RAF´s pre-war aircrafts

Discussion in 'Between the wars 1918-1939' started by gekho, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The RAF finished the First World War as the world’s first independent air force with strength of 293,532 officers and men and a self-confidence of its own capabilities as shown by its actions during the final campaigns of the war. However, despite the fact the RAF did not face the introspective analysis of the war that was required by both the Army and RN in terms of their roles in future wars it did begin to analyse the potential role that air power would play in the future. In January 1919 Air Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard, now Chief of the Air Staff, had the Air Ministry produce a synopsis of the role that the air force had played in the First World War. This piece laid out four principles that were to form the core of RAF thinking for much of the inter-war period. The most important of these was the argument that central to the effective application of air power in the battle space was the attainment of ‘Command of the Air’ or air superiority.

    However, before Trenchard could forge a future for the newly formed RAF he first had to defend it from budgetary constraints that were being placed upon each of the three services in the early post-war years. The RAF’s budget went from £52.5 million in 1920 to £9.4 million in 1923, a drop of some eighty-three percent and in the same period it saw its strength drop to some 27,000 officers and men and just twenty-five squadrons. Each of the three services had to contend with a smaller pot of money and deal with the Treasury’s contention of the ten-year rule as a basis for military spending, which caused serious issues for the planners of each the services. The rule also did not help the already prevalent hostility that existed between the newborn RAF and the older branches of the military. Both the Army and RN argued that they should have control of their own air assets and for much of the inter-war period both branches made concerted efforts to bring their assets back into their respective folds.

    It is useful to note the personal effect that budgetary constraints had upon the service. For example, in 1920, the future Marshal of the Royal Air Force, then Squadron Leader Arthur Travers Harris who as Officer Commanding No. 3 Flying Training School had to do battle with the bureaucracy of Whitehall when an issue arose over the disposal of redundant supplies, in this case excess cans of petrol. Harris in his usual effective manner stored the cans behind barbed wire and he soon discovered that some had evaporated. He quickly reported this and in return, he received an abusive letter informing him that he now had to pay for the shortage. This illustrates the problems that were faced by the service in the early post-war years and the length that would be taken to save money. Luckily, for Harris he used his ingenuity and checked with a local petrol company as to how much petrol could evaporate over a period of a year, the answer to which was 100%. He proceeded to tell the air ministry that he was owed money and the matter was dropped. Harris noted to his official biographer, Dudley Saward that ‘Serving in the services in the immediate aftermath of a war is not an exciting or particularly pleasant experience.’ In other areas too, the service faced serious financial problems and more often than not officers found themselves doing jobs that at any other time would have been done by at least two officers. For example, Squadron Leader Alec Haslam at the School of Army Co-Operation in 1921 noted that the reason for this was the fear of the Geddes Axe and, therefore, he noted that, ‘We doubled every job we needed except the Wing Commander.’ Thankfully, for Haslam the ‘Axe’ did not fall on the school and soon after he was able to suggest the posting of Squadron Leader Trafford Leigh Mallory to the School as No. 2 Squadron Leader. Alongside its budgetary figures it is useful to examine the expenditure of the various services in this period, table 1.1 shows that RAF expenditure on armaments and various war stores compared favourably with the army but not so well in comparison to the RN and its capital ship building program.

    Source: The Royal Air Force and the Problems of the Inter-War Years « Thoughts on Military History
     
  2. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #2 gekho, Jan 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
    The Blackburn was an ugly carrier-borne Fleet spotter-reconnaissance biplane, accommodating a pilot in an open cockpit in front of the upper wing leading edge, a wireless operator/gunner and a navigator/observer. The latter crew members were provided with a cabin inside the deep fuselage and only needed to venture out into the open for observation or to use the rear-mounted Lewis machine-gun. Thirty production Blackburn Is, with 335kW Napier Lion IIB engines, were built. The type first entered service on board HMS Eagle in 1923. These were followed by 29 346kW Napier Lion-engined Blackburn IIs, entering service in 1926. All were replaced by Fairey IIIFs in 1931.

    Source: Blackburn R.1 Blackburn - reconnaissance

    It seems not only frenchs made ugly birds.....
     

