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Author Topic: The slightly less well known  (Read 90002 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 »

Offline 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 »

Offline 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 »

Offline 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 »