Gloster F.5/34

Gloster F.5/34

Infobox Aircraft

manufacturer=Gloster Aircraft
designer=Henry Folland and H.E. Preston
first flight=December 1937
retired= 1941
status=Abandoned project
primary user=
more users=
number built=2
unit cost=
variants with their own articles=
The Gloster F.5/34 was a British fighter of the 1930s. It was a single-seat, single-engine monoplane of all-metal cantilever construction; the undercarriage was of the tailwheel type with retractable main units.

Design and development

The F.5/34 was the first monoplane fighter built by Gloster and the last design penned by H.P. Folland for the company. It was developed in response to Air Ministry Specification F.5/34, for a fighter armed with eight machine guns [Bowyer 1984, p. 34.] . Powered by an 840 hp Bristol Mercury IX nine-cylinder radial engine, the F.5/34 featured many of the trademark Gloster design elements including the tail and close-fitting cowling that resembled the earlier Gauntlet and Gladiator biplane fighters. The low wing cantilever mainplane was built in one piece with light-alloy spars running through from tip to tip and ribs made from channelling with steel and light-alloy tube struts. Duralumin stressed-skin was used on the mainplane and tail unit with fabric-covered Frise ailerons. The fuselage was a monocoque structure built up from light, fabricated oval-section rings with duralumin skinning.

Development was delayed somewhat by the demands of the Gladiator production programme so that flight trials of the first prototype did not commence until December 1937 while the second prototype was not completed until May 1938.


By the time the F.5/34 began its flight tests, the 8-gun Hawker Hurricane was in service and the Supermarine Spitfire in production so that further development of the Gloster fighter was abandoned. However, compared to its contemporaries, test pilots found the F.5/34 prototypes had a shorter takeoff, better initial climb, were more responsive and manoeuvrable due to ailerons that did not become excessively heavy at high speed. Handling was considered very good and the all-round cockpit visibility was far better than the other designs. The Gloster F.5/34 debuted at the 1938 Hendon Air Show, but soon after, both prototypes ("K5604" and "K8089") were relegated to experimental flying and finally as instructional airframes until May 1941.

A legend exists that the F.5/34 was the inspiration for the Japanese Zero, probably stemming from a superficial similarity between the two machines and Gloster's past links with the Japanese such as the Nakajima A2N. A comparison of specifications of the two aircraft can be found [ here] (note: article written in Japanese).

pecifications (F.5/34)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop

ref=The Complete Book of Fighters [Green and Swanborough 1994, p.248.]

length main= 32 ft
length alt= 9.76 m
span main= 38 ft 2 in
span alt= 11.63 m
height main= 10 ft 2 in
height alt= 3.09 m
area main= 230 ft²
area alt= 21.4 m²
empty weight main= 4,190 lb
empty weight alt= 1,900 kg
loaded weight main= 5,400 lb
loaded weight alt= 2,449 kg
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=
max takeoff weight alt=
more general=

engine (prop)=Bristol Mercury IX
type of prop=nine-cylinder radial
number of props=1
power main= 840 hp
power alt= 627 kW
power original=

max speed main= 275 knots
max speed alt= 316 mph, 509 km/h at
max speed more=at 16,000 ft (4,875 m)
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
range main=
range alt=
ceiling main= 32,500 ft [Mason 1992, p.264.
ceiling alt= 9,910 m
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main= 10.7 lb/ft²
loading alt= 114.7 kg/m²
power/mass main= 0.156 hp/lb
power/mass alt= 0.256 kW/kg
more performance=*Time to 20,000 ft (6,100 m): 11 min

armament=* Eight 0.303-in (7.7-mm) Browning machine guns





* Bowyer, Michael J.F. "Interceptor Fighters for the Royal Air Force, 1935-45". Wellingborough, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1984. ISBN 0-85059-726-9.
* Green, William and Swanborough, Gordon. "The Complete Book of Fighters". New York: Smithmark, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
* James, Derek N. "Gloster Aircraft since 1917." London: Putnam and Company Ltd., 1987. ISBN 0-85177-807-0.
* Mason, Francis K. "The British Fighter Since 1912". Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.

External links

* [ Gloster F.5/34 1937]

ee also



similar aircraft=


see also=

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