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Folland Fo.117


Single-Seat Lightweight Monoplane Fighter Aircraft Proposal


United Kingdom | 1943



"Intended to best the German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter in capability, the lightweight Folland Fo.117 did not proceed beyond the drawing board."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/19/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
By the 1942, the German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter was fully entrenched as one of the two best fighters of the Luftwaffe (the other being the Messerschmitt Bf 109). This lightweight platform proved to be fast, agile and capable of bringing down nearly anything in the skies - indeed the Fw 190 is regarded as one of the classic designs in the whole of the war. For the British, the fighter cause was primarily handled by the likes of the sleek Supermarine Spitfire and the aging Hawker Hurricane.

In September of 1942, Specification F.6/42 was drawn up calling for a single-seat fighter able to match (or exceed) the compact Fw 190. In turn, this design would be also lightweight, showcase stellar agility and be armed through 4 x 20mm automatic cannons. Maximum speed was estimated at 450 miles per hour when cruising at 20,000 feet and rate-of-climb was also a key consideration of the new fighter.

Several of the usual British concerns threw their hats into the ring with Folland and Hawker coming out on top. Folland Aircraft was a relative newcomer to the field as it set up shop only recently in 1937. Comparatively Hawker Aircraft had been in business since 1920 (as H.G. Hawker Engineering).

The Folland proposal centered around the "Fo.177". This aircraft was of conventional arrangement with the engine at front, a single-finned tail unit at the rear and a mid-set placement for the pilot. A bubble canopy was proposed for excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit. The wing mainplanes were low-mounted with rounded tips and seated just ahead of midships. Each wing was slated to carry the requisite 2 x cannon installations. A traditional tail-dragger undercarriage (of wide-track arrangement) would be used for ground running - the main legs retracting towards fuselage centerline. Loaded weight of the fighter was estimated at 9,170lb.

One of the more notable traits of the Folland proposal was the 2 x three-bladed contra-rotating propellers fitted to the nose - a relatively new quality for a fighter of the period. This allowed smaller diameter propellers to be fitted and promised to increase performance.

The Fo.117 found a few supporters in the British Air Ministry ranks but not enough faith was seen in the small company to produce an all-new fighter in the schedule allotted and in the numbers that would be required. By March of 1943, the Fo.117 was given the death knell but, before the end of the year, it was resurrected as the "Fo.117A" with new wings. The engine of choice became the Bristol Centaurus XII engine of 2,500 horsepower and English Electric was set to offer its production facilities following the six prototypes contracted for from Folland.

Despite this, nothing came of the commitment and the Fo.117 never saw the light of day. The competing Hawker design found better results as it became the "Fury / Sea Fury" in British service. Eight hundred sixty-four of these navy fighter-bombers were built from 1945 to 1955.

Estimated specs for the Fo.117 included a maximum speed of 468 miles per hour, a service ceiling of 39,800 feet and rate-of-climb of 4,950 feet-per-minute.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Folland Fo.117A Single-Seat Lightweight Monoplane Fighter Aircraft Proposal.
1 x Bristol Centaurus XII inline piston engine developing 2,500 horsepower and driving 2 x three-bladed propeller units in contra-rotating fashion at the nose.
Propulsion
469 mph
755 kph | 408 kts
Max Speed
39,797 ft
12,130 m | 8 miles
Service Ceiling
513 miles
825 km | 445 nm
Operational Range
4,950 ft/min
1,509 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Folland Fo.117A Single-Seat Lightweight Monoplane Fighter Aircraft Proposal.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
31.5 ft
9.60 m
O/A Length
35.9 ft
(10.95 m)
O/A Width
10.8 ft
(3.30 m)
O/A Height
6,834 lb
(3,100 kg)
Empty Weight
9,755 lb
(4,425 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Folland Fo.117 Single-Seat Lightweight Monoplane Fighter Aircraft Proposal .
PROPOSED:
4 x 20mm automatic cannons in wings (two per wing).
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Folland Fo.117 family line.
Fo.117 - Base Series Designation
Fo.117A - Revised design with all-new laminar-flow wings; Bristol Centaurus XII inline piston engine of 2,500 horsepower fitted..
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Folland Fo.117. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Folland Aircraft - United Kingdom
National flag of the United Kingdom

[ United Kingdom (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (469mph).

Graph Average of 375 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
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Image of the Folland Fo.117
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
X-PLANE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Folland Fo.117 Single-Seat Lightweight Monoplane Fighter Aircraft Proposal appears in the following collections:
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