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Author Topic: The slightly less well known  (Read 94908 times)

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Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #625 on: September 28, 2020, 01:31:22 AM »
de Havilland DH 108

The de Havilland DH 108 was a experimental jet aircraft designed in October 1945.

The DH 108 featured a tailless, swept wing with a single vertical stabilizer, similar to the layout of the wartime German Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet rocket-powered point-defence interceptor. Initially designed to evaluate swept wing handling characteristics at low and high subsonic speeds for the proposed early tailless design of the Comet airliner. With the adoption of a conventional tail for the Comet, the aircraft were used instead to investigate swept wing handling up to supersonic speeds.

Using the main fuselage section and engine of the de Havilland Vampire mated to a longer fuselage with a single tailfin and swept wings, the de Havilland DH 108 was proposed in 1944 as a test for the DH 106 Comet which had initially been considered a tailless, swept-wing concept. Despite the Comet design taking on more conventional features, the value of testing the unique configuration to provide basic data for the DH.110 encouraged de Havilland to continue development of the DH 108. Selecting two airframes from the English Electric Vampire F 1 production line, the new aircraft had unmistakable similarities to its fighter origins, especially in the original forward fuselage which retained the nose, cockpit and other components of the Vampire.

The new metal wing incorporating a 43˚ sweepback was approximately 15% greater in area than the standard Vampire wing.The first DH 108 prototype, TG283, using the Vampire fuselage and a 43° swept wing, flew on 15 May 1946. Designed to investigate low-speed handling, it was capable of only 280 mph. The second, high-speed prototype, TG306, with a 45° swept wing powered by a de Havilland Goblin 3 turbojet, flew soon after in June 1946. Modifications included a more streamlined, longer nose and a smaller canopy.While being used to evaluate handling characteristics at high speed, on 27 September 1946 TG306 suffered a catastrophic structural failure in a dive from 10,000 ft at Mach 0.9 and crashed in the Thames Estuary.

Pilot, Geoffrey de Havilland Jr., was killed in the accident. Early wind tunnel testing had pointed to potentially dangerous flight behaviour, but pitch oscillation at high speed had been unexpected. The accident investigation centred on a structural failure that occurred as air built up at Mach 0.9, pitching the aircraft into a shock stall that placed tremendous loading on the fuselage and wings. The main spar cracked at the roots, causing the wings to collapse rearwards.
The DH108 established a number of "firsts" for a British aircraft: it was the first British swept-winged jet aircraft and the first British tailless jet aircraft. Sadly all three prototypes were lost in fatal crashes.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2020, 01:33:09 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #626 on: September 29, 2020, 10:59:58 PM »
Desoutter Mk.I and  Mk.II

The Desoutter is a monoplane liaison aircraft from the 1930`s.

In the late 1920s, Marcel Desoutter,formed the Desoutter Aircraft Company Ltd to follow up his idea to licence manufacture the Dutch aircraft Koolhoven F.K.41. The licence was obtained and Desoutter set up a production unit at Croydon Aerodrome in the former ADC Aircraft factory.
The second production Dutch F.K.41 was flown to Croydon and was modified by Desoutter then displayed at the Olympia Aero Show, London in July 1929 as the Desoutter Dolphin. This aircraft was later sold in South Africa with registration and was pressed into service with the South African Air Force.

The British production aircraft was known as the Desoutter and then following the introduction of an improved version the following year the Desoutter I. The National Flying Services Ltd placed a large order and received 19 aircraft. These were all painted black and bright orange and soon became a familiar sight at British flying clubs, where they were used for instruction, pleasure flights and taxi flights. The first aircraft for another customer left Croydon for New Zealand on 9 February 1930. It was flown to Sydney, Australia arriving on 13 March 1930, it was then shipped to New Zealand.

In 1930 an improved version, the Desoutter II was produced. It had a 120 hp de Havilland Gipsy III engine, redesigned ailerons and tail surfaces and wheel brakes.41 aircraft were built at Croydon Aerodrome – 28 Mk.Is and 13 Mk.IIs, in contrast to the six aircraft that had been produced of the original F.K.41.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 11:00:56 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #627 on: September 29, 2020, 11:13:36 PM »
Edgar Percival E.P.9

The Edgar Percival E.P.9 was a 1950s light utility aircraft from the mid 1950`s.

