Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 414603 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2000 on: January 22, 2019, 08:19:38 AM »
It's a treat to see you continue with this theme, apophenia.

They're both great works of art and I like the Swedish trainer scheme as well as the way you rendered the re-registered civil one too.

Brian da Basher

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2001 on: January 25, 2019, 04:50:47 AM »
The next bit requires a bit of arm-waving by way of set-up ...

"Wingless Wonders" (Part 1)

Long ago, perttime posted links to a fellow-DeviantArt guy who calls himself Small Brown Dog. What caught my attention most was the earlier 'Wingless Wonders' - twin propeller fighters where conventional wing surfaces are obviated by electrical field on mass (EFM) effect via electrical lift generators. These so-called Tesla lift generators are driven by power take-offs from piston engines.

https://www.deviantart.com/small-brown-dog

(Edit: Added 'That was close' as an example of Small Brown Dog's concept and artwork.)

Sensibly, Small Brown Dog doesn't sweat the technical details too much. I don't quite understand those details which are provided, so I've just made up my own ...

All electrical lift generators are based on patents by Nikola Tesla - hence 'Tesla lift generators'. Tesla's theoretical work built on that of Farady, Maxwell, and Hertz. Heinrich Hertz showed that moving electromagnetic fields could break away from ordinary matter and propagate through the ether as independent electromagnetic waves carrying energy. [1] This led to the development of the Tesla coil oscillator but Nikola Tesla also extended electromagnetic fields theory to gravity. This culminated in Nikola Tesla's Dynamic Theory of Gravity - the basis for our current understanding of Atomic Gravitational Fluctuation. [2]

All contemporary electrical lift generators were derived from the original Tesla-Westinghouse LG-369 model. As noted, all 'Tesla lift generators' fall under patents held by Nikola Tesla and/or by the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company. So, worldwide production of these generators has produced an array of Tesla licensees which tend to develop their own distinct variations on the theme. [3]

In his first, practical generation of 'wingless' aircraft, Small Brown Dog produced an evolutionary series of Hawker Hound fighters (essentially, a RW Hurricane fitted with twin engines and lift generators mounted on stub wings). Once WW2 breaks out, the Hounds are opposed by German Messerschmitt Bf 219E-3 fighters of similar layout. He then moves on to latter aircraft - eg: his Supermarine Spectre - fighters with a very different layout.

All this got me to wondering about other aircraft in that first generation of 'Wingless Wonders'. What were the less-successful competitors to the Hawker Hound and the Messerschmitt Bf 219? What were other European powers and the American developing? I thought that I'd have a bash at some of those. Stay tuned ...
_______________________

[1] These electromagnetic waves come in both visible - light and invisible forms - radio waves, x-rays, and microwaves.

[2] That is, in Atomic Gravitational Fluctuation's atomic environmental structure (AES) sense.

[3] Small Brown Dog covers Tesla-Royce in the UK as well as Jumo and Daimler versions in Germany. (I'll get into other lift generator manufacturers in later posts.)
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 07:46:14 AM by apophenia »
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2002 on: January 25, 2019, 04:52:18 AM »
"Wingless Wonders" (Part 2)

The RAF companion that I've come up with is the Boulton-Paul Defiant 'multi-gun interceptor'. This was a controversial aircraft meant to focus on its turreted armament. Amongst Air Ministry 'purists', it was believed that a fixed, forward-firing armament should be avoided to allow the turret gunner to direct the course of combat. Others believed that the main armament should consist of fixed auto-cannons with the turret guns employed primarily for self-defence.

In the end, the fixed-gun proponents prevailed but no cannon type was agreed upon. Instead, the Defiant Mk.I featured four fixed, forward-firing 0.303-inch Browning guns - just like those in the turret. Although a larger, heavier airframe, the Defiant was propelled by the same Tesla-Royce powerplants as the single-seat Hawker Hound. It was believed that self-defence in the form of the hydraulic turret would make all the difference.

The Defiant began trials with the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) in the late summer of 1938. Minor changes were dictated to the airframe for production aircraft but, otherwise, the aircraft flew very well. The operational concept was another matter. The A&AEE quickly concluded that, in fighter-against-fighter combat, the Defiant would invariably fall victim to its single-seat opponent. The RAF immediately cancelled further Defiant orders and completed machines were directed to the north of Great Britain where they were less likely to encounter enemy fighters.

Top Defiant Mk.I of No.141 Squadron, RAF, flying out of Prestwick in July 1940

This complete program cancellation threatening, Boulton-Paul proposed turning to a revised layout (which had been originally proposed for the 'pure' turret fighter). The forward raised canopy would be suppressed by adopting a prone position in the nose for the pilot. This would provide the turret with a 360° traverse (less the propeller arcs). The four fixed Browning guns would be installed below the new pilot's position. This 'Prone-Defiant' concept was accepted for production as the Boulton-Paul Battler Mk.II. [1]

It was assumed that the operational approach for the Battler would be akin to that of the Defiant. In practice, however, a new approach was undertaken. When intercepting bombers, the Battler formation would generally come in from behind and slightly below. While the pilot aimed his guns at the engines, the turret gunner would focus on disabling the bomber's belly gunner. As the Battler passed beneath the bomber, the turret guns would be elevated to rack the underside. It was a simple approach and proved very successful during combat interceptions.

