Category Archives: Projects

Projects

Folland Fo.117 (Unicraft Models, Resin)

TYPE: Fighter, Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Bristol Centaurus XII radial engine, rated at 2,500 hp

PERFORMANCE: 468 mph at 20,000 ft

COMMENT: In the middle war years it was realized that the current fighter like the Hawker Typhoon were in many respects a bit too large to meet the current requirement for single-seat fighters. Consequently, in September 1942 Specification F.6/42 was issued for a smaller and lighter fighter, the document stating an armament of four 20mm cannon and a speed of 450 mph at 20,000 ft, and this aircraft was to be superior in climb, speed and maneuverability to any fighter that might be developed out of Germany’s superb Focke-Wulf Fw 190. Proposals were forthcoming from Airspeed, Boulton Paul, Folland, Hawker, Supermarine, Vickers and Westland and those from Folland and Hawker were favored, the latter eventually being covered by the new Specification F.2/42 and flown as Hawker Fury.
Follands Fo.117 project generated some attention, particularly its contra-rotating airscrew which was then a new feature in fighter design. The Air Staff had assumed that the reason for having this smaller diameter propeller was to provide a smaller undercarriage and a more compact gun installation, but in fact Folland had used it to raise the wing in relation to the fuselage so that the exhaust and cooling air would be ejected above and below the wing roots, thereby reducing drag. The Fo.117 design was favored by RAE Farnborough but there were doubts about the firm having the ability to develop and manufacture such an advanced aircraft quickly enough.
Follands ability to carry through the project had been thoroughly assessed and it was clear that the company could not do the job by itself, but Folland was prepared to work with another firm. By 29 December several minor changes had been made to the design which had improved the Fo.117’s performance figures and altered the all-up weight to 4,160 kg.
Nevertheless, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) felt that the design had some particularly good qualities, especially in its potential maneuverability. Indeed the Folland and Hawker F.6/42 projects were discussed and compared very closely during January 1943. However, in March the Folland Fo.117 was abandoned, in part because the country’s design capacity was already overloaded and there were worries about squandering precious resources by giving a job like this to a company who would probably not have the aircraft ready in a sufficiently short period of time, Folland being relatively new and inexperienced in a job of fighter design. In addition, despite the Fo.117 offering a potentially better performance, Hawker’s own project would be ready much earlier.
However, later in 1943 the project was revived as Fo.117A, the revised design introducing a laminar flow wing while the 2,500 hp Centaurus XII still had the contra-rotating propeller. Plans were laid down for production aircraft to be produced by English Electric and six prototypes were actually ordered in September 1943 to an updated specification F19/43.However, in the end they were never built and there are no further details available to describe these airplanes and compare them with the original Folland Fo.117.

(Ref.:Tony Buttler: British Experimental Combat Aircraft of World War II, Prototypes, Research Aircraft and Failed Production Designs. Hikoki Publications, Manchester M22 5LH, 2012

Martin-Baker M.B.6 “Sky Ferret” T.Mk. I (AZ-Models)

TYPE: Projected trainer for MB 5

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and Student

POWER PLANT: One Rolls-Royce Griffon 83 liquid-cooled engine, rates at 2,340 hp, driving three-bladed contra-rotating propeller

PERFORMANCE: 460 mph at 20,000 ft (estimated)

COMMENT: There are some speculations concerning the existence of a further development of the British Martin-Baker MB 5. This latter was the ultimate development of a series of prototype fighter aircraft built during the WW II. But neither the MB 5 nor its predecessor Martin-Baker MB 3 ever entered production, despite what test pilots described as excellent performance.
The Martin-Baker MB 6 was designed as a two-seat variant of the MB 5 to be used as night fighter or as a trainer version for the MB 5. All dimensions as well as engine, two three-bladed contra-rotating propellers were similar to the original prototype. A second seat for the instructor was positioned behind the student’s seat and an elongated canopy covered the cockpit.
However, it is uncertain whether the Martin-Baker MB 6 really was designed nor whether the aircraft was named Sky- or Night Ferret.
Although the Martin-Baker MB 5 was considered as a superlative piston-engined fighter, better in many ways than the British Supermarine Spitfire or the US North-American Mustang, no orders for serial production were placed. Possibly, Martin-Baker may have lacked both facilities and sufficient government support to engage in large production numbers. The company’s slow progress with the machine could have been due to a lack of facilities. Instead, the RAF directed their attention towards the incoming turbojet-powered fighters and in fact, some postwar informations hypothesise the existence of a Martin-Baker MB 6 project of a tailless, deltawing configurated and  turbojet-powerded aircraft. No further details are known (Ref.: 24).

