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Author Topic: The slightly less well known  (Read 94265 times)

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Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #650 on: October 16, 2020, 04:53:23 PM »
Gloster Sparrowhawk

The Gloster Sparrowhawk was a British single-seat fighter aircraft of the early 1920s.

Gloster was able to meet the requirements of the Imperial Japanese Navy for a single-seat fighter by a modification of the earlier Nighthawk.The resulting Sparrowhawk was made from existing stocks of stored Nighthawk parts, but replaced the unreliable Dragonfly with the 230hp Bentley BR2 rotary engine, allowing Japan's order for 50 Gloster built aircraft and a further 40 in component form for manufacture to be quickly arranged.

Of the 50 Gloster-built Sparrowhawks, 30 were Sparrowhawk I land based fighters, ten Sparrowhawk II twin-seat advanced trainers and the remaining ten completed as Sparrowhawk III shipboard fighters. The Sparrowhawk IIIs, which were similar to the 22 Gloster Nightjar carrier fighters produced to operate from the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers, were fitted with flotation equipment and arrestor gear. The 40 Yokosuka assembled aircraft were completed as Sparrowhawk Is.

Although used for training from the Yamashiro, the Sparrowhawks were never operated from the Hōshō, it being replaced for shipboard operations by the purpose-designed Mitsubishi 1MF fighter before Hōshō entered service. The Sparrowhawk continued in service from shore bases until 1928, when it was retired from use as a trainer.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 04:53:53 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #651 on: October 16, 2020, 05:01:55 PM »
Gloster Gamecock

The Gloster Gamecock was a biplane fighter of the Royal Air Force, a development of the Mk III Grebe, that first flew in February 1925.

Improvements from the Grebe were primarily its 425 hp Bristol Jupiter engine, which replaced the unreliable Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar. Other changes included improved ailerons, refined fuselage contours, and internally mounted machine guns.The Gamecock Mark I entered service with No. 23 Squadron RAF in May 1926 and they were also the last of six squadrons to operate the fighter until July 1931. This was a fairly short RAF service life, partly because of its high accident rate of the 90 operated by the RAF, 22 were lost in landing or spin accidents. These faults were remedied in the Mk. II version, by means of a longer upper wing and a modified tail unit.

During the Finnish Winter War 193940, a Gamecock managed to capture a Soviet Ilyushin DB-3 bomber. On 29 January 1940, the Finnish Gamecock strafed two Soviet DB-3s when they landed on Finnish soil (they mistook for Estonia) to transfer fuel from one plane to the other. The strafed crews hurried into the one plane which had enough fuel remaining and escaped, leaving the DB-3 behind to be captured by the Finns.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 12:20:45 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #652 on: October 16, 2020, 05:35:11 PM »
Gloster VI

The Gloster VI was a racing seaplane developed as a contestant for the 1929 Schneider Trophy.

The VI was the company`s final evolution of a series of racing floatplanes,specifically for the Schneider Trophy. It progressed from the Gloster II, through the successful Gloster III, and Gloster IV biplanes. While Henry Folland,chief designer commenced work on a further revised biplane, the Gloster V, to enter the 1929 competition, COG problems led to the design being rejected and this meant a monoplane configuration was chosen for the new design.
The Gloster VI was a low-winged braced monoplane. The wing roots were tapered to reduce thickness, designed to increase lateral control at low speeds. It retained the Napier Lion engine that had powered the previous Gloster racers, but with power boosted to 1,320 hp by supercharging. Engine cooling was via thin surface radiators on each wing.

Two aircraft, N249 & N250 were built, the first flying on 25 August 1929 and the second on 31 August. The aircraft showed promising results and high speed but had problems with fuel flow when banking, which led to engine cut-outs. For low-altitude air-racing, this was an unacceptable risk and the aircraft were withdrawn from competition in the 1929 Schneider Trophy, leaving the way clear for the Supermarine S.6 to win. An alternative theory for the withdrawal is rumoured to have been an accident to the lorry delivering the engines from Napier and insufficient time to repair the damage until the day after.

On 10 September 1929, after the Supermarine S.6 had won the Trophy, N249 returned to flight. Flight Lieutenant George Stainforth flew it over a measured mile course for a top speed of 351.3 mph and a ratified world absolute speed record, averaged over four runs of 336.3 mph. However his record was held only briefly, as a later run by Sqn Leader Augustus Orlebar in the S.6 managed to beat it with an average of 352.8 mph. During the final Schneider Trophy in 1931, the Gloster VI was still in service with the High Speed Flight as a trainer.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 12:20:11 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #653 on: October 17, 2020, 12:37:52 AM »
Gloster F.5/34

The Gloster F.5/34 was a British fighter of the 1930s.

The F.5/34 was the first monoplane fighter built by Gloster and the last design by H.P. Folland for the company,and also Gloster's first land monoplane. By 1935,the design had changed and had acquired a number of more modern features such as a metal stressed-skin fuselage throughout. The cockpit was now a glazed and framed canopy like that of the production Gladiator which slid backwards to open, giving much better vision above and behind. Although the main dimensions remained unchanged, the tailplane was moved backwards behind the fin, requiring an extension of the fuselage beyond it, increasing the length by 3 feet. This was an innovation developed for the F.35/35 high-speed fighter specification. The intention was to improve spin recovery, by having the fin and rudder in 'clean' air, ahead of the tailplane.