Bottom Boulton-Paul Battler Mk.IIA of No.254 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, Essex in August 1940

________________

[1] For unrecorded reasons, the Mark sequence from the Defiant was retained for the Battler.
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2003 on: January 25, 2019, 08:08:23 PM »
Some similarities to here
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2004 on: January 26, 2019, 06:00:28 AM »
The Defiant is absolutely ripe for the treatment and you've come up with some magnificent permutations!

Best I could manage in plastic was a single-seat fighter kinda like a poor man's Hurricane.

Your talent and imagination never fail to amaze me apophenia.

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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2005 on: January 26, 2019, 07:19:13 AM »
Thanks folks.

Brian: I always loved the look of the Boulton Paul P.94 (single seat Defiant) proposal. Now stick a Griffon onto that P.94 nose and who'd want a tatty old Hurricane  ;)

More to come on "Wingless Wonders". BTW, Small Brown Dog gives no indication of how these suckers were controlled. There's no ailerons and tail surface controls seem to be conventional. So, I've decided that roll-control was handled by applying asymmetrical power to the lift generators ... probably as plausible as anything else in this scenario  ;D
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2006 on: January 26, 2019, 08:14:34 PM »
The Defiant is absolutely ripe for the treatment and you've come up with some magnificent permutations!

Best I could manage in plastic was a single-seat fighter kinda like a poor man's Hurricane.

I plan to do a RN FAA version with folding outer wings (containing a couple of machine guns), arrestor hook etc as a alternative to the Blackburn Roc
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2007 on: January 26, 2019, 10:11:18 PM »
Not trying to hijack your thread but I thought you might like to see my poor man's Hurricane, the Boulton-Paul Defender.

The kit was an old 1/72 Airfix Defiant with a replacement vac canopy. Please forgive the photo quality. This was almost 12 years and 3 cameras ago.

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 10:17:00 PM by Brian da Basher »

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2008 on: January 29, 2019, 07:59:13 AM »
Brian Like your Boulton-Paul Defender (good name too). Is the aft portion of the canopy from P-39? (I played with a mid-engined Defiant concept based on the Airfix kit.
In my youth, my own less imaginative Airfix kit build saw plenty of action ... usually getting shot down my Hawk Bf 109G  ;)

I plan to do a RN FAA version with folding outer wings (containing a couple of machine guns), arrestor hook etc as a alternative to the Blackburn Roc

Now that would be a huge improvement for the FAA!  :D
________________________________________________

"Wingless Wonders" (Part 3)

Italian efforts to introduce electrical lift generators (ELG) into military service proved rather traumatic. With great fanfare, Benito Mussolini announced the Programma SE (Sollevamento Elettrico - the Italian air force's plan to re-align to the electrical field on mass (EFM) effect. Central to this Regia Aeronautica plan was the formation of Tesla-Italia at Guidonia and soonest possible service introduction of Volta lift generators. The Volta tipo I - meant for bombers and transport aircraft - and the Volta II for fighters proved utter failures - being both underpowered and unreliable. [1]

Italy quickly fell behind in aeronautical technology and was forced to license-build foreign ELG designs. To save face, Tesla-Italia retained the Volta name for these licensed lift generators. The Volta tipo III for large aircraft was licensed from GE-Westinghouse in the US. The Volta IV - aka 'Volta Caccia' - was a licensed copy of the British Tesla-Royce ELG for use in fighters and attack aircraft. Actual ELG production was farmed out to private industry. Castellini O.M. of Brescia [2] produced the Volta IIIs while Tesla-C.E.R. of Veneto [3] produced the Tesla-Royce Volta IV.

Progetto Italiani - the Fiat Aviazione C.R.38

Perhaps understandably, the renewed Italian efforts at electrical lift generator-equipped aircraft were of an experimental nature. The first ELG 'fighter' was the C.R.32S ('S' for Sperimentali or Experimental) which was simply a 'de-winged' Fiat C.R.32 fitted with imported British lift generators. The relative success of that venture led Fiat Aviazione designer Celestino Rosatelli to draught a fresh design - the C.R.38 four-gun fighter. The C.R.38 was powered by two stub wing-mounted 550 hp Fiat A.34 RC.30 23 litre liquid-cooled V-12s driving twin Volta Caccia ELGs. Initial armament was two 7.7 mm and two 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns in the nose-cone. In C.R.38 serie 2° fighters, armament standardized upon four of the heavier-calibre guns.

