Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United Kingdom The Military Technology

Bugatti 100P Rebuilt: The Plane That Could've Turned the Battle of Britain 353

Posted by samzenpus
from the blast-from-the-past dept.
concertina226 writes "A team of engineers is working together to recreate the Bugatti Veyron (or Bugatti 100P), an art deco-era fighter plane designed for World War II that would have broken the air speed record in 1940 — only the plane was never flown. Featuring forward pitched wings, a zero-drag cooling system and automated flight control assistance, plane was capable of reaching an air speed of 500mph, which would have made it the fastest and most advanced plane of its time."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Bugatti 100P Rebuilt: The Plane That Could've Turned the Battle of Britain

Comments Filter:
  • Not a Nazi Plane (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03, 2014 @12:51PM (#46388123)

    "Bugatti, who had gained French citizenship between the two wars, decided to hide the craft in pieces in crates in a barn in the French countryside to prevent it from being discovered by the Nazis."

    Learn to read.

    • by Megane (129182) on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:29PM (#46388387) Homepage
      It is also not a 'jet' fighter. Props to the submitter for not including that mistake from TFA.
      • by geekoid (135745)

        I see what you did there.

        I'm watching you...

      • by unitron (5733)

        It is also not a 'jet' fighter. Props to the submitter for not including that mistake from TFA.

        In the original submission, he or she included that mistake.

        And I see that the calling it a fighter plane mistake persists, in spite of there being no indication that this thing was ever intended to be a weapons platform (or ever could have been without some serious changes, and maybe not even then, since it was designed to go fast in a straight line, but not necessarily to be capable, without coming apart in mid-air, of the aerobatics necessary in a dog fight).

        • Re:Not a Nazi Plane (Score:4, Interesting)

          by HornWumpus (783565) on Monday March 03, 2014 @02:37PM (#46388951)

          If you have the faster aircraft, you don't engage in a furball. See also e-fighting.

          The faster aircraft makes a series of high speed passes connected by half loops (to conserve energy) until it has shot down the slow tight turner. If at any point that stops working (e.g. two more slow airplanes showup) the faster plane can bug out.

          The faster flying/climbing plane will win 90% of 'dog fights' (sans missiles). Of course that assumes equally trained pilots.

          • This applied to the F-4F Wildcat vrs the Zero.

            Boom and zoom was the tactic that leveled the field.

            • E-fighting is doctrine for all the worlds air forces. Not so relevant in the age of missiles.

            • Interesting theory. Note that the Wildcat was slower than the Zero, as well as less maneuverable.

              What was done with the Wildcat was to fight in pairs - Zero jumps one plane, the other lines up on the Zero. And since the Zero had zero armor, the Wildcat could take the abuse long enough for his wingman to shred the Zero.

              Since Japanese pilots seemed to disdain that whole teamwork thing, it worked pretty well....

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

          So you're saying it could have been a really cool recon aircraft. :) I don't know, it looks like it should have been maneuverable, and guns could have been somewhere. Where? hell if I know.

          It wasn't designed as a military aircraft though, it was designed to break speed records, and racing.

          Their pictures do show inline 8's, which would be huge. They also say they're race car engines, which normally wouldn't do very well with pesky things like inverted flight or even unbalanced turns (i.e., bank, but cont

    • by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot

      I've updated the headline to reflect this.

    • by tunabomber (259585) on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:55PM (#46388601) Homepage

      ...but the Nazis could have found it since they were occupying France at the time.
      In order to find the parts of a cutting-edge racing plane, you just have to THINK like the parts of a cutting-edge racing plane.

      All joking aside, I saw this plane at the EAA museum in Oshkosh a number of years ago and despite whatever complaints people may have about its utility as a combat plane, if nothing else it is an incredibly beautiful machine. It looks like something out of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, except more curvaceous and birdlike.

  • Engines (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shortscruffydave (638529) on Monday March 03, 2014 @12:51PM (#46388129)
    If the main thing about this aircraft is it's high speed, it seems odd to me that the replica is going to be powered by engines which will only allow it to reach a fraction of the quoted max speed
    • Re:Engines (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:05PM (#46388211) Journal

      There are a lot of "coulds" in this article.

