Air Enthusiast 1997-01
T.Buttler - Vickers' Last Fighter
Mk II prototype L4250 photographed in June 1941, after installation of the 40mm Vickers ‘S’ cannon turret but before the single fin and rudder was exchanged for twin units.
A wide angle view of Foxwarren with the prototype nearing completion and the fuselage behind it believed to be the wooden mock-up, with a nose mock-up section also visible - possibly the Windsor bomber.
Westland Welkin high-altitude fighter.
DZ217, probably on its first flight.
The Experimental Vickers-Armstrongs 432 Pressurized Single-seat Fighter (two 1,280 h.p. Rolls-Royce Merlin 61 engines).
The Vickers Type 432 prototype DZ217 high above the clouds and showing off its unique wing shape. Test Flight 22 (November 11, 1943) was partially devoted to photography and thus is the most likely date. However, this is one of very few views of the aircraft in flight and if many were successfully taken then they have presumably and sadly been lost.
A nose close-up showing the engines and radiator inlets, and gun pod.
Inside the Foxwarren hangar showing the structure of the wing trailing edge, flaps and ailerons.
Three-quarter front view of the Type 432 with a Vickers employee to give an idea of size.
The wing viewed from inboard in the closed configuration showing an open space for the fuel tanks.
A view from the rear into the pressurised cockpit.
There are fortunately a few photos of the 432 taken by the official Vickers photographer during construction and after completion. The shortage of views means these will be familiar to some readers, but they are very detailed. This one shows the tip of the wing with its close frame make-up.
A wide angle view of Foxwarren with the prototype nearing completion and the fuselage behind it believed to be the wooden mock-up, with a nose mock-up section also visible - possibly the Windsor bomber.
Close-up of the two Rolls-Royce Merlin 61 engines, four-bladed propellers and the Dowty undercarriage.
Three-quarter rear view at Foxwarren, probably preparatory to its first engine run-up.
Head-on shot of DZ217 on the hardstanding outside the hangar.
The wing in the open position showing the adjusters clearly.
The tunnel model as seen from below revealing the radiator inlets and gun pod.
View from above of a plywood wind-tunnel model showing the modified inner leading edges.
Project for a three-seat night fighter to F18/40 based on the Type 414 with two fixed 20mm Hispano cannon and four 0.303 Browning machine-guns in a turret, dated January 2, 1941. Cockpit design was identical to the 414 when first proposed to F22/39.
40mm cannon installation and cockpit of the Type 414.
General Arrangement drawing for the Type 432 as expected in service showing how the six 20mm cannon would have been fitted.
Eight 20mm Hispano cannon installation and cockpit for the Type 420 to F16/40, dated October 12, 1940.
General Arrangement of the two-seat, 40mm gun Type 414 as first submitted to F6/39, dated July 6, 1939. When F22/39 was written around this project in September 1939 the wings were much nearer the Type 432 arrangement and small changes had been made to the cockpit’s appearance.
Layout for the two-seat, 20mm gun Type 420 to F16/40, dated January 1, 1941. By now this aircraft had only six Hispano cannon, but the general arrangement was unchanged from the earlier eight-gun proposal of October 1940.
Project for a twin-boom three-seat night fighter with six 20mm cannon, dated August 27, 1941.