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Wednesday, December 27th 2017, 4:53pm

RAF Specifications 1949

As is customary for Q3 of a year, the annual look ahead at what is cooking in the minds of the Air Staff and what requirements will soon be winging their way to the aircraft manufacturers who will soon be scribbling furiously on drawing boards and calculating on slide rules.

Issued to Fairey to cover the Widgeon HC.2 helicopter for RAF search and rescue duties.

Issued for an Air Observation Post light aircraft for the Army Air Corps to replace the Auster GR.Mk.I.
The contenders are:
Auster AOP.9 - a new design based on the Auster but with a larger wing and a 180hp Blackburn Cirrus Bombardier engine. 36ft 5in wingspan, 23ft 8in long, 127mph max speed.
Percival P.68 Gazelle - a new design, a low-wing monoplane, 26ft 3in wingspan, 21ft 8in long, powered by a De Havilland Gipsy Major 30, 155mph max speed.
The winner is ?

Issued to BCAC to develop their Type 174 bomber, has mid-set swept wings with high-lift Fowler flaps, small span high-speed ailerons and larger low-speed ailerons, two 12,000lb Olympus 2 in wing pods avoid wing flutter during high-speed flight, Mach 0.92 maximum speed, 576mph cruise speed, height over target with 2,000lb bomb 47,000ft and range 5,600nm, three crewmen and provision for radar-controlled single 30mm ADEN tail turret, span 83ft, length 100ft and wing area 1,000ft sq. Internal fuel is 6,100gal and gross take-off weight 86,600lbs and bombload comprises one 10,000lb or one 5,000lb or two 4,000lb or six 1,000lb bombs. First flight planned 1952.

Issued for a supersonic variable wing sweep research aircraft capable of being produced as a fighter. The wings must achieve 25 degrees sweep for take-off and landing and 60 degrees for high-speed flight with in-flight change of sweep to a minimum speed of 290mph, scale models must be submitted for RAE testing, maximum level speed no higher than Mach 1.2 and preferably a twin-engined type but a single seater with the capability to carry two ADEN.
The contenders are;
Blackburn B.90, Blackburn in 1947 took over Professor G.T.R. Hill’s work on variable sweep wings and from his early designs developed the Blackburn Transonic Aircraft which had side intakes (which open wider at low-speed flight) and V-tail and a mid-mounted variable sweep wing with the pivots in thick wingroots and a single reheated Avon. This became refined as the Mk.3 with stacked twin Avon engines and refined swept wings with all-moving tip ailerons and a much reduced root ‘skirt’ to reduce drag. The B.90 was the next step with a much stubbier appearance, nose intake, stacked reheated Avon engines in the tail below a short fin and tailplane, 1,150gal of fuel, provision for two ADEN on sides of the intake, special doors sealed the wing gap and a system of links and guides was used to move the wing and flaps were fitted which were inoperable at maximum sweep.
Boulton Paul P.121, two Avon side-by-side with nose intake with long pitot head, only one ADEN below cockpit, 750gal of internal fuel, spar-construction wings with a single pivot and roller bearings, the wingroot gap being sealed by an inflatable rubber tube requiring a pneumatic system, limitations to operation was a speed of 575mph.
BCAC Type 183, several novel features like dual intakes for low-speed and supersonic flight, no undercarriage, ARI.5820 radar scanner, two ADEN in lower fuselage, T-tail, a high-mounted wing pivoted just inside the fuselage (at 0.52chord) with powered ailerons and flaps with a 3g limit on sweep change. Each wing is mounted at three points, one is the pivot point and the other two move of circular tracks and a hydraulic jack moves the wings. Below the mechanism are the fuel tanks and intakes. BCAC proposed a delta-winged Type 184 as a fighter to the RAF with a 38ft span 3% thick wing as a better fighter proposal.
Saro P.149, two side-by-side Avon in rear fuselage, ARI.5820 radar, two ADEN in lower fuselage, 820gal fuel, T-tail and a high-mounted wing using box-beam construction with hydraulic ram movement with the pivot and rear pintles linked together in a triangle which moves forward by 3ft as the wing sweep alters from 25 degrees to 60 degrees. Movement limits are Mach 0.9 and 600mph.
The winner is ?

Issued for a Transonic Research Aircraft, to be powered by one RR Avon with reheat, maximum speed at 36,000ft 740mph (Mach 1.12) and a maximum diving speed of Mach 1.5 and must have the capability to carry two ADEN and a 15in scanner.
The contenders are;
Fairey Delta, a tailless delta designed to operate at Mach 1.5 at 45,000ft, a reheated Avon inside the fuselage with wingroot intakes and a variable tailpipe nozzle to be fitted. Level speed estimated at Mach 1.3 with a design diving speed of Mach 1.7.
Westland P.1, designed by W. Petter with close collaboration with Rolls-Royce, a 60 degree swept ‘notch delta’ wing, vertically stacked twin reheated Avon with a nose intake.
The winner is Fairey Delta I (OTL Delta II), first flight planned 1952.