The engine also changed,for the prototype aircraft, to the older Bristol Mercury poppet-valve engine. The Perseus had been developed with identical cylinder dimensions to the Mercury and was only a little larger, making the change an easy one. The Perseus was still under development and although it was likely that the sleeve valve would, and later did, give much greater scope for development, the Mercury was acceptable for development of the prototype airframe with the Perseus restored later.

Powered by an 840 hp Bristol Mercury IX nine-cylinder radial engine, the F.5/34, was informally called the Unnamed Fighter, featured many of the trademark Gloster design elements including the tail and close-fitting cowling that resembled the earlier Gauntlet and Gladiator biplane fighters. The single piece wing was later criticised as it would have prevented battle damage being repaired by replacing a single wing. Duralumin stressed-skin was used on the mainplane and tail unit with fabric-covered ailerons. The fuselage was a monocoque structure built up from light, fabricated oval-section rings with duralumin skinning.

Unusually a pair were ordered, but development was delayed by Gladiator production, so that flight trials of the first prototype K5604 did not begin until December 1936. The second prototype K8089 did not fly until March 1938.By the time the F.5/34 began its flight tests, the eight-gun Hawker Hurricane was in service and the Supermarine Spitfire in production so that further development of the Gloster fighter was abandoned.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 12:43:47 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #654 on: October 17, 2020, 12:54:41 AM »
Gloster F.9/37

The Gloster F.9/37, also known as the Gloster G.39, was a late 1930`s British twin-engined design for a cannon-armed heavy fighter to serve with the RAF.

The F.9/37 was designed under the direction of George Carter, his first for Gloster, as a single-seat fighter carrying an armament of four 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns and two 20 mm Hispano cannon in the nose. Intended for dispersed production by semi-skilled labour, the structure broke down into sub-assemblies.

A prototype with 1,060 hp Bristol Taurus T-S(a) radial engines flew on 3 April 1939 and demonstrated excellent performance, its maximum speed of 360 mph being the best recorded by a British fighter at the time. Test flights revealed that the prototype was very manoeuvrable and "a delight to fly". After being badly damaged in a landing accident in July 1939, it was re-engined with 900 hp Taurus T-S(a)-IIIs in 1940, which reduced its performance. A second prototype (L8002) with an 880 hp Rolls-Royce Peregrine I liquid-cooled, inline engines flew on 22 February 1940; it proved capable of 330 mph  at 15,000 ft.

A further request for a specialist night fighter, with nose- and turret-mounted guns, led to Gloster submitting a design based on the F.9/37, fitted with Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, with a dorsal four-gun turret and Airborne Interception (AI) radar. This received support from the Air Staff who saw it as superior to the Bristol Beaufighter and the Air Ministry ordered one of the F.9/37 prototypes to be converted to the new specification as F.29/40.Unofficially known as the Gloster Reaper, it inherited the admirable handling characteristics of the F.9/37 and despite being judged superior to other designs, including turreted variants of the Beaufighter and de Havilland Mosquito, the Reaper was terminated in May 1941.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 01:03:05 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #655 on: October 18, 2020, 11:36:27 AM »
Gloster E.28/39

The Gloster E.28/39, was the first British jet-engined aircraft and first flew in 1941.

The development of the turbojet-powered E.28/39 was the product of a collaboration between the Gloster Aircraft Company and Sir Frank Whittle's firm, Power Jets Ltd. Whittle formed Power Jets Ltd in March 1936 to develop his ideas of jet propulsion, Whittle himself serving as the company's chief engineer.For several years, attracting financial backers and aviation firms prepared to take on Whittle's radical ideas was difficult; in 1931, Armstrong-Siddeley had evaluated and rejected Whittle's proposal, finding it to be technically sound but at the limits of engineering capability.
On 28 April 1939, Whittle made a visit to the premises of the Gloster Aircraft Company, where he met several key figures, such as George Carter, Gloster's chief designer.Carter took a keen interest in Whittle's project, particularly when he saw the operational Power Jets W.1 engine.Power Jets and Gloster quickly formed a mutual understanding around mid-1939.

In September 1939, the Air Ministry issued a specification to Gloster for an aircraft to test one of Frank Whittle's turbojet designs in flight. It stated  "The primary object of this aeroplane will be to flight test the engine installation, but the design shall be based on requirements for a fixed gun interceptor fighter as far as the limitations of size and weight imposed by the power unit permit. The armament equipment called for in this specification will not be required for initial trials but the contractor will be required to make provision in the design for the weight and space occupied by these items...".

The E.28/39 was a low-wing monoplane designed around the new jet engine. Due to the elimination of any risk that would have been posed by conventional propeller tips striking the ground, the E.28/39 could be outfitted with an unusually short undercarriage for the time.It had a retractable undercarriage which was actuated via a hydraulic accumulator, with a manually-operated hand-pump as a backup.The flaps were also hydraulically-actuated, driven directly by the manual hand-pump. Unusually, the nose wheel was steerable by the rudder, which aided in ground manoeuvring.

The E.28/39 was powered by a Power Jets W.1 turbojet engine behind the pilot and the fuel tank. The engine exhaust was directed through the centre of the fuselage, the jetpipe terminating about two feet behind the rudder. A nose air-intake led the air through ducts around the cockpit. A fuel tank, containing up to 82 Imp gal (372.8 litres), was behind the cockpit, supposed to have been adopted as a measure against negative g, which posed the risk of causing the engine to flame out, which was hard to re-light during flight.
The original engine was started by an Austin Seven car engine, connected by a flexible drive; this arrangement was replaced by an electrical starter system that used a ground booster battery instead. The cockpit, which was entered past a sliding canopy, lacked pressurisation or any form of climate control, such as heating.

