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Author Topic: The slightly less well known  (Read 94266 times)

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Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #700 on: November 21, 2020, 01:18:28 AM »
Royal Aircraft Factory N.E.1

The Royal Aircraft Factory N.E.1 was a prototype British Night fighter of the First World War.

The first prototype N.E.1 flew on 8 September 1917.It was fitted with a single searchlight in the nose, and with the pilot and gunner sat in tandem, with the pilot seated in front to give a good view. The gunner was to be armed with a 1.59-inch (40-mm) Breech-Loading Vickers Q.F. Gun, Mk II—or a 1​1⁄2 lb COW gun, and a radio was fitted.It was powered by a 200 hp Hispano-Suiza 8 engine in a pusher configuration driving a four-bladed propeller. Its three-bay equal span wings were fitted with ailerons on both upper and lower wings.

The first prototype crashed on 14 September 1917, and was rebuilt with a new nacelle with the searchlight removed, and the gunner position was moved to ahead of the pilot. A fixed Lewis gun was mounted externally on the starboard side of the fuselage, to be operated by the pilot. It flew in this form on 4 October 1917.Although testing indicated that the N.E.1 was easy to fly and land, and had excellent field of fire for the gunner, six prototypes were completed, with the second prototype being sent to No. 78 Squadron, while several of the other aircraft were used for trials and did not enter active service.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 01:18:46 AM by Angry Turnip »

Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #701 on: November 21, 2020, 02:56:42 PM »
Royal Aircraft Factory A.E.3

The Royal Aircraft Factory A.E.3, also known as the Farnborough Ram, was a prototype British armoured ground attack aircraft of the First World War.

In late 1917, the Royal Aircraft Factory began development of a two-seat, heavily armoured contact patrol aircraft for the RFC, designed to carry out observation in contact with the infantry, a job that required flying at low altitudes over the front line, exposing the aircraft to heavy small-arms fire from the enemy's trenches. Three prototypes of the resulting design, designated A.E.3, were ordered.

It was a single-engined pusher biplane, based on the N.E.1 night fighter,but had a new armoured nacelle constructed completely of armour plate. Two Lewis guns were fitted on an mounting in the front of the nacelle that allowed the guns to be used to attack targets below, while another Lewis gun was mounted on a pillar mounting between the gunner and pilot to defend the aircraft from attack.
It was intended to be powered by the same Hispano-Suiza engine that had powered the N.E.1, but due to shortages of this engine, with over 400 S.E.5A fighters waiting for engines in January 1918,it was decided to use alternative engines, with the Sunbeam Arab being chosen for the first prototype, and the Bentley BR.2 rotary engine for the second.The first A.E.1 flew during April 1918,with the second prototype following on 1 June 1918, while the third prototype, which was powered by an Arab engine, and fitted with face-hardened armour, was finished later that month.
By this time the Royal Aircraft Factory had been renamed the Royal Aircraft Establishment, and the A.E.1 was given the name Farnborough Ram, the only Royal Aircraft Factory designed aircraft to be given an official name, with the Arab powered aircraft being named Ram I and the Bentley powered aircraft Ram II.

The Ram II was sent to France at the end of June, for trials in its suitability for operational use. These were  unsuccessful, with the Ram being considered slow, heavy on the controls and unsuitable for low flying. No further development followed and the project was abandoned.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 02:57:24 PM by Angry Turnip »

Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #702 on: November 21, 2020, 03:39:45 PM »
Saro Cutty Sark

The Saro A17 Cutty Sark was a British amphibious aircraft from the period between World War I and World War II, built by the British firm Saunders-Roe (also known as SARO).

In 1928, Sir Alliot Verdon Roe sold Avro and bought an interest in S. E. Saunders, flying boat manufacturers based at Cowes, Isle of Wight. The company was renamed Saunders-Roe. The A17 Cutty Sark was the new company's first design. It was a shoulder-winged twin-engined four-seat amphibian monoplane with an all-metal hull and plywood covered wings. The above-wing pylon-mounted engines had good access for servicing or replacement, and a variety of different engines were used to power Cutty Sarks, including 104 hp Cirrus Hermes Mk 1s and 120 hp de Havilland Gipsy IIs.

The first aircraft flew on the 4th July 1929,Only 12 Cutty Sarks were built, and none lasted long in service, but the type saw service with many users in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, China, Japan and the Dominican Republic.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 03:40:24 PM by Angry Turnip »

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #703 on: November 21, 2020, 03:58:29 PM »
Saro London

The Saunders Roe A.27 London was a British military biplane flying boat.

The A.27 London was designed in response to the Air Ministry Specification R.24/31 issued for a "General Purpose Open Sea Patrol Flying Boat ". The London and its contemporary, the Supermarine Stranraer, were the last multi-engine, biplane flying-boats to see service with the RAF. The design used an all-metal corrugated hull and fabric-covered wing and tail surfaces, with two 640hp Bristol Pegasus II radial engines, mounted on the upper wing to keep them clear of spray while taking off and landing.

