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Author Topic: The slightly less well known  (Read 21924 times)

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Offline Angry Turnip

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The slightly less well known
« on: January 14, 2019, 08:25:14 PM »
As a new feature I am going to do a short daily profile of British historic military or civil aircraft,that are perhaps slightly less well known than others from the same stable.

Avro Lincoln.

The Avro Lincoln,or Avro Type 694,a British four-engined heavy bomber,which first flew on 9 June 1944.The first Lincoln variants were initially known as the Lancaster IV and V,but were renamed Lincoln I and II.It was the last piston-engined bomber operated by the RAF.

WWII ended before the Lincoln went into action,but production of the type proceeded and was adopted in quantity,the RAF and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) operated the Lincoln during the Malayan Emergency.Lincolns also saw some use in civil aviation,often being operated as aerial test beds for aero-engine research.

The Lincolns of Bomber Command were phased out from the mid-1950s and had been completely replaced by jet bombers by 1963.The last in RAF service were five operated by No. 151 Squadron,Signals Command,at RAF Watton,which were retired on 12 March 1963.

Other aircraft were also derived from the Lincoln.A dedicated maritime patrol aircraft,designated as the Avro Shackleton,was developed for the RAF and the South African Air Force.Avro decided to develop a commercial airliner,known as the Tudor,which dipped extensively into the parts bin of the Lincoln.

View of Avro Lincoln credit to Skytamer Images
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 06:50:17 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2019, 07:30:44 PM »
Armstrong Whitworth A.W.41 Albemarle.

The Armstrong Whitworth A.W.41 Albemarle was a British twin-engine transport,that entered service during the WWII.Designed as a medium bomber,it was used for transport duties,paratroop transport,and glider towing.RAF Albemarle squadrons participated in D-Day,and the assault on Arnhem during Operation Market Garden.

It was powered by 2 Bristol Hercules XI radial engines of 1590 hp each,giving it a top speed of 265 mph.The aircraft was always expected to be of use as a contingency and to be less than ideal,despite this a batch of 200 was ordered in Oct 1938.The first Albemarle (P1360) first flew on 20 March 1940 at Hamble Aerodrome.

Plans for using it as a bomber were dropped due to delays in reaching service,it was not an improvement over current medium bomber types.The Soviet Air Force placed a contract for delivery of 200 Albemarles in October 1942.In May 1943,the Soviets suspended deliveries and cancelled them in favour of Douglas C-47`s.

The first RAF operational flight was on 9 February 1943,by a 296 Squadron Albemarle which dropped leaflets over Lisieux in Normandy.RAF Albemarles took part in many British airborne operations,including Sicily,D-Day and Arnhem,towing various glider types such as the Horsa etc.
The RAF Heavy Glider Conversion Unit,replaced the Albemarles with Handley Page Halifaxes in February 1946 and the type was retired from operational units.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 07:30:15 PM by Angry Turnip »

Offline smudge

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2019, 07:38:14 PM »
For a while there was a painting of an Albemarle in the Clubhouse at EGAD!  In the narrow corridor from the apron-side door into the lounge.

Will have to check for it next time I'm down.

That has reminded me to find if there was any connection between the type and Newtownards, none comes to mind.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 07:42:16 PM by smudge »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 06:57:48 PM »
Bristol Type 163 Buckingham

The Bristol Type 163 Buckingham,was a twin engine medium bomber for the RAF.It was built in small numbers,and was used mainly for transport and liaison duties.By the time the design entered production, requirements had changed,the Buckingham was not considered suitable for daytime use over Europe.In January 1944 it was decided that all Buckinghams would be sent overseas to replace Vickers Wellingtons.

Once the Buckingham's handling problems were revealed,it was soon realised that the type was of little use.As a result,it was cancelled in August 1944.A batch of 119 were built,while uses for the aircraft were sought,a conversion to a communications aircraft was devised.54 had been built as bombers,the remainder were converted for high-speed courier duties with RAF Transport Command as it had a useful 300mph top speed.