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  3. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #3 gekho, Jan 19, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
    In 1923, Charles Richard Fairey, founder and chief designer of Fairey Aviation, disappointed with his Fawn bomber, which owing to the constraints of Air Ministry specifications, was slower than the Airco DH.9A which it was meant to replace while carrying no greater bombload, conceived the idea of a private venture bomber not subject to official limitations, which could demonstrate superior performance and handling. On seeing the Curtiss CR, powered by a Curtiss D-12 V-12 liquid-cooled engine of low frontal area and in a low drag installation, win the 1923 Schneider Trophy race, Fairey realised that this engine would be well suited to a new bomber and acquired an example of the engine and a licence for production.

    Fairey commenced design of a bomber around this engine, with detailed design carried out by a team at first led by Frank Duncanson and then by the Belgian Marcel Lobelle. The resultant aircraft, the Fairey Fox, was a single-bay biplane with highly staggered wings, with a composite wood and metal structure. The Curtiss D-12 was installed in a closely cowled tractor installation, with one radiator mounted on the underside of the upper wing, and a second retractable radiator that could be wound in and out of the fuselage as required. Pilot and gunner sat close together in two tandem cockpits, with the gunner armed with a Lewis gun on a specially designed high-speed gun mounting that allowed the gun to be stowed to reduce drag, with the pilot armed with a single synchronised Vickers machine gun. Up to 460 lb of bombs could be carried under the wings, aimed by the gunner whose seat folded to allow use of a bombsight.

    Source: Fairey Fox | Facebook
     

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  4. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Cloud amphibious flying-boat was produced in two forms: as a civil eight-seater and as a military trainer. In the latter role the RAF received 16 from 1933. The large cabin provided accommodation for eight pupils; six pupils and wireless and electrical equipment, navigation instruments and signalling apparatus; or four.pupils and the above equipment for navigational training. Alternatively, the Cloud could be used for flying training, to simulate the conditions to be met with a larger service type of flying-boat. Power was provided by two 253kW Armstrong Siddeley Double Mongoose engines.

    Source: Saunders-Roe A.19 Cloud - flying boat
     

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  5. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #5 gekho, Jan 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
    One of the criticisms of early Fairey aircraft was aimed at their appearance, for they were frequently regarded as being numbered among the most ugly aeroplanes in the air. It was an unkind attitude in an age when it was difficult to attain the sort of performance required by a general-purpose aircraft: one which might be expected to operate from and to a ship at sea, in addition to more conventional use as a landplane or seaplane. Fairey's IIID, first flown in prototype form in August 1920, derived from the company's F.128 experimental floatplane of 1917. This introduced the Fairey Patent Camber Gear evolved for the Hamble Baby, which was then described as a trailing-edge flap and used to increase the lift of the wings. Today we would regard these aerofoil control surfaces as drooped ailerons, for they were used as ailerons in flight, but could be drooped symmetrically to enhance the lift developed by the normal wing surface. Tested as a two-seat sea-plane, the F.128 was known as the Fairey III. With a single frontal radiator behind the propeller and the floats replaced by a wheel landing gear, the designation became Fairey IIIA.

    In modified form the designation became Fairey IIIB. These had float landing gear, increased wing area, and ailerons on the upper wing in addition to the Patent Camber Gear on the lower. The IIIC which followed had a performance increase of some 14%, almost entirely due to the installation of a Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engine. It was regarded as one of the best seaplanes of its day, but it entered service too late to be involved in World War I. The Fairey IIID benefited from considerable experience with Fairey Ills in both RFC and RNAS use. The prototype retained the Eagle VIII engine, but of the 207 built for service with the RAF and Fleet Air Arm, 152 were powered by Napier Lion IIB, V or VA engines. A large-span two-bay biplane with constant-chord wings, the IIID was operated as a landplane from shore stations and aircraft carriers, or as a seaplane for catapult launch from warships. In fact, on 30 October 1925, a IIID became the first standard FAA seaplane to be catapulted from a ship at sea.