In 1954, Edgar Percival formed Edgar Percival Aircraft Limited at Stapleford Aerodrome. His original company had become part of the Hunting Group. His first new design, the Edgar Percival P.9 was a utility aircraft designed for agricultural use. The aircraft was a high-wing monoplane with an unusual pod and boom fuselage. The design allowed the aircraft to be fitted with a hopper for crop spraying. The pilot and passenger sat together with room for four more passengers. The clamshell side and rear doors also allowed the aircraft to carry cargo.

The prototype first flew on 21 December 1955. After a demo tour of Australia four aircraft were ordered as crop-sprayers and an initial batch of 20 was built. Two aircraft were bought by the British Army in 1958. In the same year, Samlesbury Engineering Limited acquired rights to the design and the company was renamed the Lancashire Aircraft Company. Lancashire Aircraft renamed the aircraft the Lancashire Prospector E.P.9 but only six more were built, the last of which was fitted with a Cheetah radial engine as the sole new build Mark Two.

The E.P.9s in their various guises had a long and successful lifespan as private aircraft, utilized in multi-role STOL operations as an agricultural sprayer, light cargo aircraft, jump aircraft, air ambulance and glider tug. Ex-XM819 evaluated by the British Army was finally offered for sale in Belgium in 1972. After three years of pleasure flying in England, the aircraft was shipped to the USA where it was stored in a Wisconsin barn until 1999. After extensive restoration, N747JC appeared at Oshkosh in 2001-03, and in 2008 the aircraft was for sale.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 11:14:03 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #628 on: September 30, 2020, 05:04:27 PM »
Elliotts of Newbury Eon

Elliotts of Newbury were wartime glider manufacturers but at the end of World War II decided to venture into the design and production of powered aircraft. The result was the EoN A.P.4 (more commonly called the Newbury Eon, a wooden four-seat monoplane with a fixed tricycle landing gear.The prototype Eon 1 registered G-AKBC powered by a 100 hp Blackburn Cirrus Minor engine first flew on 8 August 1947.After initial testing was completed, the prototype was modified to reflect the planned production version. The main changes were a new engine, a de Havilland Gipsy Major of 145 hp and a lengthened nose-wheel leg. The modified aircraft was redesignated the Eon 2.

The company decided not enter production and it continued as a glider manufacturer. The sole completed Eon aircraft was used as a glider-tug to demonstrate the company's gliders. The aircraft met its end at Lympne airfield, Kent, on 14 April 1950,when, with a glider attached the pilot started the aircraft by swinging the propeller with the aircraft's wheels not secured by chocks. The engine started, and the craft moved forward; the pilotless aircraft and the glider were damaged as the aircraft passed through a boundary hedge and wire fence.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 05:05:09 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #629 on: September 30, 2020, 05:33:13 PM »
Elliotts Primary EoN

The Elliots Primary EoN or EoN Type 7 S.G.38 Primary was a training glider developed in the UK shortly after World War II. It was an absolutely minimalist aircraft, consisting of a high, cable-braced wing connected to a conventional empennage by an open-truss framework, and was a copy of the German SG 38 Schulgleiter. It was marketed to aeroclubs, the Primary EoN was also adopted in 1948 by the Air Training Corps and by the Combined Cadet Force under the name Eton TX.1. An example is at the Gliding Heritage Centre.Approx 80 were built-looks like the stuff of nightmares !
« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 05:33:57 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #630 on: October 01, 2020, 11:50:23 PM »
English Electric Kingston

The English Electric P.5 Kingston was a twin-engined biplane flying boat.

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 reconnaissance flying boats. Redesigned, the Cork reappeared as the English Electric P.5 Kingston. The resulting aircraft looked similar but the hull was designed to the latest standard. The Kingston also had redesigned wingtip floats, extended upper-wing ailerons, and a larger fin and rudder than the Cork.

The first Kingston I was delivered to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at in November 1924 for acceptance trials. Although the flying-boat met the type and air-handling requirements it did not meet the Ministries' requirements for seaworthiness. Modifications were made to N9709 for improvements including four-bladed propellers. On 25 May 1925, just after becoming airborne the engines left their mountings and the wing failed causing cracks in the hull, the aircraft floated and the crew escaped without injury.

The second Kingston I N9710 first flew on 13 November 1925 at Lytham and was flown to RAF Calshot for trials along with the third flying-boat N9711.The fourth flying-boat N9712 was dismantled and the hull moved to RAE Farnborough to enable tests to be carried out,it featured a new duralumin hull and became the sole Kingston II. The last aircraft to be built, N9713, had a completely redesigned hull,this time of wooden construction, and was known as the Kingston III. Although more successful than the others the Kingston III was retained by the MAEE for experimental work and as a crew ferry. 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.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2020, 11:52:34 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #631 on: October 02, 2020, 11:17:15 PM »
English Electric Wren

The English Electric Wren was a ultralight monoplane from the 1920`s.