65 Buckingham bombers were unfinished on the production line,they ended up being rebuilt as the Buckmaster,a trainer for the similar Brigand.The Buckmaster continued to serve as a trainer until its eventual retirement in the mid-1950s.Powerplant: 2 × Bristol Centaurus VII air-cooled radial engine of 2,520 hp each.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 07:20:11 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 08:07:48 PM »
Boulton Paul Balliol

The Boulton Paul Balliol,and Sea Balliol were military advanced trainers,for the RAF and the FAA.Designed to replace the North American Harvard,it used the Rolls-Royce Merlin 35 1245hp engine.The second prototype,powered by the intended Armstrong Siddeley Mamba turboprop,first flew on 17 May 1948,the world's first single-engined turboprop aircraft to fly.The Merlin powered Balliol,designated Balliol T.2,first flew on 10 July 1948.

Due to the change in air-training policy,the Balliol was only delivered to one Flying Training School,No.7 at RAF Cottesmore,replacing their Harvards.They later served at the RAF College,Cranwell until replaced there by the de Havilland Vampire T.Mk 11 in 1956.The Balliol also saw limited squadron service from 1953 with No. 288 Squadron RAF based at RAF Middle Wallop,until the squadron was disbanded in September 1957.12 Mk.2s went to the Royal Ceylon Air Force,7 from cancelled RAF contracts,and five from RAF stocks.

Sea Balliol T21 WL732 former Royal Navy and A&AEE aircraft is on display at the RAF Museum Cosford.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 07:20:35 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2019, 07:46:39 PM »
BAC TSR-2

The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a twinjet strike and reconnaissance aircraft for the RAF.The TSR-2 was designed to penetrate a well-defended forward battle area at low altitudes and very high speeds.Also to provide high-altitude,high-speed stand-off,side-looking radar and photographic imagery and signals intelligence,and aerial reconnaissance.TSR-2 was the victim of ever-rising costs and inter-service squabbling over Britain's future defence needs,which led to the controversial decision to scrap the programme in 1965.

The most advanced aviation technology of the period was incorporated in order to make it the highest-performing aircraft in the world in its projected missions.The USA put tremendous pressure on the UK government to order an adapted version of the General Dynamics F-111,a decision that itself was later rescinded as costs and development times increased.The replacements included the Blackburn Buccaneer and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II,both of which had previously been considered and rejected early in the TSR-2 procurement process.

Only one of the three airframes flew,and flight tests revealed vibration problems,and issues with the landing gear,but these niggles were soon addressed.Over a period of six months, a total of 24 test flights were conducted.The basic flying qualities of the aircraft which,according to the test pilots involved,were outstanding.Speeds of Mach 1.12 and sustained low-level flights down to 200 ft (above the Pennines) were achieved.The last test flight took place on 31 March 1965.
At two Cabinet meetings held on 1 April 1965,it was decided to cancel the TSR-2 on the grounds of projected cost,and instead to obtain an option agreement to acquire up to 110 F-111 aircraft with no immediate commitment to buy.

The TSR-2 tooling,jigs and many of the part completed aircraft were all scrapped at Brooklands within six months of the cancellation.Two airframes eventually survived: the complete XR220 at the RAF Museum,Cosford and XR222 much less complete at Duxford.The only airframe ever to fly XR219,along with the completed XR221 and part completed XR223 were taken to Shoeburyness and used as targets to test the vulnerability of a modern airframe and systems to gunfire and shrapnel.

The apparent haste with which the project was scrapped has been the source of much argument and bitterness since. The TSR-2, nonetheless, remains a lingering "what if?" of British aviation.
Aeronautical engineer Sir Sydney Camm (designer of the Hawker Hurricane) said of the TSR-2: "All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics. TSR-2 simply got the first three right."
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 07:29:44 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2019, 11:06:24 PM »
Many years ago when I visited Brooklands parts of the jigs and formers were still lying in the long grass. Such a sad story.

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2019, 04:51:24 PM »
I have a video (remember them?) called TSR2 The Untold Story,it features great footage of the test flights.
One in particular when it is being tailed by a BAC Lightening,the TSR2 fires up one engine on reheat (afterburner) only,as there was a problem with the other,but it leaves the Lightening for dead.
Even with both of it`s Avons on full burn it could barely keep up-impressive stuff.

