Author Topic: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939  (Read 14868 times)

Offline Volkodav

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2016, 07:53:07 PM »
I wonder if the Bell Airacobra would have had a better reception in the AAC than the RAF? Most of the criticisms of it were related to high altitude air-to-air work, while the most successful users, the Russians, praised it for it's low altitude capability and air-to-ground firepower.

Likewise the Mustang. In real life early Mustangs went to Army Co-operation Command anyway, so maybe the AAC would commission more, possibly with dive brakes like the A-36 Apache.

Hears a thought, AAC/AAS takes the Mustangs and Apaches as well, but then instead of doing a Merlin conversion they tried Hercules instead.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2016, 03:24:31 AM »
Here's a radial-engined option that doesn't disrupt UK production lines: the Curtiss Hawk 75. They were available with a fixed undercarriage (good for low-level work where a quick landing might be preferable to an attempted bail-out) and with two 23mm Madsen cannon in underwing gondola. The latter mod didnt go into production because it was judged to slow the aircraft down too much, but that might not matter so much for CAS work.



You're basically talking about the Hawk 75N:






One could build that in Army markings...

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Offline Weaver

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2016, 12:39:50 PM »
Nice one Greg!

So did the Thai ones actually have the 23mm Madsen then?

Special Hobby have done a kit of the M/N/O in 1/72nd but it's OOP at the moment.
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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2016, 01:42:59 AM »
Likewise the Mustang. In real life early Mustangs went to Army Co-operation Command anyway, so maybe the AAC would commission more, possibly with dive brakes like the A-36 Apache.

Hears a thought, AAC/AAS takes the Mustangs and Apaches as well, but then instead of doing a Merlin conversion they tried Hercules instead.
Hmm, four-cannon Mustang wings with Apache dive brakes and a radial engine (trial with Hercules in UK, either US engine or license-built Hercules in US-produced examples); be interesting to see where the oil cooler goes when it can't share a scoop with the coolant radiator any more.

Offline Weaver

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2016, 04:07:59 AM »
Nice one Greg!

So did the Thai ones actually have the 23mm Madsen then?

Special Hobby have done a kit of the M/N/O in 1/72nd but it's OOP at the moment.

Answered my own question from a reference book - yes they did. :)
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2016, 02:43:24 AM »
Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier - was in Adelaide all day yesterday on business.

I really like the Hawk75N idea.  It would probably still get the Mohawk name in Army service.  The lack of retractable landing gear would have been a good way to go IMHO.  This was not only cheaper, it was more rugged for unimproved airfields, and simplified maintenance - all things the Army would have liked especially in a lead up to the war.  BTW, there is more info here

And if anyone wants to have a go at profiling an Army one (hint, hint), here is a line drawing:

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Offline Weaver

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2016, 04:29:48 AM »
Cheers Greg!

Since the fixed-gear Hawks were intended as a simplified version, they tended to have the Wright Cyclone R-1820 9-cyl engines of about 900bhp. However many US and French ones had more powerful Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp 14-cyl or more powerful Cyclones of anywhere up to 1200-ish bhp. You might therefore imagine the AAC Hawks being a hybrid, with the more powerful engines of the 'sophisticated' versions but the fixed gear of the export versions.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2016, 06:16:32 AM »
What sort of markings might we expect on such a platform so as to show it was Army rather than RAF?
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Offline jcf

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2016, 11:29:22 AM »
Couple of reasons that export Hawks, fixed gear and retract gear, tended to have Cyclones instead of
Twin-Wasps; one, the US Government had restrictions on who could buy the Pratt engine and what versions
could be sold, and two, the Cyclone was a Curtiss-Wright product, so naturally they sold a package when
they could.
 ;D
The French and Norwegians both ended up purchasing variants with first P&W (A-1, A-2, A-3 and A-6 respectively) and
then Wright (A-4 and A-8 respectively) engines.

The Thai Madsen cannon equipped aircraft were primarily used for ground attack, with evidently satisfactory results.
The 23mm Madsen cannon was also tested by the USAAC on a P-36, redesignated XP-36F, for the ground attack role.

