Miles Master


Miles Master
Master
Role advanced trainer
Manufacturer Phillips and Powis Aircraft Ltd
Designer F. G. Miles
First flight 31 March 1939
Introduction 1939
Status retired
Primary users Royal Air Force
Egypt, South African Air Force, Turkey
Number built 3,250
Variants
  • Miles M.25 Martinet
  • Miles M,37 Martinet Trainer
  • Miles M.50 Queen Martinet

The Miles M.9 Master was a British 2-seat monoplane advanced trainer built by Miles Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War. It went through a number of variants according to engine availability and was even modified as an emergency fighter during the Battle of Britain. It was a fast, strong and fully aerobatic aircraft and served as an excellent introduction to the high performance British fighter aircraft of the day: the Spitfire and Hurricane.

Contents

Design and development

The M.9A Master I was based on the M.9 Kestrel trainer that was first demonstrated at the Hendon Air show in July 1937, although it never entered production. The M.9 Kestrel, powered by the 745 hp (555 kW) Rolls-Royce Kestrel XVI V-12 engine, could reach 295 mph (475 km/h). The production Master I, which first flew on 31 March 1939, used the lower-powered 715 hp (535 kW) Rolls-Royce Kestrel XXX engine, reducing the maximum speed. Nonetheless it remained one of the fastest and most maneuverable trainers of its day. The Master entered service just before the start of the war, and eventually 900 Mk. I and Mk. IA Masters were built. This total included 26 built as the M.24 Master Fighter which were modified to a single-seat configuration, and armed with six .303 in machine guns for use as an emergency fighter, but did not see combat.

When production of the Kestrel engine ceased, a new variant of the Master was designed to use the 870 hp (650 kW) air-cooled radial Bristol Mercury XX engine. The first M.19 Master II prototype flew on 30 October 1939 and 1,748 were eventually built. When the Lend-Lease programme began to supply engines from the United States, a third variant of the Master, the M.27 Master III was designed, powered by the American 825 hp (615 kW) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp Junior two-row radial engine. A total of 602 Master IIIs were built before production of the Miles Martinet took over in 1942.

In trainer form, the Master was equipped to carry eight practice bombs, plus one .303 in Vickers machine gun mounted in the front fuselage. In 1942, all variants had their wings clipped by three feet (one metre) to reduce stress on the wings and increase maneuverability.

Production

All of the 3,227 Masters produced were built by Phillips and Powis Aircraft Limited at Woodley, Berkshire, the largest number produced of any Miles aircraft type.

Operational history

Service use primarily revolved around (Pilot) Advanced Flying Units, while several hundred Miles Master IIs were converted, or delivered new, for the glider-towing role, with the bottom of the rudder cut away to allow fitting of a towing hook. Miles Masters were extensively used from 1942 as tugs for Hotspur gliders at Glider Training Schools. Used at FTS, few aircraft thus entered squadron service. Known deployments were to No. 287 Squadron RAF between February and August 1942 and to No. 286 Squadron RAF from November 1944 to February 1945.[1]

Diversions from RAF stocks included 426 to the South African Air Force, 52 to the Fleet Air Arm, nine to the USAAF in rgw UK, 23 to the Royal Egyptian Air Force and, early in 1945, 23 to Turkey. Fourteen also went to the Irish Air Corps and two to Portugal.

Variants

Miles M.9 Kestrel Trainer
Prototype fighter-trainer with Kestrel engine.
Miles M.9A Master I
Initial production of the Master with Kestrel engine, 900 built.
Miles M.19 Master II
Production with Bristol Mercury engines.
Miles M.24 Master Fighter
Proposed stop-gap fighter version of Master I with rear seat removed and six 0.303 Browning machine-guns in the wings.
Miles M.27 Master III
Improved Master II.

Military operators

 Belgium
  • Belgian Air Force
 Egypt
  • Royal Egyptian Air Force
 France
 Ireland
 Portugal
 South Africa
 Turkey
 United Kingdom
  • Fleet Air Arm about 200 Master Is transferred from the Royal Air Force.
 United States
  • United States Army Air Force

Specifications (Mk II)

Data from[citation needed]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

  • Guns: 1 × .303 in Vickers K machine gun

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
  • North American Harvard

Related lists

References

Notes
  1. ^ Jefford 2001, p. 85.
  2. ^ 35 ft 9 in (10.9 m) in clipped form
  3. ^ 224 ft² (20.8 m²) in clipped form
Bibliography
  • Amos, Peter and Don Lambert Brown. Miles Aircraft Since 1925, Volume 1. London: Putnam Aeronautical, 2000. ISBN 0-85177-787-0.
  • Brown, Don Lambert. Miles Aircraft Since 1925. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1970. ISBN 0-37000-127-3.
  • Jane, Fred T. Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1945/6. London: Sampson Low Marston, 1946. ISBN 0-7153-5109-6.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Lukins, A.H. and D.A. Russell. The Book of Miles Aircraft. Leicester, UK: The Harborough Publishing Company Ltd., 1946.
  • Mondey, David. The Hamlyn Concise Guide to British Aircraft of World War II. London: Chancellor Press, 1994. ISBN 1-85152-668-4.
  • Temple, Julian C. Wings Over Woodley - The Story of Miles Aircraft and the Adwest Group. Bourne End, Bucks, UK: Aston Publications, 1987. ISBN 0-946627-12-6.

External links


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