This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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Sticking with the Merlin and Hercules certainly makes sens as far as engines are concerned however I think skipping the Griffon and Centaurus is a mistake. In an ideal world you would have Jets ready in time but any problems that might crop up leave you stuck. In addition it should be possible to up engine the aircraft in service that are using the Merlin and Hercules to take the Griffon and Centaurus, it was certainly done with the Griffon OTL. That gives your "second line" planes a nice edge against the Japanese when that becomes an issue.
Given that Britain does not immediately know Germany has their own throwback I can see a case for improving the hurricane slightly. A better wing design and some slight aerodynamic tweaks to start with. in addition it could be worth looking at increasing the fuel load some more. The aim is to have a faster, more manoeuvrable plane with a longer range. This should perform well out east given the longer distances involved and while this Hurricane likely is still at a disadvantage against the Zero with a Merlin, put a Griffon in and things change. Yes their is the issue of disrupting Hurricane production given the need for Hurricanes in the BoB however there are arguments in favour of the change. The first is that while initial production may start a bit later than OTL it is likely that additional resources are made available much earlier to increase production of not only the Hurricane but also the Spitfire in NTFW. That should not only make up some if not all of the short fall whilst ensuring additional spitfires are available as well. Secondly as mentioned Britain does not know Germany has a throwback as well when the decision is likely made so the risk is likely seen as worth it. Also this plane likely makes a decent carrier fighter should anything happen with the Bristol Fighter.
Hawker Hurricane is rather unavoidable. It could never match Spitfire in power to weight ratio, but it could be made faster, without much risk.
That could be done keeping fuselage as it was and replacing wings with thinner ones. Opportunity for that would be wings replacement that Hurricane underwent anyway.
Just have Don suggest designing one more set of wings, as thin as possible.
I can't tell how much faster such modified Hurricane would be. I can only say, that real one did 307 mph at 15 kft ( http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/hurricane/l2026.html ) with about 1000 bhp from Merlin III.
P-40B - with slightly less wing area - at the same height did 331,5 mph with 920 bhp and 352 mph with 1090 bph ( http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/P-40/P-40B_41-5205_PHQ-M-19-1227-A.pdf ).
Hurricane with new wings would be much more competitive than the real one in terms of speed and a bit in climb (drag influences that too), not falling behind Spitfire in ability to make tight turns.
Also Hawker could skip thick-winged Typhoon stage, whatever they would be designing in the FW world.
I am in favour of fall-back positions with everything, especially if the preferred option is something new (and therefore riskier). So, I have no problem with proceeding with the Centaurus and Griffon as they provide more options.
I think that the Hurricane as used in the BoB should be left alone, except for solving that fuel-tank vulnerability which cost so many lives, and adding Oerlikon guns. However, the intended replacement for the Hurricane ("Beaufighter") as a carrier plane and fighter-bomber is untried, so a fall-back would be to design new wings which are thinner, as suggested, and also designed to fold for carrier stowage. Two problems solved in one go!
If necessary, the Typhoon could be developed in a a similar, thin-folding-wing form with Centaurus or Griffon.