Miles M.23 Milefire (Unicraft, Resin)

TYPE: Interceptor fighter. Project.

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Rolls-Royce Griffon liquid cooled engine, rated at 1,600 hp

PERFORMANCE: 470 mph at 15.000 ft

COMMENT: In 1941 a proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Aircraft Production for a high-speed single-seat fighter powered initially by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, and later – when in full production – by a more powerful Rolls-Royce Griffon engine. The aircraft was of wooden construction with the exception of the wing spars, which were of metal. Rather unusual it was fitted with a reverse tricycle undercarriage, the rear unit of which was provided with two positions, giving either a horizontal or a tail down attitude to the fuselage. The main undercarriage was folded inwards into the wings, giving a wide track. In order to reduce the frontal area, the windscreen and canopy were very low. To enable the pilot to have an adequate view for take-off and landing, he could raise his seat, the top of the canopy hinging up to form a windscreen. The wings were of elliptical planform, the root thickness rather high. The wing area was substantially less than on other existing fighter, resulting in a higher wing loading. The M.23 was not ordered, possibly because it was of wooden construction and possibly because the Ministry did not believe that, even with a Rolls-Royce Griffon engine, a speed of 470 mph would be attainable with a 20 percent thick wing (Ref.: Unicraft).

Hawker P.1030 Super Tempest (Unicraft, Resin)

TYPE: Fighter, fighter bomber. Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Rolls-Royce R. 46 supercharged, liquid-cooled engine, rated at 2.500 to 4.000 hp

PERFORMANCE: 508 mph at 25.000 ft

COMMENT: In 1944, in response to F.13/44 specification of the Air Ministry Sydney Camm, chief designer of the Hawker Aircraft Company, started a design, the P.1027, for a slightly enlarged “Tempest” fighter powered by a Rolls-Royce R. 46 engine, which was projected to develop around 2.500 to 4.000 hp. The engine would have driven eight-blade contra-rotating propellers. The radiator was to be moved into a ventral bath under the rear fuselage and wing center section. This design was soon rejected in favour of the P.1030, which featured wing leading edge radiators and larger overall dimensions. Top speed was expected to be app. 508 mph with a rate of climb of 6.400 ft/min and a service ceiling of about 42.000 ft. Both projects were dropped in favour of more promising turbojet engine designs Camm and his team was working on (Hawker P.1048) (Ref.: Unicraft)

Gloster F.18/37 Boosted Fighter (Unicraft, Resin

TYPE: Fighter, interceptor. Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Rolls-Royce Griffon inline engine, rated at 1,730 hp, and one Whittle W.1A turbojet engine, rated at 390 kp

PERORMANCE: No data available

COMMENT: In 1939 the British Air Ministry issued Specification F.18/37 for a heavily armed interceptor. Beside the Bristol Aircraft Company, Gloster Aircraft proposed a design that, a novelty at that time, was to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Griffon piston engine and additionally by the brand new Whittle W.1A turbo engine. At least Hawker Aircraft Company submitted the best design that later became the Hawker Tornado. So in 1940 development of the Gloster Boosted Fighter was cancelled.