The Fiat C.R.38 was something of a compromise - with modern ELG drive being married to a conservative airframe design and 1930-vintage aero-engine technology. It was a reasonable attempt at a first ELG fighter but limited engine output [4] resulted in a marginal performance for the C.R.38. As a result, most operational Fiat CR.38 fighters had one - or sometimes two - of their 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT guns removed to reduce weight in hopes of augmenting performance. Despite the aircraft's obvious limitations, production was actually increased to replace obsolete winged fighters in Regia Aeronautica service as soon as feasible.

Top Fiat C.R.38 3° serie three-gunned fighter of 95ª Squadriglia in one of several Regia Aeronautica temperate schemes. Yellow recognition paint was introduced in June 1940 for the Corsican campaign.

A Second Arrow - the Aeronautico Macchi C.201 Saeta

It was obvious to Italian planners that the Regia Aeronautica would soon need fully-modern fighters to replace the Fiat C.R.38s. A design competition resulted in prototypes from Caproni-Vizola, IMAM, Fiat Aviazione, [5] and AerMacchi. The declared winner was the Macchi C.201 Saeta designed by Mario Castoldi. In contrast with the C.R.38, the Saeta featured a stressed-skinned aluminum structure and was powered by Fiat Motori's new A.81 - a 730 hp twin-row, 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine. [6] The new fighter's nose-cone was detachable, making changes to armament simple on the production line - or even in the field. Standard armament was two 12.7 mm Breda machine guns and twin 20 mm Scotti cannons ... although this was sometimes reduced by squadron armourers to save weight.

Bottom A three-gunned Macchi C.201 of the 85ª Squadriglia in the Regia Aeronautica desert camouflage. Flying out of Bône on bomber escort duties, 'Bianco 2' was lost to an intercepting Bloch MB 154 of GC II/3 over Alger.

BTW: Images are based upon profiles by Zygmunt Szeremeta (C.R.32 and C.R.42), Stephen Mudgett (C.202), and an anonymous sideview of a 169ª Squadriglia C.200 (with, IIRC, a canopy borrowed from another C.200 by Teodor Liviu Morosanu).

________________

[1] Testing of pre-production Volta I lift generators would result in the death of the Il Duce's son, Bruno Mussolini.

[2] In full, this firm was Castellini Officine Meccaniche S.p.A. of Cazzago San Martino (Brescia).

[3] 'Tesla-C.E.R.' was properly the C.E.R. Gruppi Elettrogeni (Motori e Generatori) s.r.l.

[4] This output required the use of 94 octane petrol. In the field, such high-octane fuel was rarely available. So, 500 hp is probably more realistic for operational Fiat A.34 engines.

[5] The Fiat submission was the G.52 designed by Giuseppe Gabrielli. Like the winning Macchi C.201, the G.52 was powered by twin Fiat A.81 radials.

[6] The Fiat A.81 was a motore quadrato (square engine) with both bore and stroke measuring 140 mm.

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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2009 on: January 29, 2019, 09:40:21 AM »
You've done a superb job rendering that famously complex Italian camo, apophenia!

I can only imagine the skill it must take to be able to do that so convincingly.

As for the provenance of the Defender's vac canopy, it was from Squadron for a Japanese fighter, can't remember which one. I took a lot of care free-handing the framing so I'm right chuffed you thought it was from a P-39. :D

Thanks for posting that fine artwork. Your updates are always a high point for me.

Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2010 on: January 30, 2019, 12:28:53 AM »

Now that would be a huge improvement for the FAA!  :D

Feel free to profile it should you wish.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2011 on: January 30, 2019, 05:25:22 AM »
Cheers Brian. The great thing about Italian camo is that there were so many varieties ... makes it harder to muck it up ;)

On your Defender's vac canopy, Squadron does a 1/72 vac canopy for the Ki-27. Wonder if your's was for a Nate?

Feel free to profile it should you wish.

I will have a bash at an FAA 'Sea Defiant' ... but I've got another two 'Wingless Wonders' to finish off first  >:(
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2012 on: January 30, 2019, 05:30:14 AM »
<snip>

On your Defender's vac canopy, Squadron does a 1/72 vac canopy for the Ki-27. Wonder if your's was for a Nate?

<snip>

Many thanks for jogging my addled memory, apophenia. It was indeed a Nate.

Now where did I leave my keys?
 :icon_crap:
Brian da Basher




Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2013 on: February 01, 2019, 03:36:22 AM »
"Wingless Wonders" (Part 4)

Not all military aircraft with electrical lift generators (ELG) followed the classic, twin-engined layout of the Hawker Hound. An early variation was the German Heinkel He 159 which used its single, large BMW engine to power twin outrigger ELGs via extension shafts. The advantages were obvious - reduced frontal area and eliminating the requirement for cross-shafting to deal with asymmetrical engine-out situations. The disadvantage was equally obvious - if the sole piston engine failed, down went the aircraft. [1]

Despite the disadvantages, two nations in particular pursued single-engined fighters with outrigger lift generators. In France, the conventional twin-engined Morane-Saulnier MS.510 C1 (and its replacement, the Bloch MB.154 C1) [2] was matched by a single-engined Dewoitine series. The HS 12Y-powered Dewoitine D.506 was more of a service trials aircraft than a truly operational fighter. With the general concept proven, Emile Dewoitine and his team returned to their drawing boards to prepare an entirely new design - the Dewoitine D.522 C1. [3]

