Author Topic: Single Seat Firefly  (Read 2974 times)

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Offline KJ_Lesnick

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Single Seat Firefly
« on: July 03, 2016, 10:27:49 am »
I remember a discussion about the practicality of a single-seat Firefly: I'm not sure how realistic the concept would work, but I was thinking
  • Specification N.8/39: Issued in 1939 for a twin-seat carrier-based fighter to replace the Blackburn Roc
  • Specification N.9/39: Issued in 1939 for a twin-seat carrier-based fighter to replace the Fairey Fulmar
This specification carried forward into N.5/40 which was called a two-seat carrier-based fighter: The RN had the mentality that over long-ranges you'd need a navigator even on a fighter, though most navies had already ditched that idea if they ever entertained it.  I was thinking, what if at this point the decision was made to just ditch the two-seat arrangement.  The turret-fighter was abandoned, and there really isn't any need for a naval-fighter to have two crew-members.

I remember a discussion which stated to the effect that the navigator and all his equipment, would effectively dump something like 1,000 pounds off the aircraft.  While, the pilot would need the maps and a map-table, it's possible that a significant amount of weight could be dumped off the aircraft without too much difficulty.  From what it would appear the aircraft had a number of great qualities
  • A powerful engine in the form of the RR Griffon
  • Wide-spaced landing-gear legs
  • A large wing with Fairey-Youngman flaps that provided good low-speed handing and excellent maneuverability
  • A good payload, and cannon armament
It would be faster with the reduction in weight and would be more maneuverable provided the wing size stayed the same
That being said, I'd like to remind everybody in a manner reminiscent of the SNL bit on Julian Assange, that no matter how I die: It was murder (even if there was a suicide note or a video of me peacefully dying in my sleep); should I be framed for a criminal offense or disappear, you know to blame.

Offline dwomby

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016, 10:47:24 am »

Offline Martin H

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2016, 11:47:13 am »
theres also this one that I did at least 14-15 years ago.





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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2016, 12:53:14 pm »

 and there really isn't any need for a naval-fighter to have two crew-members.


You may think that, and I may think that, and many of us on here may think that, but their Lords of the Admiralty at the time DIDN'T think that.........
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Offline famvburg

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2016, 03:59:22 pm »
There was the proposed SAAB J-27 fighter, based on the Firefly as well.

Offline tahsin

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2016, 01:08:15 am »
Let's see, all the American scouts who also double as divebombers have two 2 crew members. And Americans opt for making the carriers as aircraft carriers whicg means they can field more planes per ship. While the British opt for smaller but stronger ships confident 250 kg is the max amount of weight that can ever be dropped on a ship. Which means their fighters must also be scouts?

Offline NARSES2

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2016, 05:53:40 am »
RN worked on the basis you needed a navigator to find the target and then find his way home and before radio aids you did. Plus the RN thought you needed a separate radioman/gunner. Imperial Japanese Navy thought the same way in the 30's.

As for carrier construction ? To quote a USN liaison officer after a kamakazie hit on a RN carrier "In the USN after that it's 6 months in Pearl, In the RN it's sweepers man your brooms"
Decals my @r$e!

Offline KJ_Lesnick

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2016, 08:57:11 am »
dwomby & Martin H.

I'm quite glad to know I wasn't the first person to think of the idea!


PR19 Kit

Quote
You may think that, and I may think that, and many of us on here may think that, but their Lords of the Admiralty at the time DIDN'T think that.........
I'm aware of that


NARSES2

Quote
RN worked on the basis you needed a navigator to find the target and then find his way home and before radio aids you did.
How did the USN find his way to the target and home without a navigator?  Did we have better radio navigation?
Quote
Plus the RN thought you needed a separate radioman/gunner.
1. Why?

2. The Firefly didn't have a separate gunner as far as I know, the only armament was the forward 20mm's.

Quote
Imperial Japanese Navy thought the same way in the 30's.
I'm looking at a list of carrier aircraft designs from the 1920's all the way up until the A6M first flew and I've seen nothing to suggest this for a fighter-plane...
Quote
As for carrier construction ? To quote a USN liaison officer after a kamakazie hit on a RN carrier "In the USN after that it's 6 months in Pearl, In the RN it's sweepers man your brooms"
The RN and USN had different advantages and disadvantages in terms of carrier design.
That being said, I'd like to remind everybody in a manner reminiscent of the SNL bit on Julian Assange, that no matter how I die: It was murder (even if there was a suicide note or a video of me peacefully dying in my sleep); should I be framed for a criminal offense or disappear, you know to blame.

