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1998 Closed threads from 1998 (read only)

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Old 7 December 1998, 12:57 PM   #1
Tom D
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Over the weekend, while putting the hundred or so rigging wires on my model Farman F.40, I got to wondering about the performance limitations on pusher-type airplanes imposed by the drag from all those struts and wires. So here are two questions: What was the pusher with the best airspeed (not necessarily used in quantity) or other performance statistic?
Is there some aerodynamical limit imposed by all that drag on just how fast one of these beasts could fly, regardless of how powerful a motor was fitted? For example, the Italians had more powerful engines on the Farmans they built under license after the French had moved on to marginally better types, but I'm not aware of significantly better speed. I'm assuming that they got some benefit in rate of climb and/or payload.
Old 8 December 1998, 02:11 AM   #2
Michael Skeet
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Vickeres was still building pusher prototypes into 1918, and their Vampire project had a theoretical top speed of about 120 mph, if I recall correctly. I can look it up (if I remember) this evening. (The Vampire was a ground-attack machine, with something unusual about its armament configuration, but of course I can't recall any details right now. The project never went into production, obviously.)

The ultimate pusher was probably the Curtiss Ascender or Saab 21J of WWII -- but if you think about it, aren't jets the ultimate pusher design? No, let's not go there.
Old 8 December 1998, 06:20 AM   #3
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The ultimate pusher has to be the B-36 ! And it is big enough for most of the non-ultimate pushers to land on. Or is Barrett going to crawdance on this one too, and tell me we are limited to WW1?
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Old 8 December 1998, 01:21 PM   #4
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I vud like to know vat vas the special arrrrmament configurrration of the Vampirrre. Perrrhaps it vas the tubes and zyrrrringes at the frrront of the aerrrrroplane forrr zahcking blood frrrom the zoldierrrss necks??????
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Old 9 December 1998, 02:07 AM   #5
Michael Skeet
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I wish the Vampire's armament was as exotic as Mike suggests. (Sounds like he's been reading "The Bloody Red Baron.") The truth, as usual, is more mundane.

The Vickers F.B. 26 (later christened Vampire) was originally designed as a home-defence fighter. It carried three Lewis guns in an Eamon mounting (basically a linked triple mount which could be elevated and depressed through 45 degrees). Unfortunately, while the 26 gave its pilot a good view forward, up and down and was more than fast enough, it had a poor rate of climb.

So in early 1918 it was re-engined (it had started with a Hispano-Suiza, then was given a Lorraine-Dietrich in-line; these were replaced with a Bentley BR.2 rotary) and tested as a ground-attack machine. Ultimately it was decided to proceed with tractor-engined attack types (Sopwith Salamander, etc.) and the project was dropped.

The Vampire was pretty much the fastest pusher of the war. Its designed top speed was 135 mph, and while it never reached this, on test it did get above 120 mph.

Aren't you sorry you asked?


ultimate, pusher

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