The Dewoitine D.522 C1 mounted a huge Hispano-Suiza HS 16C piston engine. This one 16-cylinder engine was more than capable of driving both the propeller and shafts for the outrigger lift generators. [4] The 48.06 L HS 16C was mounted in the extreme nose with coolant radiators in the leading edges of the stub wings. The pilot sat well to the rear and his visibility could not be said to be anything but poor on landing. Manoeuvrability was also less that ideal That said, the Dewoitine D.522 C1 had a high top speed and was a quick climber. Although not a great fighter, the characteristics of the Dewoitine D.522 C1 made it an excellent interceptor.

A very similar design emerged in the Soviet Union. As behooves a new design team, the Mikoyan-Gurevitch OKB adopted a simple but daring layout for their ELG fighter. [5] Like the D.522 C1, the MiG-5 was powered by a single, huge inline piston engine - in this case the 46.66 L Mikulin AM-38EP V-12. [6] Power take-offs at the rear of the Mikulin drove geared shafts for the outrigger Elektrozavod ELG units. [7] A key difference from the French interceptor was that the MiG-5 mounted its entire armament in its nose - including a 23 mm motor cannon and two or three synchronized machine guns (with their number and calibre varying between MiG-5 sub-types).

BTW: The D.522 C1 is based upon a D.520 sideview by Cédric Chevalier, the MiG-5 on a MiG-3 sideview by Massimo Tessitori.
________________

[1] The outrigger stub wings did provide a modicum of lift but, in the event of a stopped piston engine of a single-engined ELG aircraft, a controlled crash was the best that could be hoped for.

[2] The MS.510 C1 was powered by twin 670 hp HS 12Xcrs V-12s driving Tesla-LAB ELGs. The later MB.154 C1 was slightly unusual in being powered by two 660 hp Gnome-Rhône 14M-6 Mars radial engines.

[3] The D.520 was an early concept abandoned in the development stage. The D.521 was outwardly similar to the D.522 C1 but, lacking all operational equipment, the D.521 acted purely as a drivetrain technology demonstrator.

[4] French fighter aircraft all had ELGs built by Tesla-LAB (Labinal S.a.) based at Blagnac (near Toulouse) with other plants at Charmeil, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in central France, and a component-building arrangment with FACEJ (Forges et Ateliers de Construction Electriques de Jeumont) based at Jeumont on Belgian border. French bombers received lift generators built by a Westinghouse licensee - MESW (Matériel Electrique Schneider-Westinghouse S.a.),  based at Champagne Sur Seine (SE of Paris) with its drive systems facility at Étupes.

[5] This served MiG well. In the end, the overly-complex Polikarpov design simply could not be made service-ready.

[6] The prototype MiG-1 had been powered by a Mikulin AM-35EP. The MiG-3 was to have been a 'productionized' model of the MiG-1 but its development was overtaken by the more powerful MiG-5.

[7] The lift generators - known in Russian as Elektrodvigatel' dlya Aerodinamicheskogo Pod"yemnaya Sila - were made by Elektrozavod EAPS of Zaporozhye in the Ukrainian SSR.
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2014 on: February 01, 2019, 04:20:29 AM »
That's some outstanding work on the wingless D.522 & MiG, apophenia!

Your art is always a feast for the eyes.

Brian da Basher


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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2015 on: February 01, 2019, 09:29:13 PM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2016 on: February 03, 2019, 04:30:33 AM »
"Wingless Wonders" (Part 5)

With both the classic, twin-engined Hawker Hound type and the alternative layouts already reviewed, power take-offs (PTOs) from the rear of engines were required. Another approach to designing electrical lift generator (ELG) aircraft sought to eliminated PTOs altogether.

Potrzeba jest matką wynalazków - The Polish PZL P.21a [1]

When ELG combat aircraft were first successfully demonstrated, the Polish air force had just introduced a new winged fighter - the gull-winged PZL P.7 designed by  Zygmunt Puławski. A more powerful derivative - the P.11 - was in the works when Puławski was killed. However, replacement designer, Wsiewołod Jakimiuk, was directed to explore an ELG development instead.

Jakimiuk's P.21 retained the licensed Bristol Mercury radial engine intended for the cancelled PZL P.11c (as well as that winged fighter's rear fuselage. But there commonality ended. The Skoda-built Mercury sat 'backwards' in the fuselage driving an extension shaft linked to a splitter gearbox directly aft of the P.21's mid-placed stub wings' main spar. At the extremities of these stub wings were two more horizontal offset reduction gearboxes. [2] The rear shafts drove the usual pair of ELG units, the forward shafts drove twin fixed-pitch tractor propellers.

