WI Panic Fighter 1938?

WI - during the late 1930s - you are tasked with designing an interceptor to protect your small country.
You represent a second or third world Air Force - and you know that war is coming. You are a mid-level Air Force engineering officer or mid-level design engineer at the national aircraft factory. You are tasked with designing a short to medium-range interceptor.
Since your nation is comparatively small, endurance is not much of an issue. Your nation has dozens of grass airstrips, but only one concrete runway. Road and rail transport is good and some inland waterways support barge traffic.

To date your national aircraft factory has designed and built a variety of fabric-covered biplanes and a few multi-engined flying boats. Your local automotive industry produces motorcycles and small trucks while your shipyards produce steel fishing vessels and tug-boats.

Costs limit you to one engine and one pilot.

Since your country does not have a huge armaments industry, you are forced to buy critical components (engines, radios and armament) overseas. Awkward politics further limit arms purchases to second-string or “last week’s fashion.”

Engine choices are limited because RR refuses to sell the new Merlin engine. American politics prevent Allison from selling you any engines and German factories will only sell you “last week’s fashion.”
This limits you to inline or single-row radial engines producing less than 1,000 horsepower.

As for armaments, you have concluded that .50 caliber (12.5 mm) is the minimum, but you would prefer 20 mm cannons to intercept the newest bombers.

This thread limits you to materials and components available off-the-shelf in 1938. The good news is that you can use 2018-vintage aerodynamics developer by Reno Air Racers..
 
Czechoslovak Avia B-35


Or Avia B-135


Development of B-35/135 started relatively soon but was slow due to financial reason. For example Czechoslovak government didn't want to pay for retractable gear license fees from I believe Messier. They started to negotiated about adjustable propellers with Hamilton I believe to late and fees were issue again. If they threw more money into problem, they could have it by September 1938 at least in small numbers. Engine was licensed HS 12Y which was locally also developed into 1000 k but came only in September 1939. However B-35 with not retractable landing gear and not adjustable propeller had decent speed and rate of climb. Speed was 495 km/h. Better then Fokker D.XXI

Or
Fokker D.XXI


This one prove itself at in Finland but Netherlands's pilots used them very successfully too.
 
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Curtiss-Wright CW-21B Demon

Type: single seat fighter

Specifications:
Length: 27' 2" (8.28 m)
Height: 8' 11' (2.72 m)
Wingspan: 35' 0" (10.67 m)
Wing area: 174.3 sq. ft (16.19 sq. m)
Empty Weight: 3382 lb (1534 kg)
Max Weight: 4500 lb (2041 kg) max at takeoff

Propulsion:
Powerplant: Wright R-1820-G5 Radial 1000HP


Performance:
Range: 630 miles (1014 km)
Cruise Speed: 282 mph ( 454 km/h)
Max Speed: 315 mph ( 507 km/h) at 17000 ft
Ceiling: 34,300 ft (10,455 m)
Rate of climb: 4,500 ft/min

Armament: two .30 cal machine guns
two .50 cal machine guns

later Pratt & Whitney R-1830-76 double-row radial engine, 1,200 hp to increase higher altitude performance.

This was the last development of the Curtiss-Wright CW-19 from 1935


Small numbers were sold in South America. These were two seaters with a 350HP Wright R-760 Whirlwind
General characteristics

  • Crew: Two, pilot and gunner
  • Length: 26 ft 4 in (8.02 m)
  • Wingspan: 35 ft 0 in (10.66 m)
  • Height: 8 ft in ( m)
  • Wing area: 174 ft2 (16.2 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,992 lb (904 kg)
  • Gross weight: 3,500 lb (1,588 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-760E2, 350 hp (260 kW)
Performance

  • Maximum speed: 185 mph (298 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 164 mph (264 km/h)
  • Rate of climb: 1,890 ft/min (9.6 m/s)
Armament
  • 1 to 3 × fixed, forward-firing .30 machine gun
  • 1 × trainable, rearward-firing .30 machine gun
  • provision for underwing bomb load
 
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Licence build the Miles Kestrel training aircraft, 300 mph top speed used the old RR Kestrel engine. In 1940 the RAF converted some of their Miles Masters (developed from the Kestrel) into emergency fighters. Building a dedicated fighter version from the ground up in 1937 would probably result in a slightly better aircraft. being built principally of wood it will not tax the skills of the available workforce.
 
Lisense build Ki-27 and replace the engine with Nakajima Hikari engines, producing 700hp. And add retractable gear.
 
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Well if we go with much closer specifications by @riggerrob there is one interestingly design from small nation. I would say Latvian VEF-16 would be interesting contender. Engine Walter Sagitta, 403 kW, speed 483 km/h, armed with 2 Brownings 2x7.9 mm. It came late too though, prototype tested only in 1940.

