POWER PLANT: One Focke-Wulf T.1 radial turbojet engine, rated at 600 kp
PERFORMANCE: 515 mph at 29.530 ft
COMMENT: The Focke-Wulf 190TL was one of the earliest jet projects of the Focke-Wulf Company. First design studies began in 1941 on the basis of a standard Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter then in production. The original BMW 803 radial piston engine was replaced by a Focke-Wulf T. 1 turbojet engine. This comprised a two-stage radial compressor, an annular combustion chamber and a single-stage turbine. The exhaust passed through an annular outlet streaming around the surface of the fuselage. Further work on this project was cancelled in 1942.
POWER PLANT: One Allison V-1710-117 liquid-cooled engine, rated at 1,800 hp
PERFORMANCE: 410 mph at 25,000 ft
COMMENT: Two war surplus Bell P-63C Kingcobra fighter aircraft were modified by Bell under Navy contract for flight testing of low-speed and stall characteristics of high-speed wing designs. The aircraft received new wings with adjustable leading edge slats, trailing edge flaps and a pronounced sweep of 35 degrees. The wings had no wheel wells; only the nose gear was retractable. L-39-1 first flew 23 April 1946, demonstrating a need for extra tail surface and rear fuselage length to balance the aircraft in flight—the wing repositioning reduced empennage effectiveness and moved the center of lift aft. A lighter three-bladed propeller from a Bell P-38Q-10 was mounted and the necessary changes to the empennage were made. L-39-2 incorporated these adjustments from the start. L-39-1 later went to NACA at Langley for wind tunnel testing, where much valuable data were gathered. Bell L-39-2 also served as a testbed for the Bell X-2 40-degree wing design (Ref.: 24).
POWER PLANT: Two Pratt & Whitney “Twin Wasp” radial engines, rated at 1,200 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 246 mph
COMMENT: The Lockheed “Hudson” was an American-built light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft built initially for the British Royal Air Force shortly before the outbreak of WW II and primarily operated by the RAF thereafter. The “Hudson” served throughout the war, mainly with Coastal Command but also in transport and training roles as well as delivering agents into occupied France. They were also used extensively with the Royal Canadian Air Force’s anti-submarine squadrons and by the Royal Australian Air Force.
In late 1937 Lockheed sent a cutaway drawing of the Model 14 to various publications, showing the new aircraft as a civilian aircraft and converted to a light bomber. This attracted the interest of various air forces and in 1938, the British Purchasing Commission sought an American maritime patrol aircraft for the United Kingdom to support the Avro “Anson”. On December 1938, Lockheed demonstrated a modified version of the Lockheed Model 14 “Super Electra” commercial airliner, which swiftly went into production as the “Hudson Mk I”.
A total of 350 Mk I and 20 Mk II “Hudsons” were supplied. These had two fixed Browning machine guns in the nose and two more in the Boulton Paul dorsal turret. The Hudson Mk III added one ventral and two beam machine guns and replaced the 1,100 hp Wright “Cyclone” cylinder radials with 1,200 hp versions (428 produced).
The “Hudson Mk V” (309 produced) and Mk VI (450 produced) were powered by the 1,200 hp Pratt & Whitney “Twin Wasp” 14-cylinder two-row radial. The RAF also obtained 380 Mk IIIA and 30 Mk IV “Hudsons” under the Lend-Lease programme.
By February 1939, RAF “Hudsons” began to be delivered, by the start of WW II in September, 78 “Hudsons” were in service. Due to the United States’ neutrality at that time, early series aircraft were flown to the Canada–US border, landed, and then towed on their wheels over the border into Canada by tractors or horse drawn teams, before then being flown to Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) airfields where they were then dismantled and “cocooned” for transport as deck cargo, by ship to Liverpool. The “Hudsons” were supplied without the Boulton Paul dorsal turret, which was installed on arrival in the United Kingdom.
Although later outclassed by larger bombers, the Lockheed “Hudson” achieved some significant feats during the first half of the war. Skilled and experienced pilots found that the Hudson had an exceptional maneuverability for a twin-engined aircraft, especially a tight turning circle if either engine was briefly feathered (Ref. 24).
POWER PLANT: Two Bristol “Mercury” XXX radial engines, rated at 920 hp
PERFORMANCE: 266 mph at 11,800 ft
COMMENT: In 1940, a new specification, Spec B. 6/40, was issued by the U.K. Air Ministry to redesign the Bristol “Blenheim” Mk. IV. The major changes included the replacement of the “Mercury” XV engines with the uprated “Mercury” XXX engines, a re-designed nose area, extra armor and a new oxygen system. On February 1941, two prototypes were ready for flight at the Bristol factory. One prototype was a three-seat, high-altitude day bomber. This version had a semi-glazed, asymmetrical nose with a rear-facing blister housing two machine guns. The second prototype was a two-seater close-support aircraft, with solid nose containing four more Browning machine guns, initially known as Bristol “Bisley” (after shooting competitions held at Bisley). This latter variant was not required, probably due to the advent of the single-seater close-support fighters then under development such as the Hawker “Typhoon”. A major improvement of the “Blenheim” Mk. V over its earlier predecessors was the new Bristol B. X. upper gun turret, which was fitted with two machine guns. This turret was capable of high-speed traverse and continuous rotation in either direction. The day bomber type went into production and, by June 1943, a total of 940 aircraft had been produced for the RAF. Manufacture of the “Blenheim” Mk. V was undertaken by the firm of Rootes Security Ltd, at their “shadow” factory at Blythe Bridges, Staffordshire. Although the “Blenheim” Mk. V served in North Africa and the Far East until 1943, its lack of success resulted in many aircraft converted to dual-control and being used as trainers and target tugs (Ref.: MPM).
POWER PLANT: One Hitachi Hatsukaze Ha-47 inline piston engine, rated at 110 hp
PERFORMANCE: 122 mph
COMMENT: The Tokyo Koku Ki-107 was a Japanese military training aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. The Ki-107 was a wooden-built low-wing two-seat monoplane with an open cockpit. Powered by a Hitachi Hatsukaze Ha-47 (Ha-11) inline piston engine it first flew in October 1943.The Japanese Army had ordered 450 as primary trainers as replacement for the Kokusai Ki-86 (a license built German Bücker Bü 131 that used the same Ha-47 engine), but production was held up by air raids and only 29 had been delivered by the end of the war (Ref.: 24).
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