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Saturday, August 2nd 2014, 5:30pm

Belgian Fighter Tender

The Aeronautique Militaire has issued an open tender for 86 modern fighters.

Structure: modern construction, single-seat, armour protection for pilot (behind and in front), pressurised cabin not essential but will be looked at if offered but any non-pressurised cockpit should have provision for heated air and cooling air, good all-round visibility required for pilot

Powerplant: one high-powered inline or radial engine, does not have to be of existing stock in Aeronautique Militaire but would be a logistical bonus if possible

Performance: a maximum speed at altitude of at least 400mph, excellent rate of climb, must be agile and easy to fly in combat manoeuvring situations, ceiling of 35,000-40,000ft, good rough field performance for take-off and landing and ability to operate from grass strips

Equipment: standard service radios required as used by Aeronautique Militaire, DF equipment, blind landing equipment if feasible, flare tube, oxygen supply, modern gyro-stabilised gunsight, external safety lights,

Armament: four 23mm FN-Madsen cannon must be fitted, or two 23mm FN-Madsen and two 13.2mm FN-Browning machine guns as a minimum fit, in heated bays with a good supply of ammunition, bomb racks required for ground-attack missions capable of lifting 500kg, 250kg and 50kg bombs

Industrial Factors: while an off the shelf purchase is acceptable, any offers to assemble kit-build airframes or licence-production by the SABCA concern would be looked upon favourably
In-Service Date: deliveries must commence no later than 31 January, 1946 and be completed by no later than 31 December 1946. The order is fixed at 86 aircraft, there is no guarantee of additional or subsequent orders.

Contract Information: Any engine offered not in current Aeronautique Militaire inventories will be subject to additional orders of 25 spare engines plus parts.
Second-hand aircraft may be considered only if they are less than 2 years old and have accrued less than 250 flying hours or 500 landings and should be of excellent condition with new or zero-timed engines and being free of repaired damage more than Cat1A and corrosion etc. In this case any spares for airframes or engines and spare complete engines will be expected to come within one block contract and price.

Proposals to be sent to Aeronautique Militaire Technical Department, Brussels, no later than 30 May, 1945. [That means by the end of Q2/45 our time!]


Saturday, August 2nd 2014, 6:52pm

The Soko Aircraft Company submits its Orao fighter aircraft in response to the Belgian tender. Revision of the aircraft's armament package is considered minimum change and the remainder of the aircraft's systems can be customized to meet Belgian requirements. Soko has been granted permission to offer the license manufacture of the aircraft by Belgian industry, and has been authorized to explore the potential for offset purchases if it is desired to have the aircraft manufactured in Yugoslavia. For its part the Royal Yugoslav Air Force is willing to give up delivery positions to meet the desired Belgian schedule.


Saturday, August 2nd 2014, 7:21pm

Dassault can offer their MB.1052D Milan Royal (the 1052 is the land-based version without arrestor hook or folding wings). Deliveries from French production could be completed within three months of the order placed; or SABCA could license build. Dassault would note that based on their current production costs, getting French-built aircraft would probably cost about 60-65% as much as a licensed-built aircraft, but will be amenable to license production if that's more politically acceptable for Belgium.

Arsenal would offer the VB.23 fighter on pretty similar terms.


Monday, August 11th 2014, 4:00pm

I've added the Martin-Baker M.B.5 as a wildcard, the company on the verge of merging with Boulton Paul are looking to extend production.


Thursday, August 14th 2014, 3:52am

Russian export firms tender the Lavochkin La-9 radial-engined fighter.


Thursday, August 14th 2014, 10:07am

I presume the La-9 has historical stats?

I must admit I've never found AdmK's aircraft projects each to follow in the past and I'm out of touch with latest Russian development, the last Lavochkin I think was the IK-42 carrier fighter of 1942.

I hope to announce a winner by/at the end of this quarter. There are two top runners so far, both of which are looking very good. I'll have to see what adding the La-9 makes to the mix!


Thursday, August 14th 2014, 5:49pm

I presume the La-9 has historical stats?

Yes; though I think most of the historical Russian aircraft had statistics based off lower octane fuels than those of most Western aircraft, so with higher octane fuel you might get better climb and speed.

I must admit I've never found AdmK's aircraft projects each to follow in the past and I'm out of touch with latest Russian development, the last Lavochkin I think was the IK-42 carrier fighter of 1942.

I'm still fuzzy on them myself. I'm in the process of compiling all of the necessary information, and I might substitute more historical designations. But the La-9 is a favorite of mine and so I'm definitely going to make it a standard, so I'll jump the gun a bit with this one.


Thursday, August 14th 2014, 6:10pm

I've crunched the numbers, actually it comes out inferior to the Orao, though its actually lighter than that design. I wonder what high-octane juice would create, not sure how to estimate that. 20-30mph more?