It`s on You Tube....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edClNWhKFEU
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 11:10:35 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2019, 05:15:46 PM »
de Havilland Flamingo

The de Havilland DH.95 Flamingo was a twin-engined high-wing monoplane airliner first flown on 22 December 1938.During the WWII some were used by the RAF as a transport and for general communications duties.
A product of chief designer R.E.Bishop,it was the first all-metal stressed-skin aircraft built by de Havilland;control surfaces were fabric covered.It was powered by two 890 hp Bristol Perseus XIIIC air-cooled radial engines driving three-bladed D.H hydromatic variable-pitch propellers.

Two pilots were seated side by side with a radio operator behind them in the cockpit,the cabin accommodating up to 17 passengers.It had a retractable undercarriage,slotted flaps,and was considered a promising sales prospect for the company,capable of competing with the American Douglas DC-3 and Lockheed Model 10 Electra.The first prototype flew on 22 December 1938,with an initial production run of twenty aircraft proposed.
A single military transport variant was built as the DH.95 Hertfordshire.It had oval cabin windows instead of rectangular ones,and seating for 22 troops.

Following the success of the first test flights,Jersey Airways ordered three 17-seat aircraft,and this was followed by orders from the Egyptian government and the Air Ministry.The Air Ministry aircraft were to be used by the Air Council and the King's Flight. The King's Flight aircraft was to be used in the event of the royal family having to leave the country but in the end it was passed to the RAF.

BOAC ordered eight aircraft to be powered by the Perseus XVI and originally intended as ten-seaters.BOAC were later allotted the aircraft ordered by the Egyptian Government.The BOAC Flamingoes were not popular,with a lack of spares,the airline decided to withdraw the type.RAF aircraft were withdrawn from use during the war and were slowly scrapped to provide spares for the remaining aircraft.
British Air Transport restored the original former Admiralty aircraft which flew again on 27 May 1952,based at Redhill Aerodrome,which was closed in 1954 and the last flying Flamingo was dismantled and scrapped.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 05:19:34 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2019, 09:14:07 PM »
de Havilland Hornet

The de Havilland DH.103 Hornet was a twin-piston engined fighter aircraft.It was earmarked to conduct long range fighter operations in the Pacific theatre against Japan, but the war ended before the Hornet reached operational squadron status.
It bore a family resemblance to the larger Mosquito,but was an entirely fresh design,albeit one that drew extensively upon experiences from,the construction techniques used in the Mosquito.
The Hornet was powered by a pair of highly developed Rolls-Royce Merlin engines,producing 2,070 hp each,which drove four-bladed propellers.Main armament was four short-barrelled 20 mm Hispano V cannons,other munitions typically used included various rockets and bombs.

It was unusual for a British design in having propellers that rotated in opposite directions;the two engine crankshafts rotated in the same direction but the Merlin 131 added an idler gear to reverse its propeller's rotation (to clockwise, viewed from the front).This cancelled the torque effect of two propellers turning in the same direction that had affected earlier designs.On production Hornets the conventionally rotating Merlin 130 was on the port wing with the Merlin 131 on the starboard.

In mid-1946,the Hornet entered squadron service with 64 Squadron,based at RAF Horsham St Faith.Operationally,the Hornet F.I lasted only a short time before being superseded by the improved F.3 version,which flew at the Farnborough Air Show in June 1946.In 1951,considerable numbers of Hornets were redeployed from Fighter Command to the squadrons of the Far East Air Force (FEAF),and participated in combat operations during the Malayan Emergency.It proved to be very reliable; 45 Sqn Hornets, based in Singapore, achieved a total of 4,500 operational sorties over five years, more than any other squadron in the FEAF.

On 21 May 1955,the last operational Hornet sortie was flown;by mid-1956,all Hornets had been recorded as having been withdrawn from operational service.No complete examples of the Hornet remain in existence today.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 07:30:35 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2019, 07:44:44 PM »
English Electric Kingston

The English Electric P.5 Kingston was a twin-engined biplane flying boat.When the English Electric Company was formed in 1918 from several companies,the Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing Company brought with it the two prototype Phoenix P.5 Cork`s.After a redesign the Cork reappeared as the English Electric P.5 Kingston.
The first attempt at flight 12 May 1924 ended abruptly at the point of take off,the crew were thrown from the aircraft,which began to sink,but it was re-floated and repaired.

