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Krakatoa
Post subject: Alternate Illustrious class (CV-1940)Posted: September 5th, 2014, 2:55 am
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Following on from the Nelson and County class cruisers comes the alternate Illustrious class aircraft carriers.

From various discussions I have been in, or things I have read pointed to the Armoured deck classes being built as they were because the FAA did not possess the aircraft to defend them. With a decent airgroup available could the RN have pursued an improved Ark Royal type with more aircraft.

Ark Royal was 800 ft oa, but only 721.5 ft wl. My Illustrious is only 830 ft oa but is 786 ft at the wl. Breadth on AR is 94.7 ft, while 105 on Illustrious. The nett result is an increase in carrying capacity from 70 to 84. If 36 (or more) of those aircraft are fighters, then they would just about outnumber the RL Illustrious with plenty to spare.

My Illustrious is the same height above water as Ark Royal, but has more draught. The extra breadth also helps with stability.

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My airgroup contains some interesting aircraft, with the Gloster Griffon being the air superiority fighter with good armament. Its handling was almost as good as the Spitfires and was definitely better than the 109D and it was on a par with the 109E. The Sea Battle I have discussed in another thread. Everyone loves the Skua especially after they sunk the Konigsberg.

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Maple-leaf-Warrior
Post subject: Re: Alternate Illustrious class (CV-1940)Posted: September 5th, 2014, 5:14 am
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Fantastic drawing, but Ungern from Junior General really should be credited for the Skua Drawing, its only fair.

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nighthunter
Post subject: Re: Alternate Illustrious class (CV-1940)Posted: September 5th, 2014, 5:40 am
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Hey! MLW! Long time, no see!

And Krak, he's correct, using material from another site warrents credits, as well as using the aircraft from here. The Gloster F.5 is mine.

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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Alternate Illustrious class (CV-1940)Posted: September 5th, 2014, 7:19 am
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Sorry and appologies to all credits will be added soonest.

My bad.


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Hood
Post subject: Re: Alternate Illustrious class (CV-1940)Posted: September 5th, 2014, 12:25 pm
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That is a really nice what-if Ark Royal follow-on. The air group looks good too. Not sure where the 13.2mm Brownings are from (I note the Sea Battle as 0.5in) as those are not usual British calibre.
Sometimes I feel as though this is the way the RN should have gone, but on the other hand you need more FAA pilots and aircrew and at the time expansion wasn't as easy with the RAF calling for thousands of additional aircraft. Also, I can't help but think come 1941 Stuka pilots in the Med are going to rack up some carrier kills. Several of the armoured carriers took damage but lived to fight another day, of course extra CAP fighters might be the balancing factor that keeps the Ju 87s at bay...
Another interesting what-if we could explore in length!

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Karle94
Post subject: Re: Alternate Illustrious class (CV-1940)Posted: September 5th, 2014, 1:07 pm
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Might also be some carriers sunk if these were sent to the Pacific to face the Kamikazes. I fear the broomsticks wont`t be enough to save these or any possuible follow-ups without armored decks.


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Blackbuck
Post subject: Re: Alternate Illustrious class (CV-1940)Posted: September 5th, 2014, 1:12 pm
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Hood wrote:
That is a really nice what-if Ark Royal follow-on. The air group looks good too. Not sure where the 13.2mm Brownings are from (I note the Sea Battle as 0.5in) as those are not usual British calibre.
We were offered and toying with the 13.2mm x99 cartridge in the thirties in the Browning Commercial / Air Service.

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Quoted from WW2 Aircraft
Quote:
Britain had taken delivery of 35 Hotchkiss 13.2mm heavy machine guns in 1935 for trials for Land Service, and whilst the ammunition was satisfactory some aspects of the gun was considered unsuitable for British service. By 1938 attention had switched to the potential use of the same round, but in the FN built version of the Browning for Air Service. FN had the European licence for Browning designs and had developed the heavy MG in 13.2mm calibre to the point where it was some 5 kg. lighter than the American M2 and fired at a higher rate of 1050 rpm.

A great deal of work was done in the UK in the 1938-40 period to develop loads for the 13.2mm suitable for air use. These included solid steel AP rounds with a base cup of coppers and both nose fuzed and base fuzed HE and HE-T shells. There would be no problem with manufacture since Kynoch had been making 13.2mm ball, AP, tracer and incendiary ammunition since the late 1920s.

Ordnance Board Proceeding 3,268 dated 25.10.39 gave instructions for ground trials against Blenheim wings, engines and tanks from directly astern at 200 yards using the experimental cupped AP bullet shown in one of the drawings below. The request included "Will the Board arrange for fire-fighting apparatus to be available in case the petrol is ignited"

OB Proc. 5,998 dated 3.5.40 was a request for 13.2mm dummy cartridges to assist with the design of ammunition feed arrangements anf OB Proc. 6,795 reported on further trials with AP ammo. However, by the time of OB Proc. 8,732 dated 27.9.40, which examined Kynoch and FN produced ammunition it was stated "This report is printed for record, the development of 13.2mm ammunition for manufacture in this country for use in the 13.2mm Browning (Belgian) gun being no longer a requirement." The fall of Belgium and the capture of the FN plant at Liege may well have been the impetus for this decision.
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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Alternate Illustrious class (CV-1940)Posted: September 5th, 2014, 1:22 pm
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Thanks for your comments Hood,

Actually the aircraft are all supposed to have the 13.2mm Browning machine guns. I'm hoping the much bigger round than the 303 will cause more damage. It was something I read from the Battle of Britain reports where the Hurricanes and Spitfires would spray their targets with 303 rounds to watch the bombers absorb the damage and keep flying. While the 20mm armed 109's would hit the fighters and knock them down.

I would want different air units aboard whether the ships were in the Atlantic or Med, in the Atlantic I would want more search and attack aircraft as most of the action is away from the coastlines. While in the Med the balance would go to a heavier concentration of fighters as you are almost always in range of enemy action.

The armour scheme I have given the ships is to give them a chance to fight another day as well. The 1" of armour on the flight deck and center deck are supposed to trigger armour piercing bombs to explode them on or above the 3" main deck. Thus the engines, boilers and areas that go bang are under the main deck. I have also read the after war reports on the condition of the Armoured deck carriers, that while the armoured flight deck allowed them to survive, the damage and warping done to the armoured structures meant that when it came time to determine which ships to keep after the war, the armoured decks did not fare well. Also the amount of work required on them to allow them to fly and house jets was very costly.

JU87's? even the dear old Skua could shoot them down. The Griffon would make mincemeat of them.

Karle94:

The Kamikazes were a problem to all ships in the Pacific, armoured decks or not, Bombhead sent me this link, which was very worthwhile reading.
http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-030.htm


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apdsmith
Post subject: Re: Alternate Illustrious class (CV-1940)Posted: September 5th, 2014, 7:56 pm
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Hi Krakatoa,

That could be a side-effect of the RAF policy at the time - I guess due to inexperienced pilots, they took a decision to aim the guns at a point quite close to the plane itself - sometimes introducing vertical deflections as well, to try and compensate for poor aim on the part of the pilot, I'd assume?

Ad

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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Alternate Illustrious class (CV-1940)Posted: September 6th, 2014, 8:21 pm
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Hi Ad,

It was actually the other way round, RAF doctrine of the time had the focal point of the guns set at 200 yards. Which of course if you opened fire too far away or too close then too much dispersal of the rounds fired took place. During the B.O.Brit the better pilots ignored the instructions and set their focal points down to 50-100 yards (personal preference) and got in close to make the rounds count. Eventually the RAF altered its regs to the 100 yard range.

Nige


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