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Vickers Type 432

The Vickers Type 432 was a British high-altitude fighter aircraft developed by the Vickers group during the Second World War.

Intended to enable the Royal Air Force to engage the enemy’s high-altitude bomber aircraft, it was to be armed with six cannons.

One only built.

The origins of the Type 432 lay with requirements set out in 1939 for twin-engined fighters with 20 or possibly 40 mm cannon.

Vickers had set out a proposal for a Griffon-engined aircraft, equipped with a 40 mm cannon in a flexible mounting.

This was subsequently encouraged by the Air Ministry.

Further development was carried out for a design that could also meet F.6/39 for a fixed gun fighter with 20mm cannon. 

Specification F.22/39 was drawn up to cover the 40mm project as the Vickers 414 to meet Operational Requirement (OR) 76.

This was subsequently revised with aircraft redesigns to become specifications F.16/40 and then F.7/41 for OR.108.

In appearance it resembled a larger version of the de Havilland Mosquito and was known as the “Tin Mosquito”. 

The pilot had a pressurised cockpit in the nose, with a bubble dome, similar to an enlarged astrodome.

The pressurised cockpit took up the nose section so the cannon would have been fitted in a fairing below the fuselage, to the rear of the aircraft.

The aircraft’s elliptical wing was built using a unique stressed-skin structure, designed by Barnes Wallis for lightness.

The top and bottom were manufactured separately, and then clamped together at the leading and trailing edges, this being named “peapod” or “lobster-claw” structure.

This allowed a large internal space unobstructed by ribs, hence capable of housing large fuel tanks.





39 ft 3 in (11.96 m)


56 ft 10+1⁄2 in (17.336 m)


13 ft 9 in (4.19 m)

Wing area

450 sq ft (42 m2)

Empty weight

16,373 lb (7,427 kg)

Max take-off weight

20,168 lb (9,148 kg)


2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin 61 liquid cooled V12 engines,

1,520 hp (1,130 kW) each


Maximum speed

380 mph (610 km/h, 330 kn) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)


1,500 mi (2,400 km, 1,300 nmi)

Service ceiling

38,000 ft (12,000 m)

Rate of climb

2,750 ft/min (14.0 m/s)



1× 20 mm Hispano cannon in a ventral gondola.



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