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Old 09-03-2019, 09:51 AM
Ernie P.
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Afternoon clue. Thanks; Ernie P.

What warbird do I describe?

1. When first introduced, this plane was considered to be the most effective and up to date aircraft designed by its owning country.

2. It was designed “in house”; meaning designed and built by and within the nation that first used it.

3. It was also widely acknowledged to be the finest, or one of the finest, of its type in the world.

4. Which was a bit unusual, since its owning nation was not noted for producing aircraft of this quality.

5. Its designation would at first lead one to believe it was a fighter.

6. Which it was not.

7. In fact, when it went into combat, it suffered heavy losses because it went into combat without fighter escort.

8. Various nations expressed a high level of interest in export sales of this aircraft.

9. Which the producing nation was anxious to supply.

10. Additional variants of this aircraft were produced to satisfy the export sales market.

11. And an additional variant was produced for home military use.

12. At first, there was widespread opposition to our subject aircraft being developed. It was felt among the army officer corps leadership that aircraft of this type were not needed, because the only proper function of an air force was to directly support ground troops.

13. One of the country’s primary aircraft manufacturers was told to prepare to produce an aircraft of this type. However, it was then decided to buy a foreign aircraft, built by a very famous company, to fulfill the need.

14. Nevertheless, the national aircraft company first approached, despite their aircraft not being approved for development, decided to independently pursue development of an aircraft suitable for the mission.

15. Several private companies also decided to develop aircraft of the type.

16. The aircraft engineer heading the project designed an all metal, low wing cantilever monoplane, whose design was quite advanced.

17. This aircraft was to be powered by four engines, in tandem pairs.

18. Economic factors prevented the development of this aircraft and the prototype was abandoned. But, there was a growing realization of the need to replace the aircraft purchased from the foreign company (13).

19. As the need for a replacement came to the fore, the company (14) came up with a different concept. That was for a very quick, high-performance monoplane, manned by a crew of four.

20. It was to feature all metal construction, with stressed skin.

21. Powered by twin radial engines producing around 1,000 hp each.

22. The airframe was to be very aerodynamic; and the aircraft capable of very high speeds.

23. Wind tunnel testing, using scale models, proved the plane would be very, very fast; outstripping any contemporary aircraft of its type.

24. Permission to proceed was received and the project given high priority.

25. Performance was given priority over armament, equipment and payload. Its high speed was to be its defense.

26. The dual machine gun and cannon equipment previously considered was abandoned for three single machine guns.

27. A pair of prototypes were authorized as well as a test frame.

28. A first flight attempt was abandoned due to an engine failure.

29. Two weeks later, the first flight took place; using the first prototype aircraft, which was fitted with a single vertical stabilizer.

30. Initial tests revealed a number of problems; including fluttering of the rear fuselage.

31. Excessive vibration of the instrument panel, overheating issues and lack of cockpit space were noted.

32. Even so, the performance was very impressive and the pilots loved the plane.

33. Initial testing was completed in less than two months.

34. After testing was complete, a number of improvements and modifications were made.

35. Some of these were made to the first prototype.

36. But even more extensive changes were made to the second prototype.