Allied Seaplane Fighters of WW II

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Robert Hurst
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Allied Seaplane Fighters of WW II

Post by Robert Hurst » 08 Jan 2003 16:09

Hi

Loire 210

The Loire 210 single-seat seaplane fighter was designed to meet the requirements of a specification issued by the French Navy in 1933, and was selected in competition with the Bernard 110 and Romano 90. Flown for the first time at Saint Nazaire on 21 March, 1935, the Loire 210 employed a fuselage essentially similar to that of the Loire 46 shoulder-wing landbased fighter monoplane. The forward fuselage was a welded steel-tube structure covered by detachable metal panels, and the rear fuselage was a semi-monocoque. The wings were of metal construction with metal skinning inboard and fabric outboard. Armament comprised two wing-mounted 7.5 mm Darne machine-guns.

The prototype began official trials at Saint Nazaire in June 1935, but a production order calling for twenty machines was not placed until 19 March, 1937, the first production model flying on 18 November, 1938. Components were manufactured at the Nieuport plant at Issy-Les-Moulineaux and final assembly was undertaken at Saint Nazaire, production machines differing from the prototype in having four wing-mounted guns and SADIR 514 R/T equipment.

Catapult trials with the first production Loir 210 were completed by the end of January 1939, and during the following August teo escadrilles were formed with the float fighter: HC 1 at Saint Mandrier, near Toulon, and HC 2 at Lanveoc, near Brest, the aircraft of the latter unit being intended for service aboard the battleships Dunkerque and Strasbourg. However, after several accidents resulting from wing structural failures, the surviving fifteen production Loire 210s were grounded, and on 22 November, 1939, HC 1 and HC 2 were disbanded by the French naval command.

The text and photos were taken from 'Warplanes of the Second World War: Seaplanes Vol. Six', by William Green.

Type: Single-seat Fighter Seaplane
Power Plant: One 720 hp Hispano-Suiza 9Vbs nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine
Armament: Four 7.5 mm Darne machine-guns
Performance: Maximum speed, 186 mph at 9,840 ft, 174 mph at sea level; climb to 9,840 ft, 5 min 19 secs; service ceiling, 26,250 ft; range, 466 mls
Weights: Empty, 3,174 lb; loaded, 4,740 lb
Dimensions: Span, 38 ft 8 1/8 in; length, 31 ft 2 3/4 in; height, 12 ft 5 1/4 in; wing area, 218.5 sq ft
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Last edited by Robert Hurst on 09 Jan 2003 11:39, edited 2 times in total.

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Robert Hurst
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Allied Seaplane Fighters of WW II

Post by Robert Hurst » 08 Jan 2003 16:46

Hi

Blackburn Roc

During the late 'thirties', some thought was given to the development of a two-seat seaplane fighter suitable for use from sheltered waters in areas where no suitable airfields were available, and sets of Shark floats were adapted to suit them for application to the Blackburn Roc two-seat shipboard fighter to specification 20/37. A set of these floats was fitted tom the third production Roc (L3059) and were of single-step Alclad type incorporating shock-absorbing devices at their points of attachment. The water rudders were operated pneumatically by the system which actuated the wheel brakes on the landplane model, and the bracing struts followed broadly the form taken by those of the Shark, wire bracing being employed only in the front truss.

The Roc seaplane was completed in November 1939, and transported to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Helensburgh for handling trials. However, the machine immediately displayed marked directional instability, and crashed just after take-off on 3 December, 1939.

As the first prototype seaplane had been lost before any attempt could be made to rectify its instability, it was decided to fit another set of floats to the first production Roc (L3057) which had flown as alandplane for the first time on 23 December, 1938. The conversion was completed in March 1940, and during the following month this aircraft was also sent to Helensburgh. I was found that the instability experienced with the first aircraft was still present, and that the Roc seaplane was dangerous if any attempt was made to manoeuvre at low altitude. In straight flight there was a tendency to yaw from side to side, and in turns the aircraft tended to sideslip inwards and increase the bank, any attempt to check this with the rudder resulting in the nose dropping and height being lost.

As a means of rectifying the directional instability, a ventral fin was added beneath the tail. This resulted in a marked reduction in instability, but there was still a tendency in turns to overbank, and considerable care was necessary in turns at low altitude. Tests were conducted up to the maximum weight of 8,670 lb, and the taxying qualities of the Roc in winds up to 20 mph were good, although the take-off run was long, take-off speed being 75 knots and any attempt to pull the seaplane off at lower speeds being unsuccessful.

