Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 378715 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

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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!!!

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
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  >:(
"She can't afford no cannon ... She can't afford no gun at all"

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.
"She can't afford no cannon ... She can't afford no gun at all"

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!!!

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.
"She can't afford no cannon ... She can't afford no gun at all"

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

___________________________

[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.

"She can't afford no cannon ... She can't afford no gun at all"

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!

Brian da Basher

Offline GTX_Admin

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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!!!

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:
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

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.
"She can't afford no cannon ... She can't afford no gun at all"

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