    In landplane form, the IIID was one of the first service aircraft to have oleo-pneumatic (oil/air) shock-absorbers. It was used to record the RAF's first flight from England to South Africa and its first official long-distance formation flight. Led by Wg Cdr C. W. H. Pulford, between 1 March and 21 June 1926 IIIDs completed a flight of almost 22,530km, Cairo-Cape Town-Cairo and thence to Lee-on-Solent. At no time throughout the period of almost four months was any delay caused by mechanical failure of any of the aircraft, speaking volumes for the soundness of the basic design of both airframe and engine.

    Source: Fairey III -
     

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  6. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Short Type 320 was designed to meet an official requirement for a seaplane to carry a Mark IX torpedo. Larger than the earlier Short 184 it was a typical Short folder design of the time, with two-bay uneven span wings. Two prototypes were built powered by a 310 hp Sunbeam Cossack engine, and initially known as the Short 310 Type A from the engine fitted to the prototypes. When the torpedo bomber went into production it was powered by a 320 hp (238 kW) Cossack engine which was the origin of the name the Type 320. At the same time as Shorts were designing the 310 Type A torpedo bomber, they produced a similar design for a patrol floatplane, powered by the same Cossack engine and using the same fuselage, but with equal span three-bay wings instead of the uneven span wings of the torpedo bomber, known as the Short 310 Type B or North Sea Scout, with two prototypes ordered. Priority was given to the torpedo bomber, the first being ready in July 1916 and the second in August that year, with the prototypes being rushed to the Adriatic. The first prototype patrol aircraft was finished in September 1916, but proved to be little better than the Short 184 already in service, and was not ordered into production. The second prototype Type B was completed as a type A torpedo bomber. A conventional biplane floatplane the torpedo was carried between the bottom of the fuselage and the floats. Unusually the aircraft was flown from the rear cockpit although this did cause a problem for an observer in the front seat. The observer had to stand on the coaming to use the machine-gun which was level with the top wing. When a torpedo was carried the aircraft could not fly with an observer at the same time. The first order placed with Shorts was for 30 aircraft, followed by orders for a further 24 and 20 aircraft, together with orders for a further 30 and 20 placed at Sunbeam. Together with the three prototypes, this gave a total production of 127 Short Type 320s.

    Twenty-five aircraft were ordered in February 1917 and examples were delivered to the Royal Naval Air Service in Italy before the end of April 1917. Two accidents with the aircraft when the fuselage collapsed after the torpedo was released delayed the use of the aircraft on operations. The cause was later found to be the method of securing the fuselage bracing wires. The first operational use was on 2 September 1917 when six aircraft (five with torpedoes and one with bombs) were towed towed on rafts fifty miles south of Traste Bay to enable them to attack enemy submarines lying off Cattaro.[8] They had to be towed into position as they could not carry enough fuel and a torpedo for the mission. The operation did not go well; with a gale force wind and heavy seas two of the aircraft failed to take off so the operation was abandoned. On the return journey one aircraft was lost and the others were damaged. It appears that the Type 320 never launched a torpedo in action. Due to the lack of operational experience in February 1918 four aircraft were operated from Calshot for experiments with launching the torpedoes. Forty drops were made and proved a valuable source of information about torpedoes entering the water when dropped at different heights and speeds. The aircraft continued to be used as a reconnaissance seaplane until the end of the war.
     

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  7. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The R.B.1, codenamed ‘Iris’ was the first flying boat design and development project undertaken by the Yorkshire-based Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Corporation, Ltd. The design of the Iris-I was the direct result of the Royal Air Force's desire to fill its maritime reconnaissance arm with a long range platform. A pre-design specification request was delivered to Blackburn in early 1925. Only one year after the specification, the company was able to produce a workable aircraft fully loaded. On the morning of June 26th, 1926, the first prototype, R.B.1-I took to the air in its maiden flight. The Iris-I was an all wooden, three engine flying boat that utilized a distinctive biplane tail elevator on its upper plane and three rudders. The aircraft needed a five men flight crew. The two pilots sat on a side-by-side, open cockpit in the top front of the fuselage. The rest of the crew also sat in an open cockpit placed in the rear area, behind the wing structure. Following a brief evaluation period, engineers at Blackburn decided to replace the provisional wooden hull for an all metal one. There are also some minor modifications performed on the Iris-I’s three Rolls Royce Condor IIIB piston engines. The resulting type was called model R.B.1A-II. It employed a more powerful power plant, the same RR Condor engines, but with an augmented in-line fuel distribution mechanism.

