Author Topic: North American P-45 Cayuse  (Read 1180 times)

Offline Acree

  • That will teach you to frustrate the powers that be...won't it comrade?
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North American P-45 Cayuse
« on: March 25, 2018, 06:40:22 AM »
In September, 1937, the American Assistant Military Attache for Air in London, Lt Col Martin F. Scanlon, was given the opportunity to inspect the Boulton Paul Defiant and Hawker Hotspur projects.  These "turret-fighters" represented a revolutionary change in thinking in the way fighter aircraft might be employed.  Scanlon was impressed by the idea, and sent a glowing report back to Gen Arnold about the concept.  Subsequently, Arnold ordered a design competition for America's own turret fighter. 

This design competition, USAAC Design Competition X-611, was issued in December 1937 and called for a single-engined turret fighter with supercharged engine. Proposals were put forward by Bell, North American, Curtiss, Lockheed, Seversky and Douglas, but only the Bell and North American projects made it to the prototype stage, the Bell Model 17 Airaclipper and the North American NA-42.  The NA-42 was ultimately declared the winner, by which time the prototype had been designated XP-45.  The Army Air Corps wasted no time in ordering 200 P-45As, but by the time deliveries started in earnest, the Boulton Paul Defiant was proving a disappointment in air combat over Europe, and so the order was not repeated.  In the end, only 120 P-45As were delivered. 

The P-45 was radically different from the Defiant that inspired it.  Instead of a conventional aircraft with a turret behind the pilot, the P-45 used a nose-mounted spherical turret developed by the Engineering Research Company (Erco).  The twin .50-inch machine guns poured more weight of fire than the four .303s of the Defiant.  The nose position of the turret required that the engine be moved rearward, which required a twin-boom layout.  The brand new Pratt and Whitney R-2800-5 Double Wasp, developing 1850 hp was selected, along with a four-bladed General Electric propeller. 
Another feature that distinguished the P-45 from the Defiant was the fact that it included fixed, forward-firing armament, in the form of two further .50-inch M2 machine guns.   A highly unique feature was called the "Auto-fire" system.  With the Auto-fire feature selected, the pilot could hold down the trigger, but the wing guns would only fire when the turret was centered.  In this way, the pilot could focus on maneuvering, while the gunner kept his turret aimed at the target - whenever the target was directly in front of the aircraft, the wing guns would fire, adding their firepower to the turret’s.
The P-45, had it been further developed, had the possibility of exceeding the success of the Defiant, but that was not to be.  Most of the P-45s ended up being deployed to the Panama Canal zone, the Aleutians, and the Philippines, where they were either overwhelmed or ignored. 

OK, so, I had this great idea to radically WHIF a model - turns out I created the ugliest airplane I've ever seen.  In the process, I used parts from at least eight different haircraft: AT-6, P-51, PB4Y-2, F-104, A-26, B-26, Blenheim, and N1K2-J (not to mention decals from an OS2U and a P-26!)

P-45 by cacree, on Flickr
P-45 by cacree, on Flickr
P-45 by cacree, on Flickr
P-45 by cacree, on Flickr
P-45 by cacree, on Flickr
P-45 by cacree, on Flickr
P-45 by cacree, on Flickr
P-45 by cacree, on Flickr
P-45 by cacree, on Flickr
Hope you enjoy it!

Chuck   
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 01:05:44 PM by Acree »

Offline ed s

  • An outstanding, creative builder.
Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2018, 07:42:56 AM »
Brilliant. Very creative and original. And ugly too.

Ed

Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
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Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2018, 08:19:16 AM »
That is a great idea  :smiley:

Offline elmayerle

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Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2018, 12:29:11 PM »
Very original and creative concept and quite well built model.  I will agree that it qualifies as less than fully aesthetically pleasing, but not as bad as some out there.

Offline Alvis 3.1

  • Self acknowledged "Bad Influence"…but probably less attractive than Pink
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Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2018, 01:31:51 PM »
That is amazingly hideous.


I LOVE IT!!!!!

Plus you killed a host of kits to create it!

Genius!

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
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Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2018, 01:40:49 PM »
What a beast! ;D
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Tophe

  • He sees things in double...
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    • my models
Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2018, 04:48:40 PM »
Great twin-boomer! :-*
With these roundels, could it be a warbird of 1939? ???

Offline finsrin

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Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2018, 04:59:08 PM »
Wonderfully creative and funky cool. 8)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2018, 06:03:47 PM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2018, 08:57:53 PM »
That's phenomenal, Acree! I really like the contrast between the somewhat more modern look of the nose turret and the antiquated appearance of the rest of the aircraft. Using those "star-and-meatball" markings was inspired icing on the cake!

You have incredible vision in coming up with this concept and mad skills for being able to bring it to life!

Magnificent!

Brian da Basher

Offline Acree

  • That will teach you to frustrate the powers that be...won't it comrade?
  • Sentenced to time in the BTS Gulag...
Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2018, 12:43:27 AM »
Thank you, gents!  I appreciate the kind comments.

Tophe: the markings harken from early 1942 - after the US Army removed the red/white rudder stripes, but before the red center of the star was removed later that year. 

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2018, 06:39:30 AM »
Man, I wish I'd thought of that! Powerfully Goofy, and beautifully executed.

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2018, 09:20:03 AM »
Interesting and well done! 

Offline Tophe

  • He sees things in double...
  • twin-boom & asymmetric fan
    • my models
Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2018, 11:41:46 AM »
Tophe: the markings harken from early 1942 - after the US Army removed the red/white rudder stripes, but before the red center of the star was removed later that year.
Thanks for this historical explanation. So I have included your marvel in my collection of twin-boomers 1939-45 (at http://www.kristofmeunier.fr/twin_boom_whatif_1939_45B.htm ).
I may add a derivative today, thanks to your great view from above. I may try to Photopaint it into a twin-pod push-pull, I will try yes.

Offline Tophe

  • He sees things in double...
  • twin-boom & asymmetric fan
    • my models
Re: North American P-45 Cayuse
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2018, 12:12:32 PM »
The P-45Z was easy to "build", thanks, but the push-pull version may be more complicated now...