      Saying it would be a match for the Spitfire is probably wishful thinking - just because it can go fast in a race doesn't mean you can mount weapons on it and still have it go as fast. It also may have handling issues that requires very high pilot skill to land and take off - and you have to remember that in WWII pilots were let loose on Spitfires and the like with relatively low hours. There may also be other problems that would surface (which is possibly why they don't want to go over 200 mph with the replica) such as it may suffer from flutter at high speeds; flutter will destroy an airframe in seconds.

      • Re:Engines (Score:4, Insightful)

        by overshoot (39700) on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:56PM (#46388609)

        There may also be other problems that would surface (which is possibly why they don't want to go over 200 mph with the replica) such as it may suffer from flutter at high speeds; flutter will destroy an airframe in seconds.

        With the engines that far back, I suspect that the "computer control" was a hydraulic system to counter PIO (at the time designers were still willing to flirt with small amounts of instability.) At higher speeds that planform sure looks to me like the center of lift would move forward and, expert pilot or no, hasta la vista.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's as if the internet is full of wack jobs. Do you not know when to use its? Do you know it exists, its?

      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        It's as if the internet is full of wack jobs. Do you not know when to use its? Do you know it exists, its?

        I am shocked, SHOCKED, to find the internet is full of wack jobs and grammar Nazis!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by angel'o'sphere (80593)

      High horse power piston engines useable for this kind of plane are not build anymore.
      Like ... 50 years or so.
      If you wanted some 500hp plus engines you have to reinvent / redevelop / reengineer them.

      • by wagnerrp (1305589)
        A (pair of) 450HP 4.9L inline 8... yeah, we have nothing like that these days. It's not like you can just strap a couple tunes I-4s end to end. Oh, wait...
      • Its actually lack of fuel. Since the US Air force is no longer flying high compression/ high powered piston engine planes, the availability of proper fuel is extremely limited. Leaded fuel plus toluene (I think).

        • by wagnerrp (1305589)
          A 5-liter engine outputting 450HP is not hard to come by these days. While the inline-8 needed to fit within the fuselage is a fairly rare configuration, you can pick up a straight six automotive engine and get it up to 450HP without great effort. You can do well in excess of that if you increase the compression and run avgas. You can do even better if you run ethanol for even higher compression and higher fuel ratios.
      • You can still get such engines - used in Formula 1 of course.
    • by mcrbids (148650)

      Counter intuitively, adding horsepower to a given aircraft design doesn't generally add much top speed. Instead you generally get improved climb capability.

      Horsepower is linear in nature: a horsepower (or a pound of thrust) grows exactly to scale of the amount available. But wind resistance isn't. Drag more/less grows exponentially. Particularly at the higher end of the flight envelope, doubling the speed of an aircraft far more than doubles the amount of drag on the aircraft. Thus, adding 20% more horsepow

  • Two things (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday March 03, 2014 @12:53PM (#46388137) Journal

    I get the computer controlled part, since forward swept wings are inherently unstable, but not how such control was going to be accomplished in 1939. Also, this 500mph historical plane, with modern fabrication and knowledge, is going to be limited to 200mph because they could only manage to fit 400HP of engine in it. And yet the original was supposed to fly 2.5 times as fast with only 2.25x the horsepower? Drag doesn't scale that way.

    • by cheesybagel (670288) on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:07PM (#46388225)

      Its a paper plane. Paper planes always look great on paper.

      • Its a paper plane. Paper planes always look great on paper.

        Agreed. Mine design similar, but it runs on excrement and will achieve Mach 1 (fully armed). Jack

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Forward swept wings are prone to static aerolastic divergence at lower speeds than aft swept, and this can become a wing design driver. For an aft swept wing, aileron reversal can become your headache. The dynamic aerelastic stability (aka flutter) concequences I can't comment on (at least without digging through references or asking a colleague).

      If I remember correctly, the X-29 was inherrently longitudinally unstable, but that was a design decision. Although the geometry of the fwd swept wing makes it

    • Early WW2 Engines:
      Rolls-Royce Merlin, 12 cyl, 27 litre, 1000 HP.
      Bristol Hercules, 14 cyl, 38 litre, 1300 HP.

      Those things are huge. Now look at modern car engines, a typical 2 litre is the size of a suitcase and will easily give 150+ HP. A high performance engine like an AMG 6.3 will get you 500; halfway to the required amount.

      Something doesn't add up here if they couldn't get a modern power plant with enough oomph.