Issued to Boulton Paul for a modified P.111 type aircraft with movable wingtips to aid trimming. First flight planned 1950 and is identical to the P.111 except for the wingtip system.

Issued for an interceptor fighter with supersonic performance, minimum top speed of Mach 1.2, from button start to 50,000ft within 6 minutes, climb rate at 55,000ft to be at least 1,000ft/min and minimum endurance from take-off to landing of one hour. Armament to be two ADEN or two Blue Jay with small diameter search/attack radar. To be in service by 1957.
The contenders are;
Fairey Delta II - based on the Delta I research aircraft but powered by a DH Gyron (20,000lb trust reheat), 27,300lb all-up weight, 28ft span cranked delta wings, length 45ft 6in, two Blue Jay on wingtips and Ferranti AI.23 radar, time to 45,000ft 1.9 minutes, and top speed Mach 2.26 at 55,000ft. First flight planned to be 30 months from start of programme (but Gyron not ready until 1952/53)
BCAC P.1A - Petter modified the P.1 supersonic research aircraft as the P.1A with two 14,500lbs Avon R.A.10 for a maximum speed at altitude of Mach 2.1 and sea level rate of climb 50,000ft/min. Revised wings and low tailplane and nose-cone mounted radar. First flight 1955.
The winner is ?

Issued to Fairey to develop an air ambulance variant of the Gyrodyne helicopter.

Issued for a two-seat carrier-based all-weather interceptor with AI.18 radar, top speed clean to be 622mph minimum at 30,000ft, minimum ceiling 40,000ft, sea level rate of climb 10,000ft/min and maximum all-up weight 28,000lbs. Power to come from two reheated RA.7 Avon although other proposals welcome and armament was either four 30mm ADEN or two ADEN and air-to-air rocket battery or two ADEN and four Blue Sky AAMs.
The contenders are;
Blackburn B.89, has a T-tail, root intakes for two reheated Avon or Olympus with tailpipe exhaust, three cannon under cockpit, internal rocket bays, 870gal of internal fuel with maximum capacity of 1,170gal with drop tanks, sea level rate of climb with reheat 10,320ft/min and ceiling over 45,000ft.
Fairey N.114, mid-wing monoplane with compound sweep, conventional tail, tricycle undercarriage, wingroot intakes for single 12,000lb Olympus 2, two cannon in each inner wing, 70 2in rockets in two mid lower fuselage batteries, four Blue Jay can be carried ventrally in pairs (one forward and one aft of c.g) to allow arming when wings folded, supplementary radar scanner in port wing pod, 700gal of internal fuel with 1,076gal overload tanks, sea level rate of climb 9,830ft/min and ceiling 44,550ft.
Saro P.148, has a shoulder high-wing with a single Avon R.A.9 mounted in a straight duct above and behind the wing with a T-tail above, side-by-side seating for two crewmen with flush navigators compartment and raised pilot’s cockpit, four cannon under cockpit and two batteries of 36 2in air-to-air rockets in mid lower fuselage, 760gal of internal fuel with 390gal in two outboard tanks.
Short P.D.5, fitted with a low-aspect ratio thin wing set in the mid-position with an all-moving tailplane and fin without a rudder, extra radar scanners in front and rear of pod atop tail, four cannon in lower fuselage with 52 rockets behind and four Blue Jay or Red Dean AAMs under the wings, 850gal of internal fuel, sea level rate of climb 9,910ft/min and ceiling 42,850ft.
BCAC W.37, has a compound sweep wing of near delta shape, bifurcated wingroot intakes for one 11,250lb R.A.9 Avon, the nose containing the radar is completely detachable to aid maintenance, T-tail, four cannon under cockpit with rocket pods and/or AAMs under the wingroots, two crewmen are in tandem under a clear frameless canopy, internal fuel load of 950gal while an extra 90gal ventral drop tank can be fitted if required, sea level rate of climb 10,800ft/min and ceiling 43,000ft.
The winner is ?

Issued to Saunders-Roe to cover development of P.121 Hydro-ski naval fighter.
Saro has been discussing replacements for the SR.A.1 and has come up with a radical new design using skis which act to push the aircraft up out of the water on take-off, can be easily retracted and offer much lower drag than the traditional flying boat hull. The P.121 has two skis under the forward fuselage plus two smaller wingtip skis, four 30mm ADEN are mounted on either side of the cockpit (a production fighter may carry 68 2in air-to-air rockets instead in retractable packs), the nose will carry a ranging radar, a 14,500lb reheated R.A.10 Avon will be fitted in a through-structure under the T-tail and above and behind the wing, the cockpit is ahead of the wing root, the swept wing is easily detachable for replacement is 39.75ft span to remove the need for wing folding has 490sq ft area and is thin for a high mach number. Estimated maximum speed is 710mph at sea level, 615mph at 45,000ft, and initial rate of climb 16,200ft/min. Take-off distance on water 840 yards (or 28 seconds in terms of time) and full load will be 22,000lbs. It should handle well in choppy seas experienced inside harbours or sheltered water but it is recommended to land across swell. First flight planned for mid-1953.