Top Prototype P.21c being prepared at PZL Warszawa-Okęcie with experimental four-gun armament

The PZL P.21 was considered a success, serving to prove its then-unorthodox arrangement concept. One disadvantage of this engine-forward layout was that it made the installation of heavier armament difficult. After experimenting with the four-gunned P.21c, the Polish air force finally solved the problem by simply increasing the calibre of the P.21's two-gun armament. [3] Although not a major concern when the P.21 first appeared, it likely explains why no other aircraft maker copied the PZL layout. However, there was obvious potential for improving the outboard, shaft-driven propeller arrangement.

A variation on the theme was the Russian Polikarpov TsKB-13 or I-17 which mounted its large, liquid-cooled M-34 engine behind the pilot - leaving the nose free for the installation of armament. In the case of the I-17 prototypes, this consisted of four to six rifle-calibre machine guns arranged on either side of the cockpit. Perhaps not the best gun placement but this arrangement did allow pilots a superlative view from their perch in the nose. Despite the promise of the design, Polikarpov OKB found it impossible to make the I-17 reliable enough for service use and, after multiple delays, the type was eclipsed in Soviet planning by the more conventional MiG-5 fighter.

Bell Aircraft Corporation and the P-39 Airacobra

While Polikarpov's former OKB was being dissolved, a new American firm was taking up the baton. Buffalo-based Bell Aircraft had produced the radical Model-1 Airacuda design. Bought by the US Army Air Corps at the YFM-1, this multi-use aircraft was powered by pusher engines - Allison V-1710s - driving forward-mounted electrical lift generators. The result was a clean and very fast aircraft ... which also had very touchy centre-of-lift issues in the air. It was quickly obvious that the layout concept was not a winner and that there would be no USAAC orders for Bell's Model-1 beyond the handful of YFM-1 trials aircraft. Larry Bell was in need of a new project.

The result was a single-engined fighter - the Bell Model-4 Airacobra. Bought for USAAC trials at the YP-39, the Airacobra generally followed the layout of the Russian I-17. An exception was its nose-mounted armament with the pilot's cockpit being positioned directly in front of the mid-mounted engine compartment. That engine was the new monster from Allison - the V-2280 V-16. This engine's driveshaft fed directly into splitter gearbox which, in turn, drove shaft to the extremeties of the low-set stub wings. There, horizontal offset reduction gearboxes fed the constant-speed three-bladed propellers and twin ELGs. The latter were new, small-diameter GE-Westinghouse units - the XLG-369-300 series. These ELGs were rather heavy but made up for it with reduced frontal area ... and, as it turned out, increased reliablity.

Bell had originally proposed a heavy fixed armament of twin 37 mm cannons and six .30-calibre machine guns. The USAAC felt that half that armament was adequate for the P-39's planned bomber-interception role. Before the production lines at Bell's Buffalo factory were started, the calibre of the trio machine guns was changed to .50-calibre. As a result, the P-39A was cancelled outright and contracts re-written for P-39Bs. The P-39C followed which standardized on six .50-calibre guns to simplify ammunition supply at the squadron level. Other Airacobra variants followed - the P-39D was a tactical reconnaissance fighter with cameras in its nose and two 'fifties' for self defence. The P-39F returned to cannon armament for its intended ground-attack role. [4] The P-39J was the definitive variant, introducing a higher-powered 1,820 hp V-2280-32 engine, four-bladed propellers, and a detachable nose-cone which allowed individual aircraft to be tailored to specific roles.

Bottom An operational Bell P-39F, identifiable by its taller vertical tail and rudder.

(fin)

________________

[1] The Polish version of "necessity is the mother of invention".

[2] The outboard offset gearboxes were fitted with built-in clutches and thrust blocks to allow the Mercury piston engine to warm up without driving either the ELGs or the propellers.

[3] A part of the fleet-wide P.21d upgrade was to trade the old 7,9 mm wz.34 machine guns for new wz.38 weapons firing 13,2 mm rounds.

[4] The XP-39E was to have tested alternative ELGs but was never built. The cancelled P-39G was intended to be a dedicated ground-attack type with increased cockpit armour, two 37 mm cannons and four .50-calibre guns. Instead, the P-39G gun fit became an armament option for the 'modular' P-39J nose.
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2017 on: February 03, 2019, 05:35:01 AM »
Wow I really like your Airacobra version, apophenia!

I've got to give you props for avoiding the P-39 cliche` of putting BFG right on the point.

Great stuff! I've never seen that famous early-war USAAF scheme done better!

Brian da Basher

Offline finsrin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2018 on: February 03, 2019, 08:24:22 AM »
P-39D  :o  :-*

Anyone out there thinking kit-bash ?

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2019 on: February 08, 2019, 04:40:48 AM »
Thanks folks! This next one is for Greg ...
----------------

Boulton Paul's Single-Engined Turret Fighters - P.82 Defiant and Naval P.85

Air Ministry Specification F.9/35 was for a 2-seat, four-gunned turret fighter to replace RAF Demons. The winning submission was the Boulton Paul P.82 designed by a team led by chief engineer, JD North. As the Boulton Paul Defiant this aircraft would fly in prototype form in early August 1937. Meanwhile, the Air Ministry issued a second turret fighter specification - this time as a carrier-based aircraft for the Fleet Air Arm - on 31 December 1935.

