The book I read to research this post was Frank Whittle: Invention of the Jet by Andrew Nahum which is a very good book and which I got from the library. As the title says Frank invented the jet engine and if the powers that be had agreed to develop his idea britain would almost certainly have had a jet fighter in service fighting in ww2 before the german Me192 was developed. Although I think planes like the spitfire could at the very least give the Me192 a run for its money. The reason the brits didn’t develop the jet was because they thought the war might be over by the time it was developed. Although they thought they got more planes for there money by sticking with conventional piston driven aircraft. After the war they developed the gloster which saw action in korea but of the effect a plane like the gloster would have had in ww2. He also worked on other aircraft like the vc10, the comet and the bristol barazon.
Archive for the ‘spitfire’ Category
The book I’ve read to research this post is The Story of the Spitfire by Ken Delve which is a very good book and I got it from the library. The main reason the spitfire was so good was its manouvrability which was second to none. The mustang another legend was a bit faster on the level than the spitfire but the spitfire could climb faster which was more important in a dogfight. One thing in the mustangs favour though was it had a longer range. As the war went on there were fewer and fewer targets available and it became necessary to strap a bomb onto the spitfire. The pilots initially weren’t very keen on this but they bombed many targets. The maximum speed of the spitfire was around 380mph.
The book I read to research this post was Spitfire – Portrait of a Legend by Leo McKinstry and it’s a very good book. I got it from the library.
The spitfire almost never happened because when the first protype flew despite their expectations it wasn’t much faster than a hurricane. They went back to the drawing board and made some improvements and made it a lot faster. Hurricanes of course were a lot cheaper to produce. The german despite often being capable of going faster couldn’t go faster than 180mph because if they went faster than that they wouldn’t have enough fuel to get back. So the hurricanes and spitfires made short work of them. The germans didn’t control any decent oilfields so fuel was very much rationed. The british by comparison got fuel from the USA so it wasn’t rationed to the same extent. Also the germans hadn’t any proper bombers.
The book I read to research this post was Hurricane – Victor of the Battle of Britain by Leo McKinstry and it’s a great book. I got it from the library.
The hurricane was a very underrated aircraft. They were relatively easy to produce. They had a wooden fuselage and were covered with a canvas. Bullets would pass through the canvas without explode and you would have to literally shoot it to pieces to win a dogfight. At its peak more than half the RAF consisted of hurricanes. The guns on the hurricane were easier to aim than the spitfire. Nearly 3000 were supplied to the russians and there only complaint was that we didn’t send them more.The english sent engineers to help the russians assemble the hurricanes but the soviets didn’t want their help. So they were stuck in the freezing cold with nothing to do. That eventually did get sorted out.