The second prototype`s attempt was onn 25 May 1925,changes had been made including four bladed props,just after becoming airborne the engines left their mountings and the wing structure failed causing cracks in the hull.The second Kingston I N9710 first flew on 13 November 1925 at Lytham and was flown to RAF Calshot for service trials along with the third flying-boat N9711.A fourth aircraft re-emerged as N9712 with a new duralumin hull and became the sole Kingston II.Test flights revealed it`s performance was not up to scratch,the metal hull was used for tests at Farnborough.

The last aircraft to be built, N9713,had a completely redesigned hull,but this reverted to wooden construction,and was known as the Kingston III.It was intended to produce a metal-hulled variant of the Kingston III but the day the Kingston III left Lytham for Felixstowe in 1926 the company closed its aircraft department,until the late 1930`s.
With War in Europe looming,English Electric was instructed by the Air Ministry to construct a "shadow factory" at Samlesbury Aerodrome in Lancashire to build Handley Page Hampden bombers.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 07:45:10 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2019, 07:39:53 PM »
Fairey Gordon

The Fairey Gordon was a two crew biplane light bomber and utility aircraft.Powerplant was 1 × Armstrong Siddeley PantherIIa radial engine of 525 hp.Armament was one fixed, forward-firing .303-inch Vickers machine gun,and a .303-inch Lewis Gun in the rear cockpit,plus 500 pounds (230 kg) of bombs.
The prototype was first flown on 3 March 1931.178 new-built aircraft were made for the RAF,a handful of earlier Fairey IIIFs being converted on the production line.
154 Mark Is were built,before production switched to the Mark II which had a larger fin and rudder;only 24 of these were completed before production switched to the Swordfish.

It had mostly been retired from RAF and Royal Navy FAA service prior to the Second World War,but a few squadrons still operated them in Egypt.Six of these aircraft were transferred to the Egyptian Air Force.
49 Gordons were dispatched to the Royal New Zealand Air Force in April 1939,41 entering brief service as pilot trainers.The aircraft were worn out and showing signs of their service in the Middle East.The last of these – and the last intact Gordon anywhere – was struck from RNZAF service in 1943.

On 12 April 1940 two trainee pilots Walter Raphael (pilot) and Wilfred Everist (passenger) of 1 Service Flying Training School were flying NZ629 from Wigram on a flight over the Southern Alps,it entered a spin then recovered,only to crash into trees where it became entangled.
In 1976 it was relocated – still largely suspended from trees.It is the only known survivor of a Gordon Mark I,and is under long term restoration in New Zealand.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 07:33:20 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2019, 11:24:49 PM »

In 1976 it was relocated – still largely suspended from trees.


Gordon Bennett, what a tale!

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2019, 09:01:10 PM »
Gloster Gauntlet

The Gloster Gauntlet was a single-seat biplane fighter of the RAF,designed and built by in the 1930s.It was the last RAF fighter to have an open cockpit and the penultimate biplane fighter in service.A total of 204 Mk IIs were produced in the UK,this new model used a revised construction method based on that used by Hawker following it`s takeover of Gloster,it was much easier to build and repair than Gloster's welded structure.Powerplant was 1 × Bristol Mercury VI S2 9-cylinder radial engine,645 hp giving a useful top speed of 230mph.Armament was a pair of 0.303 in Vickers machine guns.

The Gauntlet Mk II entered service with 56 Squadron and 111 Squadron in May 1936,at the height of its career,it equipped 14 Squadrons of RAF Fighter Command.In the late 1930`s they were passed on to freshly formed units as their first equipment to allow them to gain training before receiving more modern fighters.A flight of Gauntlets remaining in service with No.3 Sqn RAAF in the Middle East when Italy declared war in 1940.These were briefly used for ground-attack operations against the Italians before being retired from operations.