Following the completion of ground tests, the aircraft was fitted with a flightworthy engine rated for 10 hours use, and then transferred to Cranwell.On 15 May 1941, Gloster's Chief Test Pilot, Flight Lieutenant Gerry Sayer flew the aircraft under jet power for the first time from RAF Cranwell, in a flight lasting 17 minutes. In this first series of test flights, a maximum true speed of 350 m.p.h. was attained, in level flight at 25,000 ft. and 17,000 turbine revolutions per minute.

It was the fourth jet to fly after the German Heinkel He 178 (1939), the Italian Caproni Campini N.1 motorjet (1940), and the German Heinkel He 280 (1941). In 1946, the first prototype (W4041) was placed in the Science Museum in Central London, where it is exhibited today in the Flight Gallery.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 11:37:07 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #656 on: October 19, 2020, 04:23:06 PM »
Grahame-White Type XV

The Grahame White Type XV was a military trainer biplane produced in the UK before and during World War I.

The aircraft itself was a pod-and-boom biplane with three-bay unstaggered wings. In early models, two seats were fitted on the leading edge of the lower wing for the instructor and the trainee pilot; in later models, space was provided for the crew in tandem in an open-topped nacelle, with the engine mounted pusher-fashion behind. The empennage was carried on four parallel beams extending two each from the top and bottom wings, and consisted of twin rudders and a horizontal stabiliser and elevator that were carried on the top two beams. Early production aircraft had wings of equal span, but later examples had long extensions fitted to increase the span of the upper wing. The landing gear comprised two separate, wing-mounted, 'two-wheel plus skid' assemblies and a tail-skid.

The Type XV was extensively used as a trainer by both the RNAS and RFC, with 135 examples being purchased. In November 1913, a RFC Type XV was used in the first British trials of firing a machine gun (a Lewis gun) from an aircraft at targets on the ground. Despite the number of aircraft produced, little documentation on the type has survived.
It is often referred to as the Box-kite, although this name more properly describes the Grahame-White Type XII, an earlier aircraft made by the company, from which the Type XV was derived.
Three Type XVs survived the First World War to become civil aircraft, being some of the first aircraft to bear British aircraft registrations once civil flying was permitted in 1919.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 04:24:03 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #657 on: October 20, 2020, 10:37:27 AM »
Handley Page HP.14

The Handley Page HP.14,or Handley Page R/200 was a prototype British naval reconnaissance aircraft of World War I.

The R/200 was designed in 1917 to meet a requirement for a two-seat reconnaissance fighter capable of operating either as a floatplane or from the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers, HMS Argus and the partly converted cruiser HMS Furious. The R/200 was a small single-bay biplane powered by a 200 hp geared Hispano-Suiza 8 V-8 engine with a frontal radiator. Handley Page received an order for six prototypes in summer 1917.

The first two prototypes, fitted with floats were flown in Dec 1917, with the third, fitted with a wheeled undercarriage flying in February 1918. Test results were poor compared to than other competing aircraft, and as Handley Page was concentrating on production and development of the O/400 and V/1500 heavy bombers, the remaining three prototypes, together with a prospective production order for 20 aircraft were cancelled in March 1918.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 10:38:58 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #658 on: October 21, 2020, 03:26:58 PM »
Handley Page V/1500

The Handley Page V/1500 was a British night-flying heavy bomber built towards the end of the First World War.

The V/1500 was produced to meet a 1917 requirement for a large night bomber capable of reaching deeper into Germany than the Handley Page O/100 which had recently entered service, carrying a 3,000 lb (1,400 kg) bombload. It was thus capable of bombing Berlin from bases in East Anglia.

The V/1500 had a similar fuselage to that of the O/400, it had longer-span, four-bay biplane wings and was powered by four 375 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines mounted in two nacelles, with two engines pulling in the conventional manner and two pushing, rather than the two Eagle engines of the smaller bomber. Construction was of wood and fabric materials. A unusual design feature was the gunner's position at the extreme rear of the fuselage, between the four fins.

Owing to pressure of work at Handley Page's Cricklewood factory and to ensure security, the first prototype was constructed by Harland and Wolff at Belfast, being assembled at Cricklewood and first flying on 22 May 1918.Orders were placed with a number of companies for a total of 210 V/1500s, although only 40 aircraft were completed, with a further 22 produced as spares. The original order was for fifty machines in two batches, the first batch was for 20 and the second batch for 30. The company accounts state production continuing into 1921.

The end of the war stopped the V/1500 being used against Germany, but a single aircraft was used to carry out the first flight from England to India, and later carried out a bombing raid on Kabul during the Third Anglo-Afghan War. It was colloquially known within the fledgling RAF as the "Super Handley". The V/1500 which was shipped to Canada to attempt a transatlantic flight was flown in the US, and in 1919 crash-landed in a field at Mount Jewett, Pennsylvania.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 03:27:24 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #659 on: October 21, 2020, 03:42:53 PM »
Handley Page Heyford

The Handley Page Heyford was a twin-engine British biplane bomber of the 1930s.

The Heyford was built to meet a specification for a heavy night bomber to replace the Vickers Virginia, which required a twin-engined aircraft capable of carrying 1,546 lb (700 kg) of bombs and flying 920 miles at 115 mph. The specification resulted in a large number of proposals being submitted by the British aircraft industry, with designs by Fairey (the Fairey Hendon) and Vickers (the Type 150 and Type 163 being built) as well as Handley Page's design.The prototype, the Handley Page HP.38, was designed by Handley Page's lead designer G. R. Volkert and first flew on 12 June 1930 powered by two 525 hp Rolls-Royce Kestrel II engines driving two-blade propellers.