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Monday March 03, 2014 @12:54PM (#46388141)
    I'm curious - what exactly does "computer-directed flight control" mean for a plane from 1939?
    • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:01PM (#46388179)

      what exactly does "computer-directed flight control" mean for a plane from 1939?

      This whole article is full of lazy incomplete writing.

      To wit -

      WWII Bugatti 100P Plane Rebuilt: Jet Fighter that Could Have Won Battle of Britain for the Nazis

      A group of airplane enthusiasts have rebuilt the Bugatti 100P, an advanced fighter jet from 1940

      The word 'Jet' appears nowhere else in the article, nor does it appear the 'jet' was ever built as a 'fighter.'

    • by dbc (135354) on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:06PM (#46388221)

      Interesting question. "Computers" as we think of them today, were built using vacuum tube logic at that time. I'm not sure when miniature tubes came into being, but I think they are post-war. Vacuum tubes have reliability problems, dislike vibration, generate a lot of waste heat, and consume huge amounts of power. Not really good choices for a fighter aircraft. In any case, if it were a vacuum tube computer, it would have been an analog computer, no doubt. But, recall that at the time, the term "computer" was used to refer to all different kinds of mechanical computers. Battleship targetting computers, for instance, were marvels of mechanical design and intricate gearworks. Perhaps there was some kind of analog computation done with a gear box.

      • by Duhavid (677874)

        True. But there were some mechanical "computors" back then. Fire control computers come to mind, and date back to WWI.

      • I've no idea if this plane used tubes, but there were plenty of tubes in planes of that day. Mostly in their radios and such. They don't waste nearly as much electricity as you'd think. What they do have a problem with is that they need High voltage AC to heat the plate. But in a multiple hundred horsepower plane with an alternator on board that's not really a problem. There are plenty of examples of Russian planes from that time period still in service all over the world. One of the great things about tube

        • The reason you don't socket transistors is they don't constantly blow. There is no reason you couldn't.

    • by DrHyde (134602)

      It would have been an electrical (or possibly mechanical if they could make it light enough) analogue computer. Analogue fire control computers were common on naval ships from WW1 onwards, and used in bomb sights and anti-aircraft guns in WW2. I presume that it would just be a moderately complex negative feedback system.

      Mind you, the pictures make it look like it wouldn't really have been a useful military plane. Too small to carry any significant load, guns, or fuel. It was designed as a racer, not a milit

      • by sjf (3790)

        You're right. If it existed, it would have been a mechanical computer, likely gyroscopically controlled. Norden had an autopilot coupled bombing computer in production in the very early 30's. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N... [wikipedia.org]
        Indeed autopilots are almost as old as the biplane.

        "Computers" as we think of them today simply didn't exist then. The nearest things to that would be the Bombe and Colossus later in the war.

      • by overshoot (39700)

        Mind you, the pictures make it look like it wouldn't really have been a useful military plane. Too small to carry any significant load, guns, or fuel.

        Not to mention the balsa wood and doped fabric skin. I have serious doubts about its integrity at high airspeed, where the stresses go up a whole lot faster than people originally expected. That 3000 pound weight was nice for racing but wouldn't have survived long in combat.

      • by imikem (767509)

        Where are mod points when you need them? This is exactly correct. The 100P is a curiosity. It would have had near-zero impact on the war.

        Hitler and Göring losing their nerve at the critical juncture of the Battle of Britain and giving up on airfield and radar installation raids was what, thankfully, turned the tide.

    • by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:37PM (#46388445) Homepage

      Looks like a mangling of this quote: "Automatic wing-flaps, that changed the wingprofile for extra lift or less drag. Adjustment automatic according to airspeed, throttle etc. This system was also capable of acting as an airbrake, or be used during dives. The same system also automatically lowered and raised the retractable landing gear." Source [bugatti100p.com]

      I've tweaked the summary to refer to automation, rather than computers.

      • You keep doing this and we're not going to have anything to complain about. Then what are we supposed to do?

    • by hey! (33014)

      Well, electrical, mechanical and electro-mechanical analog computation was a hot research in the 30s and 40s. People forget that "op-amp" (invented in 1941) stands for "operational amplifier" -- a device originally intended to do analog integration.