The Wren, designed by W. O. Manning, was a lightweight motor-glider. It was a single-engined high-wing monoplane with an empty weight of only 232 lb (105 kg). The first aircraft (Serial Number J6973) was built in 1921 for the Air Ministry. Interest in building very light aircraft was encouraged at the time by a prize offered by the Duke of Sutherland.Entrants had to build the most economical light single-seat aircraft. Another incentive was a £1,000 prize offered by a newspaper for the longest flight by a motor-glider with an engine of not more than 750 cc. Two aircraft were built for the 1923 Lympne light aircraft trials in October 1923. The Wren shared the first prize with the ANEC I when it covered 87.5 miles on one Imperial gallon (4.5 litres) of fuel.

In 1957 the third aircraft was rebuilt using parts of the second aircraft. It is still airworthy and is on public display at the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden Aerodrome in Bedfordshire.
It is powered by an  ABC 8 hp 2-cylinder air-cooled horizontally-opposed piston engine, which gave a max speed of 50 mph and endurance of around 80-90 mins.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 11:18:33 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #632 on: October 03, 2020, 01:55:38 PM »
Fairey Campania

The Fairey Campania was a ship-borne, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft of the World War I and Russian Civil War.

It was a single-engined tractor biplane of fabric-covered wooden construction, which first flew on 16 February 1917. The two-bay wings folded rearwards for storage, the crew of two sat in separate cockpits, the observer being provided with a Lewis gun on a Scarff ring.The first of two prototypes, F.16, was powered by a 250 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle IV and the second prototype,by an Eagle V of 275 hp,was named F.17. Both prototypes were later flown operationally from Scapa Flow.

Trials proving satisfactory, the type went into production and service. Most of the F.17s shipped aboard the carriers HMS Campania, HMS Nairana and HMS Pegasus; the first aircraft joined Campania and the type took its name from her. Only Campania possessed a flight deck; Campanias operated from this using jettisonable, wheeled bogies fitted to the floats. The aircraft in the other ships took off from the water in the normal way.

On 1 August 1918, during the North Russia Campaign in support of the British intervention in the Russian Civil War, Campanias from Nairana participated in the first fully combined air, sea, and land military operation in history, joining Allied ground forces and ships in driving Bolsheviks out of their fortifications on Modyugski Island ,Northern Dvina River in Russia.The appearance of one of the Campanias over Arkhangelsk caused the Bolshevik leaders there to flee. The Campania was declared obsolete in August 1919, in total 62 aircraft were completed.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 01:56:11 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #633 on: October 03, 2020, 02:13:45 PM »
Fairey Pintail

The Fairey Pintail was a British single-engine floatplane fighter of the 1920s.

The Pintail was designed to meet the requirements of the RAF 4Specification, which was issued in 1919 for an amphibian reconnaissance fighter, competing with the Parnall Puffin.The Pintail was a two-bay biplane, fitted with twin floats, and with the upper wing in line with the pilot's eye line.To give a clear upwards field of view for the crew, the Pintail was fitted with an unusual tail unit, with the tailplane lying across the top of the rear fuselage and the rudder below the tailplane.

The first prototype, the Pintail Mark I, flew on 7 July 1920.The second prototype, the Pintail Mark II had a lengthened fuselage, while the third prototype, Pintail Mark III had non-retractable wheels within the floats.The Pintail was a more capable as a fighter than the Possum, offering an excellent upwards field of view for the crew,however it had poor downwards view for the pilot during landing.The Pintail was not adopted by the RAF, but three examples, similar to the Mark III, were sold to the Imperial Japanese Navy. These aircraft, known as the Pintail IV had an increased wing gap so the upper wing was situated above the fuselage, improving the downwards view for the pilot. The first Pintail IV flew on 20 August 1924.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 02:14:04 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #634 on: October 04, 2020, 05:24:48 PM »
Fairey N.4

The Fairey N.4 was a 1920s five-seat long range reconnaissance flying boat.

In 1917 the Admiralty issued Specification N.4. for a four-engined long-range reconnaissance flying boat.The Admiralty ordered two aircraft from Fairey The design was a biplane, with the engines mounted as two push-pull pairs between the upper and lower wing, each driving a four-bladed propeller.The first N.4 (named Atalanta) was assembled by Phoenix Dynamo with a hull designed by Charles Nicholson but never flown and scrapped as the service lost interest in large flying boats.