The HP.38 proved successful during service trials with No. 10 Squadron RAF and was chosen as the winner of the competition, being ordered as the HP.50 Heyford. Production Heyford Is were fitted with 575 hp Kestrel III engines and retained the two-blade propellers, while the IAs had four-blade propellers. Engine variations marked the main Mk II and III differences; the former being equipped with 640 hp Kestrel IVs, supercharged to 695 hp in the Heyford III.

The Heyford I entered service with No. 99 Squadron RAF, at RAF Upper Heyford in November 1933, and later with No. 10 Squadron and 7 Squadron, re-equipping with the Heyford IA and II in August 1934 and April 1935 respectively.Orders were placed for 70 Heyford IIIs in 1936, with steam condenser-cooled Rolls-Royce Kestrel VI engines. The delivery of these aircraft allowed the RAF to have nine operational Heyford Squadrons by the end of 1936.
The Heyford started to be replaced in 1937, finally being retired from frontline service in 1939. Some remained flying until 1940 as bombing and gunnery trainers.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 03:44:55 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #660 on: October 22, 2020, 02:33:48 PM »
Handley Page H.P.42/ H.P. 45

The Handley Page H.P.42 and H.P.45 were four-engine biplane airliners from the early 1930`s.

The H.P.42/45 were designed to a specification issued during 1928 by British airline Imperial Airways; the two models share considerable similarities, the H.P.42 was optimised towards greater range at the expense of payload while the H.P.45 had these priorities inverted, allowing the latter to carry more passengers over shorter distances. Imperial Airways approved of Handley Page's proposals and ordered four aircraft of the two variants to serve as the new land-based long-distance flagships of its fleet.

On 14 November 1930, the prototype, named Hannibal, conducted its maiden flight. Following their introduction into Imperial Airways, they formed the backbone of the airliner's land-based fleet through most of the 1930s and, along with the company's numerous flying boats, have been considered to be icons of their era. A total of eight aircraft were built, four of each type; all were named, with names beginning with the letter "H". Three of the survivors were pressed into Royal Air Force (RAF) service at the outbreak of the Second World War. By the end of 1940, all of the aircraft had been destroyed as a result of several accidents.

The H.P.42 was powered by an arrangement of four Bristol Jupiter XIFs, each capable of producing up to 490 hp, while the H.P.45 variant instead used four Jupiter XFBM supercharged engines, which could generate a maximum of 555 hp each.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 02:42:55 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #661 on: October 22, 2020, 02:58:03 PM »
Handley Page H.P.54 Harrow

The Handley Page H.P.54 Harrow was a British heavy bomber of the 1930s.

The H.P. 54 Harrow was the production version of the earlier Handley Page H.P.51 design, itself a monoplane conversion of the three-engined Handley Page H.P.43. In June 1935 the Air Ministry, anxious to modernise the RAF wrote a specification around the Harrow, emphasising its bomber role though retaining its transport capability. On 14 August, months before the first Harrow flew, the Ministry put in an order for 100 aircraft. Powered by Bristol Pegasus X engines of 830 hp, the first Harrow flew on 10 October 1936.

The Harrow was designed to have powered nose and tail turrets, with a manually operated dorsal turret. 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, with all 100 delivered by the end of the year.The Fleet Air Arm ordered 100 Harrows but Handley Page lacked the production capacity to supply them.As the delivery of more modern bombers increased, the Harrow was phased out as a frontline bomber by the end of 1939 but continued to be used as a transport. 271 Squadron was formed on 1 May 1940 with a mixture of Harrows, Bristol Bombays and civil aircraft.While the other aircraft equipping 271 Squadron were replaced by Douglas Dakotas, it retained a flight of Harrows as transports and ambulance aircraft until the end of the World War II in Europe.

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. In 1940, the two aircraft based at Gander were pressed into service with the Royal Canadian Air Force.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 03:08:02 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #662 on: October 24, 2020, 03:57:27 PM »
Handley Page Hastings

The Handley Page HP.67 Hastings was a British troop-carrier and freight transport aircraft.

The Handley Page Hastings was a large purpose-built four-engined transport aircraft. It was furnished with several modern features, such as a Messier-built fully retractable undercarriage, which was operated hydraulically, and unprecedented stowage space for an RAF transport aircraft. Roughly 3,000 cubic feet of unrestricted area was used to house various cargoes or passengers. The cabin was fitted with a Plymax floor, complete with various grooves, channels, and lashing points for securing goods of varying sizes, while the walls were sound proofed and lined with plywood for increased comfort.

Access was provided by a freight door on the port side, which incorporates a paratroop door, while a second paratroop door was present on the starboard side; on the ground, a rapidly deployable ramp suitable for road vehicles could be used. In service, the aircraft was typically operated by a crew of five; it could accommodate either up to 30 paratroopers, 32 stretchers and 28 sitting casualties, or a maximum of 50 fully equipped troops.The aircraft were powered by 4 Bristol Hercules 106 14-cylinder two-row air-cooled radial engines, 1,675 hp each.

Development of the Hastings had been initiated during the Second World War in response to a spec, which sought a new large four-engined transport aircraft for the RAF. Development of a civil-oriented derivative (Hermes) had been prioritised, but this direction was reversed following an accident. On 7 May 1946, the first prototype conducted its maiden flight; testing revealed unfavourable flight characteristics, which were successfully addressed via tail modifications. The type was rushed into service so that it could participate in the Berlin Airlift; reportedly, the fleet of 32 Hastings to be deployed during the RAF operation (two of which were lost in accidents),delivered a combined total of 55,000 tons (49,900 tonnes) of supplies to the city.

