- Southern Martlet
Southern Martlet The Shuttleworth Trust's Martlet Role single-seat sports biplane National origin United Kingdom Manufacturer Southern Aircraft Company Designer F.G Miles First flight 1929 Number built 6 Developed from Avro Baby
The Southern Martlett was a single-engined, single-seat biplane sports aircraft. Six were built, including the rather different and unsuccessful Metal Martlet.
Design and development
The Southern Martlet was the first aircraft designed by teams led Frederick George Miles, whose first company was Southern Aircraft of Shoreham. It was a modified Avro Baby, differing in the tail unit, undercarriage and engine, the 85 hp A.B.C. Hornet air-cooled flat four. Like the Baby, it was a single-bay staggered tractor biplane, with fixed two-wheel main and tail-skid undercarriage. The undercarriage was a combination of "oleo and coil-spring shock absorbing gear" designed by Basil Henderson of Hendy Aircraft, Shoreham. The prototype G-AAII made its first public appearance on 30 August 1929 at London Air Park, Hanworth, and proved to be a very manoeuvrable sports machine.
Five production aircraft were built at Shoreham, differing chiefly in the choice of engine. Three of them had 80 hp Armstrong Siddeley Genet II and one a 100 hp Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major. These were five-cylinder uncowled radials. One aircraft had, at different times, a de Havilland Gipsy I or II (100 hp and 120 hp respectively), upright in-line air-cooled engines.
The Martlets were not very successful as racers but served a succession of private owners as aerobatic mounts.
- 200 (G-AAII}
- Prototype first flew with an ABC Hornet later fitted with a 85 hp Armstrong-Siddeley Genet II engine.
- 201 (G-AAVD)
- First production aircraft with a Genet II engine.
- 202 (G-AAYX)
- Second production aircraft with an Armstrong-Siddeley Genet Major engine and untapered ailerons. Later operated by Butlins and now still airworthy with the Shuttleworth Trust.
- 203 (G-AAYZ)
- Third Production aircraft with a de Havilland Gipsy II engine built for F.E. Guest.
- 204 (G-ABBN)
- Fourth production aircraft with a Genet II engine built for the Marquess of Douglas and Clydesdale.
- 205 (G-ABIF)
- Fifth production aircraft with a Genet II engine for Miss Maxine Freeman-Thomas (who later became Mrs F.G. Miles).
- Metal Martlet
- The Metal Martlet, despite its name had little in common with the Martlet. One completed, not a success and a second aircraft was not completed.
Specifications (Genet II)
Data from Jackson 1960, pp. 269–72
- Crew: 1
- Length: 20 ft 3 in (6.17 m)
- Wingspan: 25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)
- Height: 7 ft 7 in (2.3 m)
- Wing area: 180 sq ft (16.7 sq m)
- Empty weight: 705 lb (320 kg)
- Loaded weight: 1030 lb (467 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Armstrong Siddeley Genet II five-cylinder aircoled radial, 80 hp (60 kW)
- Maximum speed: 113 mph (191 km/h, 103 kt)
- Cruise speed: 96 mph (162 km/h, 87 kt)
- Range: 280 miles (450 km)
- Rate of climb: 1,100 ft/min (5.59 m/s)
- Jackson, A.J. (1960). British Civil Aircraft 1919-59. 2. London: Putnam Publishing.
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