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Monday, January 6th 2014, 12:36am

New Aircraft for Australia 1944

In 1942 problems began manifesting among the RAAF's Hawker Tornadoes. A weak rear fuselage and engine problems with the RR Vulture lead to the grounding of the fleet twice in the year. In the meantime the Hawker Hurricanes and Henleys where getting long in the tooth and obsolescent. As a result the RAAF began looking for a replacement for all three in the ground-attack fighter-bomber role. The RAAF had liked the performance of the Tornado, and liked the Centaurus engine on the Bristol Buckinghams. In therefore approached Hawker in 1943 with a request for a new aircraft based on the new Tempest fuselage but using the Tornado/Typhoon wing (for superior takeoff/landing and low speed performance ) and the Centaurus engine.

Hawker Tempest FB.Mk.VA

In 1943 Australia ordered 150 of a new ground-attack variant of the
Tempest to replace the RAAF’s Hurricanes, Typhoons and Henleys. The wing
of the Typhoon is married with the fuselage of the Tempest and a
Bristol Centaurus radial engine fitted. The first prototype flew in May
1943 and deliveries from Armstrong Whitworth began during the summer of

Dimensions; 41.7/ 34.5/ 14.6/ 283 sq ft; 1x 2,470hp Bristol Centaurus
VIII; max speed 417mph at 19,000ft; range 620 miles (internal fuel) and
1,500 miles (with drop tanks); loaded weight 11,800lbs; MTOW 13,640lbs;
rate of climb 3,920 ft/min and service ceiling 35,200ft. Armament: 4x
20mm Orkileon FFB cannon and 2x 500-1,000lb bombs or 8x 3in RPs
underwing. Two 45 or 90 gallon drop tanks or two supply canisters can
also be fitted instead of bombs.


Concurrent with the RAAAF's purchase of the Tempest FB.Mk.VA, the RAN placed an order for 70 stock Sea Furies. While the performance of the Sea Fury was extraordinaire, the purchase was partially politically motivated as the government put pressure on the two armed branches to cooperate and reduce costs by standardizing on parts, in this case the Centaurus engine.

Hawker Sea Fury

A further development of the aborted P.1020 Light Tempest,
the P.1022 was developed under N.7/41 with assistance from Gloster to
make a naval variant of the Tempest. Promising figures of a performance
superior to new Supermarine fighter (465mph at 18,000ft) meant the
Admiralty ordered 100 Sea Fury
Mk.1 fighters off the drawing board and Gloster was to produce all the
production machines. Armament comprises four wing-mounted 20mm Orkileon
FFB cannon and two 1,000lb bombs or 8 2lb RPs can be carried underwing.
The first flight was 21 February 1942.

Dimensions; 38.4/34.8/15.10/280 sq ft; 1x 2,470hp Bristol Centaurus
VIII; max speed 460mph at 18,000ft; range 700 miles with internal fuel
and service ceiling 35,800 ft.


Monday, January 6th 2014, 12:53am

Again in the spirit of streamlining logistics, reducing costs, and replacing the Albacore and Dauntless, the RAN began looking for a torpedo bomber. the design selected was based on the losing Bristol entry to the competition that lead to the Barracuda. The design was updated with retractable landing gear, and a more powerful Centaurus engine. Together with the Sea Fury the new plane would form the basis for the RAN's carrier air wings. An initial order for 110 (+80 options) being placed.

BCAC (Bristol) Type 162 Bathurst

In 1942 Australia ordered a new naval torpedo-bomber reconnaissance
aircraft in both carrier-based and floatplane forms from Bristol. The
design is based on a tender made to meet the RAF’s Spec S.24/35, but
updated to include retractable undercarriage, a Bristol Centaurus radial
engine, a ventrally-mounted ASV Mk III set can be fitted and new
construction techniques are used to save weight. The usual crew is
pilot, navigator/ bombardier and radio-operator/ gunner. The first
prototype flew on 14 June 1943 and the first deliveries began during the
summer of 1944. The three variants are the basic torpedo-bomber, a
reconnaissance variant with the ASV Mk III which is fully armed except
it cannot carry torpedoes and the seaplane variant with twin floats and
which retains the folding wings for shipboard use.

