Category Archives: Fighterbomber

Fighterbomber

Hawker “Fury (Centaurus)” (Frog)

TYPE: Interceptor fighter, fighter bomber

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Bristol Centaurus XV radial engine, rated at 2,400 hp

PERFORMANCE: 455 mph at 24,000 ft

COMMENT: The fortuitous presentation of a Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 to the RAF in 1942 had profound influence on fighter-design thinking in the U.K. The authorities were surprised by the maneuverability, speed, and handling characteristics of this light-weight fighter. Thus, specification F.6/42 was released and Hawker Aviation offered a design called “Tempest Light Fighter (Centaurus)”. Earlier in 1941 the Hawker design team already had several projects as follower of the Hawker “Tempest”, a Sabre IV-powered P.1018, the Griffon 61-powered P 1019, and the Centaurus IV-powered P.1020. But all these remained in a project status. Early 1943 it was decided to combine the new specification F.2/43 for a land-based fighter and N.7/43 for a naval interceptor. Thus the responsibility for the development and construction of the land-based fighter (“Fury”) was taken by Hawker and Boulton-Paul accepting the task of adapting the aircraft for shipboard operations (“Sea Fury”). By December 1943 six prototypes had been ordered, two of these being powered by the Griffon, two by the Centaurus XXII, one by the Centaurus XII, the remaining prototype being a test structure. In April 1944 orders were placed for 200 F2/43 fighters for the R.A.F. and 200 fighters for the Royal Navy. The first flight of the Centaurus-powered prototype flew on September 1944, the second on November that year with the Griffon 85 engine, driving three-blade contra-rotating propellers. However, the third Fury prototype flew on July 1945 with the Centaurus XV engine. With the termination of the hostilities, the R.A.F. by now committed to a jet programme, cancelled all production contracts except a small number of “Sea Fury’s” for other foreign Allied Air Forces. (Ref.: 12).

Bristol Beaufighter T.F. Mk.X, 254th Squadron, Coastal Command (Hasegawa)

TYPE: Fighter, Fighter.bomber, Torpedo-bomber

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two

POWER PLANT: Two Bristol Hercules XVII, rated at  1,725 hp

PERFORMANCE: 305 mph at sea level, 320 mph at 10,000 ft

COMMENT: The Bristol Beaufighter T.F.Mk.X was an extremely successful fighter-bomber, both in service in Europe as well as in the Pacific area. The Japanese called it “Whispering death”. The suffix “T” stands for torpedo but nevertheless the aircraft was used for all combat duties. Its successor after WW II became the Bristol Brigand.

Bristol Beaufighter T.F.Mk.X, 236th Squadron, Coastal Command (Matchbox)

TYPE: Fighter-bomber, Anti-shipping attack aircraft

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two

POWER PLANT: Two Bristol Hercules XVII, rated at 1,735 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 320 mph at 10,000 ft

COMMENT: The Bristol Beaufighter  T.F.Mk.X was the final major production variant and was mainly used as an anti-shipping attack aircraft. There were several important modifications introduced, in particular the A.I.Mk.VIII radar in a “timble” nose and a large dorsal fin for better longitudinal stability when flying with torpedoes. Among the total production of 5,562 Beaufighters been built 2,231 were T.F.Mk.X.

Boulton Paul P.100 (Unicraft, Resin)

TYPE: Ground attack aircraft. Project.

 

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Rolls Royce “Griffon II”, rated at 1,760 h.p., driving contra-rotating three-bladed propellers

PERFORMANCE: 335 m.p.h. at 17,000 ft

COMMENT: In 1942 the Air Ministry’s Specification F. 6/42   called for a highly maneuverable, single seat, low attack aircraft and the P.100 was one of several designs submitted by Boulton Paul. The P.100 was one of the most advanced and unorthodox projects the aircraft industry responded with at that time. It had a canard – pusher layout to give the pilot the best possible view. The project was never realized. Instead, for ground fighting roles the  Hawker “Hurricane” and “Typhoon” as well as the Supermarine “Spitfire” were used.

Bristol Beaufighter Mk.X, 455th Squadron, RAAF (Hasegawa)

TYPE: Long-range fighter, Fighter bomber

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two

POWER PLANT: Two Bristol Hercules Mk XVII, rated at 1,700 hp

PERFORMANCE: 315 mph at 10,000 ft

COMMENT: The success of the Bristol Beaufighter was based on a variety of roles the aircrafts were used for: Long-range fighter, night fighter, strike aircraft, and torpedo bomber. Production ended in 1945 after 5.564 Beaufighters had been built.

de Havilland “Mosquito” B. Mk.IV, 109 SQN (Matchbox)

TYPE: Medium-altitude tactical bomber

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and bombardier/navigator

POWER PLANT: Two Rolls-Royce “Merlin” 76/77 liquid-cooled engine, rated at 1,710 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 361 mph at 28,000 ft

COMMENT: The de Havilland DH.98 “Mosquito” was a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew during WW II. It was one of few operational front-line aircraft of the era constructed almost entirely of wood and was nicknamed “The Wooden Wonder”. Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, the “Mosquito” was adapted to roles including low to medium-altitude daytime tactical bomber, high-altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike aircraft, and fast photo-reconnaissance aircraft.
When “Mosquito” production began in 1941, it was one of the fastest operational aircraft in the world. Entering widespread service in 1942, the “Mosquito” flew high-speed, medium or low-altitude missions against factories, railways and other pinpoint targets in Germany and German-occupied Europe. From late 1943, “Mosquito” bombers were formed into the Light Night Strike Force and used as pathfinders for RAF Bomber Command heavy-bomber raids. They were also used as “nuisance” bombers, often dropping “Blockbuster” bombs – “cookies” – in high-altitude, high-speed raids that German night fighters were almost powerless to intercept.
On 21 June 1941 the Air Ministry ordered that the last 10 “Mosquitoes”, ordered as photo-reconnaissance aircraft, should be converted to bombers. These 10 aircraft were part of the original 1 March 1940 production order and became the B Mk IV Series 1. The prototype flew for the first time on 8 September 1941.
The bomber prototype led to the B Mk IV, of which 273 were built: apart from the 10 Series 1s, all of the rest were built as Series 2s with extended nacelles, revised exhaust manifolds, with integrated flame dampers, and larger tail planes. Series 2 bombers also differed from the Series 1 in having a larger bomb bay to increase the payload to four 230 kg bombs. This was made possible by shortening the tail of the 230 kg bomb so that these four larger weapons could be carried. The B Mk IV entered service in May 1942.
In April 1943 it was decided to convert a B Mk IV to carry a 1,800 kg “Blockbuster” bomb (nicknamed “Cookie”). The conversion, including modified bomb bay suspension arrangements, bulged bomb bay doors and fairings, was relatively straightforward and 54 B.IVs were modified and distributed to squadrons of the Light Night Striking Force. 27 B Mk IVs were later converted for special operations with the “Highball” anti-shipping weapon
Total “Mosquito” production in all variants during WW II was 6,710 aircraft. Because the aircraft were made entirely from wood mainly furniture companies were involved in production. Fuselage shells, wing spars, special wood veneers, many of the other parts, including flaps, flap shrouds, fins, leading edge assemblies and bomb doors were also produced in High Wycombe, which was well suited to these tasks because it had a well-established furniture manufacturing industry (Ref.: 24).