    Overall, five versions of the Iris were produced between 1926 and the fall of 1932. All types employed the same airframe profile. Versions I through III were fitted with a Rolls Royce Condor engine, while IV utilized an Armstrong Siddeley Leopard III radial piston engines and type V carried three Rolls Royce Buzzard II MS piston motors. The final three produced Iris (III, IV and V) made it to full operational status, with the RAF’s 209 Squadron, in early 1930. At the time of their deployment, the Iris had the distinction of being the largest operational flying boat in the world. Despite a very good service record, the Iris is most famously remembered by a lone flight. In September 28th, 1928, British Under Secretary of State for Air, Sir Philip Sassoon, took a 15,929km flight on an Iris-II. Sassoon and his party took off from Felixstowe and flew to Karachi to inspect RAF’s units deployed in the Island of Malta, Iraq and Egypt. The whole inspection flight took sixteen days, an impressive achievement for those times.

    Source: Blackburn Iris
     

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  8. woljags

    woljags Active Member

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    i've always had a soft spot for the Perth,such a graceful design
     
  9. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Wow that first is a bit odd!
     
  11. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    the designer's parents must have been French !!!!!
    great pictures
     
  12. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    A contender to Specification 0.22/26 calling for a high-speed shipboard reconnaissance-fighter capable of being flown with either wheel or float undercarriage and suitable for catapult operation from cruisers and larger warships, the S.10 Gurnard was awarded a two-prototype contract. One of the prototypes, the Gurnard I, was to be powered by a 525hp Bristol Jupiter X nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, and the other, the Gurnard II, was to have a 525hp Rolls-Royce Kestrel IIS water-cooled 12-cylinder Vee-type engine. A single-bay biplane of metal construction with fabric skinning, the Gurnard had an armament of one fixed forward-firing 7.7mm machine gun and a similar-calibre weapon on a Scarff ring for the second crew member. The Gurnard II was the first to fly, on 16 April 1929, as a floatplane, the Gurnard I following in landplane form three weeks later, on 8 May. Both prototypes were tested at the A&AEE, but the Hawker Osprey was selected in preference and no production of the Gurnard was ordered. The Gurnard II was flown - commencing on 15 June 1931 - as an amphibian with a single main float.
     

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  13. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    After development of the immensely successful series of Hawker Hart light bombers, aircraft designer Sydney Camm developed a similar but related fighter development, initially known as the Hornet. The Hornet was initially powered by a 420 hp in-line liquid cooled Rolls Royce F.XIA engine, and was almost immediately modified to take the 480 hp F.XIS engine. Even with the use of an early developmental engine, the Hornet demonstrated impressive results with speeds over 200 mph. The new engine, soon to be known as the Kestrel1, featured a major advance in engine technology with the introduction of a pressurized cooling system. The Hornet was one of the highlights of the 1929 Olympia Aero Show, and this was the first public appearance of the prototype. It was after this event, when it was delivered as J9682 in 1930 to Martelsham Heath for flight testing. Pilots were impressed with the aircraft's rapid climb, high maximum speed, and impressive maneuverability. The Hornet's superior handling qualities, and great structural strength, prompted the RAF to issue an order for twenty-one Fury Is. A tour of the aircraft to the Balkans in early 1931, sparked interest in the type, which subsequently led to an initial order of six Furies by Yugoslavia. Tests at Martelsham Heath demonstrated that the Hornet, capable of reaching 207 mph in level flight,4 was superior to the Bristol Bulldog, which had just been ordered in extensive quantities for the RAF. The Bristol Bulldog created somewhat of a dilemma for the RAF as the Hart bomber could reach speeds up to 184 mph, while the Bristol Bulldog's maximum speed was only 174 mph.5 During military exercises, the Hart bomber squadrons could complete their mission, while virtually undisturbed by fighter defense. The superior performance of the Hart bomber now invalidated provisions of the F.20/27 requirements, and they were extensively rewritten around the potentialities of the Kestrel engine.