The first prototype first flew in March 1934 and then went on to serve until 1936 with the RAF. Deliveries of production aircraft began in March 1936 with Pegasus III engines, but from the eleventh aircraft onwards the Pegasus X engine was fitted instead,and the aircraft's designation changed to London Mk.II. Earlier Londons were retrofitted with the Pegasus X and were also given the "Mk.II" designation.At the outbreak of World War II, Londons equipped 201 Squadron RAF, which now stationed at Sullom Voe in Shetland, and 202 Squadron RAF at Gibraltar, as well as 240 Squadron RAF at Invergordon, which had re-equipped with Londons in July 1939. The aircraft carried out patrols over the North Sea and the Mediterranean. Some were fitted with a dorsal fuel tank to increase operational radius.A small number of Londons were transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force. All were withdrawn from front-line duties by the middle of 1941.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 04:02:41 PM by Angry Turnip »

Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #704 on: November 22, 2020, 12:33:13 PM »
Saunders-Roe A.36 Lerwick

The Saunders-Roe A.36 Lerwick was a British flying boat built in the late 1930`s.

The aircraft was a compact twin-engined, high-winged monoplane of all-metal construction, with a conventional flying boat hull, a planing bottom and two stabilising floats, carried under the wings on long struts. It was powered by two 1356 hp Bristol Hercules radial engines and initially had twin fins and rudders. For defence, the Lerwick was equipped with three powered gun turrets. The nose turret had a single 0.303 inch Vickers K gun; the other two had 0.303 Browning machine guns, two guns in the Nash & Thompson FN.8 turret in the dorsal position and four in the Nash & Thompson FN4.A turret at the tail. Offensive weapons were a total of 2,000 pounds (910 kg) of bombs and/or depth charges.

The first three aircraft were used as prototypes, with the first flew on 31 October 1938, after numerous delays during design and construction. The Lerwick was quickly found to be unstable in the air, on the water and not suited to "hands off" flying. The latter was a major problem in an aircraft designed for long-range patrols.Several adjustments, including the addition of a greatly enlarged single fin and an increase in the wing angle of incidence, failed to remedy its undesirable characteristics, which included a vicious stall and unsatisfactory rates of roll and yaw. In service, several aircraft were lost because of wing floats breaking off, suggesting this was a structural weakness.

In mid-1939, four Lerwicks were allocated to 240 Squadron. By October, the squadron had stopped flying them and reverted to its older and slower Saro London flying boats. The Lerwick programme was cancelled on 24 October but restarted on 1 November. In December 1939, Air Vice-Marshal Sholto Douglas recommended that the Lerwicks be scrapped.Production continued and the type entered service with 209 Squadron based at Oban in 1940, replacing Short Singapores; the squadron soon began losing aircraft to accidents. During the service with 209 Squadron, all the Lerwicks were grounded twice for urgent safety modifications.

The last of a total of 21 Lerwicks was delivered in May 1941 but the type was withdrawn from front-line service in the same month.In mid-1942, the Lerwicks were briefly returned to service, for operational training with 422 Squadron and 423 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force, based at Lough Erne. By the end of 1942 the type had been declared obsolete and by early 1943 the survivors had been scrapped.
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Offline Angry Turnip

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Re: The slightly less well known
« Reply #705 on: Yesterday at 04:18:11 PM »
Saunders-Roe SR.A/1

The Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 was a prototype flying boat fighter aircraft and it was the first jet-propelled water-based aircraft in the world.

Saunders-Roe presented a proposal of their jet-powered seaplane concept, then designated SR.44, to the Air Ministry during mid-1943. In April 1944, the Ministry issued a spec for the type and supported its development with a contract for three prototypes. Development was protracted by Saunders-Roes' work on other projects, the war having ended prior to any of the prototypes being completed.

Both immediately prior to and during the war, Britain made very little use of seaplane fighters, it relied upon aircraft carriers and land-based fighters as the basis of their military operations.
Proposed seaplane conversions were produced for both the Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire to meet operational needs in the Norwegian Campaign, but were largely curtailed following the rapid German victory in this theatre.Saunders-Roe recognised that the newly-developed turbojet engine presented an opportunity to overcome the traditional performance drawbacks and design limitations of floatplanes. By not requiring clearance for a propeller, the fuselage could sit lower in the water and use a flying boat-type hull. The prospective aircraft's performance when powered by Halford H.1 engines was projected to be 520 mph at 40,000 ft.

On 16 July 1947, the first prototype, piloted by Geoffrey Tyson, conducted its maiden flight.Subsequent flight testing with the prototypes revealed that the SR.A/1 possessed a relatively good level of performance and handling. Its agility was publicly displayed when Tyson performed a demonstration of high-speed aerobatics and inverted flight above an international audience at the 1948 SBAC Display. During the flight test programme, two of the three prototypes suffered accidents, leading to an interruption in the trials and modifications being made to the remaining intact aircraft.

Due to a lack of orders, work on the project was suspended, leading to the remaining prototype being placed into storage in early 1950. During November 1950, shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War, interest in the SR.A/1 programme was resurrected,however, it was soon recognised that the concept had been rendered obsolete in comparison to increasingly capable land-based fighters, together with the inability to solve the engine problems, forcing a second and final cancellation. During June 1951, the SR.A/1 prototype (TG263) flew for the last time. It is now in the Solent Sky Museum in Southampton, UK.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 04:19:09 PM by Angry Turnip »