Issued to BCAC for a maritime strike variant of the BCAC Canberra for Coastal Command. The aircraft is to be based on the all-weather B.Mk.I but with an ASV Mk.XX RDF set in the nose and a modified bomb bay. This will be able to accommodate an 18in torpedo or bombs (250lb, 500lb or 1,000lb) or mines or depth charges. Alternatively, the rear of the bomb bay can be modified to carry a removable gun-pack containing four 20mm Orkileon or 30mm ADEN cannon and ammunition. Two cameras will be fitted in the rear fuselage. Tip tanks as fitted to the PR.Mk.III variant will also be carried. To enter service in 1951.

Issued for a thirty-seat VTOL transports for BEA, the ‘BEAline Bus’ to carry a 7,000lb payload over 115 miles with a cruising speed of at least 138mph and in its final form to carry 35-45 passengers or a 10,000lb payload over 230 miles. It has to be able to operate over 230 mile stages in a 46mph headwind and must be able to operate from a 400ft diameter area with obstructions all around. Suggested powerplants are Centaurus, Hercules, Proteus, Ghost, Dart and Mamba.
Contenders are;
BCAC Type 181, a tandem rotor helicopter powered by two 3,940shp Proteus powering two 72ft diameter rotors and seating 80 passengers over 300 miles at 226mph cruising.
Fairey Rotodyne, developed from the Gyrodyne and initially a twin Leonides with tip jet propulsion but now powered by two AS Mambas with tip jets and carrying 20 passengers. A bigger development with the Napier Eland could meet the full specification and an RAF requirement by 1957.
Saunders Roe P514, a tandem rotor powered by two new 2,000shp Napier turboshafts (Gazelle) with stub wings and a ducted fan in the rear fuselage and twin fins. A large loading ramp is fitted in the rear fuselage. It is designed to carry up to 50 passengers over 200 miles.
Winner is ?

Issued to Hawker Siddeley (Avro) to develop the Type 716/719 Shackleton Mk.3 maritime patrol aircraft. To increase the radius of operation of the Shackleton while increase transit speed Avro wanted to fit new engines. The most efficient of the turboprops was the Napier Nomad diesel turbo-compound engine. These have the lowest specific fuel consumption of any aero engine and offer flexibility in operation from sea level and 20,000ft. A new wing is fitted with more fuel (total capacity now 4,400gal) and improved lift. The undercarriage is upgraded to a multi-wheel bogie type to reduce runway loadings. The tailplane is also re-located to the base of a new single fin to increase stability and trim. Sea level rate of climb is estimated at 970ft/min; max speed 342mph; service ceiling 24,600ft and a still air range at 5,000ft of 3,580nm. The bomb bay would be unchanged but nose, and dorsal turrets would be fitted, each with twin 20mm cannon. ASV is carried in a retractable dorsal mounting. The prototype Shackleton MR.Mk.III, WL768, first flew on 20 July 1950 powered by four 3,000hp N.Nm.2 Nomad II and production aircraft entered service in late 1952 powered by the revised and more efficient 3,000hp N.Nm.3 Nomad 6. 70 aircraft were ordered.

Issued to BCAC to develop the Type 184 AWI.Mk.II Argus Airborne Warning and Interception aircraft.

Issued to BCAC for a flying classroom radio-location operator trainer variant of the BCAC (Vickers) Valetta T.Mk.III.

Issued to BCAC for a two-seat dual-control trainer variant of the BCAC Canberra for pilot type conversion (as the Canberra T.Mk.IV)


Wednesday, October 24th 2018, 8:43pm

Allied Air Forces 1949

Royal Egyptian Air Force
Next year the REAF will receive three Gloster Meteor T.Mk.VII jet trainers as proficiency trainers for No.6 Squadron and six Heliopolis Gomhouria 2 light trainers for liaison work.

Royal Iraqi Air Force
Next year the RIAF will receive three Gloster Meteor T.Mk.VII jet trainers as proficiency trainers for No.2 Squadron and 24 Percival P.56 Provost T.Mk.55 basic trainers to re-equip and expand the Flying Training School.

Royal Iraqi Navy Air Force
Next year the RINAF will received four Percival P.56 Provost T.Mk.55 basic trainers for the Training Flight for the Fairey Barracuda pilots.

Arab Legion Air Force
Next year the ALAF will receive eight Percival P.56 Provost T.Mk.56 basic trainers and six ex-RAF Fairey Fox II B.Mk.I light bombers to equip a third Flight and expand the Training Flight.

Sudan Defence Force Flight
Next year the SDFF will receive a Percival P.66 President for VIP transport duties.

Palestine Defence Force Flight
Next year the PDFF will receive six Percival P.56 Provost T.Mk.54 basic trainers for training duties and two Percival P.66 President for VIP transport duties.


Monday, December 31st 2018, 3:45pm

The latest OOB info for the RAF, AAC and FFA can be found here:…98442#post98442