      The fire control computers on WW2 naval ships were highly sophisticated electromechanical computers, although obviously too large for an airborne system. On the other hand the contemporary Norden bomb sight was, in effect, a compact, specialized analog computer

  • I bet maintenance would've been a bitch. I might have been able to fly fast, but there might also have been a lot of "hanger queens" too. The design is meaningless if you can't keep the planes in the air.

    • Planes had to have a significant range - even drop fuel tanks had to be planned for (complicated plumbing + extra drag/weight at takeoff).
      Need to carry significant armament - like a few 30ish calibre machine guns (7.62 mm). By the end of the war the US was pretty much .50 caliber only - and 6 to 8 of those in a plane - that is a lot of weight. The ME262 had 4 20 mm guns/cannons. Are you going to shoot through the props? if not, then you needed wing mounted guns. If so, you needed mechanism to keep fro

  • Oh my (Score:5, Insightful)

    by muecksteiner (102093) on Monday March 03, 2014 @12:57PM (#46388159)

    Even by Slashdot standards, this is one of the dumbest headlines, ever.

    Bugatti was no Nazi. He lived and worked in pre-war France, and was not a Nazi supporter at all. The reason the thing did not fly back then was because Bugatti, who had build the plane in France prior to it being invaded by Nazi Germany, successfully hid it from the invaders so they would not get their hands on it. Or rather, the technology used in it: in any case, the plane in the form it was built was never, ever, a "Nazi plane". Nor would it have been useful at all as a warplane: this thing, amazing as it is, is a pure racer, with zero capabilities for being armed. Nor would it probably have been much good in a dogfight, either: that crate was built to be fast, with everything else being a secondary consideration.

    This headline is pure drivel, and really should be corrected ASAP.

    • From the project's website: "The plane also met the criteria for a light-weight fighter". Here is the link: http://bugatti100p.com/ [bugatti100p.com]

      • It had a gross takeoff weight of ~3000 pounds, which is about half the Spitfire's gross.

        So, where was it supposed to put the guns, if it had been converted to a fighter?

        Sounds like this thing could have been a perfect replacement for a Gloster Gladiator, but not much else.

  • Sensationalist (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:00PM (#46388171)

    From TFU:

    "The Bugatti 100P was not ready in time for the September 1939 deadline to enter the Coupe Deutsch aircraft race, ... If the Germans had been able to get hold of the Bugatti, it is believed that the plane could have outperformed the British Supermarine Spitfire planes during the Battle of Britain."

    Incredible how unrealistic/sensationalist how people can be. The prototype was not ready in Sept 39, it was hidden in France and hence can only be found there by the Germans after May 1940 and still it is assumed to take part in the Battle of Britain on the summer of 1940? And according to the title it is even supposed to win the war at that time???

    • You don't understand secret weapons, do you?

      They're supposed to just pop out of nowhere, break at least two physical laws and otherwise be incredibly unlikely. If they didn't do that, the other side would just make whole armies of them. RTFM [marvel.com].

  • by Muad'Dave (255648) on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:01PM (#46388177) Homepage

    The caption for the lead photo in the article, showing a sleek, double-propeller-driven aircraft:

    "A group of airplane enthusiasts have rebuilt the Bugatti 100P, an advanced fighter jet from 1940".

    • It isn't mutually exclusive. A turboprop is a jet engine mated to a propeller. The thing is you had NEITHER available in 1940.

    • Also the French had decent military hardware when WWII started. Including aircraft. The defeat was more a matter of organization and tactics.

      • by Spamalope (91802)

        The defeat was more a matter of organization and tactics.

        Exactly. The French were terribly led. Command was not granted based on ability, and they are a post child for the terrible consequences of doing that.

      • I suppose they could have switched tactics from 'white flag' to 'hands up'.

  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:12PM (#46388275) Homepage

    As usual, linking to the people who actually know what they are talking about [bugatti100p.com] would have helped.

    Instead we have a story with the headline "WWII Bugatti 100P Plane Rebuilt: Jet Fighter that Could Have Won Battle of Britain for the Nazis" in bold print directly over a photograph of a plane with a propeller.

    Amazingly enough, even the Daily Fail article [dailymail.co.uk] which the International Business Times cribbed for this story contained more accurate information.

  • by edibobb (113989)
    Computer directed flight control in 1940? Must have been a very large plane.
    • A mechanical contraption, not a Turing machine, comparable to a slide rule or the bomb sights of that era.
      • Reference the most common analog computers. Carburetors are pneumatic analog computers that mix fuel and air.

