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Thread: Canada and Australia: what would you build?

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    Creator of Interesting Threads tomo pauk's Avatar
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    Canada and Australia: what would you build?

    I'd like to hear what would you, as a main person in charge of production of planes, get to be built in those two countries. You can decide to undertake a license production of a complete plane and/or some other design at your preference.
    The compatibility with stuff made (or about to be made) in UK and USA is important, along with suitability for mass production, simplicity, durability & good performance. Since the UK would be looking for your government's support (not just for those planes), you can use that to 'extract' a right to produce any piece of military hardware needed for your plane(s).
    The task begins in 1st Jan 1938 in Canada, 1st Jan 1939 in Australia, the new plane(s) will be in combat units within 3 years. New Zealand can join down under


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    Senior Member davebender's Avatar
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    Australia is hopeless

    No aluminum industry as of 1940. No aircraft engine industry either. The land of Oz must import aircraft just as happened historically.


    Canada is a different story. They've got a bottomless supply of aluminum and Packard Motor Company is just across the river. So they can build almost any aircraft type as long as it's powered by Packard made Merlin engines. Build a Castle Bromwich size Spitfire plant in Windsor. This would be ILO building Hurricanes in England.

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    Creator of Interesting Threads tomo pauk's Avatar
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    From Wikipedia:
    The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) was an Australian aircraft manufacturer. The CAC was established in 1936, to provide Australia with the capability to produce military aircraft and engines.

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    Senior Member pbfoot's Avatar
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    Ive no proof but have heard that we we`re told that the Spit (one trick pony)
    was too tricky for us to make , I know lots of folks that crossed the river(border) here to build P40`s and P39`s both plants are about 10 miles away but Canada did make
    160 hampdens
    625 Blenheims
    1400 Hurricanes with the 12 x 303
    225 Lysanders
    700 Lancasters
    1 Lincoln
    800 Mosquitos
    1000 Curtiss Helldivers
    1200 PBYs OA 10`s Cansos or Catalina
    Approx numbers
    I sure think we should have used US aircraft Like the B25 or 26 instead of Bolingbrokes and Hampdens and as for a fighter that will take some thinking , maybe an improved version of the P39

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    Senior Member parsifal's Avatar
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    Bollocks to no engine production or aluminium smetlting


    The Story of the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation
    From "Technology in Australia (1788 - 198"
    In the mid-thirties to the Australians took thir first steps to an independent aircraft industry with the formation of the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) on 17 October 1936.

    It arose from the initiative of Essington Lewis, who was at the time the Chief General Manager of BHP, and who formed a syndicate of BHP, Broken Hill Associated Smelters and G.M.H. to undertake a study leading to the establishment of military aircraft and engine manufacturing facilities in Australia. These companies were later joined by I.C.I., Electrolytic Zinc (for aluminium smelting, set up and in production by 1941) and Orient Steam Navigation Company.

    The nucleus of the newly formed company was provided by L. J. Wackett's team, operating at the Tugan Aircraft premises in Sydney. This company was taken over by CAC and Wackett became its first manager. A factory was constructed at Fishermen's Bend in Melbourne and Wackett began to operate from the new premises in September, 1937. In order to enable rapid local production, a licenced design was adopted, both for the airframe (the North American NA33, later known as the Wirraway), and for the engine (Pratt and Whitney Single Wasp. These were being received from 1939, rated at 650 hp).

    Whilst this is a historical review, in these days of rampant Canberra bureaucracy it is interesting to note the speed with which it was possible to operate when there were no government departments set up to 'assist' industry. Thus the first order was received in January 1937, some nine months before the factory was completed (this took less than a year) and the first aircraft and its Single Wasp engine were completed in March 1939 (low rated Moth engines were qalso commenced at about that time , some 18 months after the factory started operating. A total of 755 Wirraways were built in subsequent war years. These were an off the shelf design and were used in the opening months of the Pacific war by the RAAF as frontline equipment. I believe that a light bomber variant should have been designed in 1941, using the Twin Wasp engine similar to the Boomerang, but for an airframe configured for bombing.

    In 1938 a requirement for an intermediary trainer for the R.A.A.F. arose and the Wackett team designed and built the Wackett trainer, which first flew in October 1939. It was subsequently re-engined and some 200 production trainers were built, with deliveries occurring between May 1941 and April 1942.