Between September and October 1948, No. 47 Squadron rapidly replaced its fleet of Halifax A Mk 9s with the Hastings; the squadron conducted its first sortie using the type to Berlin on 11 November 1948. During the airlift, the Hastings fleet was intensively used, principally to carry shipments of coal to the city; before the end of the crisis, two further squadrons, 297 and 53, would be involved in the effort.The final sortie of the airlift was performed by a Hastings, which occurred on 6 October 1949.

The Hastings continued to provide transport support to British military operations around the globe through the 1950s and 1960s, including dropping supplies to troops opposing Indonesian forces in Malaysia during the Indonesian Confrontation.
In 1950, the Met Mk.1 weather reconnaissance aircraft were used by 202 Squadron, based at RAF Aldergrove, Northern Ireland; they were used by the Squadron up until its disbandment on 31 July 1964, having been rendered obsolete by the introduction of weather satellites.The Hastings T.Mk 5 remained in service as radar trainers well into the 1970s; the variant was used for other purposes as well during this time, such as the occasional transport, air experience, and search and rescue missions.The Hastings was even deployed for reconnaissance purposes during the Cod War with Iceland during the winter of 197576; it was finally withdrawn from service on 30 June 1977.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 04:02:43 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #663 on: October 24, 2020, 04:15:49 PM »
Handley Page Marathon

The Handley Page (Reading) H.P.R.1 Marathon was a British civil 20-passenger light transport from the early 1950`s.

The Marathon originated as a design by Miles Aircraft Limited as a high-wing cantilever monoplane with four engines and all-metal construction. It was capable of carrying two crew and up to 20 passengers. The aircraft was designated the Miles M.60 Marathon with the first of three prototypes flying on 19 May 1946. A total of 25 aircraft were ordered by the Ministry of Supply and 25 by British European Airways, but Miles had financial problems and needed orders for over 100, not helped when the prototype aircraft crashed.The Miles company went bankrupt, so Handley Page bought the assets, including the factory at Woodley near Reading, Berkshire and design rights to the Marathon.

The new company, known as Handley Page (Reading) Limited, started producing the Marathon with 40 aircraft built over the next three years with the new designation Handley Page (Reading) H.P.R.1 Marathon 1. A twin-engine prototype turboprop-powered version (using the Armstrong Siddeley Mamba) was flown in 1949.

The first production Marathon 1 aircraft left Woodley on 14 January 1950 for a sales tour of Australia and New Zealand. The aircraft was painted in BEA markings in September 1951 and was demonstrated to the airline at Heathrow. During acceptance tests for British European Airways it was decided that the Marathon was not suitable to replace the de Havilland Dragon Rapide and the order was reduced to seven aircraft, none of which was accepted by BEA.

Most of the returned and unsold aircraft were then diverted for use by the RAF as navigation trainers with the designation Marathon T.11. After internal modifications, most of the 28 aircraft from early 1953 were used by No. 2 Air Navigation School at RAF Thorney Island.16 aircraft were transferred to RAF Topcliffe, in June 1958 when No.1 Air Navigation School relocated there. By February 1959, only eight were airworthy. Apart from mechanical unreliability, the main problem was tail-heavy trim, an absolute ceiling of 9,500 feet, and a rate of climb of only 300 ft a minute. The navigational trainers were retired in April 1959 and most were quickly scrapped. A few Marathons were operated by other UK military users including the Royal Aircraft Establishment.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 04:18:50 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #664 on: October 25, 2020, 01:52:28 AM »
Hawker Woodcock

The Hawker Woodcock was a British single-seat fighter from the early 1920`s.

The Hawker Woodcock was designed as a night fighter in 1922, the prototype, serial number J6987, was first flown with a 358 hp Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar II engine in March 1923.The prototype was rejected because of poor manoeuvrability as well as suffering from serious wing flutter and ineffective rudder control.W. G. Carter took over as chief designer and reduced the wingspan by 2 ft and making it a single-bay structure. The powerplant was changed to a 380 hp Bristol Jupiter IV engine. The modified design was designated the Woodcock Mk II and first flew in July 1923. The design was progressively strengthened until the structural weakness had been resolved.

The Woodcock was armed with two .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns, synchronised to fire through the propeller arc.The guns were mounted externally on each side of the fuselage, just below the cockpit.The first aircraft to be delivered to the RAF entered service in May 1925 at RAF Upavon.Once the type's early structural problems were solved, the Woodcock proved popular with its pilots. It was replaced by the Gloster Gamecock in 1928. However, some Woodcocks were still flying in 1936.

In June 1927 a Woodcock II of No. 17 Squadron was borrowed by Charles Lindbergh to fly back to Paris from London soon after his transatlantic flight.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 01:57:25 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #665 on: October 25, 2020, 02:33:21 AM »
Hawker Horsley

The Hawker Horsley was a British single-engined biplane bomber of the 1920s.

The Horsley was a large single-engined two-bay biplane. It had a crew of two, comprising a pilot and a gunner/bomb-aimer/radio operator, who had a .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun mounted in a ring in the rear cockpit and a prone position for bomb aiming. The rear cockpit was also fitted with dual controls.
The structure was originally all wood, but before production was complete an all-metal structure was introduced, made in what became the famous Hawker system of metal construction. The three methods of construction were designated: Horsley Mk I for the all-wooden aircraft, Horsley Mk II for the mixed material, and (unofficially) Horsley III for the all-metal aircraft. Some aircraft were fitted with floats.

