Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 257277 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1875 on: September 10, 2018, 12:12:59 AM »

it is funny to make that kind of exchanges, and they look nearly natural  ;)

Completely concur!

Inspired thinking going with the Peregrine engine and a Whirlwind canopy on your Shrew, aphophenia!

Brian da Basher

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1876 on: September 11, 2018, 03:29:57 AM »
Thanks folks! Old Wombat: I'd love to see the Shrew in styrene  :smiley:

Supermarine Type 330 Scarab and Type 330F Scarabée

The Type 330 Scarab incorporated Vickers-Supermarine's notions for a simplified Spitfire structure. The straight leading-edge wing came directly from the cancelled Shrew. A new tail section was devised, incorporating straight-edged tail fin, rudder, stabilizors, and elevators. It was calculated that these changes would save up to 25 man-hours in construction time compared with the in-production Spitfire Mk.Ia fighter.

Other than its airframe changes, the Type 330 Scarab was essentially similar to the Spitfire. Matching mark designations were used. As such, the Scarab Mk.Ia was akin to the Spitfire Mk.Ia - being fitted with 1,030 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin III engines and 8 x .303 inch Browning guns. The Scarab Mk.II was like the Spitfire Mk.II in having a 1,175 hp Merlin XII.

Supermarine Type 330F Scarabée - What's the French for Dung Beetle?

French authorities had tested a Spitfire Mk.I and shown an interest. Supermarine then proposed a 'Francisized' version of the Scarab - the Hispano-powered Type 330F Scarabée. As planned, the Type 330F was to have a 1,280 hp Hispano-Suiza HS 12Z-89ter engine with 20 mm moteur canone. [1] Other than differences dictated by the engine change, cannon installation, and other French-supplied equipment, the Type 330F was essentially a standard Scarab.

Three Type 330F variants were originally proposed. These were known to Supermarine as the Type 330F-1 (as ordered, with DH propeller), the Type 330F-2 (substituting a Ratier 1606M propeller), and the Type 330F-3 (substituting a Chauvière 378 prop). A fourth type had to be added when the HS 12Z engine was unavailable - this was the interim Type 330F-0 powered by a 1,100 hp Hispano-Suiza 12Y-51.

In the end, the French were unable to provide even the HS 12Y-51 engines in any numbers. Only two Type 300 were provided to the Armée de l'Air - one standard RAF Scarab Mk.Ia (F-ASCA) for familiarization, and the sole Type 330F-0 Scarabée (F-ASCB). Neither aircraft seems to have survived the Battle of France.

______________________________________

[1] Standard Type 330F Scarabée armament was to be 1 x 20 mm HS 404 moteur canone plus four 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machine guns. All Type 330F sub-types could accommodate six wings but it is unlikely that the hard-pressed French ever mounted any number of wing guns in their two Type 330s.
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1877 on: September 13, 2018, 07:47:52 AM »
I really like the temp markings on that export version!

Brian da Basher

Offline elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
  • Über Engineer...at least that is what he tells us.
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1878 on: September 13, 2018, 08:16:12 AM »
I really like the temp markings on that export version!
I agree with Sir Brian.  You can see where the French roundel and rudder stripes will go, but there's nothing showing to spoil a civil registration.

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1879 on: September 15, 2018, 04:26:50 AM »
Supermarine Type 332L Spectre

The RAF's Supermarine Type 332L Spectre fighter came about by accident. The original design was for a naval fighter for the Fleet Air Arm. This - the Supermarine Type 332 aka 332N with the proposed name of SeaSnake - was to be a lighter single-seat companion to Supermarine's proposed Type 333 twin-seat fleet fighter to Air Ministry Specification N.8/39. In the end, the Admiralty chose the Fairey Firefly to meet N.8/39 but ordered a test article from Supermarine for the single-seater.