For Air Ministry Specification O.30/35, John North's team draughted the Boulton Paul P.85. Clearly based upon the P.82
Defiant, the P.85 was offered with two engine options - the P.85A with a Bristol Hercules HE-1SM 14-cylinder radial, and the P.85B which retained the P.82's Rolls-Royce Merlin. [1] Model E or F V-12. Compared with the P.82, the rear fuselage was more finely tapered and a large but very low fin was fitted. Its naval role dictated other changes for the P.85. An obvious difference was a heavy-duty main undercarriage with retracted rearward into the wing centre section (a la the Fairey Battle). Both P.85A and P.85B were also offered with optional twin-floats replacing the retractable landplane undercarriage.

TopBoulton Paul P.85A - Hercules-powered naval turret fighter concept

Also meant to fill O.30/35 was Blackburn's B-25 Roc designed by GE Petty. Despite having a larger airframe and only 2/3rds the power of the P.85, [2] the Air Ministry selected the Roc to be the Navy's turret fighter. The Roc was seen as having near-complete commonality with the Blackburn Skua divebomber selected to fill AM Spec O.27/34. Ironically, Blackburn were going to be too busy with Skua and Botha production to build the Roc themselves. Instead, the Air Ministry ordered Boulton-Paul to complete detail design on the Roc and then produce these aircraft at their Wolverhampton factory. Thus, BP launched into simultaneous production of its Defiant, the Blackburn Roc, and their respective turrets. [3]

Boulton Paul Overworked - Blackburn's Roc Turret Fighter Undercapable

Understandably, many in officialdom were uneasy about the selection of the Blackburn Roc. The RAF was unhappy that production of the Roc by BP at Wolverhampton would delay deliveries of their Defiant. The Royal Navy was ill at ease because their turret fighter would be at least 85 mph slower than the RAF's Defiant. In October 1938, the Fifth Sea Lord, Sir Alexander Ramsay, recommended that the Roc programme be cancelled outright. Alas, by then, production was well underway at Wolverhampton and the first Roc (L3057) would fly before the end of December 1938. In the meantime, sensing a dud, BP began design work in April 1938 to convert Roc airframes to a target-towing role.

The RAF's concerns about delays were warranted. When war broke out in September 1939, Boulton Paul had delivered just a single production Defiant Mk.I (which went to the Air-Fighting Development Unit). Thirty-one of the promised 137 Rocs had been delivered to the FAA but their performance was as poor as had been feared. [4] At the same time, the RAF was getting cold feet about the Defiant. The Defiant airframe had proven a complete success with its flying performance even better than expected. However, enthusiasm for the entire turret fighter concept had waned by the Summer of 1939. With the outbreak of war, official support was withdrawn by the new Ministry of Aircraft Production. Neither the Defiant nor the Roc would be high-priority production types - which, in wartime, meant that Boulton Paul would face serious challenges sourcing parts and materials.

In early September 1939, the RAF decided to cut its losses and eliminate the Defiant from frontline service. Some interest was expressed in converting existing airframes to target tugs or advanced fighter trainers ... but such projects would have to take a backseat to combat types. Fortunately, the Admiralty took a stronger position. Accepting that the Roc represented a deadloss as a combat aircraft, the Royal Navy jumped at Boulton Paul's earlier suggestion of converting Rocs to the target towing role. After 31 September 1939, all Rocs were to be delivered 'turretless' to Fleet Requirements Units. [5] There, FRU ground crews could install target-tug components - target drogue containers, wind-driven winches, and new winch-operator's stations in the former turret location - in their new Roc TT. Mk.I airframes. Meanwhile, the Admiralty began negotiating with the RAF for the use of its now-surplus Defiant turret fighters - the Admirals sensing an opportunity to replace both its disappointing Roc turret fighters and supplement its Sea Gladiator biplane shipboard fighters.

Unbeknownst to the RAF, the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment had already consulted with Boulton Paul about the feasibility of 'navalizing' surplus RAF Defiant Mk.Is. According to BP, not only was it practical, much of the design work had already been done for the P.85. One glitch in this scheme is that the RAF wished to retain its Defiants' Type A Mk.IID turrets for re-application to other aircraft. 'Pop' Hughes of BP's Armament Department suggested a simple swap instead. The Defiants could retain their turrets if the RAF was provided with the near-identical Type A Mk.IIB turrets from the FRU Rocs (either turret types' non-conductive inserts would need to be modified to suit future airframes in any case). Eager to have the Defiant debacle behind it, the RAF agree to transfer surplus Mk.Is to the Fleet Air Arm.

Sea Defiant - Boulton Paul's Turret Fighter Gets Its Sea Legs

Bureaucratically, the transfer of RAF Defiants to the Fleet Air Arm was handled through modification of an outstanding Air Ministry Specification. AM Spec N.8/39 had been written for a future Roc replacement. By adding "immediate availability" as a stipulation, N.8/39 could only be satisfied by transferred Defiants. But, of course, these ex-RAF Defiants were not Naval aircraft.