    Adopting the RAF policy of naming fighters with words beginning in "F", the Fury as it was now known, went into only limited production, even though it was a superior performing aircraft. The aircraft's relatively high cost (compared to the Bulldog) and economic conditions caused by the Great Depression, were factors that attributed to modest orders of production aircraft. Initially, the Fury equipped No, 43 Squadron at Tangmere in May 1931 and later serving with No. 1 and No. 25 Squadrons, the RAF's corps d'elite. Later, a few served with various training establishments. Fundamentally, the Fury was a relatively small, single seat biplane fighter with an airframe incorporating a newly advance design of tubular steel and aluminum for the fuselage and dumb-bell wing spars, which would remain features of all Hawker aircraft well into WWII.8 Unlike the Hart there was no wing sweepback and ailerons were installed only on the top plane. All versions had a span of thirty feet, while Kestrel variants were 26 feet 8 inches long, with radial engine variants being slightly shorter. Standard armament was installed, comprising of twin Vickers .303 inch guns, with 600 rounds per gun. Performance varied with the powerplant installed, with Kestrel powered variants exceeding the 200 mph mark, while some of the lower powered radial engine types were slightly slower. It was the last classic liquid-cooled engine fighter biplane in the RAF and subsequent replacements including the Gauntlet and Gladiator. Only 118 Furies were produced for the RAF, but approximately thirty-two were exported.

    British variants included the Fury I, the Fury II, the Intermediate Fury and the High Speed Fury. The Intermediate Fury, registered as G-ABSE, was used as a testbed to meet specification F.7/30,9 and led the development of the P.V.3. The Intermediate Fury was first quipped with a Kestrel IIS engine, wheel pants and Messier oleo struts. By the end of 1932, a Kestrel IVS was installed in order to test the supercharger for the Goshawk engine. Other engine installations tested were a Kestrel VI in October 1933, a Goshawk III in May 1935 and Kestrel Special (upgraded Kestrel VI) in August 1935. The High Speed Fury, which featured tapered wings, modified "V" struts, also tested a variety of engines. Engine installations were a 525 hp Kestrel IIS, a 600 hp Kestrel S (Special), a 525 hp Kestrel IIIS, a 600 hp Kestrel VIS, a 695 hp Goshawk III and a Goshawk B.41.10

    Perhaps the more interesting Furies were the export versions. Standard production Furies were exported to Yugoslavia, Norway, Persia, Spain and Portugal. In addition, some ex-RAF aircraft went to South Africa, where they were used against the Italians during World War II. Yugoslavia produced about 40 modified Furies with cantilever landing gear and more powerful engine, and some of these wound up with the Spanish Republicans, and when the war was over, the Franco government. Some ex-Yugoslav Furies were used by the Italians as fighter trainers with mixed markings. The Persian Furies had Pratt Whitney Hornet radials, but these were later replaced by Bristol Mercury engines for added performance. So favored were the Persian Mercuries by their pilots, they were flown as late as 1943. The only Norwegian Fury, No. 401, used an Armstrong Siddeley Panther IIIA radial engine, however the results proved disappointing as the engine installation moved the c.g. forward resulting in a tendency of the airplane to nose over during taxiing. The Persian Hornet variants, installed with a metal Hamilton 3-blade propeller, also exhibited the same c.g. problems. Three Spanish Furies with Hispano-Suiza 12XBrs engines were ordered in 1935 and first flown in April 1936. They arrived in Spain July 11,1936 just one week before the start of the Spanish Civil War. Two (4-1, 4-2) were flown by Republican forces and one (4-3) was flown by the Nationalists. At least one of the aircraft changed hands several times, 4-3 being used as a dive bomber until it was destroyed in 1938.

    Source: Hawker Fury - Great Britain
     

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  14. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    those Fury formation shots are fantastic
     
  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I agree, fantastic!
     
  16. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Blackburn Shark was the last in a series of Blackburn produced biplane torpedo bombers that equipped the Fleet Air Arm in the interwar years. It marked a clear break from the earlier line of Blackburn torpedo bombers – the Dart, Ripon and Baffin – all of which had evolved from the Blackburn Swift of 1919. Instead the Shark was based on the Blackburn B-3, designed to Air Ministry specification M.1/30A in 1931.

