Klaatu: I don't think you should discount Blackburn's talent for ugliness. Compare the R.1 to the Fairey IIIF which replaced it, or even to the Fairey IIID which was its contemporary. If it was really necessary to provide a place for the radio operator to take a stroll, I'm sure a more corpulent Fairey III still wouldn't be that hard on the eyes.
Daniel Kaplan, e-mail, 03.12.2014 03:08
I've been an avid aviation enthusiast for decades and never seen this before. It must have been very impressive seeing that huge plane operate from a carrier deck.
Klaatu83, e-mail, 23.09.2012 18:02
The Blackburn Blackburn was certainly a strange-looking machine, but there were valid reasons why it looked the way it did. In judging aircraft such as this one must maintain a perspective as to the period in which they were developed and the mission that they were expected to fulfill.
During the 1920s the Navy's principal weapon was considered to be the big guns of the battleships, and aircraft carriers were regarded as no more than mere auxiliary support to them. With that in mind, this aircraft was designed specifically to serve as a carrier-based observation platform from which to spot for the guns of the battleships. That was the reason it looked the way it did.
The requirement for which this airplane was designed stipulated a place from which an observer could obtain a good view of the fall of shot, as well as a large enclosed cabin from which a radio-operator could transmit the information to the battle-fleet. The pilot's cockpit also needed to be placed as far forward as possible, and clear of the wings, in order to afford a good view for landing onto the carrier deck. In spite of it's ungainly appearance, the Blackburn Blackburn did everything it was designed to do, and was considered to be a successful airplane.
Sgt.KAR98, 11.02.2009 19:38
No,itīs the Nimrod.
NICO, e-mail, 27.08.2008 14:34
I was searching for the ugliest aicraft ever. This is the one!