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Old 01-16-2012, 03:46 AM   #1
copeab
 
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: near Houston
Default [WWII] Northrop A-37 Fury fighter-bomber (US, fictional)

[The Hughes D-2 was, very briefly, given the designation XA-37 (as well as XP-73). Since no significant development was done under than designation, I have borrowed it for this design]

Northrop A-37 Fury fighter-bomber
Copyright 2012 by Brandon Cope

The Northrop A-37 was a side development of the N-9M, a scale prototype for the proposed XB-35 flying wing bomber. The A-37 was a 'bulked up' N-9MB intended for use as a one-man light bomber and ground-attack plane. It also could perform as a fighter, but was rather sluggish in such a role. The initial design had a rear gunner, but this was considered unnecessary and was dropped. The A-37 used two engines in pusher configuration.

It mounts a rather heavy gun armament to the front, with two 37mm M-4 cannons and four M-2 .50-cal MGs. It has two 1,000- lb internal weapon bays and four 500-lb wing hardpoints (which could be used for bombs or drop tanks). With a full bomb load. it has a range of 1,000 miles at 230 mph or 670 miles at 305 mph.

The A-37 burns 79.5 gallons of aviation fuel per hour at routine usage.

Subassemblies: Heavy Fighter chassis with Good streamlining +3, Medium Fighter-Bomber Wings +3, 2•Large Weapon engine pods +2, three retractable wheels +0.
P&P: 2•895-kW aerial supercharged HP gas engine with 2•895-kW props and 384-gallon self-sealing tanks [Wings and Body]
Occ: 1 CS Cargo: 2.9 Body, 1.9 each Engine Pod

Armor
All: 2/3
Pilot: FRU +/30, RL +/15

Weaponry
2•37mm Medium Aircraft AC/M-4 [Body:F] (30 each). *
4•Long Aircraft HMG/M-2 [Body:F] (300 each). *
4•500-lb bombs [Wings:U].
* Links can fire both 37mm cannons at once, the four MGs at once, or all six guns at once.

Equipment
Body: Medium range radio transmitter and receiver, navigation instruments, autopilot, bombsight, two 1,000-lb bomb bays. Wings: Two 500-lb hardpoints each.

Statistics
Size: 20'x60'x12'
Payload: 3.64 tons
Lwt: 9.48 tons
Volume: 224
Maint.: 24 hours
Price: $72,200

HT: 8
HP: 260 [body], 220 [each wing], 25 [each wheel], 75 [each pod]

aSpeed: 383
aAccel: 6
aDecel: 16
aMR: 4
aSR: 1
Stall: 75 mph
-3.5 mph per loaded hardpoint.

Design Notes
To reflect the stability problems of early flying wings, aMR was reduced from 2 to 1

Stats assume a maximum fuel and bomb load. Without an external bomb load, speed increases to 397 mph an aMR to 4.5. Stall drops to 71 mph.

The wing hardpoints can also be used for 66 gallon drop tanks.

Variants
The A-37B replaces the two 37mm guns with four 20mm M-4's (20mm Medium Aircraft AC) with 100 rounds each. This version was often used to intercept Germany's new heavy bombers.

The A-37C upgraded the wing hardpoints to 1,000-lbs each.
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GURPS 3e stuff: http://copeab.tripod.com

Last edited by copeab; 08-31-2012 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:10 AM   #2
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: [WWII] Northrop A-37 Fury fighter-bomber (US, fictional)

Quote:
Originally Posted by copeab View Post
Variants
The A-37B replaces the two 37mm guns with four 20mm M-4's (20mm Medium Aircraft AC) with 100 rounds each. This version was often used to intercept Germany's new heavy bombers.
Nice speculative concept. I'd question the choice as to weaponry and ammunition when it comes to hunting heavy bombers. The Germans, who did hunt heavy bombers, liked 30mm guns and thought 20mm was too small a caliber to down a 4-engined mammoth quickly and safely.

Now, a good reason to choose a smaller caliber is ammunition, but, again using the Germans as guide, their late-war fighters tended to have some 200 rounds per 20mm gun and some 100 per 30mm gun. All in all, both versions of this aircraft don't carry a lot of ammo for heavy bomber killing, but the one with 37mm guns seems better off than the other, taking caliber effectiveness into account.

The quick way to go, which I'd humbly suggest, is to use the two hardpoints in interception missions when the presence of enemy escort fighters is not likely. Instead of bombs, you carry two sets of 127mm rockets and carry out the first run against the enemy bomber formation on shotgun principles. Then you become faster and more agile and you can make a second pass with the 37s.

The first attack with rockets makes up for the shortage of heavy ammo.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:27 AM   #3
copeab
 
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Default Re: [WWII] Northrop A-37 Fury fighter-bomber (US, fictional)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
Nice speculative concept.
A couple years ago elsewhere on the net someone posted a list of vehicles they'd like me to design; a combat version of the N-9M was one of them.

I had already done my version of the flying wing from Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Ho 229 is in Weird War II (not my design ;). I wanted to do something different from the two.

Something I didn't mention was that the N-9M first flew in very late 1942 and I'd expect the XA-37 to have it's first flight by the spring of 1943. For my campaign (with Atlantean assistance), they would probably enter production by mid-1943; for other campaigns, it might not be until the end of 1944, at which time the current versions of the P-38 and P-47 might be better options.

Quote:
I'd question the choice as to weaponry and ammunition when it comes to hunting heavy bombers.
I looked back at my book on US fighters and the few deigns that were intended as bomber hunters (there weren't many) tended to have 37mm (or even 75mm!) guns. So yes, the 37mm guns are best suited for ground attack or shooting down bombers. The 20mm guns would make more sense for a more pure fighter version, with a higher rate of fire and more compact ammo (allowing more to be carried).

Quote:
The first attack with rockets makes up for the shortage of heavy ammo.
The rocket idea is a good one, although at the point I'd likely intoroduce the plane, the 5" rockets aren't ready yet but 4.5" rockets are (they were first test-fired from a P-40 in the summer of 1942).
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