Seventeen Gauntlets IIs were licence-produced in Denmark,while 25 ex-RAF machines were supplied by South Africa as support to Finland in 1940 as a result of the Winter War.Although obsolete,they were used as advanced trainers by the Finns.
The only airworthy Mk II in the world, GT-400,is registered in Finland,where it spends its summers in Kymi Airfield Aviation Museum near Kotka.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 12:43:31 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2019, 08:32:20 PM »
Handley Page H.P.54 Harrow

The Handley Page H.P.54 Harrow was a heavy bomber of the 1930s,operated by the RAF,being used for most of the Second World War as a transport.It was a twin-engine,high-wing monoplane with a fixed undercarriage.Powerplant was 2 × Bristol Pegasus XX nine-cylinder radial engine,of 925 hp each.
On 14 August 1936,months before the first Harrow flew,the Ministry put in an order for 100 aircraft,the first Harrow flew on 10 October 1936 from Radlett.

The nose and dorsal turrets were armed with a single Lewis gun,while the tail turret carried two Lewis guns,(later replaced by Vickers K machine guns).A bombload of up to 3,000 lb (1,400 kg) could be carried under the cabin floor,with the aircraft being able to carry a single 2,000 lb (910 kg) bomb.
The first Harrow was delivered to No. 214 Squadron RAF on 13 January 1937,all 100 were delivered by the end of the year,with five bomber squadrons of the RAF being equipped.

It was phased out as a frontline bomber by the end of 1939 but continued to be used as a transport.At the height of the German night Blitz against Britain in the winter of 1940–1941.Six Harrows equipped No. 420 Flight RAF which used lone Harrows to tow Long Aerial Mines (LAM) into the path of enemy bombers.The LAM had an explosive charge on the end of a long cable.
Three Harrows were operated by Flight Refuelling Limited,and refuelled Short Empire Flying Boats on transatlantic services,two from Gander,Newfoundland and one based in Foynes Ireland.The last five Harrows were retired by the RAF 25th May 1945.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 12:43:21 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2019, 07:25:21 PM »
Hawker Henley

The Hawker Henley was a two-seat target tug derived from the Hawker Hurricane,that was operated by the RAF during World War II.It was originally intended to be a light bomber that could also be deployed in a close-support role as a dive-bomber,but changes in requirements changed it`s role.
The Hawker design team chose to focus on developing an aircraft similar in size to the Hurricane fighter.There would be economies of scale if some assemblies were common to both aircraft.They shared identical outer wing panels and tailplane jigs,and both were equipped with the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine,as it offered the best power-weight ratio as well as a minimal frontal area.

It`s first flight was 10th March 1937 powered by a Merlin "F" engine,at Brooklands.Further test flights confirmed the excellence of its performance.It could reach a top speed of 300 mph.However the Air Ministry had by this point decided that it no longer required a light bomber,thus it was relegated to target-towing duty.Production was subcontracted to Gloster Aircraft and 200 were ordered.

Unfortunately,it was soon discovered that unless the aircraft were restricted to an unrealistically low towing speed of 220 mph,the rate of engine failures was unacceptably high,attributed to a cooling system matched to the Henley's original missions,but inadequate when towing a target at high engine speed but low airspeed.
They were relegated to towing larger drogue targets with anti-aircraft co-operation units,proving themselves even less well-suited to this role;the number of engine failures increased and there were difficulties releasing drogue targets.By mid-1942 the Henley had largely been withdrawn from service.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 08:09:41 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2019, 07:39:58 PM »
Miles Monarch

The Miles M.17 Monarch was a light,touring aeroplane of the 1930s.It was a single-engine,three-seat,cabin monoplane with a fixed,tailwheel undercarriage.The Monarch was a development of their earlier Whitney Straight,with an enlarged fuselage,allowing a third seat in part of what had been the luggage space.

It first flew 20th Feb 1938,eleven aircraft were built between 1938 and 1939,six of these to British customers,the rest going to export.
Powerplant was a De Havilland Gipsy Major I four-cylinder air-cooled inline piston engine,of 130 hp.

