The RAF, just that little bit better in 1940

If we employ perfect hindsight on engines we can see that the RAF/FAA only needed two types of engine. A Merlin for all front line work and a Cheetah for light work from basic training to light transport. These would see them through the entire war.
 
Cheetah for light work from basic training to light transport
or make a V6 or I5 from Merlin bits. Similar displacement and run at lower RPMs to match power requirements

Going for simplicity, go all the way. Just different types of Merlins, Meteors and Meteorites
 
I'm a believer that the two Griffons are separate engines although perhaps somewhat related due to being the same size 37 litre.
You may be right.

It's my opinion that Rolls Royce would have had a reliable engine in the 1,500 to 2,000hp class in production by 1940 had they continued development of the early 1930s Griffon by using the resources that were put into Exe, Peregrine and Vulture IOTL. That is regardless of whether the Griffon begun in the early 1930s was a development of the Buzzard and "R" engines or the Griffon that went into the production in the 1940s IOTL.
 
The Spitfire got 7 inches longer for it, despite the Griffon being that much shorter than the Merlin.
I don't see why that's an issue because AFAIK the change of engine didn't produce an inferior aircraft, far from it, AIUI.

In any case the Battle was a bigger and heavier aircraft so the bigger and heavier engine would have fewer disadvantages to offset the considerable advantage that an 80% increase in engine power would provide. The Spitfire VB was 29ft 11in long, had a wingspan of 36ft 10ft and an empty weight of 5,065lb according to Wikipaedia. Whereas the Battle Mk II was 42ft 4in long, had a wingspan of 54ft 0in and had an empty weight of 6,647lb according to Wikipaedia.

Plus the Battle was intended to have a more powerful engine in the first place, that is the Rolls Royce Griffon in its early 1930s form and I'm advocating that they stick to that rather than redesigning it for a different engine three times instead of the two engine changes that it happened IOTL.
 
The Whitley never gets the the good side of the story. It was one of the main stays of Bomber Command until mid/late 1941 it could carry 2,000 lb's if needed. Then it went on the be a transport, trainer, tug and air drop.

It was very good on it's first flight, good when it entered service and more than alright until early 41.
It's the secret of comedy. Timing!

Had World War II broken out in 1937 or 1938 the Battle, Blenheim and Whitley would be much better regarded than they are IOTL because their performance in relation to the fighters the Luftwaffe had then was much better than it would be in relation to the Bf109E of 1940 and for that matter the Bf110C of 1940.

1,812 Whitleys were built. 662 were delivered between March 1937 and December 1940. The other 1,150 were delivered between December 1940 and the middle of 1943.

However, back in April 1937 production was intended to end with the 200th aircraft that at the time was scheduled to be delivered by 31st March 1939 and the firm would retool to build Avro Manchesters. In the event the 200th Whitley wasn't delivered until August 1939 and the Manchester contracts were cancelled and replaced by orders for Lancasters.

I think that had the Manchester been designed around two Griffons in its early 1930s form or had Specification P.13/36 been for a bomber with 4 Merlin engines in the first place the Manchester or Lancaster would have been put into production by Avro in the second half of 1940. AW Whitley production would end with the 662nd aircraft delivered in December 1940 and the firm would then re-tool its factory to build the Avro P.13/36. IOTL the first AW built Lancaster was delivered in September 1942. I think it would be at least 18 months earlier than that.

Although I agree that the Whitley is unfairly maligned I'd prefer to have 1,150 Lancasters or even Griffon-Manchesters built by AW instead of the last 1,150 Whitleys or even only 575 Lancasters or Griffon-Manchesters if a one-to-one substitution wasn't possible. While I'm at it I'd prefer 600 AW built Lancasters with Hercules engines instead of the AW Albermarle or 300 Hercules-Lancasters if a one-to-one substitution wasn't feasible.
 
The Whitley never gets the the good side of the story. It was one of the main stays of Bomber Command until mid/late 1941 it could carry 2,000 lb's if needed. Then it went on the be a transport, trainer, tug and air drop.

