Boulton Paul P.94

The Boulton Paul P.94 was a version of the Defiant turret fighter, modified to be a conventional single seater armed with fixed forward firing machine guns or cannon.

The first attempt to turn the Defiant into a single seat fighter came in 1940, when the original Defiant prototype, K8310, had its turret removed and a mock-up of four fixed forward firing guns installed. The modified Defiant was estimated to have superior performance to contemporary marks of the Hurricane, but to be behind the Spitfire. It might have entered production if there had been a shortage of Spitfires and Hurricanes, but fighter production kept up with demand during the crucial months of 1940.

The P.94 was a design for a more powerful and more heavily modified Defiant. It was to be very heavily armed, with either twelve .303in machine guns or four machine guns and four cannon, in both cases carried in the wing. An option to allow the cannon to swivel downwards by up to 17 degrees for ground attack purposes was also offered. The upper rear fuselage was lowered, improving the rear view for the pilot. The aircraft would have been powered by the 1,260hp Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engine, which was expected to give it a top speed of 380mph at 23,500ft.

Estimates for the performance of the P.94 suggested that it would have been similar to the newer versions of the Spitfire already under development in 1940, and the P.94 never advanced beyond the design stage. The moveable cannon concept was also suggested for the Boulton & Paul P.97, and in modified form was used for the nose guns of the post-war Avro Shackleton

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 December 2016), Boulton Paul P.94 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_boulton_paul_P94.html

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