On the outbreak of war,five of the British-registered machines were impressed by the Air Ministry; one machine belonging to Rolls-Royce acquired camouflage paint but remained in its owner's service.All but one of these survived the war,though a Dutch-registered aeroplane (PH-ATP) was destroyed in a German raid on Schiphol on 10 May 1940.The remaining Monarchs led uneventful but useful careers;a number survived into the Sixties.G-AFJU is displayed at the National Museum of Flight at RAF East Fortune near East Linton, Scotland.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 12:43:10 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2019, 02:14:47 PM »
Nieuport Nighthawk

The Nieuport & General Aircraft Co. Ltd.was formed on 16 November 1916 to produce French Nieuport aircraft under licence.During 1917,the company started to design its own aircraft,( hiring Henry Folland as chief designer ),the second of which was the Nieuport Nighthawk,a single seat biplane fighter for the RAF and the RNFAA.
It was to be powered by the new ABC Dragonfly,a radial engine under development which was meant to deliver 340 hp while weighing only 600 lb.

An initial order for 150 Nighthawks was placed in August 1918,well before prototypes or flight-ready engines were available,the first prototype,F-2909 flew in Spring 1919.
By this time,it was clear that the Dragonfly had serious problems,being prone to extreme overheating,when the engine could be persuaded to work,the Nighthawk showed excellent performance.
In September 1919,it was finally recognised that the Dragonfly was unsalvagable and the engine programme was cancelled.

Seventy Nighthawks were completed by Nieuport and the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company,with a further 54 airframes without engines being completed.
In a vain attempt to work out the problems with the Dragonfly engine,four Nighthawks were retained by the R.A.E. with experiments carried out in 1920–21.
Nieuport & General closed down in August 1920,and the rights to the Nighthawk were purchased by the Gloster Aircraft Company,who also hired Folland as chief designer.
Gloster proceeded to produce a number of derivatives of the Nighthawk,using stocks of components acquired by the company from the cancelled production run,calling them the Gloster Mars.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 12:42:59 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2019, 06:43:32 PM »
Saunders-Roe A.36 Lerwick

The Saunders-Roe A.36 Lerwick was a British flying boat built by Saunders-Roe Limited (Saro).An Air Ministry Specification was for a medium-range flying boat for anti-submarine,convoy escort and reconnaissance duties to replace the Royal Air Force's biplane flying boats.
The Lerwick was of all-metal construction,with a conventional flying boat hull,and two stabilising floats carried under the wings.It was powered by two Bristol Hercules radial engines and initially had twin fins and rudders.For defence,it was equipped with three powered gun turrets,it could also carry various bombs,and depth charges.

It first flew on 31 October 1938, after numerous delays during design and construction.It was immediately found to be unstable in the air,and on the water and not suited to "hands off" flying.This was a major problem in an aircraft designed for long-range patrols.Numerous adjustments,failed to remedy its poor handling characteristics,which included a vicious stall.In mid-1939,four were allocated to 240 Squadron but by October the squadron had stopped flying them.
The Lerwick programme was cancelled on 24 October but restarted just a week later,as with the start of the World War II,aircraft were urgently required.

April 1941,209 Squadron began receiving the Catalina.The last of a total of 21 Lerwicks was delivered in May,but the type was withdrawn from front-line service in the same month.Most of the remaining Lerwicks were transferred to Invergordon;three were sent to 240 Squadron for service trials at Helensburgh.
In mid-1942,the Lerwicks were briefly returned to service,for operational training with 422 Squadron and 423 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force,based at Lough Erne. By the end of 1942 the type had been declared obsolete and by early 1943 the survivors had been scrapped.
Of the 21 aircraft built,10 were lost to accidents,and one for an unknown reason.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 11:08:54 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2019, 08:46:03 PM »
Sopwith Snipe

The Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe was a single-seat biplane fighter of the RAF during WW I.It came into squadron service a few weeks before the end of the conflict,in late 1918.
The Snipe was not a fast aircraft by the standards of its time,but its excellent climb and manoeuvrability made it a good match for contemporary German fighters.The first prototype Snipe,powered by a Bentley AR.1 rotary engine was completed in October 1917.The 2nd with a new,more powerful Bentley BR.2 engine,which gave 230 hp,flew late November 1917--It was the last rotary to be used by the RAF.

