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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:24 pm 
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The Hawker Hotspur was a Hawker Henley redesigned to take a Boulton-Paul semi-powered four gun turret. It was designed in response to Air Ministry Specification F.9/35, which required a powered turret as the main armament to replace the Hawker Demon.

Design and development

In the same fashion as the Henley, the Hotspur used standard Hurricane outer wing panels. One prototype aircraft, K8309, was built in 1937, fitted with armament of four 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in a Boulton Paul dorsal turret plus one .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun mounted in the front fuselage.[3] The completion of the prototype was delayed until 1938, by which time the rival Boulton Paul Defiant had already flown. The Hotspur first flew on 14 June 1938 with only a wooden mock-up of the turret and with ballast equivalent to the weight of armament.

Testing and evaluation

As Hawker was committed to the production of Hurricanes and Gloster to Henley production, there was insufficient capacity to introduce another type and production was abandoned.[4] The mock-up turret was removed and a cockpit fairing installed. Planned production by Avro to Specification 17/36 was abandoned and the prototype, less turret, was used at the RAE Farnborough to test flap and dive brake configurations until 1942.

General characteristics

Crew: Two (pilot & gunner)
Length: 32 ft 10½ in (10.02 m)
Wingspan: 40 ft 6 in (12.34 m)
Height: 13 ft 10 in (4.22 m)
Wing area: 342 ft² [6] (31.8 m²)
Empty weight: 5,800 lb (2,630 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 7,650 lb (3,470 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Merlin II hp V-12 inline piston engine, 1,030 hp (768 kW)

Performance

Maximum speed: 275 kn (316 mph, 510 km/h)
Service ceiling: 28,000 ft (8,500 m)

Armament

4 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in a Boulton-Paul turret.
1 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun in nose

Image

Image

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:21 pm 
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One wonders how anyone could have thought that the 'turret fighter' was a good idea. It's rather surprising that more than one manufacturer was willing to try it. I sure wouldn't have wanted to fly one on operations!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:08 pm 
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As if the Henley wasn't ugly enough already...

Any idea what type of Boulton-Paul turret was used? It looks quite different to the Defiant or Roc type.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:07 pm 
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LysanderUK wrote:
As if the Henley wasn't ugly enough already...

Any idea what type of Boulton-Paul turret was used? It looks quite different to the Defiant or Roc type.

Photo taken at Brooklands with a wooden mock-up gun turret. :drink3:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:56 am 
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Mark Sampson wrote:
One wonders how anyone could have thought that the 'turret fighter' was a good idea. It's rather surprising that more than one manufacturer was willing to try it. I sure wouldn't have wanted to fly one on operations!
Can someone Photoshop a turret onto a Spitfire for a comparison? You'd probably have to move the cockpit forward some or extend the nose for weight and balance I'd think. Maybe that's why the radiator was moved up front?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:27 pm 
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Air-to-Air in the SBD
On the morning of May 8, a section of SBD-3s was flying anti-torpedo-plane patrol to protect the Yorktown from enemy torpedo bombers. Lieutenant (j.g.) Stanley “Swede” W. Vejtesa, one of the pilots on the patrol, had put a 1,000-pound bomb through the deck of the Shoho the day before and was minutes away from still more excitement. Shortly after 11 am, the SBDs were attacked by a group of Zeros from the carrier Zuikaku. With superior speed and agility, the nimble Japanese fighters quickly brought down four of the SBDs, but then they came up against Swede Vejtasa.

After surviving the first attack, Vejtasa yelled to his radio operator/gunner: “Son, we’re in for a scrap—keep your head and conserve your ammunition. I’ll take care of the rest.” With guns blazing, the Zeros made pass after pass at Vejtasa’s SBD. Each time one of the enemy fighters attacked, Swede would turn into it and spoil the setup. Then Vejtasa would fire back at the attacker using the twin .50s in his engine cowling, while his radio operator/gunner in the back seat held off the enemy with his twin .30s.

Despite being harassed by three Zeros for an exhausting 25 minutes, Vejtasa’s SBD survived. And, although he was flying a dive bomber against fighters, Vejtasa miraculously shot down one of the Zeros.

SBDs fought air-to-air engagements with the Japanese time and time again during World War II and were credited with 138 victories. Clearly, the SBD was no ordinary dive bomber.

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"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind." And that is how you WIN a war."
.... Sir Arthur Travers Harris


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:27 pm 
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Mark Sampson wrote:
One wonders how anyone could have thought that the 'turret fighter' was a good idea. It's rather surprising that more than one manufacturer was willing to try it. I sure wouldn't have wanted to fly one on operations!


Actually it could be a good idea... under very specific situations. Early in the war when American bomber formations lacked fighter protection I could see this type of configuration working for the Germans. In order for it to be effective though you'd need a weapon system that could out-range a .50 caliber round.

The Germans tried this with fixed weapons but maybe a turret with a 20mm would be effective.

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