Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Austria - 1915 Lloyd FJ 40.05

All Revved up and Waiting for the Calvary to Arrive

Lloyd FJ 40.05 - 1915
Lloyd FJ 40.05 - 1915

There is always an element of frustration when working on rare and exotic aircraft. I have found the material to do a profile drawing, however I am missing specifications of do a proper entry on my site. The line drawings I had found left much to be desired, Fortunately I found excellent color photos and some information in an article by The Internet Modeler site By Jaroslaw Kierat. His model of this rare war bird is superb. His work was essential in completing my profile drawing. I am trying to contact him for the data I am missing to complete my article. Hopefully he will be able to help me with the specifications I cant find. Until then The profile posted in my Austrian Profile Gallery will have to do. (update: I got the information I needed to flesh out the specification. Thanks Jaroslaw you ARE the Man!)

The primary stumbling block to the evolution of an effective fighter aircraft was the inability to fire into the forward arc without losing a propeller. Until the machine gun synchronization was invented, various aircraft manufacturers tried of solutions including pusher engine configuration attaching metal plates to the propeller, firing sideways, mounting a machine gun on the upper wing to fire over the arc of the prop, etc. None of these stop-gap measures proved to be the optimal method to achieve the goal of creating a truly efficient fighter-craft.The Lloyd Company designers tried a radically different approach to solve the problem. In 1915 they designed a two seat aircraft designated FJ (Flugzeugjäger) and received the Austro-Hungarian Air Force designation 40.05.

Their design was unusual to say the least. The over-sized nose section of the FJ.40.05 filled the entire space between both wings. Immediately behind the upper wing's trailing edge was the machine gunner's post with an excellent field of fire. However, this solution reduced the pilot's front view as he sat behind this portion of the plane. The plane first flew in January 1916 but was not accepted by the Air Force. During 1916 the Lloyd 40.05 was converted to a single seat fighter fitted with a 0.315 in (8 mm) Schwarzlose machine gun in a Type II VK gun pod which pilot's referred to as the "children's coffin"). The Austro-Hungarian Air Force (der Kaiserliche und Königliche Luftfahrtruppen - K.u.K. LFT) wasn't interested in this version either and it was never put into production.

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