A wing-damaged Scarab Mk.Ia was chosen for modification as the Admiralty's test airframe. The wing mounting points were moved aft to accept a new, single-spar wing with a 'Davis' airfoil profile. That spar was specifically devised to accommodate heavier-calibre armaments of Vickers design - specifically the Class 'F' .5-inch high-velocity machine guns [1] and the Class 'J' .75-inch autocannon. [2] With the autocannon not yet ready for service use, the initial proposals were either for four wing-mounted  Class 'F' guns or two Class 'F' HVs and four heavy machine guns (Vickers Class 'C'). [3] The Admiralty chose, instead, twin Vickers Class 'F' and four rifle-calibre Browning guns.

Rather than wait for trials, it was decided to place a pre-production order for Type 332s. Unfortunately, problems with the Type 332 test article conversion emerged almost immediately. Tests with carrier-style arrestor gear overstrained the airframe resulted in wrinkling to the rear fuselage. Supermarine suggested external reinforcement plates but, satisfied with its Grumman Martlets and Sea Hurricanes, the Admiralty was having doubts about the Type 332's suitability as a carrier fighter. The question was: What to do with pre-production order for Type 332s?

At this point, Club Run operations were underway to ferry combat aircraft ferry from Gibraltar to Malta. Ten operations had carrier-launched more than 300 RAF Hurricanes towards that embattled island. It was suggested that the RAF take over 'de-navalized' Type 332s for future Club Run operations to help relieve the Siege of Malta. This was quickly agreed and as the Type 332L Spectre fighters were completed, they were crated for delivery to Gibraltar. Re-assembled on 'the Rock', the first Spectre Mk.Is were prepared for the next Club Run - Operation Perpetual.

Between 10–12 November 1941, Operation Perpetual launched 40 Type 332L Spectres towards Malta. The aircraft were flown off HMS Ark Royal and HMS Argus. All aircraft were launched unarmed and with rear fuselage 'overload' fuel tanks installed. Two Spectres were lost enroute, another four were shot up on the ground before they could be armed and refuelled at RAF Hal Far. The survivors entered service with No.249 Squadron, RAF - some detailed to the grass strips at RAF Kalafrana [4] and RAF Ta Kali.

______________________________________

[1] The Vickers Class 'F' was a fixed, aircraft version of the 'HV' anti-aircraft machine gun adopted by the Royal Navy in 1929. Both types fired 12.7 x 120mmSR rounds - much more powerful than either Vickers' Class 'C' .5-inch (12.7 x 81mm) or the Browning .50-calibre gun (12.7 x 99mm). (Note: the RW Vickers Class 'F' was a .303 tested by the RAF. It was similar to the belt-fed Class 'E' but with an interchangeable feed block - for a belt or 97-round Lewis drum.)

[2] The .75-inch (19 mm) Vickers Class 'J' cannon was an larger-calibre development of the failed Class 'G' - a .661-inch heavy AA machine gun. (Note: the RW Vickers Class 'J' was rifle calibre aircraft machine gun - fixed or flexible - for export. There was an unrealized RW plan to enlarge the .661 AA gun to .75-inch calibre.)

[3] Here, Vickers-Armstrong was trying it on. Their Class 'C' had already been rejected by the RAF in favour of Browning guns.

[4] Although technically detailed to RAF Kalafrana, this 'det' was actually flying off the golf course grounds at Marsa.
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1880 on: September 15, 2018, 05:17:20 AM »
Those Spectres are wonderful eye-candy.

For some reason, adding the Vokes filter for a desert version makes it even more believable.

Superb Spectres!

Brian da Basher

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1881 on: October 07, 2018, 05:42:20 AM »
I've spun off in another direction from kim margosein's original export Spitfire notion. What follows is just some background - mainly aircraft-weapons and aero-engine related - for where I'm going ...

Vickers-Armstrong - Export Markets, Mergers, Engine-Production, and Aircraft Armaments

In late 1937, Vickers-Armstrong Director Sir Robert MacLean ordered a review of the firm's aircraft-related export potential. Vickers Armstrong profits for 1937 would total £1,965,000. Much of that profit was to be invested in expanded production facilities to satisfy a future British war effort. Company analysts estimated that war with Germany would almost certainly occur by 1941 at the latest. Until then, exports of complete military aircraft and weapons were anticipated to be extremely lucritive. What Sir Robert wanted to know was how best to develop a successful line of export products.

