|Malcolm, e-mail, 14.12.2011 12:18|
Centrally mounted engines powering wing-mounted airscrews was a concept that was explored with the large four-engined Bristol Tramp, the twin-engined Boulton Paul Bodmin and the next design to emerge from Parnall, the single-engined Possum. Both the Tramp and the Possum were triplanes with twin tractor airscrews driven by shafts from the fuselage. The Possum was officially described as a "postal aircraft" – a curious designation for an aircraft having gun positions in the nose and amidships. The centrally located 450 hp Napier Lion engine had side-mounted radiators which could be retracted in flight to achieve additional streamlining. The Possum fared rather better than the Tramp, which never flew, and performed well, making a public appearance at the 1923 Hendon Pageant. Despite having proved the practicality of its layout it was regarded as something of a curiosity by the pilots that flew it from Martlesham Heath in Suffolk. Experience revealed insufficient advantages to support any further development of this concept.