and the target
into the same picture, at least in a recognisable way ! ;)
Thanks very much, folks - very interesting. I think I'm prepared to accept a bit of artistic licence for images as good as Adrian Mann's. (It can't be easy getting the launcher, the missile and the target all in the same image while keeping them to the correct scale and still making them recognisable.)
Glad to hear 'Artemis' is genuine - I recall Bill Gunston writing a four-part history of air-to-air missiles for 'Air International' 1986/87, (called 'The AAM Story'). I think in the first part (December '86), Gunston said that whereas the Germans reacted to Allied bombing by inventing the RK 344 (X-4) and Hs 298, the best Britain could do was the Long Aerial Mine and various parachute-mine plans. I could be wrong but I think that (circa 1986) Gunston thought that Britain didn't have a WW2-era AAM programme.
'I recall Bill Gunston writing a four-part history of air-to-air missiles for 'Air International' 1986/87, (called 'The AAM Story')'

I read that as well. Then I went to Kew.

I would argue that the UK's AAMs were ahead of the German ones but development waxed and waned with the threat. The trouble with the German ones was that the more powerful propulsion systems allowed more complicated guidance systems. With nothing but 3in rocket motors to work with, the British had to be simple but innovative, which Artemis certainly was.

THree side view.

"The Vickers Type 432 was a British high-altitude fighter aircraft developed by the Vickers group during the Second World War. Intended to enable the Royal Air Force to engage the enemy’s high-altitude bomber aircraft, it was to be armed with six cannons

The pilot had a pressurised cockpit in the nose, with a bubble dome, similar to an enlarged astrodome. The pressurised cockpit took up the nose section so the cannon would have been fitted in a fairing below the fuselage, to the rear of the aircraft.

General characteristics

Crew: one pilot
Length: 39 ft 3 in (12 m)
Wingspan: 56 ft 10.5 in (17.34 m)
Height: 4.19 m (13 ft 9 in)
Wing area: 450 ft² (41.8 m²)
Empty weight: 7,427 kg (16,373 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 9,150 kg (20,168 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin 61 V12 piston engines, 1,520 hp (1,133 kW) each

Maximum speed: 380 mph (612 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)
Range: 1,500 miles (2,415 km)
Service ceiling: 38,000 ft (11,280 m)
Rate of climb: 2,750 ft/min (14 m/s) initial
Wing loading: 223 kg/m2 (46 lb/ft2)
Power/mass: 0.25 kW/kg (0.15 hp/lb)

Guns: 6 × 20 mm Hispano cannon in a ventral gondola"

Model. Dome is impressive.


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Especulative cutaway drawing Vickers Type 432, modified by Motocar


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Does anyone know any archives in The National Archives about the Artemis? AVIA 41/55 is about FC Spaniel and AVIA 6/12395 is about Little Ben, but what is related to the Artemis? I didn't find it in the search website.
Thanks in advance.


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