ALT Long range fighters for 1937-1941

I don't recall any mention of very long range fighters here. Its correct types like the Me110 were VLR by the standards of 1938, or the P38 in 1941. But what about airframe, engine, fuel, configurations to get the range of a P51 circa 1939? If not that then with twin engined airframes?

On a simpler level is there any practical reason to exclude drop tanks by 1938?

Guess we have a dedicated thread :)

The alternative long range fighters for the specified time frame, on the technology of the day. All aircraft-producing countries can compete, A/C can be with 1 or 2 engines; one or more crew members.
 
Guess we have a dedicated thread :)

The alternative long range fighters for the specified time frame, on the technology of the day. All aircraft-producing countries can compete, A/C can be with 1 or 2 engines; one or more crew members.
A land based Fairey Fulmar (lower weight without navalisation would improve performance a bit). It would be OK at the beginning of the period. Maybe the high ammo load could be reduced a bit to further aid performance but then again not running out matters a bit more on a longer trip.
 
For 1937, the Skua with more guns, one pilot no crew, also no wing folding with some aerodynamic cleaning up. Might be marginal by 1940 but better than Gloster Gladiators.
Turretless Defiant with eight wing guns and more fuel.
 
How about Bristol develops a dedicated fighter version of the Blenheim at the same time as the light bomber (First flight 1935). Note I don't mean the somewhat crude conversions of the Mk I and Mk IV but a pure fighter with more powerful engines, no top turret and a solid nose packed with MG's and later cannon.
 
One of the problems was no one WANTED a long range fighter at that point.
"The bomber will always get through" and 'that would make the plane slower and less nimble - we need the best fighter possible'

My best guess would be naval aviation realizing the further away they can strike enemy forces, the better.
 
Potez 670 had a fairly long range for introduction planned in 1941. However it might be possible to replicate this earlier with a Potez 63-type aircraft with twin HS12X/12Y engines and modded fuselage to achieve the same or greater range.

I reckon a British design with twin Kestrels or eventually twin Merlins could do this too, something bigger than the Westland Whirlwind. A streamlined tandem cockpit Bleinheim would be a good solution indeed.
 
One of the problems was no one WANTED a long range fighter at that point.
"The bomber will always get through" and 'that would make the plane slower and less nimble - we need the best fighter possible'

My best guess would be naval aviation realizing the further away they can strike enemy forces, the better.
My other guess would be a British decision to to build fighters that could deploy themselves without transport ships or a net of airbase cross Africa for deployment purposes. Then once you get a long ferry range you start to think about long operating range.
 
. A streamlined tandem cockpit Bleinheim would be a good solution indeed.
Bristol sold a lot of Blenheims overseas so they could conceivably market a fighter version overseas and then in the build up to war the Air Ministry has an ah ha moment. (Which is what led to the otl lacklustre Blenheim IF conversion)
 
One of the problems was no one WANTED a long range fighter at that point.
"The bomber will always get through" and 'that would make the plane slower and less nimble - we need the best fighter possible'

My best guess would be naval aviation realizing the further away they can strike enemy forces, the better.

Germans and Japanese wanted a long-range fighter in this point. Luftwaffe bought Bf 110, Japanese were outfitting the Ki-27s and A5Ms with drop tanks, while specifying long range for the future fighters (that materialized as a Ki-43 and A6M).

But for the British and Americans, the doctrine covering long-range fighters was certainly not there.
For the RAF of 1937-38, I'd suggest the Hurricane with drop tanks and a bit more internal fuel.
 
Bristol sold a lot of Blenheims overseas so they could conceivably market a fighter version overseas and then in the build up to war the Air Ministry has an ah ha moment. (Which is what led to the otl lacklustre Blenheim IF conversion)
Yes. I was thinking that a dedicated heavy fighter version with only 2 or 3 crew members in tandem and a narrower fuselage optimized for the fighter role that still exploited many of the parts and tooling of the bomber version would be more efficient.
 