  • Germany had, for all intents and purposes, won the Battle of Britain before Hitler decided to change the successful tactic of attacking primarily military targets to civilian targets.

    • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:38PM (#46388453)
      The Germans lost the battle for many reasons. They were losing aircraft fast, not just in combat but due to maintenance needed. Planes have to be pulled out of the line and refurbished every so often. They can't fight forever. Unknown to the Germans, the British were far out producing them in fighter aircraft. Almost double the production. The problem the British faced was a lack of pilots to man those aircraft, and a degradation of the support infrastructure. Same as pilots, the ground crew, maintenance and airfield engineers were wearing out. But, so were the German ones. It turned into a battle of attrition. The Germans were deeper to begin with, but the British were losing less over time. The Germans eventually broke first. Their change in tactics was to cover the wearing out of their air force.
      • by Jonathan_S (25407)

        The Germans lost the battle for many reasons. They were losing aircraft fast, not just in combat but due to maintenance needed. Planes have to be pulled out of the line and refurbished every so often. They can't fight forever. Unknown to the Germans, the British were far out producing them in fighter aircraft. Almost double the production. The problem the British faced was a lack of pilots to man those aircraft, and a degradation of the support infrastructure. Same as pilots, the ground crew, maintenance an

        • by overshoot (39700)

          It would be quite different if the Luftwaffe had the range to put fighters over any part of the UK, because then the RAF has to come up and fight, or its units get destroyed on the ground by fighter sweeps or escorted tactical bombing missions; though at least it would still have the option of training new pilots in Canada

          Or Arizona. Falcon Field is now Mesa Municipal Airport, but they kept the old hall as a historical site. The hassle of getting flight trainees clear from Britain to Arizona 70+ years ago is minor compared to having more than 300 days of flying weather every year.

        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          it would still have the option of training new pilots in Canada

          Which they were already doing [wikipedia.org] (Which you probably knew or you wouldn't have mentioned it.)

          I actually grew up within walking distance of one that stayed operational as a municipal airport. Coincidentally 15 years ago I met a British veteran who had trained there towards the end of the war. He had fond memories of his posting to Canada.

  • by jamesl (106902) on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:25PM (#46388361)

    History, facts and performance from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) which has the original on display.
    http://www.airventuremuseum.or... [airventuremuseum.org]

  • Mary-Ann Russon [ibtimes.co.uk], Technology Reporter for the International Business Times UK, believes in them, while both don't exactly exist.

  • From the looks of it, it would have a fuel range barely enough to cross the Channel.

    I also have doubts about the top speed, given the wave drag of the leading edges. However, that's a maybe. With the motorcycle engines instead of (for instance) a pair of turbocharged racing engines the replica is going to be flying at only 40% of the original's planned Mach number so a lot of things are going to be very different. On the other hand, some aeronautical engineering grad student could probably do a nice pape

  • by WarSpiteX (98591) on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:41PM (#46388473) Homepage

    My God, Slashdot has gone to shit over the years. That kind of unresearched clickbait nonsense would not have made a post 10 years ago.

    The aircraft in the picture is:

    1. Too small.
    2. Unarmed.
    3. Unarmored.

    Let's explain:

    Once you add armament and armor, the Bugatti would be a LOT slower. Probably slower than the Bf-109 that set the 469mph record.

    To compensate, you'd need a bigger engine. The 109, which was a small fighter to begin with (half the size of a P-51 and a third the size of a P-47), was already running a big engine for its size and barely had enough room to upgrade to the DB605 during the middle of the war. This Bugatti is tiny. It's powered by two 4.9L engines that produce 450hp each. In 1940, the 109 had the DB601 with a displacement of 34L and produced ~1200hp. By 1945, the DB605 was up to 37L and produced about 1800hp.

    The Bugatti wouldn't be big enough to run an engine that big, and while I'm sure one of you is going to ask "but it doesn't need to"... yes it does. If it's to carry enough fuel, armaments, and ammunition, it needs to have an engine that can propel it forward at combat speeds with all that extra weight, and an airframe that can hold all that. You don't get a lunar lander to the moon in Kerbal Space Program with a pair of solid fuel boosters, and you don't get an armed and armored fighter to loiter over Britain for an hour with two 4.9L engines. Not happening. Physics disagrees.