    An interesting and innovative CAC design was the Woomera three seater reconnaissance bomber. Engineering work on this aircraft commenced in April 1940 and the first flight took place in September 1941. The Woomera had a number of ingenious features incorporated, the most interesting being the remotely controlled, power-operated gun turrets at the rear of each engine nacelle. Due to a change of government policy, this type was not ordered into production.

    In order to counteract the supremacy of the Japanese Air Force in 1942, the CAC design staff employed the most powerful engine then available, the 1200 h.p. twin Wasp to power a new design of a small fighter. To save time, many existing Wirraway components were incorporated in the new design. Twin Wasps began to be received from about July 1941.

    The new aircraft, named the Boomerang, first flew at the end of May 1942, precisely 14 weeks after rough drafts had been approved. 105 aircraft of this type were ordered off the drawing board and first production aircraft were delivered to the R.A.A.F. by September 1942. Further versions of the Boomerang had supercharged engines and a total of 250 aircraft of both types were built. There is no technological reason why this aircraft could not have been built in 1940, with imported twin wasps at first, followed by the licenced built version in July 1941. Money spent on the Buffalo could instead have been diverted to this local product, which would have benn significantly better that the buffaloes used in Malaya

    The design of an advanced fighter (known as the CA15) commenced in July 1942 . It was originally designed for a U.S. engine, the 2,300 h.p. Pratt and Whitney R-2800, but this engine was not made available in 1942, with the Merlin engine not delivered in Australia until 1944 and the Griffon until 1945. Consequently, this advanced aircraft had to be re-designed in 1945 to accept the Rolls Royce Griffon engine (there had been proposals to equip it with the merlin but these were abandoned in 1944). The first flight occurred in March 1946. Whilst the advent of jet fighters prevented the CA-15 to be ordered for production, it was, for its time, a remarkable performance aircraft and was a state-of-the-art development.


    We have to go back to 1939 again, to look at the third major Australian initiative in aviation. The spectre of the coming war caused the Commonwealth Government to think about setting up additional facilities specifically for the production of war planes. The Department of Aircraft Production was established and its production branch, known as the Beaufort Division, was set up at Fishermen's Bend, next to CAC. The Beaufort Division, under the control of John (later Sir John) Storey, one of the most prominent industrialists of that time, commenced operations in September, 1939 with an empty office and in May 1941 produced its first licence-built Beaufort bomber.

    The innovations needed to put this aircraft into, and maintain in production, consisted of the replacement of the unobtainable British engine, the Taurus, with the locally produced twin-row Wasp engines. This was the main reason why the two stage Wasp was built (locally) ….to get the Beaforts operational. The first locally built, locally engined Beauforts rolled off the lines in October 1941. Local sources of supply had to be arranged for many sub-components (for example the airframes depended on locally smelted and worked aluminium, specifically set up for that purpose in 1940 which were originally to be imported). By August 1944 when its production ceased, 700 aircraft of this type had been delivered, allo with locally produced Twin Wasp engines. Towards the end of 1943, the licensed production of the fighter-bomber, the Beaufighter was put in hand and the first deliveries of the latter type commenced in May 1944. I forget the engines used for these, most were imported however. .

    In 1944, studies began for the licensed manufacture of the Lancaster heavy bomber. This aircraft was rapidly improved into the Lincoln version and this was the version adopted for Australia. The first Lincoln flew in March 1946.

    The most remarkable feature of the wartime history of the Australian aircraft industry was its impressive growth. From a handful of people in 1937 and without a developed base of sub-contractors, it grew to 5,000 in June 1940 and to a peak of some 44,000 people in 1944 operating in four main factories and several annexes. Sub-contractors accounted for another 10,000 people. This industry delivered some 3,500 aircraft of all types to the R.A.A.F. and, at the end of the war, was capable of designing and manufacturing aircraft equal to the best in the world.
    Fr President Clemenceau’s speech to the AIF 7th July 1918: “ we expected a great deal of (Australians)… We knew that you would fight a real fight, but we did not know that from the beginning you would astonish the whole continent. I shall go back and say to my countrymen “I have seen the Australians, I have looked in their faces …I know that they will fight alongside of us again until the cause for which we are all fighting is safe for us and for our children”.



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    Senior Member davebender's Avatar
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    Local sources of supply had to be arranged for many sub-components

    Therein lies the problem. Australia was capable of producing aluminum but that requires several years to establish. January 1939 is too late.

