Blackburn Triplane


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Blackburn Triplane

Designed by Harris Booth, who was also responsible for the A.D. Scout, the Blackburn single-seat fighter triplane was intended to carry a single Davis two-pounder quick-fire recoilless gun firing from the nose of the nacelle and was conceived for the anti-Zeppelin role. Possessing a fabric-covered airframe, the triplane was initially flown early in 1917 with a 100hp Clerget 9Z nine-cylinder rotary engine driving a four-bladed propeller. The Clerget was soon replaced by a Gnome Monosoupape nine-cylinder rotary of 100hp driving a two-blade propeller and the triplane was accepted by the Admiralty on 20 February 1917, but was struck off charge as unsatisfactory four weeks later, on 19 March.

Blackburn TriplaneA three-view drawing (1280 x 826)

  Take-off weight680 kg1499 lb
  Empty weight458 kg1010 lb
  Wingspan7.31 m24 ft 0 in
  Length6.53 m21 ft 5 in
  Height2.59 m9 ft 6 in
  Wing area20.53 m2220.98 sq ft
  Max. speed145 km/h90 mph

Klaatu83, e-mail, 23.09.2012 17:24

This was not really a Blackburn design, but was built on contract for an outside designer. It's peculiar appearance was due to the fact that it was designed around it's armament, a 37mm Davis recoiless cannon, which was a somewhat large and cumbersome weapon to put in a small single-seater. It was also designed to meet the need for good pilot visibility from the cockpit, especially at night.

This plane was intended to intercept Zeppelins over Britain rather than to dog-fight against other fighters over the Western Front. At that time the British were putting a lot of effort into figuring out a viable means of intercepting Zeppelins in their airspace, especially at night, which was when they mostly made their appearance. Nevertheless, this aircraft's performance was such that it would probably not even have been able to catch up with the Zeppelins it was intended to destroy. In any case, it probably would have proved too much for any pilot to be able to both fly a plane and operate the single-shot Davis Gun at the same time.


paulo vieira, e-mail, 27.04.2010 21:49

Sera que alguem tem planta desta beldade para o radio control...........

Paulo vieira
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