The second N.4 (also named Atalanta) was completed in 1921, first flew on 4 July 1923 powered by four 650 hp Rolls-Royce Condor IA piston engines. The hull built in Hythe and delivered to Lytham St. Annes for assembly. The complete aircraft was then dismantled, taken by road to the Isle of Grain and stored before for its first flight.
The third N.4 Mk.II (named Titania) included improvements and upgraded Condor III engines. The hull designed by Linton Hope, built on the Clyde and delivered to Fairey Southampton for assembly and transport to the Isle of Grain. Titania was not flown straight away and stored until it`s first flying on 24 July 1925.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2020, 05:25:29 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #635 on: October 04, 2020, 05:35:29 PM »
Fairey Firefly IIM

The Fairey Firefly IIM was a fighter of the 1930s.

The Firefly was a private-venture design, as the Curtiss D-12 powered Firefly I had been rejected owing to its American engine and its wooden structure, and could not be easily fitted with the larger and heavier geared Rolls-Royce Falcon XI favoured by the RAF. This was a completely new design, sharing very little with the Firefly I beyond the name. Making use of experience gleaned from the earlier machine, it was developed in response to Specification F.20/27 for a single-seat interceptor. It first flew on 5 February 1929.

The Firefly II competed for the RAF contract against the Hawker Fury, showing superior speed but was criticised for having heavy controls. It retained a mainly wooden structure despite the Air Ministry's demands for metal structures. This led to the Fury being selected. Afterwards, the prototype was rebuilt and renamed Firefly IIM, the "M" denoting the all-metal construction of the rebuilt machine.A contract was signed for 25 IIM aircraft for Belgium's Aéronautique Militaire, followed by a contract for a further 62 to be constructed by Avions Fairey, Fairey's Belgian subsidiary. The Belgian aircraft served briefly in the Second World War from May to June 1940.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2020, 05:41:18 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #636 on: October 06, 2020, 03:38:30 PM »
Fairey Seal

The Fairey Seal was a carrier-borne spotter-reconnaissance aircraft, operated in the 1930s.

The aircraft was powered by a  Armstrong Siddeley Panther IIA 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine of 525 hp.It first flew in 1930 and entered squadron service with the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) in 1933. Ninety-one aircraft were produced.

The FAA started to replace it with the Swordfish Mk1 from 1936. By 1938 all FAA torpedo squadrons had been entirely re-equipped with the Swordfish. The Seal was removed from front-line service by 1938, but remained in support roles. By the outbreak of the WWII, only four remained in service. The type was retired fully by 1943. The type was last used in India as an instructional airframe from the Royal Navy Photographic Unit.

The RAF also operated the Seal as a target tug. Twelve were part of the RAF's No 10 Bombing and Gunnery School until 1940. A further four aircraft were used by 273 Squadron in Ceylon. These aircraft were used on coastal patrols, some as floatplanes. By May 1942, the type had been retired from RAF service.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 03:55:24 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #637 on: October 06, 2020, 03:55:05 PM »
Fairey Hendon

The Fairey Hendon was a twin engine monoplane, heavy bomber of the RAF,from the late 1920s.

Fairey designed a low-winged cantilever monoplane with a fixed tailwheel undercarriage. The fuselage had a steel tube structure with fabric covering with a pilot, a radio operator/navigator and three gunners, in open nose, dorsal and tail positions. Bombs were carried in a bomb bay in the fuselage centre. Variants powered by either radial engines or liquid-cooled V12 engines were proposed.

The prototype first flew on 25 November 1930, from Fairey's Great West Aerodrome in Heathrow and was powered by two 460 hp Bristol Jupiter VIII radial engines.The prototype crashed and was severely damaged in March 1931 and was rebuilt with two Rolls-Royce Kestrel VI engines. After more trials, 14 production examples named the Hendon Mk.II were ordered. These were built in late 1936 and early 1937,orders for a further sixty Hendons were cancelled in 1936, as the prototype of the first of the next generation of British heavy bombers—the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley—had flown and showed much higher performance.The Hendon Mk.II was powered by two Rolls-Royce Kestrel VI engines. The production Hendon Mk.II included an enclosed cockpit for the pilot and navigator.

