Turret Fighters

Defence of the Realm

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The turret fighter was a concept in air warfare that was quite popular with the British Air Ministry in the 1930s. The theory was that a fighter aircraft could be fitted with a rotating gun turret behind the pilot which would not only provide a defence against an attacking enemy aircraft but could also relieve the pilot from having to get on an opponents tail since attacks could be made by the gun turret from nearly any angle (akin to the modern air warfare concept of off-boresight missile firings).

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The origins of the concept can be traced back to World War I where the majority of aircraft such as the Bristol F.2B fighter had two man crews with the crewman in the rear position manning a machine gun on a pivot to supplement the fixed forward firing armament available to the pilot. The trend in fighter design in the interwar…

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