The Roc seaplane was extensively tested from the River Clyde near Helensburgh and from Loch Lomond, but after the completion of trials by the MAEE, development of this version of the Roc was abandoned as little need for such an operational aircraft had arisen.

The text and photos were taken from 'Warplanes of the Second World War: Vol. 6 Seaplanes.

Type: Two-seat fighter seaplane
Power plant: one 905 hp Bristol perseus XII nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine
Armament: One Boulton Paul "A" power-driven turret containing four 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine-guns with 600 rpg
Performance: Maximum speed, 178 mph at 6,000 ft; cruising speed, 122 mph at 13,000 ft; initial climb rate, 980 ft/min; service ceiling, 15,000 ft; range, 560 mls
Weights: Loaded, 8,670 lb
Dimensions: Span, 46 ft 0 in; length, 37 ft 6 in; height, 18 ft 0 in; wing area, 310 sq ft
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Aufklarung
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Post by Aufklarung » 08 Jan 2003 17:07

BTW
Don't forget to credit the photos. :D
A :D

Mark V
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Post by Mark V » 08 Jan 2003 19:34

Hi.

Just one weblink:

-all those of you who master French language (i don't) - seems to be quite detailed site about French seaplanes and aero-engines
http://pgts.free.fr/index.html

and especially: http://pgts.free.fr/etudegh/index.html

Regards, Mark V

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Robert Hurst
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Allied Seaplane Fighters of WW II

Post by Robert Hurst » 09 Jan 2003 12:21

Hi

Supermarine Spitfire

The invasion of Norway by German forces on 9 April, 1940, brought to the fore Britain's urgent need for a seaplane fighter capable of operating from Norwegian fjords or other sheltered strips of water, and as a panic measure, both Vickers-Armstrongs and Hawkers were asked to produce float-equipped versions of their respective fighters, the Spitfire and the Hurricane. In the event, the Norwegian campaign terminated before either float fighter was flown, but while further work on the Hurricane seaplane was abandoned, development of the Spitfire seaplane continued, resulting in the fastest float seaplanes of the Second World War.

The original Spitfire seaplane project, the Type 243, known less officially as the "Narvik Nightmare", was begun in April 1940, and owing to the exigencies of the time was an adaptation of a standard Spitfire Mk 11 to take a pair of single-step Alclad Blackburn Shark floats similar to those employed by the Roc seaplane. These floats were obviously too large and too heavy for the Spitfire, and there were some doubts that the bracing structure between the floats and wings would possess sufficient strength. It was perhaps fortunate, therefore, that the conversion was never completed, the onset of the "Battle of Britain" necessitated the reconversion of the aircraft as a standard Spitfire Mk II.

In May 1940, a conversion of the Spitfire with floats of Supermarine design, the Type 344, was already proposed, but it was not until September 1941 that the scheme was revived with the Type 355, a conversion of a Sptifire Mk VB (W3760) to take Supermarine-designed floats. The actual conversion was undertaken by Folland Aircraft, and apart from the attachments of the floats by cantilever pylons to the inboard wing sections, the aircraft had the carburettor air intake extended forward to avoid the entry of water spray, and the vertical tail surfaces were increased in area by the forward extension of the fin and the provision of an additional ventral fin.

Initial trials revealed that the water handling of the Spitfire seaplane and its behaviour during take-off and alighting were very good, and at normal taxying speeds in winds up to 20 mph only a fine spray was thrown into the airscrew arc. In the air the fighter handled well, except for an appreciable change in elevator trim during diving and a substantial yaw which developed when the pilot throttled back, and the addition of the floats had very little effect on manoeuvrability which was of an extremely high order.

As a result of the success of initial trials, Folland Aircraft were instructed to manufacture twelve sets of floats and conversion kits, and two further Spritfire Mk VBs were converted (EP751 and EP754). However, a change in policy after the completion of the first two "production" conversions resulted in the discontinuation of further work on the Spritfire Mk VB seaplane in favour of a conversion of the more powerful Spitfire Mk IX. Eight sets of floats already manufactured were modified for installation on the later Spitfire variant, and a Spitfire Mk IX (MJ892) was converted as a prototype, the modifications being substantially the same as those made to the earlier conversions.

The Spitfire Mk IX seaplane displayed an outstanding performance and would have undoubtedly have proved its worth in the Pacific, but official policy dictated concentration on carrier-borne rather than float-equipped fighters, and the whole scheme was abandoned early in 1944.