An order for a single prototype was placed. The first prototype was flown in March 1925, powered by a 650 hp engine, and was delivered to the AAEE at Martlesham Heath on 4 May 1925.
The Air Ministry revised its requirements,which increased the payload from one to two 551 lb (250 kg) bombs.It also issued a spec for a torpedo bomber, required to carry a 2,150 lb (980 kg) torpedo.The Horsley's ability to cope with the increased loads required to meet these new specifications led to the design being favoured by the RAF, with an initial order of forty aircraft, consisting of ten wooden Mk Is and 30 Mk IIs of mixed metal and wood construction,being ordered.

The Horsleys remained in service in the day-bombing role until 1934, The last Horsley, a Merlin-powered testbed flew its final flight at RAE Farnborough on 7 March 1938.A total of 124 Horsleys were built, including six aircraft for the Hellenic Naval Air Service and the two related Dantorps built for Denmark.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 02:36:05 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #666 on: October 25, 2020, 02:47:12 AM »
Hawker Harrier

The Hawker Harrier was an experimental biplane torpedo bomber aircraft from the late 1920`s.

In 1925, the Air Ministry laid down specifications for a high altitude bomber to replace the Hawker Horsley and for a coastal torpedo bomber.As these specifications were similar, the Air Ministry announced that a single competition would be held to study aircraft submitted for both specifications.Sydney Camm designed the Harrier to meet the requirements with the prototype (J8325) first flying in February 1927, the first of the competitors for the two specifications to fly.

The Harrier was a two-seat biplane with single-bay wings powered by a geared 583 hp Bristol Jupiter VIII radial. It was armed with one .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun and one .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun carrying a maximum of 1,000 lb (450 kg) of bombs.

The prototype Harrier was tested A & AEE at Martlesham Heath in November 1927, where, while it met the requirements of Specification 23/25 and had satisfactory handling, the geared engine meant it was rather underpowered,and it had an inferior bombload to the Hawker Horsley, the aircraft it was intended to replace. It was further modified to carry a torpedo,but tests reviled the modified aircraft, however was still badly underpowered, being incapable of taking off with a torpedo, gunner and full fuel load.It was therefore not considered further, the competition was won by the Vickers Vildebeest.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 02:50:02 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #667 on: October 27, 2020, 12:25:06 PM »
Hawker Tomtit

The Hawker Tomtit is a British training biplane from the late 1920s.

The Tomtit was a single bay biplane whose frame was of steel and duralumin tubes. The spars were made of tubular dumbbell sections, the whole aircraft fabric covered. Automatic Handley Page type slats were fitted to the leading edges of the upper wing. It had the standard fixed main wheel and tail-skid undercarriage of its day. The engine was uncowled.
Instructor and trainee sat in open tandem cockpits. The latter, at the rear, was provided with the then-new blind flying panel and a cockpit hood was fitted so blind flying instruction was possible.
The RAF Tomtits had 150 hp Mongoose IIIC engines. The prototype was first flown in November 1928.

Hawker also produced five civil registered Tomtits.The first two of these started with Mongoose IIIA engine and the third with an upright in-line 115 hp A.D.C. Cirrus Major. It was thought that this latter, lower power engine choice might appeal more to public sporting owners. Three of this group were later owned by Wolseley, who fitted them with their cowled A.R. 7 and A.R.9 radial engines.

Between 1928 and 1931, 24 aircraft were delivered to the RAF for evaluation.After the first batch of ten, two more batches of six and eight aircraft respectively were ordered. The competition included the eventual winner, the Avro Tutor. Military Tomtits were sold elsewhere, two to Canada and four to New Zealand.Despite its failure to win the RAF contract, it is likely that more Tomtits could have been sold as it was popular with their pilots but Hawker were busy producing the Hawker Hart and its many variants and did not have the capacity to manufacture other aircraft. The civil aimed Cirrus powered machine had turned out to be rather underpowered and lacking the control of the standard aircraft.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 12:26:29 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #668 on: October 27, 2020, 01:16:51 PM »
Hawker Nimrod

The Hawker Nimrod was a British carrier-based single-engine, single-seat biplane fighter aircraft built in the early 1930s

The Nimrod was a single-seater biplane with an open cockpit, fixed undercarriage and guns firing through the propeller. Its unswept, constant chord, round-tipped wings had an unequal span and strong stagger, partly to improve the pilot's view. It was a single bay biplane braced with outward-leaning N-form interplane struts, with the upper plane held a little above the upper fuselage by cabane struts. The fabric-covered wings had metal spars and spruce ribs and carried balanced ailerons only on the upper wings.

The 477 hp Rolls-Royce F.9MS engine, later renamed the Kestrel IIMS was closely cowled in aluminium and the rest of the fuselage fabric covered. As with the Fury, the upper fuselage line was highest at the cockpit, placed between the trailing edges of the upper and lower planes.The tailplane was mounted on top of the fuselage and carried split horn balanced elevators; the vertical tail had Hawker's familiar curved shape, with a deep, wide chord, unbalanced rudder extending to the keel.It could also operate as a floatplane on single-step, crossbraced floats mounted on N-form struts. With floats fitted, the maximum speed was reduced by 47 mph, or 25%.