 
A major problem with the Gloster F4/34 is that Folland designed it with a one piece main spar reaching from wing tip to wing tip. This needs existing aero engineering production skills to produce and also require high grade aluminum alloys no so easy according to the OP. Another downside is that any wing damage to one side that cannot be repaired in situ require replacing both wings not one. Other than that the Gloster F4/34 is one of my favourite what if" fighters especially if fitted with a fully sorted Bristol Taurus engine in late 1939 giving it a smaller frontal area and 1050Hp!
 
This thread limits you to materials and components available off-the-shelf in 1938. The good news is that you can use 2018-vintage aerodynamics developer by Reno Air Racers.
How far are we allowed to push this? Specifically can we play with the cowling and or radiator design beyond inter war state of the art.....?
 
Real world example: Australia, March 1939:

CAC Wirraway based on American trainer.

As many components as possible were re-used in this:


CAC Boomerang
Only WW2 fighter to enjoy 2 years front line service without shooting down an enemy aircraft.
 
There is one more from small countries OTL.
Yugoslavian Rogozarski IK-3

12 built. Credited with 11 kills. Engine Czechoslovak Avia HS 12Y, speed 527 km/h. Armed with one Oerlikon 20 mm and two 7.92 mm Brownings.
 
WI - during the late 1930s - you are tasked with designing an interceptor to protect your small country.
You represent a second or third world Air Force - and you know that war is coming. You are a mid-level Air Force engineering officer or mid-level design engineer at the national aircraft factory. You are tasked with designing a short to medium-range interceptor.
Since your nation is comparatively small, endurance is not much of an issue. Your nation has dozens of grass airstrips, but only one concrete runway. Road and rail transport is good and some inland waterways support barge traffic.

To date your national aircraft factory has designed and built a variety of fabric-covered biplanes and a few multi-engined flying boats. Your local automotive industry produces motorcycles and small trucks while your shipyards produce steel fishing vessels and tug-boats.

Costs limit you to one engine and one pilot.

Since your country does not have a huge armaments industry, you are forced to buy critical components (engines, radios and armament) overseas. Awkward politics further limit arms purchases to second-string or “last week’s fashion.”

Engine choices are limited because RR refuses to sell the new Merlin engine. American politics prevent Allison from selling you any engines and German factories will only sell you “last week’s fashion.”
This limits you to inline or single-row radial engines producing less than 1,000 horsepower.

As for armaments, you have concluded that .50 caliber (12.5 mm) is the minimum, but you would prefer 20 mm cannons to intercept the newest bombers.

This thread limits you to materials and components available off-the-shelf in 1938. The good news is that you can use 2018-vintage aerodynamics developer by Reno Air Racers..
I would probably go for a FIAT CR 42 clone - fitted with some improved aerodynamic features such as a bubble teardrop canopy hood, enlarged less draggy spinner - armed with 2 lower wing mounted Breda-SAFAT (Browning!) 12.7mm MGs (later improved to 4 with the addition of 2 upper mounts) - with 400 RPG, engine will be a licence built Bristol Mercury with a fixed 3 blade prop and later a Bristol Pegasus with a De havilland 3 bladed metal variable prop.

Later versions would also include self sealing tanks and rear pilot armour along with the additional guns as Engine power increases and better fuel becomes available.

Even later it might benefit from the DB 601 but the OP said 'last weeks fashion'.

But if it did......it would look something like this with a 20mm motor canon firing through the hub

 
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Nice try, but OP specified “single-row radials” and “less than 1,000 horsepower.”
 
Napier Sabre engine, first run in 1938 gives you 2000hp. The problem is finding an airframe strong enough to handle it.
But something similar to a Hurricane with some strengthening, 8x.50cal Vickers guns with some steel plate armour around the pilot and self sealing tanks.
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Nice try, but the OP specified “less than 1,000 horsepower.”
 
How far are we allowed to push this? Specifically can we play with the cowling and or radiator design beyond inter war state of the art.....?
———————————————————————————

Yes!
You are allowed to use 2018-vintage aerodynamics to refine cowling and cooling details.
See KITPLANES Magazine (July 2018 edition) for refinements to VOODOO, a P-51 Mustang refined to fly 550 mph!
 
Real world example: Australia, March 1939:

CAC Wirraway based on American trainer.

As many components as possible were re-used in this:


CAC Boomerang
Only WW2 fighter to enjoy 2 years front line service without shooting down an enemy aircraft.
———————————————————————————-
Close!
Boomerangs May not have shot down any enemy aircraft ....... because they were too busy firing smoke rockets as the directed heavier airplanes onto Japanese targets.
Boomerang differs from OP specifications “single-row radial engine.”

Now the challenge is to aerodynamically refine Boomerang - or the similar North American P-64 - to significantly exceed 300 mph.
 
———————————————————————————

Yes!
You are allowed to use 2018-vintage aerodynamics to refine cowling and cooling details.
See KITPLANES Magazine (July 2018 edition) for refinements to VOODOO, a P-51 Mustang refined to fly 550 mph!
But in that case the 1000HP "engine" is going to effectively simply be the compressor stage........:p
 
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