How about Bristol develops a dedicated fighter version of the Blenheim at the same time as the light bomber (First flight 1935). Note I don't mean the somewhat crude conversions of the Mk I and Mk IV but a pure fighter with more powerful engines, no top turret and a solid nose packed with MG's and later cannon.
Didn't Bristol itself do that already when they turned the Beaufort torpedo bomber into the long-range 'Beau-fighter'? So the reaction to anyone suggesting a 'Blen-fighter' would be: (queue best British accent) "Actually, Sir. We are already developing one, although we did upgrade the starting chassis a bit, as you will see shortly. Thank you."

It gave me an idea however for the thread: Alternate History Combat Aircraft (*)a Blenfighter as a cheaper alternative to the Beaufighter for export to third nations: looks real hefty in Argentinan livery.

(*) Y'all should check it out. They got some real hefty concept art over there.
 
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Didn't Bristol itself do that already when they turned the Beaufort torpedo bomber into the long-range 'Beau-fighter'? ."

It gave me an idea however for the thread: Alternate History Combat Aircraft (*)a Blenfighter as a cheaper alternative to the Beaufighter for export to third nations: looks real hefty in Argentinan livery.

(*) Y'all should check it out. They got some real hefty concept art over there.
Yes it is, but my suggestion is that they do this years earlier with the Blenheim and is in service by 1938 not 1940. The only down side I see is Bomber Command raising hell about Dowding stealing their aircraft production.
 
Yes it is, but my suggestion is that they do this years earlier with the Blenheim and is in service by 1938 not 1940. The only down side I see is Bomber Command raising hell about Dowding stealing their aircraft production.
Then I just hope that a 1938 Blenfighter would not butterfly away the 1940 Beaufighter.
 
The Fokker G.1 seems like it had potential. Maybe take out the second crewman for better performance.

Also, since I've been bringing it up in a couple of other threads lately, the Hillson FH40, a Hurricane modified to have a disposable upper wing that was also intended to be a fuel tank and capable of being dropped in flight, would have had a fairly decent range, although needing to build its drop tank to airfoil precision standards would have made it a pricey option for regular use.
 

Driftless

Donor
One of the problems was no one WANTED a long range fighter at that point.
"The bomber will always get through" and 'that would make the plane slower and less nimble - we need the best fighter possible'

My best guess would be naval aviation realizing the further away they can strike enemy forces, the better.

My other guess would be a British decision to to build fighters that could deploy themselves without transport ships or a net of airbase cross Africa for deployment purposes. Then once you get a long ferry range you start to think about long operating range.

Both are consistent goals. The British with a world empire where they may need to re-inforce a distant location quickly is reasonable. Also, with their naval aviation to be able to reach out farther than opponents while keeping their own ships at reduced risk would have been a plus.
 
One of the problems was no one WANTED a long range fighter at that point.
"The bomber will always get through" and 'that would make the plane slower and less nimble - we need the best fighter possible'

My best guess would be naval aviation realizing the further away they can strike enemy forces, the better.
Bell thought differently with his Airacuda, and sold the Army of his 'Convoy Fighter'
One of the first aircraft to have an APU and gyro-stabilized fire control system.
 

Driftless

Donor
Germans and Japanese wanted a long-range fighter in this point. Luftwaffe bought Bf 110, Japanese were outfitting the Ki-27s and A5Ms with drop tanks, while specifying long range for the future fighters (that materialized as a Ki-43 and A6M).

But for the British and Americans, the doctrine covering long-range fighters was certainly not there.
For the RAF of 1937-38, I'd suggest the Hurricane with drop tanks and a bit more internal fuel.

The British and especially the Americans needed to take an earlier cue from the Japanese (of course that requires a different level of appreciation for Japanese fighting capabilities)
 

Driftless

Donor
Grumann farms out development to another manufacturer for the F5F skyrocket in it's XP-50 form to be used by the USAAC. Grumman was plenty busy with US Navy work, so sell the base design to someone else to craft a more usable land based plane.
 
Then I just hope that a 1938 Blenfighter would not butterfly away the 1940 Beaufighter.
It shouldn't. The Blenheim's Bristol Mercury engine(and sleeve valve Perseus) only has so much to give and will never push the Blenfighter above 300mph. By 1940 that's too slow so the otl Beaufighter (by whatever name) with the Bristol Hercules engine is still needed.
 
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