Offline Mossie

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2016, 03:54:48 pm »
It's easily missed but the Admiralty did order a single seat fighter at the same time as the Firefly, the Blackburn Firebrand.  It's just that the Firebrand took so long to iron out the problems that it entered service as a strike fighter instead and not until the war had ended.

N.8/39 and N.9/39 were not entirely satisfactory so an intermediate document was drawn up, NAD.925/39.  This created a requirement for a two seat aircraft that became N.5/40 (Firefly) and a single seat fighter that became N.11/40 (Firebrand).

Now what's really interesting is that Fairey did design a single seater aircraft as well.  It was similar to the Firefly and also Griffon powered, but a surpsingly pretty design considering it came from Fairey!  Unfortunately I can't find any pics on the web but there's a three-view and artists impression in BSP Fighters and Bombers.  It's one of my favourite wartime naval fighter designs and I've thought about modelling it using an old Novo Firefly F.1, it'd need some very hefty mods though.  There was also a Sabre engined design that was slightly larger, I've not seen pics of that one though.
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Offline KJ_Lesnick

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2016, 11:03:46 am »
Mossie

Quote
It's easily missed but the Admiralty did order a single seat fighter at the same time as the Firefly, the Blackburn Firebrand.
The Firebrand was initially intended as a land-based fighter (much like the J-series of planes the IJN used) to protect Naval bases.  Admittedly, it was eventually adapted for use on a carrier.

While the plane may have had a better rate of climb and power-to-weight ratio: It didn't appear to be as maneuverable as the Firefly.  Admittedly, on paper I'm not sure how if a single-seat Firefly would have had a chance.

Looking at performance figures, which admittedly are tainted by the fact that I only have data on the Firefly F.1, and the Firebrand TF.4 (not the first of each mark), in the air to air weights
  • It had a higher promised top-speed
  • It had a higher power-loading
  • It had a lighter wing-loading
  • It had a higher aspect-ratio
  • It had more rounds per gun
Admittedly, the Firefly could still turn tighter, presumably roll-faster, and the Blackburn design also never met it's top speed requirement far as I know, except in dives.

Quote
It's just that the Firebrand took so long to iron out the problems that it entered service as a strike fighter instead and not until the war had ended.
Which is a big problem obviously

Quote
Now what's really interesting is that Fairey did design a single seater aircraft as well.
Cool!

Quote
Unfortunately I can't find any pics on the web but there's a three-view and artists impression in BSP Fighters and Bombers.
You know, you can scan that in and post the picture online (Tiny Pic is a good one), as long as you don't violate any copyright laws.
That being said, I'd like to remind everybody in a manner reminiscent of the SNL bit on Julian Assange, that no matter how I die: It was murder (even if there was a suicide note or a video of me peacefully dying in my sleep); should I be framed for a criminal offense or disappear, you know to blame.

Offline dogsbody

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2016, 12:43:03 pm »
From British Experimental Combat Aircraft of World War II, by Tony Buttler.





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with a uniform to wear,
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and something to shoot at?"

Offline Mossie

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2016, 01:54:37 pm »
I'll see what I can do with the pictures, my scanner is not working well and I don't currently have access to one.  I'll see if I can find another way.
I don't think it's nice, you laughin'. You see, my mule don't like people laughin'. He gets the crazy idea you're laughin' at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it.

Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2016, 03:07:10 pm »
Great job on that one Martin ! I don't recall seeing it before !

*click* * save*

This one is pretty sweet as well, but not nearly Navy enough

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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2016, 07:05:43 pm »

The Firebrand was initially intended as a land-based fighter (much like the J-series of planes the IJN used) to protect Naval bases.  Admittedly, it was eventually adapted for use on a carrier.


No idea where you're getting your (mis) information from

From your favorite website  -  wiki

"For this it needed an interceptor fighter. Experience in the Norwegian Campaign of early 1940 had also shown a high-performance, carrier-based, single-seat fighter would be an advantage."

Not anywhere is there anything that says it was designed to be a land-based aircraft, it was always to be a carrier born one
« Last Edit: July 05, 2016, 07:08:17 pm by kitnut617 »
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Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Single Seat Firefly
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2016, 07:20:47 pm »
CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

Long Live the Commonwealth !!!
Vive les Canadiens !
Where's my beer ?