It`s fixed armament consisted of two 0.303 in Vickers machine guns on the cowling,and it was also able to carry up to four 25 lb bombs for ground attack work,identical to the Camel's armament.The Snipe began production in 1918,with more than 4,500 being ordered,but the run ended in 1919,with just under 500 being built,the rest being cancelled due to the end of the war.There was only one variant,the Snipe I,although two aircraft were re-engined with a 320 hp ABC Dragonfly radial engine and these entered production as the Sopwith Dragon.

The first squadron to equip with the new fighter was No. 43,based at Fienvillers in France,replacing its Camels with 15 Snipes on 30 August 1918.
It flew its first operational patrols on 24 September 1918,it also saw service with No. 4 Squadron Australian Flying Corps (AFC) from October 1918.
By the end of 1919,only a single squadron,No 80 was equipped with the Snipe.It took part in the Allied intervention on the side of the White Russians during the Russian Civil War against the Bolsheviks,twelve being used by the RAF mission in north Russia.Most had been retired from service by the early 1920`s.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 12:42:47 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2019, 07:30:06 PM »
Supermarine Southampton

The Supermarine Southampton was a 1920s biplane flying boat,one of the most successful flying boats of the interwar period.It was a twin-engine biplane,with the tractor engines mounted between the wings.The Mk I had both its hull and its wings manufactured from wood,but the Mk II had a hull with a single thickness of metal (duralumin) (the Mk I had a double wooden bottom).This change gave a weight saving of 900 lb (409 kg) allowing for an increase in range of approximately 200 miles.

The first flight of a production aircraft was made on 10 March 1925,and delivery to the RAF started in mid-1925,with No. 480 (Coastal Reconnaissance) Flight at RAF Calshot.The aircraft had three positions for machine guns,one in the nose and two staggered in the rear fuselage.The type quickly became famous for long-distance formation flights,the most notable was a 27,000 mile expedition in 1927 and 1928,carried out by four Southamptons of the Far East Flight,setting out from Felixstowe via the Mediterranean and India to Singapore.
 
Southamptons were sold to a number of other countries,eight new aircraft were sold to Argentina,with Turkey purchasing six and Australia buying two ex-RAF Mk 1 aircraft.
Japan also purchased a single example,which was later converted into an 18-passenger cabin airliner.One RAF aircraft was loaned to Imperial Airways,with British Civil Registration G-AASH,for three months from December 1929.83 Southamptons were constructed,over a ten year period.
The restored wooden fuselage of Supermarine Southampton 1 N9899 is on display at the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 07:30:26 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2019, 04:43:00 PM »
Supermarine Spiteful

The Supermarine Spiteful was a Rolls-Royce Griffon-engined fighter,designed as a successor to the Spitfire.It featured an entirely new wing design,intended to improve its safe operations at higher speeds.It allowed the landing gear to be re-arranged to a modern inward-retracting design,also a larger vertical tail was added to improve the marginal stability of Spitfires with the Griffon engine.
It first flew 30th June 1944,and was ready for production as the war was ending,but was passed over in favour of jet-powered designs.Of the original order for 150 Spitefuls, only 19 aircraft were completed.

The main problem of the Spitfire's wing was the aeroelasticity,at high speeds the light structure behind the strong leading edge torsion box would flex,changing the airflow and limiting the maximum safe diving speed to 480 mph.To be able to fly higher and faster,a radically new wing would be needed.At high speeds compressibility had become a major problem with the increasingly powerful fighters,and the new wing went some way to addressing the issue.To improve the pilot's view over the nose,the 2375 hp RR Griffon 69 engines were mounted tilted downwards slightly.

There was some uncertainty over whether jet aircraft would be able to operate from the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers so it was decided to develop a naval version of the Spiteful,subsequently named Seafang.
The Seafang featured folding wingtips,a "sting"-type arrester hook and a Griffon 89 or 90 engine,driving two new Rotol three-bladed contra-rotating propellers.The first one produced was a converted Spiteful XV (RB520) but with the successful operation of the de Havilland Sea Vampire from the carrier HMS Ocean in 1945,the need for the Seafang also disappeared.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 04:45:51 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2019, 06:52:21 PM »
Supermarine Attacker

The Supermarine Attacker was a single-seat naval jet fighter built for the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm (FAA).It has the distinction of being the first jet fighter to enter operational service with the FAA.Like most other first-generation jet fighters,it had a short service life due to the rapid development of increasingly advanced aircraft.
It used the laminar flow straight-wings of the Supermarine Spiteful,meant to replace the Spitfire.The Attacker project was intended to provide an interim fighter for the RAF while another aircraft,the Gloster E.1/44 also using the Nene engine,was developed.An order for 24 pre-production aircraft,six for the RAF and the remaining 18 for the Fleet Air Arm was placed on 7 July 1945.

