The Long and Winding Road: an analysis of British Built Naval plane construction 1930-45

I suspect, though it's only a guess, is that the Shark was discontinued so that Blackburn could concentrate on the Skua and Botha(bad idea) as well as working with Bolton Paul on the Roc(very bad Idea).
Didn't Blackburn build most of the Swordfish(es?) anyway?
 
Some things were not meant for the eyes of the mortal men, British Aircraft procurement was definitely one of them.

Still, excellent work, I did not think anyone would have patience enough to trudge through interwar British naval Aircraft requirements. Are you perhaps planning some sort of a ATL where Brits do manage to do better in regards to Naval Aviation?
 
It's also worth remembering that production of the Blackburn Roc had to be subcontracted out to Boulton Paul at the same time the Skua was being built, so there were clearly limitations in production capacity. (136 wasted airframes, what were they thinking? Build more Skuas or if you must have a turret fighter the proposed 85mph faster Sea Defiant)
 
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It's also worth remembering that production of the Blackburn Roc had to be subcontracted out to Boulton Paul at the same time the Skua was being built, so there were clearly limitations in production capacity. (136 wasted airframes, what were they thinking? Build more Skuas or if you must have a turret fighter the proposed 85mph faster Sea Defiant).
My guess is that a navalised Defiant would be no better than the Roc. Plus there's another type of engine to be maintained.

AIUI the Skua wasn't that much worse than the 1939 vintage Douglas Dauntless because AFAIK both types had engines producing 900hp. But the SBDs that fought the battles of 1942 had 1,200hp engines and the last marks would have engines producing 1,350hp. Had the Bristol Mercury not been at the end of its development cycle the Skua might now be regarded as a decent dive-bomber with a useful secondary fighter capability and the Roc might have been converted into a torpedo-bomber.

Edit

I should have written Bristol Perseus instead of Bristol Mercury.
 
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FWIW Fairey built Bristol Beaufighters and Handley Page Halifaxes during the war in addition to its "in house" designs (Battles, Fulmars, Fireflies, Albacores and Barracudas). The Halifaxes were probably substitutes for replaced cancelled contracts for Avro Manchesters.
 
My guess is that a navalised Defiant would be no better than the Roc. Plus there's another type of engine to be maintained.

AIUI the Skua wasn't that much worse than the 1939 vintage Douglas Dauntless because AFAIK both types had engines producing 900hp. But the SBDs that fought the battles of 1942 had 1,200hp engines and the last marks would have engines producing 1,350hp. Had the Bristol Mercury not been at the end of its development cycle the Skua might now be regarded as a decent dive-bomber with a useful secondary fighter capability and the Roc might have been converted into a torpedo-bomber.
The Bristol Perseus did have a little growth left in it in 1938/9 eventually topping out with the Perseus 100 at around 1200hp so if Bristol could be persuaded to actually plan ahead with their engine designs? What price a Blenheim IV with 1200hp Perseus 100's in 1940?
 
The Bristol Perseus did have a little growth left in it in 1938/9 eventually topping out with the Perseus 100 at around 1,200hp so if Bristol could be persuaded to actually plan ahead with their engine designs? What price a Blenheim IV with 1,200hp Perseus 100's in 1940?
Or for that matter a Hampden, Sunderland, Wellington or even the much maligned Botha, Roc and Skua?
 
The Bristol Perseus did have a little growth left in it in 1938/9 eventually topping out with the Perseus 100 at around 1200hp so if Bristol could be persuaded to actually plan ahead with their engine designs? What price a Blenheim IV with 1,200hp Perseus 100's in 1940?
I believe that a squadron of Blenheim Mk IVFs chased a formation of Ju88s from one end of Yorkshire to the other end and back and never got within range.

The Blenheim Mk IVF was Fighter Command's main night fighter during the Blitz and the extra horsepower would have been extremely useful.
 
I believe that a squadron of Blenheim Mk IVFs chased a formation of Ju88s from one end of Yorkshire to the other end and back and never got within range.

The Blenheim Mk IVF was Fighter Command's main night fighter during the Blitz and the extra horsepower would have been extremely useful.
My thinking exactly, especially if they took off the useless, drag inducing top turret. Not quite a Beaufighter, but close enough until it's available.
 
It would be a possible emergency alternative for the Hurricane as well.
I often advocate a mix of Hurricanes and Austers for army co-operation instead of the Lysander.

This is partially because it would provide the Army with better air support in the Battle of France, but mainly because the army co-operation Hurricanes would be loaned to the Main Force of Fighter Command for the duration of the Battle of Britain. IIRC there were 9 Lysander squadrons in No. 22 (Army Co-operation) Group with a nominal strength of 162 aircraft. Had they been Hurricane squadrons and reinforced No. 11 (Fighter) Group... Need I elaborate?

