Friday, October 23, 2009

War Bird!

This is coolbert:

As long as we are on the topic of World War Two [WW2] war birds [Spitfire, Mustang, La-7], specifically the fighter interceptor, called at the time the "pursuit plane", here is a "thought exercise" from an interesting web forum, thanks again to Mombu:

"Modern day propeller fighter - hypothetical "

The question is posed, by Mombu:

"With relatively easily available technology off the shelf (no railguns or laser cannon please). Lets say a reasonable development budgetof oh say $300 million. The question is are we capable of producing superior prop aircraft than the great fighters of WWII and what configuration would it take?"

Criteria as follows: [defined by Mombu]

1. "Mission: Air superiority/dominance during WWII. Land based."

2. "Must be a propeller aircraft."

3. "Only armament allowed are guns/cannons."

"all of modern technology is allowed to be used . . . Just as long as the driving force isn't a jet."

Design a modern propeller driven military aircraft, a fighter/interceptor/"pursuit" plane the primary mission which would be to SHOOT-DOWN OTHER ENEMY AIRCRAFT - - the goal being air supremacy!! AND a design that would have the "configuration" with the appearance being?

"Air supremacy . . . is complete control of the skies."

"Air superiority . . . being in a more favorable position than the opponent."

"Air parity . . . control of the skies only above friendly troop positions."

Modern technology, design concepts, systems, used within the confines of the criteria as enunciated by Mombu, producing a "boss" fighter/interceptor/"pursuit" plane of the highest possible caliber!!

Some interesting comments and suggestions from the forum:

"I assume you mean to allow turboprops"

"Gun sights tied to radars and computers would be 'death dot' types. Gatling gun or high speed revolver would shred any WWII fighter in a second."

"I'd guess you'd end up with an all weather plane between a P-38and P-61 in size. Likely twin turbo prop to free up the centerline for radar and the gun. Slightly sweep [sic] wing and aerodynamics. . . a top speed something better than 550mph. Engines and pilot virtually proofed against any air fighter guns of the period andthe rest pretty robust."

"a CIWS or two mounted, then you would even have to point the nose at em'."

"A couple of alternatives for the center line gun . . . Through the prop hub - - Rear engine"

"Trike gear would be essential even for a single engine"

"2 different powers, one small for cruise efficiency and range with a bigger one for combat (oil etc. preheated)."

"Take one Kuznetsov NK-12MV turboprop giving 14,795 shp . . . For a single engine fighter . . . An even more mind boggling configuration would be two NK-12MV's in a twin boom design, ala' the P-38."

"The real value of this design would be using the . . . transonic counter-rotating propellers" [should read contra-rotating!]

"Come to think of it, the single engine version would probably resemble the Convair XFY-1, Pogo."

"[might resemble] the Japanese Shinden interceptor."

"[resembling a] P-61 Black Widow."

From the comments of the various contributors to the forum, we are able to surmise that:

The modern version of the WW2 "pursuit" war bird might have the appearance of:

1. P-38 "Lightning".

2. P-61 "Black Widow".

3. Japanese "Shinden".

One view of the "Shinden".

Here with a three-dimensional view of the "Shinden".

4. German Do-335.

Note the engine in the rear. This is the push-pull design.

5. XFY-1 "Pogo". [sans "tail-sitter" landing posture!]


* The consensus is the turboprop is the way to go! NOT the piston-driven, internal combustion engine as used during in the WW2 war bird! A turboprop with dual contra-rotating propellers [not counter-rotating], two four-bladed propellers on the same shaft.

* One engine or two is not clear. That push-pull design of the Do-335 is most interesting. Called a center-line-of-thrust concept. Allows for a MORE streamlined and aerodynamic perfect design?

* Firepower consisting of the 20 mm "gatling" gun slaved to a controlling radar. Guns carried in turrets in the manner of a CIWS? Two turrets [one top, one bottom of the fuselage] and one additional gun [no turret] firing through the center of the prop? Boss!

* Mombu does not specify if the modern prop-driven fighter/interceptor is to be a one-seater or a crew-served aircraft. A pilot with a "weapons officer" in the rear, in the manner of a Phantom F4 is the way to go? The P-61 had a crew of three, pilot, gunner, radar operator/co-pilot and gunner [facing backwards].

* That Japanese interceptor "Shinden" greatly resembles a Burt Rutan type aircraft. Or does the Burt Rutan type aircraft greatly resemble the "Shinden"?

* The cockpit, engine or engines, critical electronics all to be protected by a titanium armored "bathtub", similar to what is found on the USAF A-10? Protection of an enviable variety!

* With regard to the tricycle landing gear rather than the "tail-dragger" variety:

"Tricycle gear aircraft have the advantage that it is nearly impossible to make them 'nose over' . . . Tricycle gear planes are also easier to handle on the ground and reduce the possibility of a ground loop."

* Do not preclude the possibility of a goodly number of enemy aircraft being DESTROYED ON THE GROUND FROM A HIGH-FLYING YEAR 2009 MODERN PROPELLER DRIVEN WAR BIRD! The modern war bird would have day/night capability and be able to attack enemy aircraft with impunity during periods of darkness, firing that 20 mm turret mounted "gatling gun" downward, the modern war bird not even having to strafe in conventional ground attack!!

A modern fighter/interceptor, propeller driven [turboprop engine], with modern weaponry [CIWS] linked and slaved to modern radar and electronics and formidably armored would be more or less unbeatable. Such an aircraft, taking advantage of inherent strong points over the much prosaic WW2 designs, could engage and defeat any number of 1940's-style war birds with ease, in a leisurely fashion almost!!??


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