Reviewing its current programs, the Board of Vickers-Armstrong concluded that it was well-placed for supplying the RAF with military aircraft. Its key aviation components were about to be merged within a new Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd. Both the Vickers Wellington medium bomber and Supermarine Spitfire fighter were high-priority types in RAF preparations for the coming war. Where British orders fell short in the Board's view was the Air Ministry's shutting out of Vickers-design automatic weapons. It was hoped that future variants incorporating increased Vickers-Armstrong 'content' could be developed for the thriving prewar export market.

Vickers' dominance of the aircraft automatic weapon market had faltered when the RAF chose the .303-inch Browning as their new standard machine gun. Vickers still had some success in exporting its rifle-calibre Class 'C' machine guns (and, as the Breda 12.7 mm cartridge, its .5-inch round had become the standard Italian fighter aircraft round). To regain a positon of dominance, new Vickers weapon designs must be encouraged and investment was needed in expanding Vickers (Crayford) to handle increased aircraft weapon production.

Within Vickers-Armstrong, aero-engine design and production centred around Armstrong-Siddeley. However, the Armstrong-Siddeley Tiger had been outshone by its Bristol counterparts and by rival US twin-row radials. There were great hopes for Armstrong-Siddeley's upcoming line of 'Dog' engines but their development was slow. Still, Vickers hoped to offer its new Type 284 Warwick heavy bomber for export powered by  new Armstrong-Siddeley Deerhound engines and fitted with AW turrets armed with Vickers Class 'C' heavy machine guns. [1] Potential export variants of the Spitfire fighter would also need powerplants outside of British Air Ministry control ... but Armstrong-Siddeley planned no alternative engine to the Spitfire's Rolls-Royce Merlin. Vickers-Armstrong needed to look further afield.

Finding a Vickers-Armstrong Rival to the Rolls-Royce Merlin

While reviewing potential candidates , an opportunity revealed itself. The venerable French engine-maker, S.E.C.M. 'Lorraine', announced that it was bankrupt and would soon be entering into receivership. [2] Vickers-Armstrong immediately put out feelers, entering into negotiations with Lorraine's receivers in the early Summer of 1938. A deal was struck whereby Vickers-Armstrong would take over development of Lorraine's liquid-cooled V-12 aero-engines - the 28.7L Pétrel 12H and the new 30.5L Sterna 12R. It was quickly decided to focus engineering attention on developing the newer, lighter Sterna design with its 2-speed Szydlowski-Planiol S-38-H2 supercharger.

As a condition of sale, French engineer Albert Lory was seconded to Vickers-Armstrong to further develop the Sterna 12R. At the same time, a Vickers-Armstrong worked to 'Anglicise' the design. The result, first known as the 'Sterna 12V', was redubbed the Vickers Vortex. With higher-octane fuel, the Vortex produced 1,250 hp at 9,000 feet with a dry weight of 1,350 lbs. resulting in 1,225 hp at 3,000 rpm. [3] With more commonly available fuel, the Vortex would deliver 1,000 hp at 8,000 feet. This performance was equivalent to that of Rolls-Royce's Merlin. From the outset, the Vortex was offered in three distinct marks - the direct-drive Vortex I, the single-speed supercharger-equipped Vortex II intended for bomber installations, [4] and the fighter-type Vortex III with its two-speed supercharger.


As a fighter engine, the perceived advantage held by the Vortex III was its ability to accommodate a 'motor cannon' ... and Vickers-Armstrong had just the gun. The Vortex III had been specifically designed to accommodate a new Vickers Class 'M' 1-inch motor-cannon. [5] Mounted between the cylinder banks of the Vortex III, the Class 'M' gun fired through a hollow propeller shaft. This arrangement obviated the need for heavy gun synchronization gear. It also kept the main armament mounted on the centre line of the fighter - something not feasible with the RAF's chosen Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.

