Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Turbo noisemaker...

I've said before that British aircraft designers tend to produce aircraft that look one of two ways: beautiful or hideous. That's not entirely true, though, because there's a third category: so hideous that it's actually kind of cool-looking.

Hey, via a vid posted by EB Misfit, check out the Fairey Gannet!

The Gannet, which first flew in 1949, was designed as an anti-submarine and strike aircraft to operate off the Royal Navy's carrier fleet, which still numbered around a dozen ships at the time.

One of the interesting things about the plane is the powerplant. Called the "Double Mamba", it was basically two small Armstrong Siddeley Mambas side by side, driving a common gearbox, which then output the power to contra-rotating props. The pilot could selectively shut down one of the turbines and feather a prop to reduce fuel consumption and increase loiter time, which probably came in really handy in sub-hunting, to say nothing of the Airborne Early Warning variants.