A production order for 35 was placed and the first of these flew on 31 October 1931. In the following year, another contract for a further 19 Nimrod Is was signed.With a top speed of 193 mph it was only marginally slower than its land-based counterpart, the Hawker Fury.A headrest fairing was added retrospectively to the Nimrod Is, to ease pilot strain during catapult launches. Aircraft from the later production batch were fitted with arrestor hooks. Experiments with the first of this batch, refitted with swept upper and lower wings, lead to the Nimrod II. As well as the swept wings, this had at first an uprated 608 hp Kestrel II engine. Later, these were replaced with 525 hp Kestrel Vs. Later Nimrod IIs had a slight increase in rudder area to improve spin recovery.Originally it was intended that the Nimrod II should have corrosion-resistant stainless steel, but only three of these were built. The first of 27/33 Nimrod IIs was delivered in March 1933.

The first production Nimrod Is entered service in 1932 with No.408 Flight on HMS Glorious. Others went to No.s 402 and 409 Flights soon after. Fleet Air Arm flights were reorganised into Squadrons early in 1933, with the Nimrods joining No.s 801, 802 and 803 Squadrons RAF.The Nimrod had been replaced by more modern designs such as the Sea Gladiator by May 1939, before the start of World War II.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 01:17:27 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #669 on: October 27, 2020, 01:39:30 PM »
Hawker Tornado

The Hawker Tornado was a British single-seat fighter aircraft design of World War II for the RAF.

Shortly after the Hawker Hurricane entered service, Hawker began work on its eventual successor. Two alternative projects were undertaken: the Type N (for Napier), with a Napier Sabre engine, and the Type R (for Rolls-Royce), equipped with a Rolls-Royce Vulture powerplant.The specification called for a single-seat fighter armed with twelve 0.303 in (7.7 mm) machine guns, a maximum speed of 400 mph at 15,000 ft (4,600 m) and a service ceiling of 35,000 ft (10,700 m) were required. Two prototypes of both the Type N and R were ordered on 3 March 1938.

Both prototypes were very similar to the Hurricane in general appearance, and shared some of its construction techniques.The new design featured car-like side-opening doors for entry, and used a large 40 ft (12 m) wing that was much thicker in cross-section than those on aircraft like the Spitfire. The rear fuselage, from behind the cockpit, differed from that of the Hurricane in that it was a duralumin, semi-monocoque, flush-riveted structure. The all-metal wings incorporated the legs and wheel-bays of the wide-track, inward-retracting main undercarriage. The two models were also very similar to each other; the R plane had a rounder nose profile and a ventral radiator, whereas the N had a flatter deck and a chin-mounted radiator. The X-24 cylinder configuration of the Vulture required two sets of ejector exhaust stacks on each side of the cowling, and that the engine was mounted further forward than the Sabre in order to clear the front wing spar.

On 6 October 1939, the first prototype (P5219) was flown.Trials revealed airflow problems around the radiator, which was relocated to a chin position. Later changes included increased rudder area, and the upgrading of the powerplant to the Vulture Mark V engine.The completion of the second prototype (P5224) was significantly delayed. It featured the chin radiator, additional window panels in the fairing behind the cockpit, and the machine guns were replaced by four 20 mm Hispano cannon. It was first flown on 5 December 1940, and was powered by a Vulture II, although as in the case of the first prototype, a Vulture V was later installed.

To avoid disrupting the Hurricane lines, production was sub-contracted to Avro in Manchester and Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft in Eastleigh, with orders for 1,760 and 200 respectively being placed in 1939. However, only one of these aircraft, from Avro, was ever built and flown, this being R7936. Shortly after its first flight at Woodford, on 29 August 1941, the Vulture programme was abandoned, followed closely by the cancellation of the Tornado order. At that time four aircraft were at various stages of production at the Avro plant at Yeadon, West Yorkshire.

The Vulture was cancelled by Rolls-Royce in July 1941, partly due to the problems experienced in its use on other aircraft, but mostly to free up resources for Merlin development and production. The Merlin was also starting to deliver the same power levels.The Vulture engine installation in the Tornado was relatively trouble free and the aircraft itself had fewer problems in flight than its Sabre-engined counterpart. The third prototype (HG641), the only other Tornado to fly, was flown on 23 October 1941, powered by a Bristol Centaurus CE.4S sleeve valve radial engine.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 01:47:36 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #670 on: October 29, 2020, 05:53:20 PM »
Hawker P.1081

The Hawker P.1081, also known as the "Australian Fighter" was a prototype British jet aircraft from the mid-1950`s.

Hawker Aircraft submitted a proposal to the RAAF, for a swept-wing, swept-tail fighter based on the Hawker P.1052, but using a Rolls-Royce Tay engine. Work began to modify the second prototype of the P.1052 (VX279) along these lines, although the Rolls-Royce Nene engine already fitted was initially retained. VX279, which was now the prototype P.1081,first flew on 19 June 1950. CAC, evidently planning to build any design accepted by the Australian government, assigned the serial number CA-24 to the P.1081.

By mid-1950, however, the RAAF urgently required a replacement for its Mustangs, some of which were in action in Korea and faced the possibility of clashes with MiG 15s. The P.1081 could not realistically become operational within the time frame required; in November 1950, Hawker decided to cease development. Likewise, the US-built North American F-86 Sabre could not be delivered to the RAAF for at least a few years. As a stop-gap measure, the RAAF ordered the Gloster Meteor F.8. CAC instead built a more powerful, Rolls-Royce Avon-engined variant of the F-86 a project which resulted in the CAC Sabre.