The Vickers Victor - A Spitfire With a Difference

Vickers-Armstrong was proposing an export fighter based on a simplified Spitfire airframe. Dubbed the Vickers Victor, this revised Spitfire development would be powered by a Vortex III V-12. Main armament would, of course, be the Vickers Class 'M' 1-inch motor-cannon firing through the propeller hub. As envisioned, a secondary armament would carried of up to six wing-mounted Vickers Class 'E' rifle calibre machines guns or four wing-mounted Class 'C' guns in the heavier .5-inch calibre. [6] In the works was a new lightweight cannon suitable for wing-mounting. This - the Class 'J' .75-inch aircraft cannon - was a development of Vickers' experimental .661-inch anti-aircraft gun for the Royal Navy. With its enlarged shell, the Class 'J' fell in to the same class as the widely-available 20mm Oerlikon FF cannon. [7]

The Air Ministry was not happy at all with the notion of a Vickers Victor. To officialdom, any export variants of the Spitfire could only disrupt Supermarine deliveries to the RAF. When the Ministry of Aircraft Production was formed and the Spitfire declared a priority type, all hope of developing a Vickers Victor for the export market was dead. However, opportunity can arise in the most unexpected ways ...

____________________________________

[1] Armament options included two .5-inch guns - the Class 'C' (short 12.7x81mm) and 'High Velocity' Class 'F' (Vickers HV, 12.7x120SR) - and the original Class 'J' in .661-inch (16.8x194mm). The prototype Type 284 Warwick would fly in August 1939 with Rolls-Royce Vultures, the second prototype in April 1940 with Bristol Centaurus engines. Plans for a Warwick powered by Armstrong-Siddeley Deerhound or Boarhound engines were never realized.

[2] SECM stood for the Société d'Emboutissage et de Constructions Mécaniques - which included the airframe-maker Amiot as well as Argenteuil-based Lorraine (formerly Lorraine-Dietrich).

[3] This accomplished in part by a slight increase of compression ratio of 7.1:1 (compared with the Sterna 12R's compression ratio of 6.9:1).

[4] The Vortex II was first offered to power an export version of the Wellington. Later a four-Vortex development of the Warwick was mooted as the Vickers Type 284V Warminster long-range bomber.

[5] The Class 'M' 1-inch motor-cannon descended from the mid-'30s 25.4 mm Class 'H' anti-aircraft cannon developed for the Argentine navy. By comparsion, the Class 'M' had a shorter barrel, replaced the box magazine with a drum type, and introduced light alloys components into the gun body.

[6] The Class 'E' was an export derivative of the Class 'C' in its .303-inch variant. The .5-inch Class 'C' fired a 12.7 x 81mm rimless cartridge (similar to the semi-rimmed round fired by Breda-SAFAT guns).

[7] Class 'J' marketing emphasized the advantage of this '19 mm' gun's powerful 19 x 194mm cartridge over the less potent Oerlikon rounds (eg: 20x80RB for the Luftwaffe's Ikaria-built Oerlikon MG-FF).
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1882 on: October 07, 2018, 05:46:05 AM »
Vickers-Armstrong Powerplants at Boulton-Paul Aircraft

Although the new Ministry of Aircraft Production would not countenance an export Spitfire program, the Air Ministry was less hostile to the Vickers Vortex aero-engine. In some quarters of the AM and RAF, the Vortex was seen as a welcome backup to the in-demand Rolls-Royce Merlin. Potential applications were a Fairey Battle development powered by a Vortex II (the single-speed supercharger version) and a Hawker Hurricane derivative with a motor-cannon Vortex III (with two-speed supercharger). In the event, wartime urgencies prevented either concept from being further explored.

The Air Ministry had, however, agreed that Boulton-Paul Aircraft could divert one Defiant turret fighter airframe to act as a testbed for the new Vickers Vortex engine. The turretless Defiant N1564 was fitted with the Vickers powerplant and successfully test flown in early December 1939. The engine-related changes were comparatively minor. The Vortex was physically larger than the Defiant's original Merlin powerplant but cylinder-head bulges in the cowling accommodated the new engine.