Curtiss Hawk 75 Beauchamp and Cuny; Curtiss Fighter Aircraft, Dean and Hagedorn.

The old Hobbycraft (also boxed by Academy) P-36/H-75 series makes it fairly easy to model a P&W engined, fixed-gear
Model 75 by combining boxings. Note that neither cowling, P&W nor Wright is all that accurate, but they look OK built up.
The Hawk 75M/N/O kit comes with three variations of wheel pants/spats.
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2016, 02:55:42 AM »

The 23mm Madsen cannon was also tested by the USAAC on a P-36, redesignated XP-36F, for the ground attack role.


Thanks Jon.  Folks, in case anyone is interested here is a photo of the sole XP-36F:



The XP-36F was created by taking P-36A Ser No 38-172 and fitting it with two 23-mm Danish-built Madsen cannon in underwing fairings. The standard P-36A fuselage armament was retained. Unfortunately, this additional armament caused the maximum weight to rise to 6850 pounds and the maximum speed to fall to 265 mph. Consequently, the experimental armament was soon removed and the airplane reverted to a standard P-36A.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 02:59:02 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Online elmayerle

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2016, 03:15:36 AM »
If anyone is interested, there's one of those Hobbycraft kits on eBay right now:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-48-Hobbycraft-Curtiss-Hawk-75M-N-O-/351706500353?hash=item51e3574d01:g:7sUAAOSwLN5WlqNt

The auction ends in 12 days, but it's a BiN and/or "Make Offer" auction, so...

Offline apophenia

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2016, 06:39:55 AM »
How about an anglicized Mohawk with a cheaper Bristol Mercury engine? Alternatively, go with a license-built Fokker D.XXI -- it too was offered with underwing 23mm Madsen cannons.
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Offline Weaver

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2016, 08:25:24 AM »
Wondering where this might all end up by the end of WWII, you might see a purpose-built AAC attack aircraft looking something like a cross between a Sturmovik and Skyraider:

BIG radial engine
Pilot in front of fuselage fuel tank for good vision
Gunner behind fuselage tank with 2 x .303 Brownings
Serious amount of armour
Backwards-retracting gear with a fast-gravity-deploy backup mechanism
4 x 23mm MADEN (Madsen-Enfield ;) ) cannons in the wings
Big airbrakes on the fuselage sides
More pylons than the mind can comfortably contemplate
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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2016, 08:52:31 AM »
For a tail-dragger, definitely backwards-retracting (I like the retracting and rotating for stowage main gear on the Mohawk/Tomahawk/Warhawk line and clearly Vought-Sikorsky did, too, as they bought a license for use on the Corsair's main gear) though I'd like to see forward-retracting (Skyhawk-style) for a tricycle-gear set up, simply because you can then use airloads to help assist in deploying them if needed.  The rest sounds good, though they may have graduated to something larger than .303 for the rear guns by then.

Offline Weaver

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2016, 09:46:57 AM »
The backwards-retracting gear is a definite bonus for this role because it sterilises the least amount of wingspan and fuselage width, thus allowing for more weapon pylons. The problem with a tricycle undercarriage on a powerful tractor prop type is that the prop diameter forces the nose gear to be long and heavy. There's a temptation to lighten it as much as possible, which can lead to it collapsing, and it's length also becomes a problem for centreline-mounted weapons, given that the CofG in a piston prop job is relatively far forward.

To get air loads to help with the emergency gear extension, how about this? There's a panel on top of the wing that's hinged at it's back edge and linked to the gear via a cable and pulley system. When the 'emergency deploy' lever is pulled, the front edge of this panel is released, causing the airflow to blow it open and pull the gear down. The panel moves through 180 degrees, so it doesn't end up acting as an airbrake when fully deployed, and since the u/c leg only moves through 90 degrees, this gives the panel some mechanical advantage, assuming that suitably-sized pulleys are used.

