Back to the Drawing Board

T-64-(larger)

Back to the Drawing Board: the T-64 Tank

Although its ‘high-tech’ features, such as an auto-loader for the main armament and its ultra-compact multi-fuel engine, were superficially impressive, they proved to be complex to maintain and highly unreliable.

Supermarine-Nighthawk-2

Back to the Drawing Board: The Supermarine Nighthawk

One of the oddest inventions was the Supermarine Nighthawk, a massive twin-engine quadruplane night fighter designed to fly patrols of anything up to 18 hours at a time, with a fully-enclosed heated cockpit and even a small sleeping berth.

YB-40

The YB-40 Gunship

When the USAAF’s Eighth Air Force arrived in Britain in mid-1942, it was confident that unescorted formations of B-17 Flying Fortresses could make precision daylight bombing raids without suffering serious losses.

Novgorod-ironclad

The Novgorod: ‘Circular Ironclad’

The Novgorod’s design originated in 1868, when the Scottish shipbuilder John Elder proposed widening the beam of a warship to reduce the area to be protected. This would allow it to carry thicker armour and heavier guns than a conventional ship, and to have a shallower draught.

Boulton_Paul_Defiant

Back to the Drawing Board: The Defiant

Daffy, the forgotten fighter Ask most people to name an RAF fighter from the Battle of Britain and they will answer ‘Spitfire’ or ‘Hurricane’. However, during the summer of 1940, two squadrons of Boulton Paul Defiants operated alongside them, achieving considerable success against German bombers. So why has the ‘Daffy’ – as it was known […]

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BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD – Calamity with a ‘K’

It was a bold tactical concept. With war looming in 1913, the Royal Navy requested a submarine with sufficient surface speed to operate alongside the fleet in combined actions. Conventional submarines were powered by a diesel motor on the surface, which also charged the batteries for use while submerged. In order to achieve the required […]

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