    Australia was part of the Imperial Preference system. Why didn't they work with Britain to establish aluminum production during the early 1930s? Australia could have filled the British shortfall in aluminum production. Aircraft such as the Mosquito and Hurricane could have been constructed of Australian produced aluminum rather then wood and fabric.

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    Senior Member pbfoot's Avatar
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    In 39 Canada had Straener flying boats Westland Wapitis and atlases backed up by a sqn of Hurricanes and some 10 Battles with a strength of 2000 men but with little percieved threat from any quarter just the US on the border , its going to take time to work up to useful military and whatever it is has to be able to get to the war or better yet patrol the vast distances here . So that eliminates any european fighter , So I'll try and get on with lockheed and the P38 and Martin and the B26 , and maybe buy the tooling to make same or be part of the production team in the US both aircraft are capable of good distance allowing them to transit the country or even cross the ocean, for ASW work I`ll keep the PBY Canso

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    Quote Originally Posted by davebender View Post
    Therein lies the problem. Australia was capable of producing aluminum but that requires several years to establish. January 1939 is too late.

    Australia was part of the Imperial Preference system. Why didn't they work with Britain to establish aluminum production during the early 1930s? Australia could have filled the British shortfall in aluminum production. Aircraft such as the Mosquito and Hurricane could have been constructed of Australian produced aluminum rather then wood and fabric.
    In the early 1930s there was no military threat that required the Australian production of aluminum. There was also a world wide depression which meant a low demand for aluminum and little money for capitol development.

    And will you please get off the idea that the Hurricane was built of wood and fabric? the Hurricane used wood fairing strips or former's over a steel tube frame for REAR fuselage to give it shape, the wood parts carried NO structural loads. The rear fuselage was fabric covered but again, the "skin" carried no structural loads. it may be quite possible to fly a Hurricane with NO covering on the rear fuselage (although high drag).

    I notice that you tend to ignore the fact that Corsairs used fabric covered outer wings until the F4U-5 model first flown in Dec of 1945.

  9. #9
    Senior Member parsifal's Avatar
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    Australia was coming from a long way behind. The first steel was not produced until 1915. There were no motor vehicles produced (other than curiosity prototypes until 1939. the formation of the CAC in 1936 was nothing short of visionary for a country so lacking in Industrial potential. Australias industrialization was occurring in the 20's and 30's at a phenomenal rate, but defence was a fairly low priority, because ther were no threats.

    With regard to Hurricane production Hawler were approached for licence production in Sydney but refused, in prefernce for setting up a line in Canada. Spitfires were never even considered. The wing assembly was too tricky I believe. De Havvilland were the most progressive of the british companies and did assist in setting up a production line, initially for Beauforts and eventually for beafighters and Mossies. Mossies required specilist construction skills that did not exist in the Australian aero industry in 1939. not that the mosquito was even a going concern at that stage.

    The Brits displayed a marked reluctance to set up engine manufacturing in the country, which I think is where you got this cockamamie idea that engines werent produced here. Wackett and his boss showed considereable ingenuity in getting P&W to set up a line in Lidcombe , that from 1939 were initially churning out single wasps and from 1941 tuned out double Wasps. not bad for a country still not producing its own motor vehicle engines.

    My opinion is that from a purely Australian self interst POV we should have moved along as we did up to 1939, then as an immediate priority in 1939 split the wirraway construction into two streamjs, one for the dedicated trainer version, and one as an armed light bomber with perhaps a twin wasp powerplant. Instead of building the De Havilland Beafort in 1941, we should have made our principal project of 1941 the Boomerang, and then Beaufort construction in 1942. This would have delayed Beaufort production by a year, but given us access to a good fighter in 1942, with a stop gap light bomber to support. In 1943, instead of mucking around with the Mustang , we should have gone all out and produced the CAC-15, with the Mosquito our principal bomber and fighter bomber. We would have ended the war with the most tactical advanced air force in the pacific on that basis, with only the B-29 a more sophisticated type.
    Fr President Clemenceau’s speech to the AIF 7th July 1918: “ we expected a great deal of (Australians)… We knew that you would fight a real fight, but we did not know that from the beginning you would astonish the whole continent. I shall go back and say to my countrymen “I have seen the Australians, I have looked in their faces …I know that they will fight alongside of us again until the cause for which we are all fighting is safe for us and for our children”.