    The Shark had an all-metal framework with a fabric covering coated in Alclad. It had wings of unequal span – the lower wings were 10 feet shorter than the upper wings. The streamlined bracing wires used on the earlier torpedo bombers were replaced by a stronger system of slanting struts. This made the wing heavier, forcing Blackburn to install a hydraulically operated folding mechanism, but it did mean that the wings were strong enough to carry a full bomb load even when folded. The Shark could use either the Armstrong Siddeley Tiger or Bristol Pegasus radial engines. The Shark I and II had open cockpits for the pilot, observer/ wireless operator and gunners, with the bomb aiming position located below the pilot’s position.

    The Shark could also be used as a float plane, performing well on rough water, and as a catapult launched aircraft operating from capital ships. A total of 238 Sharks were built between 1935 and 1937 in Britain, while the last aircraft were produced under licence by Boeing of Canada in 1940. Despite this the Shark had been replaced in the Fleet Air Arm by the outbreak of the Second World War.

    Source: Blackburn Shark
     

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  17. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Southampton was designed by the team of R. J. Mitchell, better known as the designer of the later Spitfire. Due to the success of the Swan, the Air Ministry ordered six Southamptons direct from the drawing board, which was very unusual. As the Swan had acted in effect as a prototype, development time was short. The Southampton was a two-engine biplane flying boat, with the tractor engines mounted between the wings. The Southampton Mk I had both its hull and its wings manufactured from wood. The Southampton 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 of range of approximately 200 mi (320 km). In 1929, 24 of the Mk I were converted by having newly-built metal hulls replacing the wooden ones. Some of the later aircraft were built with metal wings and were probably designated as Southampton Mk III. There were three positions for machine guns, one in the nose and two staggered in the rear fuselage. The first flight of a production aircraft was made on 10 March 1925, and delivery to the RAF started in the middle of 1925.


    Southamptons first entered RAF service in August 1925 with No. 480 (Coastal Reconnaissance) Flight at RAF Calshot. In a series of "showing the flag" flights, the type quickly became famous for long-distance formation flights; the most notable was a 43,500 km (27,000 mi) expedition in 1927 and 1928. It was carried out by four Southamptons of the Far East Flight, setting out from Felixstowe via the Mediterranean and India to Singapore.

    Source: Supermarine Southampton | Facebook
     

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  18. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Interesting pictures; that's the one off Southampton X, which was designed as a replacement for the original 'Swampton' as it was nicknamed. It was not put into production. Neat picture though. The wooden hull of the original Southampton Is was designed by a racing yacht builder called Linton Hope, who did a lot of design work on British inter war flying boat hulls.
     
  19. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #19 gekho, Jan 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
    The Hawker Hector was intended as a replacement for the Hawker Audax army co-operation aircraft. Because of the demand for Rolls-Royce Kestrel engines required for the Hawker Hind program, an alternative power plant was specified. Consequently the Napier Dagger III was used. Although both the design and the building of the prototype was done by Hawkers, the subsequent production aircraft were built by Westland Aircraft in Yeovil, Somerset. The prototype first flew on 14 February 1936 with George Bulman as pilot. One prototype and 178 production aircraft were built. 13 of these were supplied to Eire in 1941-2. The Hector equipped seven RAF army co-operation squadrons, but began to be replaced by Westland Lysanders in 1938. The Hectors were transferred to Auxiliary Air Force squadrons; 613 Squadron used theirs to attack German troops advancing through northern France in May 1940. Two aircraft were lost in combat over Calais, before the squadron was evacuated. Hectors were used by the RAF from 1940 as target-tugs, and for towing the General Aircraft Hotspur training glider.

    Irish Air Corps examples were received after the Dunkirk Evacuation. In general they were in poor condition. They were sold by the British War Office to the Irish Free State upon requests for aircraft. The Irish military were wholly unprepared for major warfare, but still relied almost totally on military supplies from Britain. The defence of Ireland was also in the British interest, but with the Battle of Britain raging in the skies, could afford to sell the Irish Government nothing better than the Hector. The type was deeply unpopular with ground crews due to the complicated nature of the engine, which had 24 cylinders, with 24 spark plugs and 48 valves, all of which required frequent maintenance.
     

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  20. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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