It was very good on it's first flight, good when it entered service and more than alright until early 41.
I compiled this from the section about the AW Whitley in The Design and Development of Weapons, which is one of the British official histories.

AW Whitley Produciton.png
 

DougM

Donor
It is funny that in the US most “failed” airplane designs are really because of the engines not living up to expectations. Where as in England the engines usually were fine and often were the best part of the aircraft. So maybe if the two countries aircraft industries were a bit more closely linked in the 30s both sides could benefit... or Shudder do you just get poor aircraft design AND poor engines?
 
I don't see why that's an issue because AFAIK the change of engine didn't produce an inferior aircraft, far from it, AIUI.
I'm not saying it was a problem, I'm saying, having to rebalance the airframe because of a new engine probably doesn't count as 'minimum redesign'.

In any case the Battle was a bigger and heavier aircraft so the bigger and heavier engine would have fewer disadvantages to offset the considerable advantage that an 80% increase in engine power would provide. The Spitfire VB was 29ft 11in long, had a wingspan of 36ft 10ft and an empty weight of 5,065lb according to Wikipaedia. Whereas the Battle Mk II was 42ft 4in long, had a wingspan of 54ft 0in and had an empty weight of 6,647lb according to Wikipaedia.

Plus the Battle was intended to have a more powerful engine in the first place, that is the Rolls Royce Griffon in its early 1930s form and I'm advocating that they stick to that rather than redesigning it for a different engine three times instead of the two engine changes that it happened IOTL.
If they can do it, certainly go ahead, having some light bombers that actually have a reasonable change of dropping their loads is a good thing to have.
 
So maybe if the two countries aircraft industries were a bit more closely linked in the 30s both sides could benefit... or Shudder do you just get poor aircraft design AND poor engines?

P-51 Mustang, US design with a British engine. There you have it...
 
It is funny that in the US most “failed” airplane designs are really because of the engines not living up to expectations. Where as in England the engines usually were fine and often were the best part of the aircraft. So maybe if the two countries aircraft industries were a bit more closely linked in the 30s both sides could benefit... or Shudder do you just get poor aircraft design AND poor engines?
I do have a project (not published) where theres an anglo italian war in the mid 30s.

After the war Britain tries to pay for the war by licensing a lot of stuff and america is happy to buy licenses for the wonder weapons that won the war. The americans rate the engines particularly well.

The first hurricane fighters had an amazing reputation as it is monoplane fighters vs older airplanes in north Africa.

British biplanes were in theater too but the monoplanes got all the credit.
 
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Vickers were committed to their geodesic construction. Hence still churning out Wellingtons to the end of the war. The Warwick was a Wellington contemporary. Put 4 Pegasus on a 4 engined Warwick to replace the smaller Wellingtons. Perhaps Hercules or Merlins later on.
 
One does wonder how wel Fairey Fulmar does ITTL? Even IOTL it was the highest scoring Fighter FAA used during the war, quite a suprise considering its inferior performance when compared to the contemporary land based fighters (and even some bombers). With earlier start to rearmament, we could see it enter service earlier, and perhaps with heavier armament and higher rated Merlin as well. It would still be inferior, but the gap in performance would not be as big as it was IOTL, with a couple more km/h of speed, 4x20mm FFGs and radar guided interceptions more then making up for the difference.
 
One does wonder how wel Fairey Fulmar does ITTL? Even IOTL it was the highest scoring Fighter FAA used during the war, quite a suprise considering its inferior performance when compared to the contemporary land based fighters (and even some bombers). With earlier start to rearmament, we could see it enter service earlier, and perhaps with heavier armament and higher rated Merlin as well. It would still be inferior, but the gap in performance would not be as big as it was IOTL, with a couple more km/h of speed, 4x20mm FFGs and radar guided interceptions more then making up for the difference.
So something between the OTL Fulmar and the OTL Firefly then?
 
