Gloster F.5/34
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Gloster F.5/34

The last of the Gloster fighter designs created by H P Folland, the single-seat all-metal cantilever monoplane evolved to Specification F.5/34 (which ultimately produced the Hurricane and the Spitfire) was powered by an 840hp Mercury IX nine-cylinder radial engine and carried an armament of eight 7.7mm Browning guns. This aircraft, to which no designation was assigned other than that of the specification that it was intended to meet, suffered somewhat protracted development owing to the company's preoccupation with the Gladiator. The first of two prototypes did not commence flight trials until December 1937, with the second following in March 1938. By the time that the Gloster fighter made its debut, the Hurricane had entered service and the Spitfire had reached production, and further development of the Mercury-engined monoplane was not pursued.

Gloster F.5/34A three-view drawing (1663 x 1213)

    Take-off weight2449 kg5399 lb
    Empty weight1900 kg4189 lb
    Wingspan11.63 m38 ft 2 in
    Length9.76 m32 ft 0 in
    Height3.09 m10 ft 2 in
    Wing area21.36 m2229.92 sq ft
    Max. speed508 km/h316 mph

Max Smith, 26.07.2017

The f5/34 I think deserved better than just passed over by events.The Mercury engine was underpowered,true, but anyone who has read up on the Zero fighter would know that the Sakae engine it used was underpowered too.Especially when you realise the Zero had no self -sealing fuel tanks or back armour to protect the pilot.

make, 17.06.2015

The outlook is similar, but at the same time superficial. According to wikipedia, Gloster had had some connections to Japan which have given root to this theory.

tom bolland, 01.05.2015

did the Japanese copy this bristol 146 to make the magnificent zero plane ?

mark, 17.02.2015

Also, in alternative scenario, Hood and Renown would have been changed to big carriers, like Japanese did with Akagi and Kaga, and perhaps some light cruisers to smaller but fast carriers. They could have had the Bismarck and pocket battleships destroyed from far away.

Stephen Round, 16.10.2013

I have just been viewing the bristol and the Vickers Radial Engined monoplanes offered to the Air Ministry at this time the goods were on the table but no one was buying. The biggest problem was getting the cousins who owned and ran Bristol to get their .. dighit out and produce a suitable engine for these so promising aircraft.

The cousins - as the company of bristol was perceived - believed that it was wasteful to produce an engine which exceeded the requirements of the time so everything was held in a freeze frame state and nothing was done unless it was ordered. the word Development was far too long a word for the owners of Bristol to comprehend they had been exposed to over twenty years of grinding austerity and nothing was going to change them from their well established routine regardless of the needs of the Country they had forgotten that were created to serve and protect!

What might have been the war didn't start in 1939 it had started long before that ... once The British Empire had started to decline it was inevitable that an increasing state of chaos would arise and so it came to be and some estimate that we only just escaped with the skin of our teeth....or did we? Who won this war not us I can assure you.

Since the war all I have witnessed is decline - I leave any conclusions up to you - my parents generation were robbed of their rightful rewards and that alone is shameful in the extreme!

Sam, 11.04.2012

Had they tried to pair the Gloster F.5/34 with the Merlin engine, I think the Gloster F.5/34 would have been one hell of a fighter, capable of holding its own against the ME-109 in the early stages of the air campaign. Its sad that this beautiful aircraft was relagated to the back pages of history because no one at the time had the interest to try a more powerful engone on the airframe.

pree, 20.06.2011

I had plans.....Looks Zeroish, doesn't it? Could have saved 2 Battleships, 2 cruisers and an

, 20.06.2011

Gloster F.5/34

bombardier, 25.05.2011

A too underpowered aircraft with the Mercury

bombardier, 25.05.2011

A too underpowered aircraft with the Mercury

tbennett, 17.08.2010

I soon as I saw this aircraft that was my first thought, what a fantastic fleet defense fighter. If the performance figures on Wikipedia are to be belived it would have been fine for the naval battles of 1939/40. Better still if it had used the Sleavevalved Taurus engine. The British carrier force would have been much better off if they had just produced and developed the Ark Royal class of carriers (with their two hanger decks for 60 aircraft) and started the war with the Gloster F5 fighter with a Taurus engine, the Albacore torpedeo bomber(some 30mph faster than the swordfish) and Skua (a MKII version re-engined with the Taurus to carry a 1000lb bomb load and dedicated only to dive bombing). Just these minor changes to history and the FAA would have had so much more success,

Pablo, 03.06.2010

I think, the most important performance of this plane is the posibility of a long range. Perhaps, in the worst moment, of the lonely hour, could pursuit the bomber going to France and olso destroy them in the floor.

Tomasz, 30.08.2009

With an upgraded Mercury XV engine it would have been a very promising support aircraft for the Royal Navy had the vision been there.

Leo Rudnicki, 24.06.2009

Sorry but the Bristol 146 is way too ugly(aesthetically challenged) for even my imagination,as well as proportionally awkward. Glad you didn't mention the Vickers Venom.

Steve Gorton, 24.06.2009

Like the similar Bristol 146, the Gloster F.5/34 suffered from the choice of a too-small engine, which made the aircraft uncompetitive with the Spitfire and Hurricane. I agree that the use of the Hercules engine poses an exciting prospect. I would anticipate performance similar to the Fw-190, and an air-cooled engine would better suit the low-altitude/ground attack mission than the Merlin. Carrier applications are obvious.

leo rudnicki, 14.04.2009

In my version of alternate history, Adm Boyd ruled the navy,the Fleet Air Arm had priority, Roy Fedden had a free hand and this aircraft became the fleet fighter that they never had until Sea Fury, post war. of course, it had a 90degree twist in the undercarriage per Curtiss, like F6f & F4U, 4 Hispano 20's with 150 round box magazine, Hercules engine with aft-facing exhaust as later developed, centerline and wing plumbed hardpoints for fueltanfs or bombs. Gladiator never existed, nor did Skua, Roc, Defiant, Battle,( Hurri-Bombers filled in), Fulmar etc. I had plans.....Looks Zeroish, doesn't it? Could have saved 2 Battleships, 2 cruisers and an aircraft carrier.

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