AHC: Peerless Air Ministry

We're coming up to the huge assaults of OTL's 15th of September which was the climax of the battle and the Germans are doing their massed wave assaults already with heavy casualties but heavy losses amongst the defenders too. But both sides are pretty much punch drunk, the Germans are loosing more aircraft and suffering higher casualties. Espeically with the 20mm cannons on RAF fighters being far more prevailent, as well as a far better night fighter system.

Excellent stuff as always, tons of detail without being a boring read, and I can't wait to see the MB-4 ,although I doubt the Germans will be so happy. How's its performance compare to aircraft at the time? I assume its basically going to be an earlier kind of Typhoon (but without the Tiffy being better at a low altitude/ground attack aircraft, the MB-NAME TBD is a high altitude interceptor.) And would suppliment and replace the Hurricane as the Typhoon was meant to do OTL but due to all its issues it never really did.
 
Question - the bisley - is that the OTL Blenheim armoured ground attack variant - is it still armed with rcmg x 4 or have you upgunned it
 
Only
Malcolm hoods are coming, do not worry and thanks for the links, always useful and appreciated. I am still trying to confirm the OTL date that Malcolm first produced the bulged/bubbled hood.
Only the prototype Spitfire had a straight “birdcage” canopy. All the production Spitfires had Malcolm hoods, with later marks having full-blown bubble canopies.
Malcolm hoods were also fitted to Fairey Battle and Handley-Page Hampden bombers ear
Malcolm hoods are coming, do not worry and thanks for the links, always useful and appreciated. I am still trying to confirm the OTL date that Malcolm first produced the bulged/bubbled hood.
OTL Only the Spitfire prototype (1936) had a straight “birdcage” canopy.
By 1938, all production Spitfire Mark I had Malcolm hoods.
Malcolm hoods were also fitted to Fairey Battle and Handley-Page Hampden bombers that fought in the Battle of France (1940).
 
As I have said to others. some times you do not see the wood for the trees, Of course production Spitfires had Malcolm bubble hoods, what they did not have was the teardrop canopy of later designs. They still had the dorsal ridge that ran from the tail to the back of the canopy! How soon British aircraft can be fitted with Teardrop canopies is the question. Has anyone evidence as to the earliest example OTL,? Please.
 
thank you that was the very reference I was looking for! My Bad, confusion between the Malcolm bubbled hood and the teardrop. Using Miles M2. as a design example gives the PAM and opportunity to evaluate the teardrop canopy and instigate it's integration into the next generation of fighters. As I have said an update on aircraft is bubbling away in what passes for my brain and hopefully will find it's way to paper soon.
ITTL the Bristol Bissely is a night fighter variant of the Blenheim MkV aerodynamical clean with no belly pack for the guns but a solid nose containing up to six 303 calibre MGs. the Hisspano was in to short a supply for this interim design. Priority going to the Reapers and Beufighters after the Spitfire, Hurricane and Defiant had taken the lion share of production.
 

Errolwi

Monthly Donor
In the warbird world, the teardrop canopy Spitfires are known as low back, and the older style high back. Some Marks were produced in both styles, and individual airframes can be converted between them. One re-flown this week (in Australia) was converted to high back some years ago.
 
Once again, the responses on this forum show why I like it so much. thanks to all who post on this times line, for me personally this what writing a timeline is all about.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
One small (local) nitpick - the error could be Wood & Dempster's or spellchecker - but the suburb should be Purley, not Purely. Coulsdon & Purley was one of the most heavily bombed borough during the War.
 
Dear Erika I,
While it may be possible to rebuild a low back Spitfire as a high back, it is a complex job requiring drilling out a thousand rivets, jigs, , etc. Then you need to fabricate a dozen new bulkheads, skins, longerons, etc. The conversion is almost as complex as building an entirely new aft fuselage.

Converting a Spitfire is even more complex than converting a low-back, WW2-vintage C-458 to a high-back, post-War Beechcraft 18H.

Those sorts of conversions are only done on multi-million dollar warbirds.
 
Dear Erika I,
While it may be possible to rebuild a low back Spitfire as a high back, it is a complex job requiring drilling out a thousand rivets, jigs, , etc. Then you need to fabricate a dozen new bulkheads, skins, longerons, etc. The conversion is almost as complex as building an entirely new aft fuselage.

Converting a Spitfire is even more complex than converting a low-back, WW2-vintage C-458 to a high-back, post-War Beechcraft 18H.

Those sorts of conversions are only done on multi-million dollar warbirds.
Not sure it's always quite that hard to improve a cockpit to give a pilot visibility

later in OTL WW2, early model US built F-4U Corsairs with a "cage" hood and "low" pilot seat

1579559093831.png


were much improved in British service by simply adding a bulged cockpit (similar to a malcolm hood)
and a raised seat position (with extra armour to the seat back)

So improved that the USN overcame it's usual "not invented here" and insisted that the changes were built into production models.

1579559179765.png


culminating in a "fully blown" perspex hood (though AFAIK never a full "bubble" design)
 
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Errolwi

Monthly Donor
Dear Erika I,
While it may be possible to rebuild a low back Spitfire as a high back, it is a complex job requiring drilling out a thousand rivets, jigs, , etc. Then you need to fabricate a dozen new bulkheads, skins, longerons, etc. The conversion is almost as complex as building an entirely new aft fuselage.

Converting a Spitfire is even more complex than converting a low-back, WW2-vintage C-458 to a high-back, post-War Beechcraft 18H.

Those sorts of conversions are only done on multi-million dollar warbirds.
Yes, I realised afterwards that I should have been clear that for a Spitfire it's defiantly a modern conversion in the context of a multi-million dollar item, not something you would do in wartime outside of prototyping. You wouldn't even do it you had a badly damaged example that needed to be rebuilt.

A ref on the Malcolm Hood modification on Mustangs

By the way, you can make a P-40 warbird into a two-seater by removing the fuel tank behind the pilot and adding controls etc. If you replace the first-gen self-sealing wing fuel tanks with fibreglass, you have about the same range. Once you swap the original rear cockpit paneling back in place , you can't tell it's been done when it is on the flightline. Making a Spitfire into a two-seater is a major hack job. It's less of a hack job for a Hurricane.
 
I an going to have to do a bit of a rewrite, as I just looked at the MB2 design again and realised that it had a low-back design with a segmented teardrop canopy. Where As OTL the later MB3 had a high-back fuselage with a comformative canopy. At this time my research has found no reason for this. Also OTL by the time the MB3 flew the advantages of the Malcolm hood as used on the Spitfire would to me seem to have been obvious, so why was it not used on the MB.3? I see some interesting PAM reasoning and changes hatching here
 
I an going to have to do a bit of a rewrite, as I just looked at the MB2 design again and realised that it had a low-back design with a segmented teardrop canopy. Where As OTL the later MB3 had a high-back fuselage with a comformative canopy. At this time my research has found no reason for this. Also OTL by the time the MB3 flew the advantages of the Malcolm hood as used on the Spitfire would to me seem to have been obvious, so why was it not used on the MB.3? I see some interesting PAM reasoning and changes hatching here
Martin Baker were a bit careful about rear fuselage area following the MB2 and the high back helps keep this up.
 
Considering his lack of production success the MB series are stunning aircraft both in performance and design. If only he had been given a little more time, or gone onto design some Jet fighters.
 
Considering his lack of production success the MB series are stunning aircraft both in performance and design. If only he had been given a little more time, or gone onto design some Jet fighters.
Martin-Baker actually did some Jet Fighter designs in the end I think.
 
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