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Fairey- design proposal

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 22:47    Post subject: Fairey- design proposal Reply with quote

Fairey, the aircraft manufacturer in the UK, built an aircraft widely considered to be one of the most ugly objects to fly. This was the Fairey Gannet ASW aircraft. It went into service with the Royal Navy. The Gannet featured a counter-rotating propeller (ahead of the pilot). Each of the two propellers was separately powered (through a reduction gear) by a gas turbine engine (they were A/S Mambas). It was an unusual arrangement that worked out well in practice. In fact one of the engines could be shut down allowing its corresponding propeller to windmill. This gave the Gannet extra loiter time (bad news for submarines).

Prior to work being undertaken on the Gannet, a proposal was made for an aircraft powered by a pair of Rolls Royce Merlins or Griffons instead of the Mambas. The propeller was to be in the conventional nose mounted position (uncertain whether this was to be a counter-rotating system of not). One engine was to be mounted in front of the pilot as is usual. The second engine was to be mounted behind the pilot and attached to the first by a drive shaft.

I am interested in this design and would like to know more about it, especially the mechanical layout (for instance were both engines provided with reduction gears or not?). Does anyone have any information or know where it could be sourced?

Thanks & regards

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Joined: 27 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 15:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Fairey O.21/44 torpedo bomber pre-dated the Gannet project and was designed for a different purpose. The engine arrangement was one Merlin in the nose below the pilot and the second Merlin behind the pilot...as a result the nose was very deep and the second engine was above the first. Each engine drove one half of the contra-prop setup, the front engine incorporated the nose gearbox with the contra-rotating propellers, the second engine was connected to the gearbox by an extension shaft. The front engine drove the rear propeller and the rear engine the front propeller...the engines were not directly connected.

The next development was the Strike Fighter A design using the same Merlin layout, this was changed...at Rolls-Royce suggestion, to a twin-turbine layout. This project was also canceled but the work done on the engine and propeller system was applied to the design of the Gannet.

'British Secret Projects: Fighters & Bombers 1935-1950' by Tony Buttler has good coverage of the projects with 3-views and model photos.

Cheers, Jon
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Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fairy also developed an H-24 engine that drove contra-props. This engine had the ability to shut down one half and feather one prop.
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