  10. #10
    Senior Member claidemore's Avatar
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    For Canada, Mustangs. When the RAF brockered the deal with North American, a plant in Canada could have been part of the deal.
    The trouble with most people isn't what they don't know....it's what they do know that simply isn't so.

  11. #11
    Creator of Interesting Threads tomo pauk's Avatar
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    For Canada, my choice would be Catalina, Hurricane, maybe Hampden (preferably with Twin Wasp). For second half of war, Mosquito and Mustang. The priority being a good trainer Merlin license production is a must.
    For Australia, Wirraway, Hurricane, a good twin-engined bomber with decent range (B-25 preferably, but Hampden w/ Twin Wasp can go to), later Mossie & Mustang.
    For both countries I'd like to see Gloster F.9/37, with T.W, able to carry a torpedo or bombs.

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    Senior Member oldcrowcv63's Avatar
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    Not sure of all the assumptions in this thread but I'll take a shot:

    For Canada: Mossies, Hurricanes, Mustangs, B-25 Mitchells and Lancs

    For Australia: What Parsifal said.
    None of us is as smart as all of us...

  13. #13
    Senior Member pbfoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomo pauk View Post
    For Canada, my choice would be Catalina, Hurricane, maybe Hampden (preferably with Twin Wasp). For second half of war, Mosquito and Mustang. The priority being a good trainer Merlin license production is a must.
    .
    The Chipmunk was a fair trainer , we're already making Harvards , Tiger Moths, Finches, Cornells . I would opt for US engines . The Merlin was used in Canada post war for the North Star a Merlin powered DC4 . I would hope to be closer to the US in military equipment can't think of too many post war Brit aircraft save the Bristol Freighter. Remember that the RCAF wanted to work with USAAF post VE day as opposed to RAF

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    Banned Siegfried's Avatar
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    Part of the problem for Australia was the relatively low expenditure of GDP on defense, in effect they relied on Britain (1% v 4%) I believe. There was less interest in fighting far away wars and a disrespect for the bumbling incompetance of upper class twit officers that still inhabited the British Army at the begining of WW1 that had begun to develop after Gallipoli (sort of like Dieppe for the Canadians). Don't get me wrong, the Australians that volunteered to fight in WW1 were very English in character and probably most had been born there. (All Australians in WW1 were vulunteers and in WW2 a limited draft was only reluctantly started) but it is clear some differences had started to develop. Overall there was probably an element of irresponsibillity in the low defense expenditures and over reliance on mother england. More defense expenditure would have kicked of industrilisation a little earlier.

    Here are a number of Australian aircraft designs:
    -800px-ca-15_from_lincoln.jpg-boomerang_-awm_0408-.jpg-wirraway_-awm_ac0141-.jpg-aa107.jpg-hobbins_ca-31a.jpg

    In order
    CAC-15 "Kangaroo" (originally to be PW-2800 powered but ended up with a Griffon due to supply issues)
    Bommerang
    Wirraway (modified NA-16)
    AA-107 supersonic fighter bomber
    CAC-31 supersonic trainer.

    I wish Australia had off followed a Swedish style neutralist policy and developed its weapons independantly.
    Building you own disciplines and builds your economy as well as allowing a free and independant foreigh policy.
    Last edited by Siegfried; 03-03-2012 at 05:20 PM.

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    Lawrence Wackett, the mover and shaker of the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation made some pretty astute decisions coming from a nation with no aircraft building experience. The NA-16, from which the Wirraway and to an extent the Boomerang were built, the Mustang, Sabre and Mirage. All excellent choices for the country. As for the Department of Aircraft Production, the decision to build the Fairey Battle was a little wayward, but the Beaufighter was an excellent choice and this would be in my list. Although the RAAF operated the B-24, perhaps Australia should have built them instead of the Avro Lincoln. Post war, the Canberra was a natural choice.

    As for Canada, turning to the USA for aircraft was a sensible decision, not least for geographical reasons. Post war, would like to have seen more Arrows though, shame about them. Fine looking aeroplane.

    New Zealand didn't have any heavy industry experience at the time, but Peter Fraser's decision to militarily align the nation with the United States prior to the outbreak of war with Japan was the right thing to do and the RNZAF relied on US built types until after the end of the war.
    Last edited by nuuumannn; 03-03-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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