Pemberton-Billing P.B.9


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Pemberton-Billing P.B.9

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Trevor Webb, e-mail, 15.11.2014 14:46

Originally designated P.B.9, this aircraft known as the "Seven Day Bus", was later redesignated as the P.B.13. This new number resulted from the company renumbering some earlier aircraft and their variants. The aircraft came into being due to an argument between the War Office and Noel Pemberton Billing in August 1914. The crux of the argument was that Pemberton Billing claimed that he could design and build a scout aircraft in seven days. It was in fact designed and built between 4 and 11 1914. However, the aircraft was designed by one of his staff, Carol Valisesco. Another factor is that Pemberton Billing had purchased a number of components from Radley-England Enterprise aircraft company. This included several sets of complete biplane wings. One of these was used on the P.B.9 and it is possible that another was used on the P.B.23E. On 12 August 1914 the aircraft was taken to a field at Netley in Hampshire and test flown the Sopwith test pilot Victor Mahl. There were no orders forthcoming for the P.B.9. The aircraft was then passed on to Brooklands and by 1915 in company with the P.B.23E was passed to the Royal Naval Air Service. It was first based at Chingford and later Hendon. At Dhingford it carried the RNAS serial number 1267. It was struck off charge in late 1915 and re-acquired by Pemberton Billing to be used as advertising to further his political career. There were plans to build a larger version still with 50 hp Gnome engine but with staggered wings. This was confusingly designated P.B.13 but later changed to P.B.17. It was known as the "Bigger Bus". It was never built.
Technical Data for P.B.9 (later P.B.13)
Engine: One 50 hp Gnome seven cylinder air cooled rotary driving an 8 foot propeller.
Wing Span; 26 feet
Length: 20 feet
Height: 8 feet 3 inches
Wing Area: 205 square feet
Empty Weight: 560 pounds
Loaded Weight: 750 pounds
Max Speed: 78 mph
Climb: 540 feet /min
Duration 3 hours.


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