Thursday, March 3, 2011

Two Pushers

Boulton Paul produced a whole family of low/medium altitude fighter designs and derivatives in answer to the Air Ministry’s spec F6/42. Here we take a look of two of them.
Boulton Paul P99
A pusher, twin boom layout with the unusual placement of the tail fin right in the middle of the tail plane. The cockpit was well forward giving excellent field of vision for the pilot.
Boulton Paul P100
A contraprop pusher layout with advanced swept main wings to aft and high mounted canard wings forward, immediately behind the extreme forward cockpit giving excellent field of vision for the pilot.

While offering many advantages, the prop pusher layout had one critical problem. That being, in an emergency, pilot escape was a very risky exercise in that the props would be in the direct path of the escaping pilot.
Boulton Paul envisaged a novel escape system being adopted on both P99 and P100 designs. The forward lower third of the fuselage directly under the cockpit would hinge out and down like jaws to allow the pilot to escape.
While the Boulton Paul designs attracted much interest, they were rejected by the Air Ministry as being “too advanced”. In fact, many features can be seen today on modern fighter aircraft.


Bruce Partington-Plans said...

Fascinating. I would hardly have credited Boulton Paul with such radical design thinking. They're the kind of thing one expects to see in the likes of Secret Weapons over Normandy or something(!). A case of the truth being stranger than fiction, perhaps.

Dornier overcame the problem of ejecting in a pusher layout by having the rear prop detach upon ejection in their Do335 Pfeil, if I recall correctly.

Lord K said...

There also was (or rather could be) P97B - twin-boom three-seat heavy fighter:

Larry Amyett, Jr said...

Amazing designs.

Lord K said...

To Larry:
looks like alternate reality, doesn't it?

Tony said...

Thanks for posting. I was not aware of either of these designs and found them both very interesting.


Lord K said...

To Tony:
my pleasure.
I highly recommend to click on the link and browse through Peter Allen's pages. It's the best collection of British (and not only British!) "secret projects" online.

Rene Fijten said...

I have no idea how you find all this stuff on this blog, but it's fantastic.