Boulton Paul P.98

The Boulton Paul P.98 was a design for an advanced pusher fighter, produced in response to an Air Ministry specification for a manoeuvrable fighter with a high rate of climb.

Specification F.6/42 called for a fighter with a high rate of climb (4,500ft/min to 20,000ft), good acceleration and good manoeuvrability, to operate at around 20,000ft, below the level when the new jet fighters were expected to operate, and armed with 20mm cannon. It was also to be capable of taking bombs or fuel tanks under the wings.

The P.98 was Boulton Paul's first attempt to fill this specification. It was a radical tail-first aircraft, with contra-rotating pusher propellers at the rear. The first design was powered by the Rolls-Royce Griffon, but this was followed by Sabre and Centaurus versions. Boulton Paul expected the Sabre powered version to weigh 9,892lb and have a top speed of 446mph at 20,000ft.

The Ministry of Aircraft Production believed that the P.98 was 800lb heavier than was acceptable, and would thus lack the rate of climb and manoeuvrability that was required. The P.98 was rejected, and Boulton Paul moved onto the equally radical Boulton Paul P.101

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (13 January 2017), Boulton Paul P.98 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_boulton_paul_P98.html

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