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Gloster P.234

Jet-Powered Day Fighter / Interceptor [ 1951 ]

The Gloster P.234 was drawn up to satisfy a post-World War II Day Fighter requirement for the RAF - it was not furthered.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/26/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Specification F.43/46 was drawn up to satisfy the standing need for a dedicated Day Fighter to serve within the inventory of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) following the close of World War II (1939-1945). While this requirement would eventually be met by the classic Hawker "Hunter" swept-wing, jet-powered design (detailed elsewhere on the Military Factory), no fewer than three storied British aerospace firms attempted to answer the call, these being Gloster, Hawker, and Supermarine. For its part in the story, Gloster - makers of the original British wartime combat jet, the "Meteor" - submitted its "P.234" proposal for formal consideration by Air Ministry authorities.

Building upon the strengths of its Meteor design, the P.234 was essentially an evolved form of the original World War II-era jet fighter: the forward section of the fuselage, complete with single-seat cockpit, was retained as was the tapering shape of the empennage. The straight wings and podded engines were, however, deleted in whole and, in their place, a large-area "delta-wing" planform and embedded turbojets were selected. The engines were set within the middle-mass of the fuselage in a side-by-side arrangement, aspirated through side-mounted intakes and exhausted through jet pipes terminating well-ahead of the empennage. The mid-plane, single-rudder tail of the Meteor was also dropped in favor of a "V-tail" plane arrangement with these horizontal planes canted upwards. For ground-running, a conventional, retractable all-wheeled undercarriage would be in play.

Internally, the aircraft would be powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce AJ.65 turbojet engines, each producing upwards of 6,500lb of thrust. Coupled with the aerodynamically-refined airframe, the aircraft was expected to exceed the speed of sound in level flight. Gross weight of the completed aircraft would reach 15,600lb.

The primary armament consideration of this Day Fighter was to become a massive, in-development 4.5" automatic cannon buried at the ventral fuselage line of the aircraft. The weapon was to be afforded no more than seven projectiles, these detonated through a proximity fuse design, to combat the expected waves of Soviet bombers appearing over Europe and elsewhere. Beyond this, no other armament was planned for the future fighter.

In the end, the promising - though long-shot - P.234 design was not advanced and the 4.5" automatic cannon ultimately came to naught. The Hawker firm continued its design initiatives to eventually produce the flyable P.1067 prototype, and therefore the Hunter in all its glory, and this chapter of British aviation history was finally written. Likewise, the proposed Type 508 from competing Supermarine went nowhere.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Development Ended.


National flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom (planned, abandoned)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
Mainplanes, or leading edges, features swept-back lines for enhanced high-speed performance and handling.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
Assisted process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to eject in the event of an airborne emergency.
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.

48.1 ft
(14.65 m)
41.0 ft
(12.50 m)
Empty Wgt
8,984 lb
(4,075 kg)
15,598 lb
(7,075 kg)
Wgt Diff
+6,614 lb
(+3,000 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Gloster P.234 production variant)
monoplane / mid-mounted / delta
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The planform takes on the general shape of a triangle in which the leading edges are swept back for high-speed efficiency while the trailing edge is straight.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Gloster P.234 production variant)
Installed: PROPOSED: 2 x Rolls-Royce AJ.65 turbojet engines developing 6,500lb of thrust each unit.
Max Speed
767 mph
(1,235 kph | 667 kts)
Cruise Speed
497 mph
(800 kph | 432 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+270 mph
(+435 kph | 235 kts)
44,997 ft
(13,715 m | 9 mi)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Gloster P.234 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
1 x 4.5" internal automatic cannon with seven proximity projectiles afforded.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft automatic cannon

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0

P.234 - Base Project Designation.

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