The test aircraft was equipped with a pre-production Vortex III but no motor-cannon was fitted. Boulton-Paul was already considering a Vortex-powered Defiant derivative armed with .75-inch guns - a motor cannon for the pilot and twin cannons in a revised turret. However, RAF planners did not believe that 2-seater pilots should distracted by fixed armaments and, in any case, official favour for turret fighters was waning. The 'Vortex-Defiant' fighter concept was still-born. Attention at Boulton-Paul turned to adapting their P.91 single-seat fighter concept.

Vickers-Armstrong Powerplants at Boulton-Paul Aircraft

Whereas Boulton-Paul's original P.94 concept was a straightforward single-seat Defiant adaptation to day-fighter, the Vortex prompted a more thorough redesign. The P.94V concept mated Defiant wings and tailplane to a modified fuselage. The rear fuselage was joined to a new centre fuselage section which was both shortened and constructed from steel-tubing. [1]

Boulton-Paul began work on the P.91V as a private venture without any real official approval. By the time that AM officials were aware of the P.94V, they were quite happy to put a stamp of approval on the type. The Defiant was a good aircraft but, conceptually, the turret fighter was fading. Both the AM and the Ministry of Aircraft Production needed Boulton-Pauls production lines producing useful combat aircraft. Switching those lines from risky Defiants to a conventional fighter acting as a back-up to both Hurricane and Spitfire programmes seemed very prudent - especially since the new aircraft would end Boulton-Paul's current draw on Merlin production.

The P.94V received a development contract from the Air Ministry and was assigned the name Paladin. A 'prototype' P.94V Paladin, N1592, was quickly assembled although, in truth, it was more of a proof-of-concept airframe. As many Defiant components as possible were retained. Beyond the shortened fuselage, obvious changes were the single cockpit and enlarged ventral radiator bath (as had been retrofitted to the N1564 testbed). Initially, no armament was fitted - the aircraft having been fitted with standard Defiant wings. Once flight-proven, N1592 was armed with a Vickers Class 'M' 1-inch motor-cannon.

Firing trials with the Class 'M' gun were encouraging. The 1-inch shells packed a powerful punch and their high-velocity rounds made for intuative aiming for pilots. However, these was an obvious downside. Although the Paladin cockpit was further aft than the Defiant, the Vortex III was a hot-running engine. As a result, the Paladin prototype's cockpit tended to roast. Worse, when the Class 'M' motor-cannon was fired, the cockpit filled with acrid cordite fumes. Production Paladin cockpits, it was decided, would need to be set even further aft.

(To be continued ...)
____________________________________

[1] The original Defiant centre fuselage was a semi-monocoque just like the rear fuselage. The new welded steel-tube section was chosen both for its simplicity and speed of production.
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1883 on: October 08, 2018, 08:15:26 AM »
I like your Paladin a lot!

I bet you could fools a lot of people with such a credible profile.

Your work is always a treat, apophenia!

Brian da Basher

Offline AXOR

  • Our returned Monkey Box man
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1884 on: October 08, 2018, 04:25:32 PM »
You are perfectly right Brian!!!
Great job as always !
Alex

Offline kim margosein

  • Newly Joined - Welcome me!
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1885 on: October 09, 2018, 10:25:22 AM »
Unbelieveable.  I'm going to have to buy some more spitfire kits now.  From what I read here and there on the Type 333 it was something like the Blackburn Firebrand passing through several iterations and versions, though only on paper.  One that I'm intrigued about is a RN request for a fast climbing interceptor to protect naval bases.   Sort of the same idea as the Mitsubishi J2M.  I am thinking along the lines of a Spiteful with a Rolls Royce Crecy engine.  Be interesting to just hear that big honking 2 cycle fire up.