The first of the following specifications relates to the Spitfire Mk VB seaplane conversion, and the second covers the Spitfire Mk IX conversion.

Type: Single-seat Twin-float Seaplane Fighter
Power Plant: One 1,470 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 twelve-cylinder Vee liquid-cooled engine
Armament: Two 20 mm Hispano cannon with 120 rpg and four 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns with 350 rpg
Performance: Maximum speed, 251 mph at sea level, 267 mph at 5,000 ft, 306 mph at 15,500 ft, 324 mph at 19,500 ft; economical cruising speed, 180 mph at 6,000 ft, 200 mph at 20,000 ft; initial climb rate, 2,240 ft/min, maximum climb rate, 2,450 ft/min at 15,500 ft; time to 5,000 ft, 2.2 min, to 10,000 ft 4.4 min, to 25,000 ft, 12.3 min; service ceiling, 33,400 ft; range, 336 mls at 200 mph at 20,000 ft
Weights: Empty, 6,014 lb; normal loaded, 7,580 lb
Dimensions: Span, 36 ft 10 in; length, 35 ft 4 in; height, 13 ft 10 in; wing area, 242 sq ft

Type: Single-seat twin-float Seaplane Fighter
Power Plant: One 1,720 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 twelve-cylinder Vee liquid-cooled engine
Armament: Two 20 mm Hispano cannon with 120 rpg and four 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns with 350 rpg
Performance: Maximum speed, 316 mph at sea level, 353 mph at 9,000 ft, 377 mph at 19,700 ft; economical cruising speed, 225 mph at 10,000 ft; initial climb rate, 3,700 ft/min; maximum climb rate, 3,800 ft/min at 6,500 ft; service ceiling, 36,000 ft; range 460 mls at 225 mph at 10,000 ft (with 50 Imp gal drop tank), 770 mls
Weights: Empty, 6,500 lb; normal loaded, 8,200 lb; maximum, 8,610 lb
Dimensions: Span, 36 ft 10 in; length, 35 ft 6 in; height (tail down on land), 10 ft 0 in; wing arera 242 sq ft

The text and photos were taken from 'Warplanes of the Second World War: Vol 6 Seaplanes.

Regards

Bob
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Robert Hurst
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Allied Seaplane Fighters of WW II

Post by Robert Hurst » 09 Jan 2003 12:53

Hi

Grumman F4F-3S Wildcat

The appearance of the Nakajima-built A6M2-N seaplane fighter in the Aleutians and during the early phases of the assault on Guadalcanal resulted in US Navy interest in an aircraft which, like the Japanese fighter could operate from sheltered waters and provide air cover pending the availability of airstrips for land-based aircraft. Accordingly a standard F4F-3 fighter was transferred to the Edo Corporation for conversion as a twin-float seaplane.

Edo designed and manufactured a set of single-step, all-metal floats which were braced to the inboard wing section and fuselage by a rather complex system of struts, and small moveable auxiliary rudders were mounted at the tips of the tailplane, and as the F4F-3S, the float-equipped Wildcat was flown for the first time on 28 February, 1943. Initial trials revealed the need for substantial additional keel area aft to compensate for the large float area forward of the c.g., and in May a large ventral fin was added to improve yaw stability.

The floats and their bracing struts raised the fighter's empty weight by only some 500 lb, and in calm water the F4F-3S at 7,506 lb could take-off in thirty-four seconds. However, the increased drag resulting from the introduction of the float gear reduced maximum speed by more than 60 mph, and as by this time the US Navy's substantially increased carrier force and the construction battalions' proven ability to lay airstrips in a remarkably short time had reduced the need for a float-equipped fighter, further development of the F4F-3S was abandoned.

Type: Single-seat Twin-float Seaplane Fighter
Power plant: One 1,200 hp Pratt and Whitney R-1830-76 Twin Wasp fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engine
Armament: Four 0.50-in Browning machine guns with 800 rpg
Performance: Maximum speed, 266 mph at 20,300 ft; economical cruising speed, 132 mph; initial climb rate, 2,460 ft/min; time to 10,000 ft, 4.5 min; service ceiling, 33,500 ft; maximum range, 600 mls at 132 mph
Weights: Empty, 5,804 lb; normal loaded, 7,506 lb
Dimensions: Span, 38 ft 0 in; length, 39 ft 1 in; height, 18 ft 1 3/4 in; wing area, 260 sq ft.

The above text and photos were taken from 'Warplanes of the Second World War: Vol 6 Seaplanes', by William Green

Regards

Bob
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