    Incidentally, the 109's already small size was one of the major problems for the Germans during the Battle of Britain. It didn't have the fuel capacity to stay over London for anything more than 15-20 minutes and still be able to return to France.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      You don't get a lunar lander to the moon in Kerbal Space Program with a pair of solid fuel boosters

      I was almost ready to take that on as a challenge, but the best I've done with pure solid-booster rockets in KSP is orbiting a satellite or manned craft, and that required no less than 6 boosters plus a stack of separators for the circularization burn. All stock parts, though - there's probably a mod that will get you to munar orbit in a single stage, but that's obviously cheating.

    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      Lets go a little further into the issues;
      1. Size. You talked about this a bit but range was more important. The racing aircraft was designed to take off, fly a few laps around a short course and land. There is no way it had enough fuel to get to England, fight and get back.
      2. Armament. The aircraft had none. To add armament would mean weight and stiffening. The wings did not have enough strength to accommodate machine guns, ammunition and the pounding caused by firing.
      3. Armor. Most combat aircraft had some

      • 3. Armor. Most combat aircraft had some of the following things to help it survive being shot at; self sealing fuel tanks, armored cockpits, redundant flight controls armored engine compartment, strengthened structure, etc. A race aircraft would not need any of these ans would be very vulnerable to enemy fire.

        As an aside, this was notoriously missing on the Japanese Zero, hence its rather poor performance against the Hellcat. And none too impressive performance even against the Wildcat, once we'd figured o

      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        The Bugatti was a race aircraft and not a combat aircraft. Yes it could go fast but was useless in combat.

        The Spitfire started life as a racing plane design in 1931 based on previous successful designs, the actual Spitfire was demonstrated in 1936 and went into production in 1938.

        Given that this 100p was still not even flight worthy in 1939 it seems it would have needed five to ten years of development to turn it into a production combat aircraft.

        Even the Mustang P51 took four years to go from concept to production and that was a major manufacturer under war conditions with government backing.

        It's a fantasy, th

  • by scotts13 (1371443) on Monday March 03, 2014 @01:42PM (#46388487)

    I'm actually surprised they're trying this; I wouldn't want to be the first one to take it up. Two things that are almost guaranteed trouble in aircraft are counter-rotating propellers and especially shaft-driven propellers. I see insufficient rear control surfaces (what are they going to do when they start to hit compressibility?), poor-to-no stability, and almost impossible emergency exit. The concept of an aircraft with poor visibility and no room for fuel or weapons as a fighter is laughable. They're not testing Bugatti's concept, because they're not powering it sufficiently to test the one thing it might have been good at - speed.

  • Having only 900hp total with 2 engines while other fighters of that era had between 1000hp and 1500hp with only one engine.

    In times of war you don't want some high tech complex machine like this, you want clever and simple design, easy to repair and reliable.

  • First, thanks for linking a page with autoplaying video, LOVE THAT.

    Second: combat aircraft are about much, much more than speed. Note this line: "...The reigning air speed record of the time was 469mph, set by a German Messerschmitt plane in 1939...." That was the plane that LOST the Battle of Britain, by the way.

    The Bf109 was 10% faster than the Spitfire during the Battle of Britain anyway, an even faster plane - assuming it would remain so, after the addition of reasonable fuel tanks, armor, guns, ammu

  • It kinda reminds me of a Goa'uld Death Glider. So it's really a good thing the Nazis didn't find it.
  • ... that Churchill would have pushed for earlier use of VT-fused antiaircraft shells had such an airplane demonstrated a significant threat. VT fused munitions were effective against V-1 buzz bombs, which were faster.

    The USA held back the use of VT (proximity) fuses over enemy territory until the Battle of the Bulge. To prevent a dud from being recovered and reverse engineered by the Germans. There would have been less risk of this when used over British territory.

  • Just a comment on the comments... plz 'scuse.

    This is interesting history and technology, and I love articles about them both. However, all the posts here seem to be arguing the finer points of whether some difference in technology, such as this plane, would have spurred a different outcome to the Battle of Britain if not the entire war. Well, short answer, no. The simple fact about why Britain, with American help, won the Battle of Britain as well as the war in Europe hinges on one giant fact. Massive manuf

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

Working...