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1886 on: October 10, 2018, 05:26:11 AM »
Thank folks  :D

Boulton-Paul Paladin Fighter - The Vickers Vortex Goes to War

Boulton-Paul Aircraft's P.91V Paladin 'prototype' had been a bit of a lash-up job using the maximum number of unchanged components from the Defiant turret fighter. The production model Boulton-Paul Paladin was mor refined. The pilot's position was moved slightly aft to reduce heat transfer and gun gas build-up in the cockpit. Visibility from the cockpit was actually improved as a result of the Air Ministry's insistence that a standard Spitfire windscreen and sliding hood replace the Defiant-style glazings of the prototype.

Another obvious change was a new, lighter-weight main undercarriage. [1] Derived from Spitfire components, this simplified, inward-retracting landing gear also created space for small, triangular auxiliary fuel tanks in the Paladin wing centre-section. Less obvious was a switch to side-draught carburettors (which 'cleaned up' the nose profile while improving airflow to the ventral radiator bath). Armament for the Paladin Mk.I consisted of the Vickers Class 'M' 1-inch motor-cannon trialled in N1592 as well as six wing-mounted .303-inch Browning machine guns.

The new Boulton-Paul aircraft was naturally compared with the RAF's in-service fighter types. Despite the increased power from of its Vortex engine, the Paladin was slightly slower than the Merlin-powered Spitfire Mk.IA. In theory, the new fighter was also inferior in range and endurance as well. But, superior range figures for both the Spitfire and Hurricane rely on those fighters flying at very slow speeds (168 mph in the case of the Hurricane Mk.I). By contrast, quoted Paladin range of 555 miles was based on a cruising speed of 275 mph.

Of course, the real difference with the Paladin was its hard-hitting 1-inch main gun. That, and the fighter's endurance led to it being first adopted as a comparatively long-range bomber interceptor. Although manoeuvrable, the weight of the auto-cannon was seen as a disadvantage in fighter versus fighter combat. But that was not to be the experience of No 141 Squadron, RAF when the Paladin Mk.I first entered service in early September 1940 - replacing that unit's Defiants at Prestwick. No 141 was tasked with intercepting Luftflotte 5 aircraft attacking Britain from bases in occupied Norway. In the first successful interception, a Paladin pilot blew the entire tail off of a Heinkel bomber with one shot of his 1-inch gun.

That lucky shot would not be typical but there was no denying that the Class 'M' gun was deadly. The surprise came when No 141 began 'mixing it' with the bombers' Bf 110 escorts. With sufficient preparation time, 'vectored' Paladin pilots found that they could tackle the twin-engined Messerschmitts head-on. A few round of 1-inch cannon fire could be loosed before coming into range of the Germans' MG-FF guns. At that point, the faster and more manoeuvrable Paladins could disengage at will. This tactic was so successful - against escorts and bombers - that many No 141 Paladins flew with reduced wing armaments, pilots choosing to emphasize their heavy cannon instead. [2]

Paladin Mk.III - The Emergence of a True Gun-Fighter

In late October 1940, No 141 Squadron moved south to join the newly re-equipped No 264 Squadron. With the Battle of Britain coming to a close, it was decided to employ the Paladins on cross-Channel raids. Both squadrons used their 1-inch cannons to shoot up German invasion barges and other shipping moored in French Channel ports. Here the heavy guns came into their own ... but the low-flying Paladins were usually escorted by higher-flying Spitfires. The Paladin pilots resented this 'nannying' but escorting Spitfires did eliminate the element of surprise from German interceptions. Once 'bounced', the Paladins could usually fight their way out and head for home.

A proposed all-cannon armament Paladin Mk.II never emerged. Rather, it was the Paladin Mk.III which brought a complete cannon armament to the breed. Wing-mounted machine guns were replaced with a pair of the new Vickers Class 'J' .75-inch auto-cannons. These potent guns fired a powerful 19 x 194mm cartridge, giving their shells the same flat trajectory as the 1-inch motor cannon rounds. The incorporation of some light alloys into the construction of the Class 'J' also meant that this gun installation actually reduced the weight of the Paladin Mk.II as compared with its six machine gun-toting predecessor.

