Aeroplane Monthly 1991-09
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C.Brown - A feast of flying (1)
Grumman Martlet I AL257. Known by the US Navy as the Wildcat, the aircraft was named Martlet in British nomenclature until January 1944. The first FAA Martlets entered service in September 1940, with 804 Sqn.
Wildcat VI JV642 was one of the first of a total of 340 FAA Mk VIs supplied under Lend-Lease. This mark of Wildcat entered FAA service in July 1944, with 881 Sqn.
A Corsair Mk III in March 1944 - the inverted gull wing is most evident in this rear view.
SW244 was the second Avro Lancaster to be fitted with a saddle tank. Pictured here in June 1945, the aircraft flew out to Mauripurand then Western Australia later the same year.
Pictured in June 1945 is the Double Wasp-powered Grumman Tigercat TT349. Two F7F-ls were evaluated for the FAA and both were returned to the US Navy in 1947.
Fairey Barracuda Mk II P9795 fitted with two underwing nacelles for dropping paratroops! Each container held two unfortunates sitting in tandem, who were released via pilot-operated trap-doors! Although the idea worked, the likely psychological effect on paratroopers made the plan unacceptable.
The prototype Avro York, LV626, in July 1942. First flown on the 5th of that month, this aircraft had two fins - three being standard with the third prototype. LV626 was later fitted with Bristol Hercules radial engines to become the sole York Mk II.
The third prototype Blackburn Firebrand in September 1943, after reconstruction as the first Firebrand Mk II, NV636 (Napier Sabre III engine). The torpedo is fitted with the MAT Mk IV directional stabilising tail.
The sole Martin Baker M.B.5, R2496, an outstanding fighter which could have been in production by the end of 1943 had it not been for the procrastination of the Ministry of Supply. In the event it did not fly until the summer of 1944.
The 70ft 4in-span two-seat Westland Welkin high-altitude fighter was never used operationally by the RAF. It was powered by two 1,650 h.p. Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and had a top speed of 387 m.p.h. at 26,000ft.