AHC: Peerless Air Ministry

The Tornado will fill that role and anyway the Typhoon didn't do anything the Hurribomber couldn't have.
Typhoon went 80mph fast than the Hurribomber and with a bigger weapons load, there was a significant capability gap. Tornado is a worthy replacement for the Typhoon and will I'm sure provide a very similar capability, but it's still a shame.
 
The Westland Lysander was basically killed off when the Henley got selected as a close support aircraft, Losses in France and the need for Hurricanes stopped Henley production in June 1940. The Poles have demonstrated that the Hurribomber works and Army co-operation Squadrons have been tagged to convert to these as soon as is practical. The Army are looking for a suitable dedicated artillery spotter aircraft to replace the Lysander.
The Tornado will do all the Typhoon could do and a bit more beside.
 
I may have missed something, but with the Beaufort cancelled/discontinued, is the plan to use the Beaufighter as a land-based torpedo-bomber, or will it be the naval-strike variant of the Hampden?

And what did Bomber Command have to say about discontinuing the light bombers and transferring the close air support role to other commands? I know it's not strategic bombing (and thus almost beneath Bomber Command's notice) but no Command likes losing squadrons.
 

perfectgeneral

Donor
Monthly Donor
Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle, initial production to commence first quarter 1941, Training and transport version to take priority.
A wide body version to carry 20 troops (two rows of folding bench side seating with exit/load doors either side)? Should be less than the 2000Kg payload.

Armstrong_Whitworth_Albemarle_Transport.png
Lower dorsal turret for Halifax:
Handley_Page_Halifax_Lower_Dorsal_turret.png
Vickers Warwick with 1250sqft wing area, 117ft span and underwing engine/wheel pods with tractor and pusher Merlins? Something more like the Windsor only a bit faster because of the lower front profile. It is also more manoeuvrable (turn and roll) as the weight and thrust are closer to the CoG and centreline.
vickers_windsor.jpg
 
Last edited:
A wide body version to carry 20 troops (two rows of folding bench side seating with exit/load doors either side)? Should be less than the 2000Kg payload.
Is a Super Ensign with Hercules engines feasible?

IOTL AW built Lancasters. Could it have built Yorks instead of the Albermarle? They might have to have Hercules engines instead of the Merlin, but IOTL Armstrong-Whitworth did build the 300 Lancaster Mk IIs that had Hercules engines.
 
Great update, I assume the Tornado is going to be a mix of the OTL design with a different engine, offering superior performance over the Hurricane right?
 

perfectgeneral

Donor
Monthly Donor
Is a Super Ensign with Hercules engines feasible?

IOTL AW built Lancasters. Could it have built Yorks instead of the Albermarle? They might have to have Hercules engines instead of the Merlin, but IOTL Armstrong-Whitworth did build the 300 Lancaster Mk IIs that had Hercules engines.
I just thought that given the only difference is a greater priority on transport, the cargo/pax volume should increase. Peerless ministry without a crystal ball. Yet looking at the Ensign, I can't see why a military transport version couldn't happen. Not the best, even with the Cyclone engines of the MkII. It is all up to @sonofpegasus I'm just pitching ideas too. The Lancaster (and York) come a little later I think.
 
Last edited:
I do not wish to run too far ahead, But the early Albermarles will be basically stripped out bombers (good as glider tugs and training aircraft) The Mark II if built (probably with a different name) would have a wider fuselage two rear doors and even possible a small ramp. visually it would look in profile like an Albamarle with the cockpit moved forward over the nose wheel and the hi line of the fuselage continued aft from where the dorsal gun turret was and the tail raised to this new line. The weight of the new cockpit is counter balanced by the extended rear roofline, overall weight gain is somewhat mitigated by the removal of the gun turret and the rear guns. Think of it as a mini Caribou.
A transport Envoy would be created by stripping out all the separate cabins and their fittings and replacing them with a single cabin floor conforming to the fuselage shape, adding twin rear doors aft for rapid troop drops.
There will be a future update detailing my ideas for Transport Command.
 
Flight Refuelling Ltd did a lot of work on air to air refuelling pre war and Imperial Airways were beginning to use the looped hose method in 1939. If anything WWII delayed the development of air to air refuelling.
 