The Paladin Mk.III eclipsed the proposed Mk.II, in part, because it introduced the Vortex V powerplant. It was obvious that the Paladin airframe would benefit from a higher-powered engine. But equally obvious was that the airframe would need more side area. Added to that was that the Vickers engines had proven hot-running - so the higher-powered Vortex V would dictate a larger coolant  radiator. Boulton-Paul solved both issues in a stroke. The ventral radiator bath was enlarged and extended aft - providing both added side area and space for enlarged glycol and oil radiators. [3]

(To be continued ...)
____________________________________

[1] The heavy Defiant undercarriage by Lockheed had been causing problems in any case. Boulton-Paul had been investigating a replacement landing gear by Dowty even before the advent of the Paladin.

[2] As a result of these field modifications, Boulton-Paul proposed a Paladin Mk.IA delivered from the factory with wing armament reduced to four .303-inch machine guns. This proposal was not accepted.

[3] A less noticeable improvement was increased gas venting for the motor cannon to do a better job of keeping the cockpit clear of cordite fumes.
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1887 on: October 10, 2018, 05:27:45 AM »
Boulton-Paul Paladin Testbeds

Not all of Boulton-Paul Aircraft's proposed developments of the Paladin airframe suited the interests of Vickers-Armstrong. Perhaps the most alarming example from Vickers' point-of-view was T4106, a late production Paladin Mk.I adapted to take a Rolls-Royce Merlin powerplant. The point of the exercise was providing an opportunity to make direct comparisons between the Vortex-powered original and a Merlin-engined Paladin. Trials by the RAF's Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down would reveal minimal performance gains in installing the slightly lighter Merlin engine.

Although alarming for Vickers' management, the Merlin-powered Paladin demonstrator posed no real threat. There was no danger of an operation development of the Merlin-powered Paladin demonstrator emerging - there was simply no plausible way of providing a sufficient armament without the motor-cannon of the Vickers Vortex.

Other Boulton-Paul testbeds were simply attempts at improving the breed. As an example, an early Paladin Mk.III - T4274 - was temporarily fitted with Boulton-Paul's preferred retractable tail wheel. In this case, some performance gain was realized but - for the moment - the RAF resisted the retracting tail wheel. The official objection remained the same as it had been with the Defiant prototype. The Paladin's hydraulic system would need to be inceased in size and complexity if the tail wheel was made retractable.

Boulton-Paul would follow up with its most radical modification to a Paladin testbed ... but that story must come later.

(To be continued ...)
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1888 on: October 11, 2018, 05:11:36 AM »
Adding a Spitfire canopy was a touch of sheer genius!

Looks wicked fast.

Brian da Basher

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #1889 on: October 11, 2018, 07:21:22 AM »
Cheers Brian!

Boulton-Paul Paladin Mk.V - Go Big or Go Home!

The reputation of Boulton-Paul Aircraft's Paladin fighter rested on its large-calibre armament. When Vickers produced its most powerful aircraft gun - the 40 mm Class 'S' - it proved to be too big to act as direct Class 'M' replacement. In place of the major modifications required to both engine and airframe to accommodate a Class 'S' motor-cannon, Boulton-Paul followed Hawker's lead. The Paladin Mk.V would carry two of the massive 40 mm guns beneath its wings. Otherwise, the Paladin Mk.V was essentially a Paladin Mk.III airframe fitted with a specially modified Paladin Mk.I wing. [1]

To lighten all-up weight, the standard Paladin Class 'M' 1-inch motor-cannon was replaced by a .5-inch Class 'F' machine gun. This gun was selected over the RAF's preferred .303-gun 'spotting gun' because the Vickers 'HV' shell had a similar trajectory to the 40mm anti-tank rounds. Besides the 40mm 'S' guns, no other wing armament was carried. In March 1942, the first Paladin Mk.V 'tank-busters' were assigned to No 601 Squadron to replace that unit's disappointing Caribou/Airacobra aircraft. [2] However, it wasn't No 601 which took 'the flying tin-opener' into combat.

