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Gloster F.5/34

United Kingdom (1938)
Picture of Gloster F.5/34 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Prototype Aircraft

Just two British Gloster F.5-34 monoplane fighters were built in prototype form for Britain prior to World War 2 - the project was eventually abandoned.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Gloster F.5/34 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Prototype Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 10/27/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The period before World War 2 (1939-1945) was one of advancing agendas and technologies. Many aircraft-makers plied their trade in the hopes of securing potentially lucrative deals with global governments. Gloster Aircraft, a major player in the British aero-industry since its founding in 1917 during World War 1, attempted to sell the British Air Industry on its new single-seat, single-engine monoplane fighter during the late 1930s - the Gloster "F.5/34".

Prior to the commitment to the F.5 project, Gloster had only experience in biplane fighter types. The F.5 was a step in the right direction and provided company engineers with much-needed experience in the nuances of monoplane flight involving a retractable undercarriage, wholly-enclosed cockpit and metal skinning. Henry Folland and H.E. Preston were both credited with its design.

The F.5/34 was developed by the company to fulfill Air Ministry Specification F.5/35 (hence its designation) and this design would compete against submissions from industry stalwarts in Bristol, Martin-Baker and Vickers. The requirement sought a radial-powered gunnery platform armed with no fewer than 8 x 7.7mm machine guns. Its primary purpose was to operate in the tropical and mountainous environments of the Far East where the British colonial pretense was still alive and well. The uniqueness of this environment required an equally-unique fighting platform.
As designed, the F.5/34 would be powered by a single Bristol Mercury IX 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine of 840 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller at the nose. The cockpit would be installed just aft of this and the tail unit would incorporated a basic single-rudder, twin-stabilizer arrangement. The undercarriage consisted of a tail-dragger configuration for ground-running. The mainplanes were set well-forward of midships and were straight in their general design with rounded tips. Construction involved both metal alloys and fabric with a Duralumin skinning process used. its external appearance was akin to that of the classic Japanese Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" and the British design may have inspired this famous airplane.

A first-flight was recorded in December of 1937 and a second prototype followed the next year.

The aircraft exhibited a length of 32 feet with a wingspan of 38.1 feet and a height of 10.1 feet. Empty weight was 4,200lb against an MTOW of 5,400lb. Top speed reached 316 miles per hour and the listed service ceiling was 32,500 feet with 20,000 feet of altitude being reached in 11 minutes. Proposed armament was the requested 8 x 7.7mm machine gun fit.

During testing, the Gloster F.5/34 had a good showing but it faced an uphill battle for a new war in Europe was brewing and the Royal Air Force was already committing to an inventory of Hawker Hurricane as well as Supermarine Spitfire fighters which were more-than-capable gunnery platforms for the foreseeable future. After war official broke out in September of 1939, the Gloster aircraft was relegated to testing duties and ended its flying days in May of 1941.






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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (317mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
2
2


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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Origin: United Kingdom
Year: 1938
Type: Single-Seat, Single-Engine Fighter Prototype Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Gloster Aircraft - UK
Production: 2
Status: Cancelled
Global Operators:
United Kingdom (cancelled)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Gloster F.5/34 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
31.99 ft


Meters
9.75 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
38.22 ft


Meters
11.65 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
10.17 ft


Meters
3.1 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
4,189 lb


Kilograms
1,900 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
5,512 lb


Kilograms
2,500 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Bristol Mercury IX 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 840 horsepower and driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
317 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
510 kph


Knots
275 kts


Performance
CEILING


Feet
32,808 ft


Meters
10,000 m


Miles
6.21 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,925 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
587 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

PROPOSED:
8 x 0.303 caliber (7.7mm) Browning air-cooled machine guns (four guns to a wing).
Variants: Series Model Variants
• F.5/34 - Base Series Designation; two flyable prototypes completed before project cancellation.