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    Curtiss-Wright J4 Crusader
Overhead template view of an EVG J4





   The J4 Crusader has been on the lips of pilots for years.   Literally years.  Meant to replace the J2 Fury in 1935, production problems and delays drug on, until the J2C Nemesis, little more than a twin-engine Fury, was introduced in 1936 as a stopgap to the J4.

 The J2 Fury was a light, nimble aircraft, with heavy firepower, it's few downsides being nose-heavy, so somewhat prone to stalling, and a tail that made bailouts somewhat difficult.  

The Nemesis gave better speed to the design, with the problem of downgrading firepower.

The J4, codenamed Crusader, was meant to best all of the above designs, which it very well may, just now starting to go into production in the very latest days of 1937.     Many of the early problems the designers had, was overstressing the Fury-sized airframe, these were finally overcome as a total re-design brought forward a larger airframe with some amazing qualities.

While almost three quarters of a ton heavier, and slightly less maneuverable on paper, the long wingspan makes the J4 an extremely nimble design.  it packs more armor, more hardpoints, while the only firepower it loses is downgrading the .70 caliber Bruin (notoriously unreliable) to a .60 caliber.    To make up for that, Curtiss-Wright has stuck in superior weapons all the way around on the J4.  

The motor is a 1,100 horsepower Wright R-2100, which is also straight off the drawing boards (but expensive to maintain) and easily capable of pulling the most out of an engine while at the same time offering good fuel economy.  

If it has one downside is it's distinctive design:  It retains the large T-shaped tail of both of it's predecessors, making bailouts a difficult proposal.   Why the design team did not change that, is unknown.

With these good components, it is not a cheap fighter, and a turnoff to many militia and national contracts.   However it is superior in every way to it's previous light fighters, so Curtiss has stuck to it's guns.     The J2 in both of it's forms will likely continue on in service for some time, but the J4 will very likely start edging it in sales as it's worth begins showing through.

Notable Pilots:  
 Being a new design, there is no really known pilots using the aircraft.  However it is believed that several prototypes have and are serving in the Chinese theater of operations, in the hands of the EVG (Empire Volunteer Group).    Reports are still coming in, and as they are, will be reported on.


Aircraft Statistics:

Name: J-4 Crusader
Manufacturer: Curtiss-Wright
Class: Fighter.
Engine: Wright

Max Speed: 302MPH
Max Acceleration:  62.FP/s
Max Decelleration:   60FP/s
Max Ceiling: 18,000

Crew:  1 Pilot.

Weapons:  One Browning .60 caliber heavy machine gun in the nose, paired .40 and .50 caliber Brownings in the upper and lower wings.  

Game Statistics:

Base Target Number: 6
Hardpoints: 6
Speed:  4
Acceleration: 2
Deceleration: 2
G-load:2

Armor Points:
Nose: 40
Leading Starboard: 40
Trailing Starboard: 40
Leading Port: 40
Trailing Port: 40
Tail:  50

Weapons:  1X.60 in GP2.   4X.40 in GP 5-6-7-8.
 
Characteristics:
 Premium Engine
 Difficult to Bail
 Superior Range
 Ultra-Light Stick.
 Superior Weapons
Price: $18,148


About the model:   It is simply the Hughes-Consolidated Albatross with the floats removed. I never used that model, and it looked very Fury-ish to me.