A post from a friend of mine doing a fictional air design contest.
I’m putting together a little aircraft design contest and I thought the AIRPOWER thread goons might be interested.
There are three categories, each one set in a different alternate history scenario.
Category 1: 1944 Emergency Interceptor
By August 1944, the Second World War has become a bloody stalemate. The Allied invasion of Normandy has been repulsed with high losses on both sides. Soviet operations on the Eastern Front have fared little better, leaving battered Soviet and German forces to lick their wounds. In the Pacific, Saipan and Tinian have fallen at enormous cost to American soldiers, Marines, and airmen. American bombers can now reach Japan, but plans to invade the Japanese Home Islands are put on hold indefinitely.
With the ground war stalled, Allied and Axis leaders look to airpower to break the stalemate and win the war. Round-the-clock bombing raids rock cities and paint the skies with fires. As the Luftwaffe’s Amerikabomber becomes operational, not even American cities are spared from devastation. To make matters worse intelligence services pick up ominous rumblings about plans for gas warfare, bombs packed with disease-carrying fleas, and new “atom weapons.”
Air defense has become a matter of national survival for the Axis and the Allied powers. Air forces desperately ask designers for the next generation of interceptor aircraft.
Design a land-based interceptor which can:
Climb to 30,000 feet (9145 meters) in 10 minutes.
Reach at least 450 mph (725 km/h).
Destroy a four-engine bomber in 1-2 attack passes.
Successfully evade and/or engage enemy long-range escort fighters.
SPECIAL: Strategic materials and skilled workers are in short supply. If possible, the airframe and powerplant should be built quickly with common materials.
SPECIAL: Trained fighter pilots are being lost quicker than they can be replaced. If possible, the aircraft should be flyable by pilots with limited flight training.
This design must make its first flight by the middle of 1945. You may design an aircraft for any Allied, Axis, or neutral nation of the period. Keep in mind the limitations of your chosen nation (ex. German material shortages, limited American experience with jets, etc).
Category 2: 1950 Floating Fighter
It seems like more and more countries are getting their hands on The Bomb every day. The Americans, British, and Soviets have all tested weapons and other nations are working on their own weapons. Even Sweden is a just a year or two away from getting its own nukes.
Worried that an Atomic Pearl Harbor could devastate traditional airbases, planners conclude that the next generation of warplanes must operate from a new base: the sea.
Design a sea-based fighter-bomber which can:
Land in conditions up to Sea State 3. Amphibious capability desirable, but not required.
Reach at least Mach 1 at 10,000 feet.
Successfully intercept and destroy contemporary jet and prop-powered bombers.
Successfully dogfight contemporary jet fighters.
Carry two cannon or guns, with a minimum of 150 rounds per gun.
Carry two air-to-air missiles.
Carry up to 2,000 pounds (910 kg) of ordnance. Tactical nuclear weapons capability desirable.
SPECIAL: Seawater doesn’t react well with temperamental 1950s electronics and engines. Seawater must not damage critical components when the aircraft is floating, taxiing, taking off or landing.
SPECIAL: This aircraft may have to operate from remote island bases with limited support. Ease of maintenance in rough conditions is desirable.
This design must make its first flight by the end of 1955. You may design an aircraft for any aircraft-producing nation of the period.
Category 3: 1960 Nuclear Bomber
After catastrophic rocket accidents in the US and the USSR killed some of the greatest minds in rocket science, Cold Warriors lost faith in nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. Air forces around the world now hope The Bomber Will Get Through.
Design a land-based or carrier-based bomber which can:
Evade, avoid, defeat, and/or destroy contemporary SAMs and interceptors.
Bomb targets located at least 1,300 miles (2,100 km) into enemy territory. Round-trip mission preferred, but not required.
Accurately deliver at least one 6,500 pound (2,9500 kg) nuclear bomb and/or missile and escape the blast.
Seat a crew of three.
SPECIAL: Can conduct tactical and/or strategic reconnaissance missions during peacetime and wartime.
SPECIAL: Can carry and launch smaller aircraft like X-Planes and spy drones.
This design must make its first flight by the end of 1965. You may design an aircraft for any aircraft-producing nation of the period.
How is this thing going to be judged?
There are six criteria. A design can earn up to 50 points.
Feasibility (10 points): Would this design be possible using the technology and know-how of the period? Is this design aerodynamically sound? Does its concept of operations make sense? In short, does the design pass the sniff test?
Originality (10 points): How much creativity and innovation does the design show? Is it a simply a carbon copy of a historical design?
Effectiveness (10 points): How well does this design meet the basic requirements? Does it have the performance and other key qualities needed to get the job done?
Appearance (10 points): Does the design fit the adage that “if it looks right, it flies right”? Is it the kind of thing people will put on t-shirts and posters 50 years later?
Special (5 points): How well does this design meet the special requirements?
Judge’s Choice (5 points): Does the design have charm, charisma, quirkiness, or some other ineffable quality our judges like?
btw, if anyone has an flying, aeronautical engineering, or aviation history background and would like to help judge this thing (or knows someone who would be a good judge), shoot me an email. I’m still looking for more judges.
cool stuff can I win?
Best in Category: an aviation-themed patch of your choice (up to $15 in value).
Judge’s Choice: a book or eBook of your choice (up to $30 in value) and an aviation-themed hat or t-shirt of your choice.
Best Artwork: an aviation-themed hat or t-shirt of your choice (up to $25 in value).
How do I enter this thing?
Please send entries to flashbackcontest at gmail
The deadline for design entries is June 30, 2020. Probably gonna announce winners in September-November.
Please share this contest with anyone who might be interested!
What does my entry need to include?
Illustration(s) of your aircraft. Three-view drawings, 3D models, design blueprints, cross-sections/cutaways, profile views, and the like are all acceptable. Remember, there will be a prize for the entry with the best artwork! No more than three images, please
A short description of your aircraft’s key performance stats, development history, design philosophy, design features, and/or service history. No more than 250 words, please.
You cannot send in multiple entries for the same category, but you can send in one design for each category.
Good luck, goons!