One does wonder how wel Fairey Fulmar does ITTL? Even IOTL it was the highest scoring Fighter FAA used during the war, quite a suprise considering its inferior performance when compared to the contemporary land based fighters (and even some bombers). With earlier start to rearmament, we could see it enter service earlier, and perhaps with heavier armament and higher rated Merlin as well. It would still be inferior, but the gap in performance would not be as big as it was IOTL, with a couple more km/h of speed, 4x20mm FFGs and radar guided interceptions more then making up for the difference.
It was mainly concerned with killing land based bombers and snoopers

So a faster creature with cannon is going to do a better job of it of - of the 16 Fulmar's shot down OTL during the war 13 were believed to be due to the defensive fire of the bombers they were attacking - often and increasingly as the war went on - bombers that were not much slower than they were resulting in a long slow tail chase

Indeed when the Fulmar's arrived over the already sinking Hermes while managing to shoot down a few Val's - the then 'clean' Val's were found to be slightly faster!

OTL I think it rarely mixed it up with single engined fighters (I recall it enjoyed an 5 to 3 Win : loss ratio verses single engine fighters) and so it did perform its principle job of shooting down enemy bombers and snoopers but it should have been replaced far earlier than it was.
 
Some more snip
That is it. Not an aircraft that would instantly make every other naval aircraft obsolete overnight, but simply something that will be a bit better at doing its job. I was not even thinking of it being fitted with Griffon, at least not in the Mk.I/II variants, but having to do with Merlins, though earlier introduction could mean more powerful variants are availlable. Same for the armament, Oerlikons would be a valid option for an interwar design such as the Fulmar, especially due to them being a mature, understood design, with most of the problems ironed out. With Fulmars rather thick wing, there should not be problems with fitting it in, and we could perhaps see FAA going for 90rnd drums, and 360rnds of 20mm are nothing to scoff at, and I am rather sure that those who were shot at by 20mm autocannons were not too concerned with exact make of the gun which was shooting at them.

I mean, this early on, without the benefit of Hindsight, MGFF could be seen as a rather desireable thing to have, especially for a Fleet Fighter which has to protect the Fleet from Scouts and Bombers, and where muzzle velocity and limited ammunition load would not be seen as such a disadvantage. Its use of the drum magazines instead of belts could also be seen as an advantage, as it could be considered quicker to exchange ammo drums instead of having to deal with so-and-so long ammo belts, while also being easier (perhaps safer as well?) to transport and store then belted ammunition.
 
That is it. Not an aircraft that would instantly make every other naval aircraft obsolete overnight, but simply something that will be a bit better at doing its job. I was not even thinking of it being fitted with Griffon, at least not in the Mk.I/II variants, but having to do with Merlins, though earlier introduction could mean more powerful variants are availlable. Same for the armament, Oerlikons would be a valid option for an interwar design such as the Fulmar, especially due to them being a mature, understood design, with most of the problems ironed out. With Fulmars rather thick wing, there should not be problems with fitting it in, and we could perhaps see FAA going for 90rnd drums, and 360rnds of 20mm are nothing to scoff at, and I am rather sure that those who were shot at by 20mm autocannons were not too concerned with exact make of the gun which was shooting at them.

I mean, this early on, without the benefit of Hindsight, MGFF could be seen as a rather desireable thing to have, especially for a Fleet Fighter which has to protect the Fleet from Scouts and Bombers, and where muzzle velocity and limited ammunition load would not be seen as such a disadvantage. Its use of the drum magazines instead of belts could also be seen as an advantage, as it could be considered quicker to exchange ammo drums instead of having to deal with so-and-so long ammo belts, while also being easier (perhaps safer as well?) to transport and store then belted ammunition.
As a recent convert to the FF series of Cannon I heartily agree.

And an earlier adoption might mean an efficient belt system (the ability to reliably pull a heavier belt into the feed mechanism when under load i.e. aircraft manoeuvring) earlier allowing for a much higher ammo capacity.

The difference between Machine gun round and exploding ammo was that bullet holes that had passed through the aircraft could be patched, Cannon rounds wrecked and tended not to pass through the plane (they exploded) - so an aircraft damaged by cannon rounds that still makes it home is far more likely to be written off.
 
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