The only Hendon-equipped unit, 38 Squadron, began operational service at RAF Mildenhall in November 1936, later moving to RAF Marham, Norfolk.The type was soon obsolete and replaced from late 1938 by the Vickers Wellington. By January 1939, the Hendons had been retired and were then used for ground instruction work.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 03:55:49 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #638 on: October 08, 2020, 05:39:14 PM »
Fairey Seafox.

The Fairey Seafox was a 1930s biplane reconnaissance floatplane.

The Seafox was built to a Spec for a two-seat spotter-reconnaissance floatplane. The first of two prototypes appeared in 1936, first flying on 27 May 1936, and the first of the 64 production aircraft were delivered in 1937. The flights were organised as 700 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm.
The fuselage was an all-metal monocoque construction, the wings were covered with metal only on the leading edge,the remainder was fabric. It was powered by a 16-cylinder 395 hp air-cooled Napier Rapier H engine. It cruised at 106 mph, and had a range of 440 miles.Of the 66 built, two were finished as landplanes.

Seafoxes operated during the early part of the war from various RN cruisers and remained in service until 1943.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 05:40:01 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #639 on: October 08, 2020, 05:55:13 PM »
Fairey Spearfish

The Fairey Spearfish was a carrier-based, single-engined, torpedo bombere bomber from the mid-1940`s.

The Spearfish was designed by Fairey Aviation as a replacement for the Fairey Barracuda in the torpedoe bomber role.The Spearfish had a much more powerful engine, an internal weapons bay and a retractable ASV Mk.XV surface-search radar mounted behind the bomb bay.The Spearfish was half as large again as the Barracuda, as it was designed to be operated from the 45,000-long-ton (46,000 t) Malta-class aircraft carriers then under development.

In August 1943,Fairey received an order for three prototypes to be built.The first prototype, RA356, was constructed at Fairey's Hayes factory and first flew on 5 July 1945, the other two did not fly until 1947. In November 1943 the company was ordered to build a dual-control dive-bombing trainer variant which was flown at on 20 June 1946. Three further development aircraft were ordered in May 1944 to be built, with the last two to be fitted with a Rolls-Royce Pennine engine; only the first Centarus-engined aircraft was built but never flew.

The large internal weapons bay could alternatively carry up to four 500-pound bombs, four depth charges, a torpedo, or a 180-imperial-gallon auxiliary fuel tank. The Spearfish was intended to carry four 0.5-inch (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns, two in a remote-controlled Fraser-Nash FN 95 barbette behind the cockpit and two in the wings. The only external offensive armament was 16 RP-3 rockets that could be carried underneath the outer wing panels.

The first prototype was later used by Napier & Son at Luton for trials of it`s inflight de-icing systems. It was then briefly used for ground-training purposes beginning on 30 April 1952, until it was scrapped shortly afterwards. The second prototype was used by the Royal Navy Carrier Trials Unit at RNAS Ford, until it was sold for scrap on 15 September. The third prototype conducted ASV Mk.XV radar trials, but was damaged in a heavy landing on 1 September 1949 and sold for scrap on 22 August 1950. The fourth prototype never flew and was used as a source of spares. The sole Heaton Chapel-built aircraft was the closest to the planned production configuration and it was used for engine-cooling and power-assisted flying-control trials, until it was struck off charge on 24 July 1951.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 05:55:36 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #640 on: October 10, 2020, 01:12:37 AM »
Fairey Primer

The Fairey Primer was a production version of the Avions Fairey Tipsy M tandem seat single-engined basic trainer.

The Primer was a conventional single-engined, low-winged monoplane, constructed from welded metal tubes with wood in subsidiary structures like ribs and stringers, all fabric covered. The wings were symmetrically tapered and carried manually operated flaps across the centre section. Each mainwheel, equipped with brakes was mounted on a single leg fixed at the end of the centre section. On the prototype the wheels were spatted, but these were removed on production aircraft.

The enclosed tandem dual control cockpits merged into a raised decking behind them, giving the aircraft a slightly humped look. Both cockpits were over the wing. Engines used were, the 145 hp de Havilland Gipsy Major 10 and the 155 hp Blackburn Cirrus Major 3 inverted in-line engines and ran in similar cowlings.The Tipsy M,Gipsy powered, first flew at Avions Fairey's works at Gosselies about 1938 and it visited the parent company's works in England in June 1939. It was used as a company hack until Sept 1941, when it was put into store. Shortly after the war OO-POM went back to Belgium for small modifications at Fairey's suggestion; they then took over the Tipsy M with the aim of producing it under licence. Early in 1948, it was flying from White Waltham, still bearing its Belgian registration,OO-POM.