The P.1081 prototype, which had remained in the UK, was handed over by Hawker to the (RAE). Its swept tail increased the Mach number above that of the P.1052 into the Mach 0.9-0.95 region, providing valuable data that contributed to the design of the axially-powered Hawker Hunter.On 3 April 1951, the P.1081 prototype was lost in a fatal crash.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2020, 05:55:12 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #671 on: October 31, 2020, 01:19:45 AM »
Hawker Siddeley Andover

The Hawker Siddeley HS 780 Andover is a twin-engined turboprop military transport aircraft.

The RAF decided to order a military variant of the 748, designated the Avro 780; and the original Avro 748 prototype was modified with an upswept rear fuselage and rear loading ramp as the Avro 748MF, to test the military version. It had more powerful Dart Mk 301s engines and a unique kneeling landing gear. In April 1963, the RAF ordered 31 aircraft as the Andover C.1. The 748MF first flew on 21 December 1963. The aircraft had larger four-bladed propellers than the 748, which required a greater distance between the engines and the fuselage, although the wingtips were reduced by 18 inches to maintain the same wingspan as the 748. A dihedral tailplane was also fitted to keep it clear of the propeller slipstream.

The Andover C.1 was flown for the first time on 9 July 1965 and the first four examples were flown to RAF Boscombe Down for acceptance trials that year. The full contract of 31 aircraft were delivered to squadrons in Transport Command.There was a follow-on order placed with Hawker Siddeley for six aircraft as the CC.2, a version of the standard HS 748, and these went initially to 21 Squadron at RAF Khormaksar.

Three of the RAF Andovers continued to fly into the second decade of the 21st century, a C.1 with the Empire Test Pilots' School and one C.1 with the Heavy Aircraft Test Squadron of the Joint Test and Evaluation Group. The remaining aircraft was a modified C.1 converted for photo-reconnaissance, the Andover C.1(PR), serial number XS596; the UK-named aircraft under the Treaty on Open Skies; all three were based at RAF Boscombe Down.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 01:20:20 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #672 on: October 31, 2020, 01:30:49 AM »
Heston Phoenix.

The Heston Type 1 Phoenix was a 1930s British single-engined five-seat light transport monoplane.

The Type 1 Phoenix was the first design of the Heston Aircraft Company formed in 1934. The Phoenix was a single-engined high-wing monoplane, with a wood monocoque fuselage and wood-framed wing with plywood and fabric covering. It was powered by a 200 hp de Havilland Gipsy VI engine, and had a retractable main undercarriage in stub-wings plus a faired tailwheel. It was the first British high-wing monoplane fitted with a hydraulically operated retractable undercarriage.

The prototype Phoenix, registered G-ADAD, first flew on 18 August 1935.The fourth, fifth and sixth aircraft were designated Phoenix II, and were fitted with an improved 205 hp de Havilland Gipsy VI Series II engine and a de Havilland constant speed propeller.Four British aircraft were used by private owners and for charter flying. At the outbreak of World War II, three surviving aircraft in the UK were pressed into service by the RAF.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 01:31:10 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #673 on: October 31, 2020, 01:36:50 AM »
Heston JC.6

The Heston JC.6 was a British prototype air observation post aircraft from the late 1940`s.

The Heston JC.6 was designed and built to meet an Air Ministry Specification for an "Air Observation Post" (AOP) for the British Army. Heston Aircraft built two prototypes, the first, serial VL529, first flew in August 1947. The second, serial VL530, was not flown.

The JC.6 was an all-metal cantilever monoplane with twin booms and two vertical tail surfaces joined by a single horizontal tailplane. It was powered by a rear-mounted de Havilland Gipsy Queen six-cylinder 240hp aero engine fitted between the twin booms and driving a pusher propeller. The two-seat tandem cockpit was covered with a large glazed canopy. The JC.6 had a tricycle landing gear and the mainplane was fitted with slots and flaps to give short takeoff and landing performance. During the evaluation trials the rival Auster AOP.6 had a better performance and was ordered into production. Two further Heston JC.6s, serials VL531 and VL532, were not built.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 01:37:11 AM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #674 on: October 31, 2020, 04:42:46 PM »
Luton Minor

The Luton L.A.4 Minor was a 1930s British single-seat high-wing ultra-light aircraft.

The L.A.3 Minor ultralight was powered by a 35 hp Anzani inverted-vee air-cooled engine, and was built from spruce, ply and fabric. It was designed by C.H. Latimer-Needham, and built by Luton Aircraft, Bedfordshire in 1936, using the fuselage and components of the earlier experimental L.A.2 tandem-wing aircraft. The prototype L.A.3 Minor, first flew on 3 March 1937. The aircraft was a successful flyer despite the low-powered engine, and it was then redesigned for home construction. Designated the L.A.4 Minor, it had a strutted undercarriage and parallel wing struts. The first L.A.4 Minor was built at the company's new factory (the Phoenix Works) in Buckinghamshire. It was fitted with a 40 hp ABC Scorpion two-cylinder horizontally-opposed engine. All subsequent Luton Minors were home-built from plans sold by the company.

The Phoenix Works had burnt down during 1943, and Luton Aircraft had closed, so designer C.H. Latimer-Needham and A.W.J.G. Ord-Hume created a new company in March 1958 to take over the design rights for the Luton Minor. The updated design was to make provision for more modern lightweight four-cylinder engines and an increased all-up weight. The aircraft was designated L.A.4A Minor. The design, and subsequently the aircraft, has been built all over the world as a homebuilt aircraft with a variety of engines, with the plans for the aircraft being passed on to the Popular Flying Association (now the Light Aircraft Association) in the UK.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 04:44:08 PM by Angry Turnip »