Worst example of 'design by committee'?

riggerrob

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What is the worst example of 'design by committee' where one designer had no clue about what his fellows were designing until all the different parts arrived at final assembly?

I nominate the Blackburn Roc naval, turret-fighter.
Its Townsend ring cowling looks terribly "1930s."
That circular fuselage might have looked good on the drawing-board, but it is poorly mated to other components.
A slab-sided fairing tries to smooth the wing root junction.
Why does the landing gear retract outboard? Were they stolen from a TBM Avenger? Why do they ruin the chances of installing guns in the wings??????
Was the tail wheel stolen from a Hawker Hurricane?
Where id they find that superbly ugly vertical windshield?
Which bomber is missing its mid-upper turret?
Are the turret fairings made from old shipping crates?
Were the tail surfaces stolen from a Vought F4U Corsair?
 

nuuumannn

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I'm posting what I'd written in the other thread of the same name...
 

T. A. Gardner

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Nothing says "design by committee" like the Fisher / General Motors P-75 Eagle. This was pitched as a quick to build and get in service escort aircraft.

The wings were come from N. American's P-51 (well most of them), the tail from a Douglas A-24 / SBD dive bomber, the landing gear from the Voight F4U Corsair. The engine was an Allison V 3420 (two V 1710's like the P-40, P-38, etc., used fused together into a single engine.). The prototype used Curtiss P-40 wings instead. The engine layout was similar to Bell's P-39 with it buried in the fuselage behind the cockpit.
The second prototype got the Mustang wings but the A-24 tail was dropped and replaced with a totally new design by GM. The plane was designed and built by a car manufacturer (GM)...

Now, that's a plane designed by committee...
 

Colonial-Marine

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I have an odd fondness for the P-75A though it seems its performance was woefully short of original specifications. Was this due to increased weight and the V-3420 not working as well as hoped? Or did it have more drag than expected?
 

Archibald

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Going from P-40 to P-51 wings must have helped performance...
 

1635yankee

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Design by committee? The examples are less design by committee design by parts shopping.

Very few successful aircraft aren't designed by committees: the same person is unlikely to be really good at aero, structures, control system design, landing gear design, engine installation, ergonomics*, fuel system design....

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* If they bothered to even think about how the cockpit, controls, and instruments were laid out.
 

Hobbes

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Dare I say it?

The TSR.2 seems to me to be a good example of a design by committee:
- multiple conflicting performance requirements which pushed the design beyond the state of the art at the time (e.g. the high speed at low altitude, which required a small wing, vs. the short-field requirement which would have needed a large wing; the very ambitious sensor suite, etc.)
- the design process itself was experimental, with government basically contracting two firms to supply half the airframe each (using 2 of the design proposals instead of one) instead of having a single main contractor that was responsible for everything
 

T. A. Gardner

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This is design by committee

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With the P-75 the initial proposal was for a fast climbing interceptor. This was then changed to long range escort. The plane was supposed to be quick to get into production by using off-the-shelf components rather than designing a whole new airplane.
 

T. A. Gardner

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I have an odd fondness for the P-75A though it seems its performance was woefully short of original specifications. Was this due to increased weight and the V-3420 not working as well as hoped? Or did it have more drag than expected?
First, the engine and supercharging system didn't deliver the expected power. One of the prototypes was fitted with an intercooling system to try and boost that but really was never fully tested. Weight and size were issues, as were aerodynamics in general. With the first prototype, cg issues occurred as these had been miscalculated. That resulted in some instability in the design that was eliminated on the rest by redesigning the tail assembly as a completely new structure and not using the A-24 assembly.
 

steelpillow

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I will offer the Dunne D.1. This tailless swept aeroplane was designed at Farnborough by JW Dunne in the winter of 1906-7. Or at least, the airframe was. He had designed a monoplane earlier in 1906 but the Royal Engineer Committee demanded a biplane, so he modified his design accordingly. Secrecy was such that each subassembly was made in a different workshop by different craftsmen. When they were all brought together in the super-secret assembly room, the parts didn't fit and much sawing-down ensued. At this stage it was just a glider with skids for undercarriage. A wheeled power module was sketched out and a team of Royal Engineers took it to Scotland for flight trials (thus originating the nucleus of what would one day become the RFC and eventually the RAF, but that is another story). A wheeled launch trolley was rolled downhill to get it flying.
Meanwhile Dunne wanted a proper 35-50hp class engine but the authorities gave him two used Buchets delivering around 7-8 hp each and told him to get on with it. He assembled the two engines to drive a single power shaft. When they failed to start up on the test bench, others pointed out that he had connected them nose-to-nose and they were trying to turn the shaft in opposite directions.
With that sorted out, one Capt. AD Carden now put the power train and twin props together (yes, two engines to one drive shaft back to two side-by-side props!) and the power module was shipped up.
A launching track was constructed in readiness for it. The track stood waist-high off the ground, being designed in outline by Dunne and constructed by sappers under the supervision of Lieutenant Waterlow, a man who had not the least interest in flying and would presently leave to get married.
When the (unidentified) pilot started his takeoff run the plane lurched to one side, rode the track sidewall and flopped down to the ground. A fitting end to that year's committee work.
 
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