Martin-Baker 12 Gun Fighter (Unicraft, Resin)

TYPE: Long-range escort fighter. Project

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: Two Rolls-Royce Merlin III engines, rated at 1,030 hp each

PERFORMANCE: No data available

COMMENT: Prior to WWII, the major world powers knew they needed long-range fighters to escort their bombers deep into enemy territory. To this end, the British aircraft company Martin Baker submitted an innovative design for a tailless, twin-engine fighter armed with 12 heavy machine guns. Its rudder gone to help reduce drag, the plane would use the trailing ends of its engine nacelles for lateral control supplemented with ducted engine exhaust gases as well as propeller induced air stream. Although seriously evaluated by the RAF, the Martin Baker 12 Gun Fighter never made it past the design stage.

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  Hawker “Typhoon” as well as the Supermarine “Spitfire” were used.

Boulton Paul P.99 (Unicraft, Resin)

TYPE: Interceptor, low/medium altitude fighter. Project.

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: One Rolls-Royce “Griffon II” engine, rated at 2,220 hp

PERFORMANCE: 315 m.p.h. at 17,000 ft

COMMENT: The Boulton Paul P.99 was one of several high-performance fighter projects of the Royal Air Force during WW II. The P. 99 was a twin-boom design, the Griffon engine was mounted in the rear driving two contra-rotating pusher propellers. This arrangement allowed the pilot an excellent visibility.

Hawker P.1048 (Unicraft, Resin)

Type: Two Turbojets Single Seat Fighter Project
Competitor to the Gloster Meteor

Supermarine Type 327 “Spito” (Unicraft, Resin)

TYPE: Fighter

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only

POWER PLANT: Two Rolls-Royce Merlin liquid-cooled engines, rated at 1,240 hp each

PERFORMANCE: 450 mph at 15.000 ft

COMMENT: The Supermarine Type 324 and Type 325 were British two-engined fighter designs proposed as the replacement for the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurrican. Neither of them nor a revised design – the Type 327 – to carry cannon was accepted for development and production.
As an aircraft to succeed the Hurricane and Spitfire then entering service, Air Ministry specification F.18/37 required a 400+ mph (at 15,000 ft) fighter with twelve .303 inch machine gun armament.
Hawker Aircraft submitted a single seat, single engine design with two possible engines, the Hawker Typhoon powered by the Rolls-Royce Vulture and the Hawker Typhoon, with Napier Sabre engine.
Gloster submitted two similar twin-boom designs with 12 Browning machine guns in the nose and a pusher Napier Sabre engine as well as an adaptation of their proposal to F.9/37 with nose-mounted armament.
Bristol’s design was one airframe offered with three alternative engines.
In 1938 Supermarine submitted brochures describing the Type 324 (under the company specification No.458) along with the Type 325. Both were compact twin-engine designs – one tractor and one pusher – with either Rolls-Royce Merlin or Bristol Taurus engines.
Hawker’s designs – which Sydney Camm had been working on since April 1937 – were accepted and prototypes of each ordered.
The Type 324 was a low-wing, twin-engined monoplane featuring the elliptical wing shape of the Spitfire, with retractable tricycle undercarriage.
Twin engines were expected to give a maximum speed of 450 mph. In addition, the twin layout gave the usual advantages of torque cancellation, improved pilot view, tricycle landing gear, performance, improved take-off performance and allowed the use of the proven Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.
The structure of the aircraft was Alclad aluminium alloy. The wing was designed in sections, so that alternative engines (Bristol Taurus) or armament could be accommodated. Fowler flaps were fitted for take-off/landing. Spoiler flaps were fitted to improve performance.
A number of armament types were considered. The main was 12 Browning in two packs of six in each wing outer section; these could be removed complete with ammunition to allow rapid rearming and servicing of the weapons.
When the Air Ministry felt progress on the Westland Whirlwind cannon-armed fighter was too slow, they asked for the F.18/37 tenders to be revised with 20mm cannon armament. Supermarine dropped the pusher design and proposed a six-cannon fighter as the Type 327 Spito. The Ministry did not feel its advantages outweighed other considerations, and that the Whirlwind – or the adaption oft he Bristol Beaufort – would enter service before Supermarine’s design could (Ref.: 24).