Fitted with A-frame arrestor hooks, ex-RAF Defiants became Sea Defiant Mk.I trainers. These aircraft were intended purely for crew familiarization flights and simulated deck-landing exercises. After a quick inspection by the A&AEE, the prototype Sea Defiant Mk.I went on to the Service Trials Unit at Lee-on-Solent in late October 1939. From there, the aircraft went on to No.769 FRU for deck-landing training. Surprisingly, the 'interim' Sea Defiant Mk.I did see frontline service. No.806 Squadron at Eastleigh had received six Sea Defiant Mk.Is for familiarization training by April 1940. Between 26 May and 04 June 1940, No.806 - operating from a forward base at Detling, Kent - flew active fighter sweeps covering the Dunkirk operations.

Bottom Boulton Paul Sea Defiant Mk.I of No.806 at Detling, Kent, May 1940

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[1] The P.85B would have had either a Merlin E or Merlin F fitted. Unlike the P.82 - which eventually had its coolant radiator move aft to beneath the turret, the P.85B retained the P.82's original under-nose position for the radiator.

[2] The Blackburn B-25 Roc was powered by a 890 hp Bristol Perseus XI 9-cylinder radial engine.

[3] This was along with components built under contract by BP for Blackburn, Fairey, and other aircraft manufacturers. Some help came from General Aircraft which was subcontracted to produce Roc rear fuselages and tails (as they also did for the Skua).

[4] The Roc actually handled beautifully but it was even slower than the Blackburn Skua which, itself, proved a disappointment in its secondary fleet fighter role.

[5] Besides target-towing, Rocs also proved useful in simulated divebombing attacks for RN anti-aircraft gunners.

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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2020 on: February 08, 2019, 05:36:48 AM »
I really like the radial engine version but the one in that Fleet Air Arm scheme is pure eye-candy!
 :-*
Yum - yum!

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2021 on: February 08, 2019, 05:37:41 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2022 on: February 08, 2019, 09:45:36 AM »
Operational version is nice! :smiley:
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2023 on: February 10, 2019, 06:13:52 AM »
Thanks folks! More radial-engined variants ...

Boulton Paul Turret Fighters Sea Defiant

A brief moment of glory, the 'interim' Sea Defiant Mk.Is returned to their more mundane training roles. The more thorough Sea Defiant Mk.IA conversions - performed by Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft - received catapult spools, arrestor hooks, collapsible-dinghy compartment, and full FAA radio equipment. With trials complete, the Sea Defiant Mk.IA became fully operational with No.803 Squadron in March 1940. At the same time, the Wolverhampton design office of Boulton Paul was hard at work with other variants.

It had been hoped that development of the Sea Defiant would largely be a matter of 'navalizing' Defiant airframes making their way down the Wolverhampton production lines. And that was, essentially, what the Sea Defiant Mk.IA was. However, it soon became clear that a fully 'navalized' Sea Defiant would entale the modification and incorporation of unassembled Defiant components rather than adaptation of major Defiant components. That left the Admiralty in possession of a number of nearly-completed Defiant airframes which it really didn't want. The hunt for alternative roles was on for these airframes.

Boulton Paul P.82DL - the Sea Defiant T.Mk.IV Deck-Landing Trainer

At an early stage of Defiant development, Boulton Paul had proposed a two-seat trainer variant. However, the RAF found Defiant handling so pleasant that trainers were deemed unnecessary. That was also the Royal Navy's experience of the flying characteristics of their Sea Defiants. However, 'landing on' was another matter. It wasn't that the Sea Defiant was especially difficult to deck-land - other than an overly 'bouncy' main undercarriage, it was rather tame - it was more that the Fleet Air Arm recognized the value of being 'talked down' by an instructor when approaching an aircraft carrier an unfamiliar airplane type. Thus was born the P.82DL deck-landing trainer.

The P.82DL Sea Defiant T.Mk.IV [2] was an adaptation of some of those unwanted Defiant airframes. Boulton Paul was given fairly straightforward instructions. These airframes were to have dual-controls installed under a transparent canopy for both student and instructor pilot. [1] The bigger challenge for Wolverhampton was that the Royal Navy could not spare high-value Merlin engines for use in trainers. Boulton Paul would have to find suitable, lower-value engines to replace the Merlin for its trainer variant. Two engines - both air-cooled - were considered. The Napier Dagger was appealling in that this H-24 engine would best match the fuselage profile of the Defiant fuselage. However, reports of reliability issues with the complex Dagger were beginning to filter through.