The Primer prototype had to be stripped down to recreate the lost drawings and jigs.The engine and some other parts were used to build the first production aircraft, though records G-AKSX as being sold abroad in Aug 1948;whether in flying condition or not is not noted. Fairey had intended to produce a run of ten, but only built two. The first of these, G-ALBL, gained its certificate of airworthiness in October 1948. Initially it had the Gipsy engine but this was later replaced by the Cirrus. It was dismantled in 1949;the CAA records it as destroyed in 1953. The second production aircraft, G-ALEW used this powerplant from the start,the last of the line, it was dismantled in 1951.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 01:13:07 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #641 on: October 10, 2020, 02:57:05 PM »
Fairey Gannet AEW.3

The Fairey Gannet AEW.3 is a variant of the Fairey Gannet anti-submarine warfare aircraft intended to be used in the airborne early warning (AEW) role on aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy.

In the late 1950s, the RN operated the piston-engined Douglas A-1 Skyraider from its aircraft carriers in the AEW role.It was intended to use the Gannet as a stop-gap measure until a new, purpose built system to be used on the planned new generation of aircraft carriers. Therefore, it was intended to undertake as little in the way of modification as possible.
The size of the belly radar radome meant that the existing airframe was too low,so a significant modification to the fuselage was required. This involved creating a new cabin within the fuselage accessed via hatches next to the trailing edge of the wing.

This meant that the exhausts had to be moved to the leading edge; increasing the total area of the vertical stabiliser to compensate for the instability caused by the radome; and extending the length of the undercarriage, which increased the aircraft's overall height, and gave the aircraft a more level stance.
The extensive modifications required that, in December 1954, it was suggested that the AEW version be renamed as the Fairey Albatross, as it was a completely different aircraft from its ASW predecessor. As it was, by the time the Gannet AEW was entering service, the ASW version was in the process of being replaced, avoiding any potential confusion.

The prototype Gannet AEW.3 first flew in August 1958, with carrier trials taking place in November, and the first production aircraft delivered in December. By August 1959, 700G Naval Air Squadron was formed as the Trials Unit for the new Gannet. This unit put the aircraft through an intensive test programme, a process that lasted until January 1960, at which point the unit was renamed as 'A' Flight of 849 Naval Air Squadron. 849A Flight was then declared operational and was embarked for the first time in HMS Ark Royal.

A total of 44 Gannets were ordered for the Royal Navy to replace the Skyraider.The Gannet continued in service until the final decommissioning of Ark Royal in 1978 – a Gannet of 849B Flight was the last aircraft to be recovered by the ship on Saturday 18 November 1978. The withdrawal of Ark Royal meant that there was no longer a platform available in the Royal Navy to operate the Gannet, and hence 849 Naval Air Squadron was disbanded in December 1978, leaving the Royal Navy without it`s own airborne early warning.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 03:00:39 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #642 on: October 10, 2020, 03:21:33 PM »
Avions Fairey Belfair

The Avions Fairey Belfair, also known as the Tipsy Belfair after its designer, Ernest Oscar Tips, was a two-seat light aircraft.

The Belfair was based on the Tipsy B built before the war, but featured a fully enclosed cabin. It was a low-wing cantilever monoplane of conventional configuration with exceptionally clean lines.The aircraft were powered by a Walter Mikron II air-cooled four-cylinder inverted inline engine, of 62 hp. It was fitted with tailwheel undercarriage with spatted mainwheels. Unfortunately, the Belfair was a victim of the glut of light aircraft on the market following World War II.

Although six airframes past the prototype were under construction, only three had been completed when Tips made the decision that the aircraft was simply not commercially viable and sold the remaining airframes "as is". They were purchased by D. Heaton of Speeton, Yorkshire.One of these aircraft (c/n 535, G-APIE, ex OO-TIE) was still flying in 2015, while another (c/n 536, G-APOD) was under restoration as of 2001.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2020, 03:22:28 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #643 on: October 10, 2020, 03:33:49 PM »
Avions Fairey Tipsy Nipper

The Tipsy Nipper T.66 is an aerobatic light aircraft, developed in 1952 by Ernest Oscar Tips of Avions Fairey.