From 'Flying Swords' to 'Oranje' and Brief Acclaim in Battle

The Paladin Mk.Vs never sported No 601's 'UF' squadron codes or its famous 'Flying Sword' markings. By the end of April 1942, No 601 had left Digby enroute to Egypt (via Malta). However, the plan was for No 601 to fly Spitfires from Luqa and then in the Egyptian desert. The squadron's Paladin Mk.Vs were to be passed on to the South African Air Force upon their arrival in-theatre. The Paladins were actually transported to RAF Haifa in Mandatory Palestine where they were re-assembled and repainted by a detachment of South African personnel.

In June 1942, the Paladin Mk.Vs of No.40 Squadron, SAAF, arrived at L.G.221 (RAF Helwan) where they began working up. [3] In late July, the South Africans moved up to L.G.85 (Al Mahdeyah Markaz, south of Alexandria) and immediately began engaging ground targets. Almost all the combat flying was done 'on the deck' and losses began to mount. The Paladin Mk.V proved ill-equipped to cope with desert flying. Always prone to running hot, the Vortex V powerplants now had also to contend with inadequate air filters and the grinding effects of kicked-up desert sand.

No.40 Squadron's move to L.G.148 (Sidi Azeiz) across the Libyan border worsened matters when captured fuel stocks proved to be contaminated. Serviceability plummeted and ad hoc sand filters impaired flying performance. The Vokes filters used by desert Hurricanes and Spitfires could not be adapted to the side-draught carberettors of the Paladin. Fortunately, inspiration came from the captured remains of a Macchi C.202. Could Boulton-Paul adapt that Italian fighter's filter in scaled-down form for both sides of the Paladin?

(Top) 'Wildman', a Paladin Mk.V, No.40 Squadron, SAAF, Libya, 1942. This relatively new aircraft is already showing the strains of desert operations. N2205 woud soon be lost to ground fire along with its pilot, F/Lt Jack Orpen. [4]

Paladin Mk.VI - Desert Fighter

The air filter mods resulted in a dedicated desert fighter - the Paladin Mk.VI. This aircraft incorporated all the lessons learned - including a slightly larger glycol radiator and improved desert survival gear stowage. Most importantly, the armament installation now consisted of three .75-inch Class 'J' auto-cannons - one in each wing (a la the Paladin Mk.III, the third 'J' replaced the 1-inch Class 'M' motor-cannon. The object of the armament change was to simplify ammunition supply.

Simplifying ammunition supply was especially important at the more remote desert Landing Grounds. That armament change also served to lighten the aircraft, making the Paladin Mk.VI the liveliest-handling of the Paladin family. The Paladin Mk.VI also finally introduced Boulton-Paul's much-sought-after retractable tail wheel.

Never produced in great numbers, the Paladin Mk.VI entered service in late April 1943 with No.40 SAAF at Souk-el-Khemis. By this stage, the Tunisian campaign was drawing to a close. With the end of the North African campaign, No. 40 Squadron relocated to Sicily acting primarily in a fighter-reconnaissance role. By the time that the squadron moved on to the Italian mainland the role had shifted again. Fitted with wing racks, the unit's Paladin Mk.VIs were operated as fighter-bombers.

(Bottom) Sicily 1943. A Paladin Mk.VI in full No.40 Squadron, SAAF markings (note that South African aircraft in this theatre had the red of their fuselage roundels and tail flashes replaced by orange).

(To be continued ...)

____________________________________

[1] The RAF order for Paladin Mk.Vs over-wrote an earlier Mk.I order (with assigned Mk.I serials being transferred to the Mk.Vs).

[2] Brief consideration was given to mounting the Vickers Class 'S' gun in the mid-engined Bell Caribou - originally designed to carry a US 37 mm gun. No 601 Squadron encountered enough problems with their Bell fighters to put paid to the 40 mm Caribou concept.

[3] Somewhat ironically, the Paladin Mk.Vs' former 'owners' - No 601 Squadron, RAF - replaced No.20 at Helwan in August 1942.

 4] Lieutenant John Joseph Overton Orpen was also the squadron artist
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.