Thursday, August 14th 2014, 6:32pm

I've crunched the numbers, actually it comes out inferior to the Orao, though its actually lighter than that design. I wonder what high-octane juice would create, not sure how to estimate that. 20-30mph more?

I wouldn't have any issues with adding 25mph to speed. What does everyone else think?


Thursday, August 14th 2014, 6:36pm

Germany says, "Sehr gut!"

The Philippines says, "Who?"

Yugoslavia says, "No fair!" ;)

I can't see a real problem with it all things considered.


Thursday, August 14th 2014, 6:38pm

Heh. ;)

Honestly, I would be very surprised to see the Lavochkin win it; I'm mainly throwing it in as a bit of a wildcard. :)


Thursday, August 14th 2014, 7:01pm

Heh. ;)

Honestly, I would be very surprised to see the Lavochkin win it; I'm mainly throwing it in as a bit of a wildcard. :)


But the Danes could be on the market soon as well, and Iberia has to be in need of replacement aircraft... the last news from Iberia on that score is how many years old? :D


Thursday, August 14th 2014, 7:03pm

Last I heard Iberia was building Fw190s and receiving MB.1050s for their carriers; that was when Mac was still here, so probably late 1941.


Thursday, August 14th 2014, 7:08pm

I believe that Focke Wulf deal goes back to before my time as Germany, which would be the tail end of 1939. Mac and I discussed bomber and airliner options without reaching conclusions.


Friday, August 15th 2014, 12:16pm

That's agreed then. As that's a 5.4% increase, I've increased rate of climb by the same amount. This now gives a max speed of 730 km/h at altitude and 18.6 m/s climb.

Realistically there are only two fighting for the top place, the Arsenal VB.23 and a land-based Caproni Ariete Serie III offering.
The Dassault is too slow and a poor climber and has the lowest ceiling of the lot. The M.B.5 is a sterling performer having the best ceiling and good speed and climb, though the wingloading is the highest here and it lacks any bomb racks. The La-9 just pips the Orao performance wise, except for the climb, though both are excellent light fighters and the Orao with its bomb-carrying ability is the best all-rounder out of the two.

I've not yet decided which of the top two will win yet though, and it still possible the smaller and cheaper La-9/Orao option might sway my mind.


Friday, August 15th 2014, 2:28pm

The Dassault Milan shouldn't be "too slow", especially in comparison to the Ariete, of all things. Last I checked, it had a 50kph edge on the Ariete, and that was before the latest Milan variant was rolled out.


Friday, August 15th 2014, 4:16pm

My bad for not sticking this in the ency yet. The stats have been posted for some time here tho. The ency post is now up to date for the Ariete.

Caproni Ariete Serie III
General characteristics
Crew: One
Length: 10.00 m
Wingspan: 12.00 m
Height: 4.25 m
Wing area: 28.00 m2
Empty weight: 4,190 kg
Loaded weight: 5,600 kg
Max. takeoff weight: 6,645 kg
Powerplant: 1 × SAI R.25 18-cylinder air-cooled radial engines 2,500 hp

Maximum speed: 740 km/h at 5,500 m
Cruise speed: 415 km/h
Range: 1,200 km with internal fuel; 1,775 km with two drop tanks
Endurance: 2.5 hr cruise + 30 min combat
Service ceiling: 10,910 m
Rate of climb: 21.9 m/s

Guns: 4 × 20 mm IFS cannon
Hardpoints: (total max hardpoint load, 1000kg)
--One centerline rated for 1000kg (Plumbed, Bombs)
--2 wing rated for 500kg (Plumbed, Bombs)
--2 wing rated for 250kg (Rocket racks)
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


Friday, August 15th 2014, 4:27pm

Ah, then that looks to be about the same speed as the MD.1050G Milan, then. A very large jump in speeds between the Serie II and III Arietes - a rise in almost 80kph. I guess that's down to the new engine.


Saturday, August 16th 2014, 9:52am

The version offered to Belgium is a land-based version but has identical performance, though the weight should be a little less. Probably made up elsewhere though.
I believe the Serie III has some aerodynamical changes too from the earlier series.


Sunday, August 24th 2014, 4:55pm

The Aeronautique Militaire Technical Department has sent a minute to the Aeronautique Militaire Procurement Department recommending that it place an order for 86 Caproni Ariete Serie III fighters.
Caproni have offered assembly of kit-form airframes by SABCA, and the Technical Dept. recommends this offer is accepted. As the SAI R.25 radial engine is not currently in the in the current Aeronautique Militaire inventory, it suggests ordering an additional 25 spare engines plus parts, thus bringing the total number of engines to be procured to 111.

[OOC: it was very, very close between the Ariete and the VB.23, but the latter seemed slightly too light for its power and it only has the ability to carry rockets, the Ariete is capable of lugging 2x 500kg bombs. OTL SABCA and Caproni were quite close, but Kirk has never indicated this to be so, but it might be so.]