It was designed to be easy to fly, cheap to buy and cheap to maintain for both factory production and homebuild. The first aircraft flew on 12 December 1957,it featured an open cockpit and had a overall length of 4.56 m (15.0 ft), a span of 6.0 m (19.7 ft) and a range of 400 km (249 mi), extendable with tip tanks to 720 km (447 mi).The aircraft has a welded steel tube fuselage and rudder with a wooden and fabric covered wing, tailplane and elevator. Early aircraft were equipped with a 40 hp Stamo Volkswagen air-cooled engine with later types using either 40 hp Pollman-Hepu or 45 hp Stark Stamo engines. More recently the 85 hp Jabiru 2200 engine has been used.

Production was between 1959 and 1961 with Avions Fairey delivering 59 complete aircraft and 78 kits. Avions Fairey stopped production to increase capacity assembling the F-104 Starfighter for the BAF.
During 1962 the rights and an assortment of uncompleted sections,spares and parts were sold to Cobelavia SA -Compagnie Belge d'Aviation, and they assembled 18 Nippers. The type was renamed as the Cobelavia D-158 Nipper.

In June 1966 the production license was sold to Nipper Aircraft Ltd at Castle Donington and new Mk.III aircraft were built for them by Slingsby Sailplanes. Production was ended by the fire at Slingsby's in late 1968 and the subsequent bankruptcy. Several partly constructed Nippers were transferred to Castle Donington.In May 1971 Nipper Aircraft Ltd. stopped work and sold the license to a company called Nipper Kits and Components, a company that helps home builders with parts and plans.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 12:26:36 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #644 on: October 11, 2020, 12:32:03 AM »
Folland Fo.108

The Folland Fo.108, also known as the Folland 43/37, was a large monoplane engine testbed aircraft of the 1940s.

The Fo.108 was a large low-wing cantilever monoplane with a conventional cantilever tailplane and a fixed tailwheel landing gear. It had a glazed cockpit for the pilot, and a cabin for two observers behind and below the pilot, fitted out so that they could make detailed measurements of engine performance during flight.
To enable the aircraft to be delivered from Folland`s factory at Hamble and later ferried to new assignments, they were normally fitted with a Bristol Hercules radial engine. In service, the Fo.108 was fitted with a number of other engines including the inline Napier Sabre (four), Bristol Centaurus radial, and Rolls-Royce Griffon V-engine.

Entering service in 1940, the type was operated by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, Napier and Rolls-Royce.Five of the twelve production aircraft were lost in crashes, the type earning the nickname "Frightener" as a result. The last examples of the Fo.108 were withdrawn from service in 1946, by de Havilland's engine division.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 12:33:55 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #645 on: October 11, 2020, 12:34:04 PM »
Folland Midge

The Folland Midge was a small, swept-wing subsonic light fighter aircraft.

The Midge and Gnat were designed by W.E.W. "Teddy" Petter, a British aircraft designer who gained recognition for his design of the English Electric Canberra bomber and Lightning supersonic interceptor. Petter was against concerned about more expensive and complex combat aircraft, and he felt that a small, simple fighter would offer the advantages of low purchase and operational costs. New lightweight turbojet engines were being developed that would be able to power such aircraft.

The proof of concept demonstrator was designated Fo-139 "Midge". The Midge, serial number G-39-1, first flew on 11 August 1954 from Boscombe Down,and proved to be an excellent aircraft.
The Midge had a number of advanced features, such as hydraulically powered "flaperons", a main landing gear that could be used as airbrakes, and a one-piece canopy that hinged over an inner armoured windscreen. Despite the low-powered engine, the Midge could break Mach 1 in a dive and was very agile.

It was evaluated by pilots from Canada, India, Jordan, New Zealand, and the USAF, and was highly praised. The Midge had performed a total of 220 flights when it was destroyed in a fatal crash on 26 September 1955. Folland went on to develop a full-scale Gnat prototype.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 12:39:11 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #646 on: October 14, 2020, 08:37:06 AM »
Foster Wikner Wicko

The Foster Wikner Wicko was a 1930s two-seat cabin monoplane built by the Foster Wikner Aircraft Company Limited at Southampton Airport.

Wikner was an Australian aircraft designer who moved to England in May 1934 and with his partners formed the Foster Wikner Aircraft Company Limited to build a low-cost two-seat high-wing monoplane. Low cost was helped by fitting a standard Ford V8 vehicle engine instead of a specialist aero-engine. The V.8 was fitted with reduction gear and was known as the Wicko F power unit. The prototype, designated the Wicko F.W.1 first flew in September 1936. Due to the 450 lb (200 kg) weight of the engine, the aircraft needed a long takeoff run and had a poor climb rate.