The Bristol Perseus radial was a more awkward fit on the slender Defiant fuselage. However, Boulton Paul had recent experience with this engine through its production of the Blackburn Roc turret fighter. Accordingly, the complete Roc - engine-bearers, cowlings, the lot - were trial-fitted on a semi-completed Defiant Mk.I. As expected, the finished conversion was a gawky-looking brute - with the scale of the large-diameter radial engine somehow exaggerated by the humped 'turtle-back' fairing behind the instructor's cockpit. Nevertheless, fitted with catapult spools and an arrestor hook, the resulting Sea Defiant T.Mk.IV did all that was expected of it. It was slow, it was ugly, but it landed-on just like a Merlin-powered Sea Defiant.

Top Fighting colours - an unmarked P.82DL Sea Defiant T.Mk.IV deck-landing trainer seen at RNAS Yeovilton in early 1941. Operational colours have been sprayed over the Sea Defiant T.Mk.IV's more usual trainer-yellow undersides livery. [3]

Also Ran - the Short Story of the Single-Seat Boulton Paul Porpoise

Mention of radial-engined Sea Defiants naturally raises the subject of the short-run P.82H Porpoise Mk.X single-seat fighter. Originally designated Sea Defiant Mk.X, the Porpoise was something of a lash-up. Developed in a very short time in the aftermath of the Norwegian campaign, the Porpoise was intended to provide a ready replacement for the FAA's out-dated Sea Gladiator biplane fighters. As envisioned, the P.82H combined the basic airframe of the Sea Defiant with the radial engine installation from Boulton Paul's P.85A submission to Air Ministry Specification O.30/35. [4] As design work progressed, the new Ministry of Aircraft Production expressed its wish that the complete Hercules 'power egg' from the Bristol Beaufighter be adopted to avoid duplication. In light of the short timeline demanded by the Admirals, this could be seen as advantageous ... but it would have dire consequences for the future of the P.82H Porpoise.

The Porpoise Mk.X made as much use of unaltered Sea Defiant components as was possible with the adoption of a radically-different engine type in a now single-seated aircraft. The wings, tailplane, and rear fuselages were virtually identical. The big radial engine dictated an entirely new, faired in forward fuselage. The centre fuselage was structurally similar to that of the Sea Defiant other than alterations for a single-seat cockpit. That Porpoise was book-ended fore and aft by two, large fuel tanks to provide the long range demanded by the FAA. It was a simple solution but it also pushed the cockpit far enough aft to reduce visibility when landing-on. In that, it excarebated visibility problems inherent in mounting a large radial engine on a slender fuselage.

To make matters worse, the Beaufighter-type engine installation insisted upon by MAP, placed an enormous carberettor intake directly in line with the pilot's forward view. Add to this the continued use of the early Sea Defiant's 'bouncy' main undercarriage, and the Porpoise was unlikely to win many fans amongst FAA pilots. By contrast, a rival single-seat carrier fighter - the American-made Grumman Martlet - had become extemely popular within the FAA. The Martlet II was almost as fast as the more-powerful Porpoise MK.X, could match its range, and was armed with heavier-calibre 0.5-inch machine guns. Perhaps more importantly, Lend-Lease Martlets relieved a manufacturing burden upon the UK. The writing was on the wall for Boulton Paul's Porpoise.

It was the need for Britain to provide fighter cover for the embattled island of Malta which would provide the Porpoise with its moment of glory ... an for the FAA to relieve itself of a somewhat embarassing 'asset'. The FAA's Porpoise Mk.X would be 'flown off' carriers to defend Malta. By agreement, the RAF would provide spares and support for the FAA fighters' Hercules engines. To save weight, the Porpoises were partially de-navalized - including having their arrestor hooks removed - and many were repainted in more locally-appropriate colour schemes. Porpoise pilots quickly learned how to 'mix it' with their opponents - using dives and zoom climbs rather than being drawn in to dog-fights. The Porpoise was judged the superior of all opposing Italian fighter types but FAA pilots had to use caution when engaging the German Bf 109s now appearing over Malta.

Bottom Boulton Paul Porpoise Mk.X of 'B' Flight, No. 809 Naval Air Squadron, Hal Far, Malta. 'Plucked' of her arrestor hook and other naval gear, 'Sea Pig' has been given a quick repaint and sports a few battle scars.
__________________

[1] In its original schemes for 2-seat trainers, Boulton Paul had opted for tandem open cockpit. The FAA found this unacceptable. Not only did it not adequately simulate operational conditions, it could also overly constrain operation of the trainer type in inclement weather.

[2] The out-of-sequence Mark for the Sea Defiant T.Mk.IV was the result of re-applying a Mark from a cancelled project - that of a fully new-production turreted Sea Defiant.

[3] This aircraft may have been on the strength of No.759 NAS, the Fleet Fighter School and aircraft pool. Alternatively, it may have simply been a visiting squadron hack or squadron commander's 'personal' aircraft.

[4] The P.85A was to have been powered by a Bristol Hercules HE-1SM. For the P.82H, this was changed to a more powerful 1,300 hp Hercules II engine.
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #2024 on: February 10, 2019, 08:12:34 AM »
Those are great and the one in the desert scheme is really hot!

I'll get me coat.

Seriously sweet artwork and beats the stuffing out of those airplane books with color plates I was raised on.

Brian da Basher