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ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT JOHN DELL

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I love painting aircraft, and I have always had a great interest in British aviation between the wars, in particular the many projects and prototypes abandoned in 1939 and 1940 when production had to be concentrated on a few proven types, such as the Spitfire, Hurricane and Blenheim. Here are just a few for you to look at...

Spitfire Mk V

Spitfire Mk V

Two Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vs of 91 squadron in the colours worn in early 1942.

de Havilland DH103 Hornet

Hornet and Me163 Komet

The amazing DH Hornet was just too late to see service in World War II - Here I've painted it as if it had got into a service a year earlier. in action with Me 163 Komet rocket fighters.

Bristol 148 and A6 Medium III "16 ton" tank.

Bristol 148 and 16 ton tank

Two intriguing "might-have beens". The Bristol 148 was an army co-operation aircraft designed by Bristol that lost out to the Westland Lysander. The 148 might have faired a lot better in France in 1940 than the Lysander, especially if fitted with the Bristol Taurus engine. The A6 Medium III "16 tonner"  tank was designed to replace the Vickers medium II tanks that soldiered on from the 1920s until the eve of World War II.

Vickers Commercial 1937 Tank with 40 mm Gun and Supermarine Type 224

Supermarine Type 224 and Vickers Commercial 1937 model

Another juxtaposition of two "might-have-beens". The Supermarine Type 224, the underperforming predecessor to the Spitfire, and the Vickers Commercial Tank, "model 1937" with Vickers semi-automatic 40 mm gun. The type 224 would undoutably have been a disaster if it had entered large scale service being slow and with an evaporative cooling system that would have been vulnerable to damage from even the smallest calibre weapon. However a squadron or two might have given valuable experience of handling low wing monoplanes in the run up to WWII. The Vickers tank, on the other hand, or rather its 40 mm gun, is another matter. A semi-automatic gun of this calibre would have been the ideal weapon for light tanks and armoured cars (think of the Raden cannon).

BLACKBURN B20

Blackburn B20 as it might have appeared operating in the air-sea rescue role.

Flying boats had to have a deep hull to keep the airscrews clear of the water. The Blackburn B20 was designed so that the whole bottom of the fuselage could be extended to form a central float and wingtip floats folded down to provide support. Once retracted these gave the B20 a streamlined profile and the single prototype built had a sparkling performance, being as fast as a Beaufighter. The prototype crashed during the test program and the Catalina flying boat was purchased from America instead. As originally designed the B20 was to be powered by 24 cylinder Vulture in-line engines (see picture above). In the picture below I have painted the B20 as it may have looked with the more reliable Hercules radial engine.  

To find out more about the Blackburn B20Click here

B20 as it may have appeared if fitted with Hercules radial engines.

Blackburn B40

Blackburn B40

The B40 was a follow up-design to the B20. Read about it on my webpage here

Boulton Paul P100 Ground Attack Aircraft.

BP P100 Ground Attack Aircraft

The Boulton Paul P100 was an unbuilt project for a canard pusher-engined specialised ground attack aircraft - read about it here.

MARTIN BAKER MB2

Designed to be mass produced the MB2 used the Napier Dagger in-line air cooled engine. This picture shows how it might have appeared shooting down a Ju52 towing a Horten ammunition carrier glider (as planned to be used during the Invasion of Britain).

Martin Baker MB2 and Horten Glider - Picture Copyright John Dell

Below another painting of the Martin Baker MB2 as if it had gone into production, attacking a He 111 bomber. The MB2 featured a fixed, "trousered" undercarriage to simplify production. It used Martin-Bakers unique design feature of a tubular metalwork lattice covered by easily-detachable metal skinning which greatly simplified maintenance. The Napier Dagger engine had a sorry history when used in the HP Hereford bomber; it's high speed whine was unpleasant for crews on long missions and the difference in temperature between taxing and flying caused the engine to seize up.  It might have performed better as a fighter engine, with shorter mission times and shorter taxiing runs.

MB2 attacks He 111

VICKERS "SUPERBOMBERS" AND HORTEN HO 229 FIGHTERS

In 1942 Vickers did a design study on a "next generation" bomber, it had an unusual canard layout and was to be powered by six massive Centaurus engines and have a heavy cannon armament mounted in turrets. If the war had dragged on into the late 40's it could have joined the B-29s and B-36's (and perhaps B-35s) of the USA in attacking Germany and Japan. In this scenario a likely opponent would have been the Horten Ho 229 (often refered to as the Gotha Go 229, a designation it would not have taken into service) an advanced flying wing design.

Vickers Superbombers + horten Ho229s Copyright John Dell

AVRO 10 ENGINED BOMBER

Avro did design studies for the same requirement. One of the projects was for a super-stretched Lancaster with 10 Giffon engines with contra-props. Shown here at night after a brush with an Me262B-2a night fighter. Thanks to Dave Dixon who worked at Avro and supplied me with the information to do this painting.

Avro10enginednightsmall2.jpg (29033 bytes)

Willoughby Delta 9 "Flight 777"

The Willoughby Delta 9 was a project for a twin-boom pressurised airliner. I've painted it in a "might-have-been" scenario where it replaces the DC-3 on the infamous "Flight 777" from Lisbon. You can read about the Willoughby Deltas and the alternative Flight 777 scenario by <clicking here>.

Willoughby Delta 9 Flight 777. Copyright John Dell

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