The prototype was rebuilt as the Wicko F.W.2 with a more powerful and much lighter 90hp air-cooled Cirrus Minor I engine. This resulted in a major reduction in overall weight but the price increased significantly. The second and subsequent aircraft were built at Southampton Airport after the company moved in 1937. The second machine was initially powered by a Cirrus Major motor and designated F.W.3, but later re-engined with a 150hp de Havilland Gipsy Major. The eight production aircraft used this engine as reflected by the name Wicko G.M.1. At the start of the World War II production ceased and one airframe remained unfinished.

One aircraft exported to New Zealand was pressed into wartime service with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, crashing in 1942. Seven aircraft in the United Kingdom were pressed and another accepted directly into wartime service with the RAF, under the service name Warferry.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 08:37:44 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #647 on: October 14, 2020, 08:54:13 AM »
General Aircraft Monospar

The General Aircraft Monospar was a 1930s series of touring and utility aircraft built by General Aircraft Ltd (GAL).

The Monospar Company designed a twin-engined low-wing aircraft designated the Monospar ST-3, that was built and flown in 1931 by the Gloster Aircraft Company, Gloucestershire. After successful testing of the Monospar ST-3, a new company General Aircraft Ltd was formed to produce aircraft that used the new Monospar wing designs.
The first production design was the Monospar ST-4, a twin-engined low-wing monoplane with a fixed tailwheel landing gear and folding wings for ground storage. Powered by two Pobjoy R radial engines, the first aircraft (G-ABUZ) first flew in May 1932, and was followed by five production aircraft. The Monospar ST-4 Mk.II,was an improved variant with minor differences, followed with a production run of 30.

 In 1933, the Monospar ST-6 appeared, a similar aircraft to the ST-4 with manually retractable landing gear and room for an extra passenger. The Monospar ST-6 was only the second British aircraft to fly with retractable landing gear. Another Monospar ST-6 was built, and two ST-4 Mk.IIs were converted. GAL then produced a developed version, the Monospar ST-10, externally the same but powered by two Pobjoy Niagara engines, an improved fuel system, and aerodynamic refinements.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 09:02:26 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #648 on: October 14, 2020, 04:18:11 PM »
General Aircraft Monospar ST-25

The General Aircraft Monospar ST-25 was a 1930s light twin-engined utility aircraft.

The Monospar ST-25 was a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a fabric-covered metal structure. The monospar name came from the use of a single spar in the wing structure, that had been developed by H J Stieger. The cabin was enclosed with five seats, it was based on the GAL Monospar ST-10, with the addition of a folding seat for a fifth passenger, extra side windows, and the addition of a radio receiver. On 19 June 1935, the prototype made its first flight. It was designated Monospar ST-25 Jubilee, to honour the 25th anniversary of the reign of King George V.

The aircraft were powered by two 90hp Pobjoy Niagara II 7-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engines,which gave a max speed of 142mph and a range of around 580 miles.
Sixty aircraft were completed in various configurations including a freighter and an ambulance version.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 04:18:35 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #649 on: October 14, 2020, 04:42:23 PM »
General Aircraft Cygnet

The General Aircraft GAL.42 Cygnet II was a 1930s single-engined training or touring aircraft.

It was the first all-metal stressed-skin lightplane to be built and flown in the UK. It was first flown in May 1937 at London Air Park, Hanworth. The sole prototype, constructed by C.W. Aircraft, had a tailwheel undercarriage and low cantilever wing, the outer panel of which wad tapered and had dihedral. Two persons sat side by side in an enclosed cabin. The metal airframe employed a semi-monocoque tailcone,with a one-piece tailplane, with dual fins at the tailplane's ends. The inverted piston engine drove a two-blade propeller.

General Aircraft modified the design to incorporate a nosewheel undercarriage and designated it the GAL.42 Cygnet II. Production of a large batch of aircraft began in 1939 but only 10 were built and delivered (1939–1941) due to the start of the WW II. Five aircraft were pressed into service with the RAF as tricycle-undercarriage trainers for aircrews slated to crew the American-made Douglas Boston. Another two were used by the government for various liaison duties but retained their civilian markings.

There are two known survivors of the 11 examples produced. The last flying survivor, company number 111 and registered as G-AGBN (ES915), was retired in 1988 and is now on display at the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune, Scotland. Another is rotting away in south Argentina, in Tierra del Fuego province where it was damaged in a landing incident.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 04:50:18 PM by Angry Turnip »