Dimensions; 50/ 40/ 13.5/ 450 sq ft; 1x 2,470hp Bristol Centaurus VIII;
max speed 270mph at 11,000ft; range 680 miles (internal fuel and
carrying a torpedo); MTOW 14,000lbs and service ceiling 28,200ft.
Armament: 2x 0.5in Browning machine-guns and one dorsal 0.303in Browning
machine-gun and one 1,500lb torpedo or three 500lb or seven 250lb bombs
in underfuselage and underwing racks or 8x 3in RPs under the wings. Two
90 gallon drop tanks or two supply or rescue canisters can also be
fitted instead of bombs under the wings.

The picture comes from British Secret Projects Fighters Bombers 1935-1950, and is all the information I have found on the original aircraft.
Desertfox has attached the following image:
  • Bristol TB.gif


Monday, January 6th 2014, 3:17am

I am curious. Are the BCAC (Bristol) Type 162 Bathurst aircraft of Australian or British design? I have looked unsuccessfully in the British encyclopedia for them.


Monday, January 6th 2014, 4:06am

British to Australian specifications. Hood and me just finished discussing them, so they haven't been placed in either encyclopedia yet.


Monday, January 6th 2014, 4:12am

Ah. Thank you for clarifying. :)


Thursday, May 15th 2014, 9:30pm

Another new Australian aircraft entering service in 1944.

Australia's search for a long range fighter had met with disappointment. Neither the AA-5 Kelpie nor the AA-54 Swoose Goose had lived up to their promise. However, the FA-51B Mustang had proven to be a reliable long range fighter, but did not provide enough range or endurance to meet the very high RAAF requirements. Australian Aviation therefore took the task of designing a dedicated very-long range of the Mustang.

Changes included permanent tip tanks, new wing tanks, and an extra fuselage tank, increasing range to 2,000nm. Various modifications to provide a cleaner wing and fuselage to reduce drag. Provisions for a jump seat behind the pilot and a new canopy (jumpseat could be replaced with a fuel tank, large survival kit, or cameras), better autopilot and increased vertical and horizontal stabilizer size for greater stability to reduce pilot workload on long missions, and an improved cockpit with extra navigation instruments and a more comfortable seat and teapot/food warmer. The engine was a Merlin 66 derated to provide better reliability and improved fuel economy.

Australian Aviation AA-51C Mustang III

Power: Rolls-Royce 1,720 hp Merlin 66 (downrated to 1,620 hp)

Armament: Four 50cal machine guns

Size: Wingspan - 39ft
Length - 34ft
Wing area - 240sq ft

Weight: Empty - 9000lb
Max take-off - 1200lb

Performance: Max speed - 432mph
Ceiling - 39,000ft
Range - 2,000 miles
Climb - 3200ft per minute
Desertfox has attached the following image:
  • Mustang Development.jpg


Thursday, May 15th 2014, 9:42pm

Does it have a kitchen sink, too? ;)

I thought we discussed tip tanks before (for Italy) and somebody frowned on them. Do I misremember?


Friday, May 16th 2014, 7:17am

Lol, no, but it does have space for some beer. I did forget, it also has an arresting hook, to allow it to land on carriers in case of emergencies, but its not navalized otherwise.

I dont recall that discussion. DeHavilland Australia already put tip tanks on its Albatross, so I don't think it would be a stretch to put them on a fighter. Plus the benefits of the tip tanks would be pretty small, they are mainly there for looks.


Friday, May 16th 2014, 10:23am

I think that discussion was ages ago, the new Hermes reconnaissance has capability for them.
I don't think its a major issue as we get into the latter 1940s.


Friday, May 16th 2014, 9:54pm

I don't think its a major issue as we get into the latter 1940s.

Okay then, s'fine.


Saturday, May 17th 2014, 10:14am

Thinking of OTL examples I can think of the P-80 which I'm sure had tip-tanks before 1950. They featured on some early jet designs before 1950 too.


Saturday, May 17th 2014, 2:19pm

I wholly support the notion of unqualified Aussie aviators attempting emergency carrier landings.


Saturday, May 17th 2014, 3:08pm

I wholly support the notion of unqualified Aussie aviators attempting emergency carrier landings.

Touche! I'm in full agreement.


Sunday, May 18th 2014, 4:19am

Oh they will be trained in carrier landings, eventually I see dedicated recon versions using carriers for special long range spying missions, much like the US used the U-2 from carriers to spy on French nuclear tests.


Sunday, May 18th 2014, 5:57am

much like the US used the U-2 from carriers to spy on French nuclear tests.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
-Siegfried Sassoon


Sunday, May 18th 2014, 6:12am

(Possibly dubious) citation provided, but there appear to be a lot of others.