Boulton Paul P.74

The Boulton Paul P.74 was the company's first design for a turret fighter, and was a twin engined design that would have carried two turrets.

The P.74 was one of a series of designs submitted in response to Air Ministry Specification F.22/33 for a two-seat turret fighter to replace the Hawker Demon. Four companies submitted designs - Bristol, Armstrong Whitworth, Gloster and Boulton Paul, and all four chose twin engined designs.

Boulton Paul provided a variety of options in their design. Two engines were suggested, either the Napier Rapier, or a larger aircraft powered by the Bristol Pegasus. Both versions would have carried two turrets, one in the nose and a dorsal turret. The nose turret was similar to the one produced for the Boulton Paul P.75 Overstrand, a horizontal glazed cylinder with a domed room and floor. Two alterative dorsal turrets were suggested. The first was similar to the nose turret, and would have required a narrow rear fuselage. The second was for a half-glazed turret, with a wider fuselage.

The P.74A was the Rapier powered version with Overstrand dorsal turret.

The P.74B was the Rapier powered version with the half-glazed dorsal turret.

The P.74C was the Pegasus powered version with Overstrand dorsal turret.

The P.74D was the Pegasus powered version with the half-glazed dorsal turret.

All of these designs greatly resembled the new twin engined bombers of the period. The fastest combination of engine and turrets was estimated to have a top speed of 232mph at 15,000ft, and would thus have had trouble catching any contemporary bombers. The project was abandoned and work moved onto a design in response to Specification F.9/35, which resulted in the P.82 Defiant, by far Boulton Paul's most successful design.

P.74A
Engine: Napier Rapier
Span: 48ft
Length: 39ft 3in
All-up weight: 6,147lb
Top speed: 195mph at 15,000ft

P.74B
Engine: Napier Rapier
Span: 48ft
Length: 39ft 3in
All-up weight: 6,147lb
Top speed: 203mph at 15,000ft

P.74C
Engine: Pegasus IV
Span: 60ft
Length: 44ft 9in
All-up weight: 9,035lb
Top speed: 226mph at 15,000ft

P.74D
Engine: Pegasus IV
Span: 60ft
Length: 44ft 9in
All-up weight: 9,035lb
Top speed: 232mph at 15,000ft

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 October 2016), Boulton Paul P.74 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_boulton_paul_P74.html

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