Re the .303s, I'm thinking that the higher RoF over a .50 cal would be an advantage in trying to actually hit something, given how inaccurate hand-aimed air-to-air gunnery generally was. One thing it might have different to both the Syraider and Sturmovik wolu d be a twin tail to give the gunner a better field of fire. Not sure how that would play out re prop-wash interactions though.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
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Offline jcf

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2016, 01:53:43 AM »
A ground-attack Spearfish or two-seat Firebrand perhaps.  ;D  :icon_fsm:
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline Weaver

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2016, 02:51:20 AM »
A ground-attack Spearfish or two-seat Firebrand perhaps.  ;D  :icon_fsm:

More like a Firecrest than a Firebrand.  ;)
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"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2016, 03:19:47 AM »
Those all work, though I still think Beaufighters, Typhoons and P-47s (and a few other US sourced platforms such as Vultee Vengeance) would be the main types.  If you wanted a dedicated type and also wanted the tailgunner (also useful for gunship style strafing), one might consider something akin to some of the P.96 proposals:




Depending on which way the requirements went, you might also see such specialised beasts as this:



More details on the latter here
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 03:21:59 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2016, 03:24:37 AM »
Speaking of turreted fighters, what about having the Defiants transferred to the Army and also fitted with some 40mm cannon ala Hurricane IIDs:



Result might be a useful anti-tank/anti-strong point platform that can also do useful strafing.

One might even replace the liquid cooled Merlin engine with an air cooled Hercules ala the Radial Engined Hurricane of Boulton Paul P.85A proposal:


« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 03:29:37 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline Weaver

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2016, 05:43:17 AM »
The Vengeance turned in a good performance during the war that's often overlooked. Vultee had to sub-contract out manufacture to other companies because they were full of work, so you might imagine an AAC version, based on the A-35 version (with 4 deg wing incidence to improve view over the nose), being built in Canada under licence, possibly with a licence-built Hercules engine.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

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Offline jcf

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2016, 09:55:29 AM »
A ground-attack Spearfish or two-seat Firebrand perhaps.  ;D  :icon_fsm:

More like a Firecrest than a Firebrand.  ;)
;D Just need to figure out an important operational reason to retain the funky wingfold.  ;D
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline Weaver

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2016, 10:00:30 AM »
A ground-attack Spearfish or two-seat Firebrand perhaps.  ;D  :icon_fsm:

More like a Firecrest than a Firebrand.  ;)
;D Just need to figure out an important operational reason to retain the funky wingfold.  ;D

Transporting it by road from one improvised operating site to another?  ;)
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #47 on: May 02, 2016, 11:18:50 AM »
Having read further in the Whirlwind book, it appears that the RAF were very concerned about having an antitank capability, which initially was the Whirlwind until Typhoons and Beaufighters came on line.  This was due to the cannon armament with 20mm considered, probably quite reasonably at the time, an effective anti armour weapon.

Following this logic if army aviation was to have had the antitank/anti armour role, then they would also have had dibs on the Whirlwind and Typhoon/Tornado then, once night fighter requirements had been met, Beaufighters.  As assigning Beaufighters to the Army would have been to the detriment of Coastal Command, maybe they could have had earlier access to Mosquito instead freeing up Beaus for the Army?


Offline Weaver

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2016, 12:02:33 PM »
I've often speculated upon the utility of a radial-engined equivalent to the Whirlwind for the ground-attack/fighter-bomber/dive-bomber role. It might very well end up looking something like a Mercury-engined version of the Italian IMAM Ro.57:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMAM_Ro.57




I've always though that this was a damn good looking aircraft, and it's history curiously parallels that of the Whirlwind: nothing really wrong with it, but only produced in small numbers due to a lack of backing and/or uncertainty about it's role.

And yes, that's a kit instruction picture: Special Hobby did it in 1/72nd and 1/48th, though I think it's OOP at the moment.  :-*
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 12:05:28 PM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
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Online elmayerle

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Re: British Army Aviation is split from the RAF in 1939
« Reply #49 on: May 02, 2016, 12:17:17 PM »
Kits in both scales are available on eBay for those with the cash (been considering it with the idea of crossing it with a Ro,58 engine installation, or something equivalent, like a Bf110 engine installation, for a high-performance single-seat heavy fighter).  But, yes, with suitable engines (Mercury or Hercules), it could be quite a potent aircraft.