The RAF rejected both designs (Spiteful and Attacker) since they offered no great performance advantage over the contemporary Gloster Meteor and the de Havilland Vampire,the RAF's first two operational jet aircraft.The prototype Attacker,TS409 land version was first flown on 27 July 1946,by test pilot Jeffrey Quill.The tail-down attitude meant that when operating from grass airfields the jet exhaust would create a long furrow in the ground,and made it more difficult to land on aircraft carriers.

The first navalised prototype,Type 398 TS413 flew on 17 June 1947 flown by test pilot Mike Lithgow.Orders for the FAA were placed in November 1949,and the first production aircraft to fly was the F.1 variant in 1950,entering service with the FAA in August 1951.The first squadron being 800 Naval Air Squadron; the F.1's armament consisted of four 20 mm Hispano cannons,with 125 rounds per gun.It was powered by a single Rolls-Royce Nene Mk. 101 turbojet engine.

The Attacker had a brief career with the FAA,not seeing any action during its time with the FAA and being taken out of first-line service in 1954.It remained in service with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) for a little while longer,being taken out of service in early 1957.The Attacker was replaced in the front line squadrons by the later and more capable Hawker Sea Hawk and de Havilland Sea Venom.182 were built,the Pakistan Air Force aquired 36,and operated them until the late 1950`s.
Attacker F.1 Serial number WA473 is on display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Somerset,UK.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 07:06:29 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2019, 09:10:16 AM »
182 were built,the Pakistan Air Force aquired 36,and operated them until the late 1950`s.

I remember reading that the Attacker was very unpopular in Pakistan, whether due to its own faults or being their first jet with its learning curve.  There was a letter campaign by "Mothers of the Air Force" to have them grounded which culminated with the Chief of the Air Force saddling-up and flying a demo in one to prove that they were 'safe'.

I haven't the foggiest notion where I read that.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 09:11:27 AM by smudge »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2019, 04:53:14 PM »
Vickers Vixen


The Vickers Vixen was a general-purpose biplane of the 1920s.It was a single-bay biplane with a steel tube fuselage and wooden wings,powered by a 450 hp Napier Lion engine.
The first prototype the Type 71 Vixen I,civil registration G-EBEC,flew in February 1923.It was tested at Martlesham Heath and showed good performance,prompting modification to a day bomber role as the Type 87 Vixen II,which was fitted with a ventral radiator.The Vixen I and II formed the basis of the Venture army co-operation aircraft for the Royal Air Force and the Valparaiso for export purposes.

Next came the Vixen IV,which was intended for use as a night fighter,it showed improved performance over the Lion-powered versions,but it was not successful.It was later modified with the enlarged wings of the Vixen III as a general-purpose aircraft (the Type 124 Vixen VI) for evaluation as a private venture.

The Military Aviation Service of Chile placed an initial order for twelve Vixen Vs in May 1925,this being increased to 18 in July.Prone to engine problems owing to the problems with the special fuel (⅔ petrol to ⅓ benzol) required for the high-compression Lion V engine,and requiring frequent re-rigging owing to the use of wooden wings in the high temperature of Northern Chile,the Vixen Vs,operated by the Grupo Mixto de Aviación N° 3.were popular in Chilean service.
Vixens participated in bombing raids against mutinying ships of the Chilean Navy during the Sailors' mutiny of September 1931.
After rejection by the RAF,the Vixen VI,piloted by the Test pilot Joseph Summers and Colonel Charles Russell of the Irish Air Corps,carried the first Irish Air Mail, between Galway and London.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 04:54:38 PM by Angry Turnip »