I do not wish to run too far ahead, But the early Albermarles will be basically stripped out bombers (good as glider tugs and training aircraft) The Mark II if built (probably with a different name) would have a wider fuselage two rear doors and even possible a small ramp. visually it would look in profile like an Albamarle with the cockpit moved forward over the nose wheel and the hi line of the fuselage continued aft from where the dorsal gun turret was and the tail raised to this new line. The weight of the new cockpit is counter balanced by the extended rear roofline, overall weight gain is somewhat mitigated by the removal of the gun turret and the rear guns. Think of it as a mini Caribou.
A transport Envoy would be created by stripping out all the separate cabins and their fittings and replacing them with a single cabin floor conforming to the fuselage shape, adding twin rear doors aft for rapid troop drops.
There will be a future update detailing my ideas for Transport Command.
APOD had this to say on a dedicated transport Albemale

The A-W Albemarle has no place as a combat aircraft, yet it was produced with little impact on wider aircraft production by design, making few demands on strategic resources or manufacturing capacity and maximum use of alternatives. As far as we can tell the OTL Albemarle was roughly comparable in weight and performance to the DC-3, its superior performance and heavier empty weight reflecting the fact that it was a bomber with full military equipment. Although Shane's really only saying there's enough meat in an Albemarle to build something the size of a DC-3, he don't mean to imply a steel tube and plywood 'scrap-bin special' is going to compare as a load carrier in terms of payload miles.

Comment by Mark: This is not necessarily so. It will most likely be less efficient in ton mile terms, but will be able to carry outsized bulky items up to 8'10" wide and 7'6" tall, and up to 28' long (and later of slightly larger dimensions). All by itself, this is a brand new capability. We also need to recall that such an aircraft with a ramp had long been called for in the PNG gold fields and in the mining industry in India.

Albemarle could be transformed into a transport, say by the substitution of a new fuselage (that is a good option). Rather that a mostly 'new' aircraft designed in the wake of the cancelled OTL Albemarle and of a similar size/production cost might be an attractive proposition for the RAF circa 1940-42. On a pair of Hercules it would be volume limited not weight limited, with a surplus of power for tight fields, Hot/High work or glider towing. It might also be a very convenient aircraft to use a tail ramp. Now, that sounds like hindsight, but it was used on several contemporary German designs, there was a strong demand for such an aircraft in the mining industry and even without one the floor would still be level and at a more convenient height. Twin Pegasus's would be a minimalist alternative, but might still produce a viable aircraft or NOT, dud's have their place in the greater scheme of things too.

Mark notes that the Avro team were developing the York from 1940 on a spare capacity basis. It was never a 'converted Lancaster', it was always a design in its own right, and not a bad one. This example offers a good path for a twin Centaurus/four engined heavy tactical and low-end strategic transport and for Albemarle and Navigator. What has happened in FFO is that the OTL agreement that the UK would not produce transports is a dead duck from POD.

Mark also notes that a flat floor, high wing 'Navigator' is NOT unrealistic. There was a longstanding and widespread demand across the Empire for exactly this sort of machine to move mining equipment, not least at the Wau goldfields.

The basic elements of the Albemarle OTL design allowed for rapid design of a transport aircraft. The wings essentially remained the same on the transport (using the York example), with the nacelles being lengthened to provide stowage for a longer undercarriage. The wings were then raised to the top of a new, boxy fuselage bearing a functional resemblance in cross section to that of the York. This retained a front end generally similar to the original Albemarle, which saved design time and placed both the crew and their accommodation forward. A small galley was placed in the nose for the four man crew (pilot, co-pilot/navigator, aircraft engineer/radio operator, and load master). Aft of where the leading edge met the upper fuselage, however, things would be completely different. The boxy fuselage was 10' wide internally with a height of 9' internally, this section being 31' long before starting to taper in width. Exploiting the original type of high-mounted twin tail, the aft fuselage was fitted with a tapered ramp which could be lowered to the ground. An arrangement is then possible that the ramp, when lowered, brought down with it a tapered wedge of the fuselage sides. When lowered, these two side pieces were then themselves folded outward, giving the ramp a uniform width of 9'. However, a disadvantage of the design was that no object higher than 7'6" could be brought up the ramp without jacking the aircraft up. Later addition of a hydraulic system which allowed the Albemarle to lift its tail by lowering the nose solved this problem. There were also two side doors just under the aft of the wing. This is a flying cargo truck. It would also be useful as a personnel transport, air navigation trainer and aerial ambulance. The Albemarle transport could be fitted as a glider tug.

The second outgrowth of the Albemarle could be Shane's far more elegant Navigator. This would not be a flying truck at all, but an airliner style personnel transport. Again, the general nature of the original Albemarle wings and tail might be retained but that is not essential as Navigator, like Albemarle transport, would not use strategic materials in any quantity.
 
Top