The problem was that the Hurricane Mk I couldn't carry a useful load of bombs. However, a Hurricane with a 1,200hp Perseus aught to transform the Hurricane into a Hurribomber. It also avoids the problem of tweaking the engine contracts between Bristol and Rolls Royce in 1936.
 
My thinking exactly, especially if they took off the useless, drag inducing top turret. Not quite a Beaufighter, but close enough until it's available.
That might not be possible because believe it or not the Blenheim Marks IF and IVF were stop-gaps for the Defiant.
 
The Bristol Perseus did have a little growth left in it in 1938/9 eventually topping out with the Perseus 100 at around 1,200hp so if Bristol could be persuaded to actually plan ahead with their engine designs? What price a Blenheim IV with 1200hp Perseus 100's in 1940?
This could butterfly away the Bristol Taurus too.

AIUI the Albacore was a lot better on paper than the Swordfish. It carried a bigger bomb load further than a Swordfish, it's maximum speed wasn't much higher, but it had a much higher cruising speed and its enclosed cockpit improved "crew efficiency" if that's the correct expression and it retained the excellent STOL performance of its predecessor. What let it down was the Taurus engine.

AIUI the Australian-built Beauforts were better than the British built aircraft because their Twin Wasp engines were more powerful and more reliable than the Taurus engines on the British built versions.
 
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Some things were not meant for the eyes of the mortal men, British Aircraft procurement was definitely one of them.

Still, excellent work, I did not think anyone would have patience enough to trudge through interwar British naval Aircraft requirements. Are you perhaps planning some sort of a ATL where Brits do manage to do better in regards to Naval Aviation?
Possibly,

the FAA in WW2 is a fascinating period, both OTL and many ATLs.
The classic TL "The Whale Has Wings" by @Astrodragon is one of my favourite "blockbusters"
(I bought all 3 of the published volumes for my book reader and deeply regret Volume 4 was never published)

In the course of researching for my comments on other folks British carrier and/or carrier planes work
I have stumbled across a lot of plausible "roads not taken"
and found the one taken often far from "just as fair" (to plagiarise Robert Frost)

In due time I may stitch some or all of them together as a series of "On this day in ATL entries"
But personally I doubt I have the energy for a full narrative timeline like TWHW or "The Peerless Air Ministry"

If I had that much power available I really should direct that effort into completing my own saga "Diesel Electric".
That project has stalled repeatedly due to my lack of confidence in my own ability to write genuine stories
as opposed to research (on the web, my own books or the available libraries) and the collation of those facts.

So much so that I actually backed away from AH.COM (and other sites) for a while.
For now, I'm just glad that I'm back contributing again - I hope in a positive way

Tomorrow, who knows what road I may take at the next fork in the path
 
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The 1,200 bhp Perseus 100 was, in essence, a Perseus crankcase with Centaurus cylinders. Really a new engine rather than a developed Perseus so not really a period option but rather a post war medium civilian engine. The initial choice for the Bristol Freighter until sanity said that one could crank out more existing Hercules and get a better and cheaper aeroplane.
 
The 1,200 bhp Perseus 100 was, in essence, a Perseus crankcase with Centaurus cylinders. Really a new engine rather than a developed Perseus so not really a period option but rather a post war medium civilian engine. The initial choice for the Bristol Freighter until sanity said that one could crank out more existing Hercules and get a better and cheaper aeroplane.
There is however no reason that Bristol couldn't have done that in 1938. The Centaurus had already run in July 1938 so its just using existing parts, and can be justified to the board and the Air Ministry as a low risk stop gap until the Hercules is ready.
 
There is however no reason that Bristol couldn't have done that in 1938. The Centaurus had already run in July 1938 so its just using existing parts, and can be justified to the board and the Air Ministry as a low risk stop gap until the Hercules is ready.
The 1,200 bhp Perseus 100 was, in essence, a Perseus crankcase with Centaurus cylinders. Really a new engine rather than a developed Perseus so not really a period option but rather a post war medium civilian engine. The initial choice for the Bristol Freighter until sanity said that one could crank out more existing Hercules and get a better and cheaper aeroplane.
I have also heard the Bristol board dilly dallied with the higher powered designs aguing noone had a need BUT
AIUI all the sleeve valve engines were a bit unreliable and short-lived at first and took some iterations to be liked.

The oldest, the single row Perseus, only gave 900 hp from ~ 1000lbs in the XII model
The Taurus, the first double row, gave ~ 1100HP in II model but for a dry weight of ~1,1000
Only the Hercules I (also double row) was available in 1939 giving ~1300 HP BUT for ~ 2,000lb dry weight
Higher HP Hercules came relatively of course but the Centaurus I was a long way off
(2000hp in 1942 from a weight above 2500 lbs)

Would it not have been better to get the Hercules stable first?
 
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