Dart Kitten
Страна: Великобритания
Год: 1937

Одноместный легкий самолет
Самолеты семейства "Dart"
Flight, December 1936
Flight, February 1937

Самолеты семейства "Dart"

   Последним самолетом, выпущенным "Dart Aircraft", стал Dart Kitten - одноместный сверхлегкий низкоплан, оснащенный двигателем Ava 4a-00 мощностью 27 л.с. (20 кВт). Самолет Kitten I совершил первый полет 15 января 1937 года, а в августе был передан заказчику, но уже в сентябре перепродан новому владельцу и в течение Второй мировой войны хранился в Рирсби и вновь поднялся в воздух только в 1949 году в Броксбёрне, где на него был установлен новый двигатель Aeronca-JAP J-99. Самолет разбился в авиакатастрофе 23 ноября 1952 года. Второй самолет, Kitten II, с самого начала был построен с двигателем J-99 и совершил первый полет весной 1937 года. Он также пережил войну, вновь поднявшись в небо в Саутенде, а в 1951 году был построен еще один самолет данного семейства - Kitten III, отличавшийся тем, что имел колесные тормоза.


   Dart Kitten II/III

   Тип: одноместный легкий самолет
   Силовая установка: ПД Aeronca-JAP J-99 мощностью 36 л.с. (27 кВт)
   Летные характеристики: макс. скорость на уровне моря 153 км/ч; крейсерская скорость на высоте 610 м - 134 км/ч; практический потолок 6005 м; дальность 547 км
   Масса: пустого 231 кг; максимальная взлетная 341 кг
   Размеры: размах крыла 9,68 м; длина 6,50 м; высота 2,41 м; площадь крыла 11,98 м'

Flight, December 1936

New Approaches to the "Ultra-light" Problem: "Pou" Influence on One Model

The Dart Flittermouse and Kitten

   Dart Aircraft, Ltd., of 29, High Street North, Dunstable, Beds, already known to readers of Flight, tor their intriguing little Pup pusher monoplane, have constructed two more single-seater models.
   The second new Dart model is the Kitten, which is a low-wing single-seater intended for the private owner and for the solo training of pupils with a few hours to their credit. An Ava engine of 25 h.p. is specified, giving an estimated top speed of 87 m.p.h. The span, length and wing area are 31 ft. 9 in., 21 ft. and 130 sq. ft. At an all-up weight of 682 lb., the wing loading is 5.25 lb./sq. ft.

Flight, February 1937

The Dart Kitten in the Air: A Sturdy Low-wing Single-seater with Good Flying Qualities

   IT seems that there will always be a firm, if comparatively small, market for single-seaters which are inexpensive to run and to maintain. At the moment only one of the many available examples has been flown and developed for a sufficient length of time to satisfy the doubts in the minds of prospective owners - and this type, though filling only one section of the market, is now being sold in small but satisfactory numbers. The other half of the prospective market remains to be fully explored, and three or four more sporting types are either available, or will shortly be so. When one or more of these has shown its ability to stand up to continuous hard flying then its manufacturers can expect a small-scale demand.
   The successful candidate will need to be amply strong, easy to fly, cheap to maintain, reliable, and fast enough to be used for serious cross-country work in reasonable weather conditions. The new Dart Kitten appears to comply with all but one of these conditions, and that remaining one could be filled by installing a more powerful engine.
   At present the Kitten is fitted with a 27 h.p. Ava flat-four two-stroke, giving the machine an official cruising speed of 65 m.p.h. and and official climb of 400 ft./min. While I was flying the machine the speed at 2,300 r.p.m. did not appear to be very much higher than 60 m.p.h., and the full-throttle climb at the recommended speed was certainly not as good as 400 ft./min., so it can be supposed either that the Ava was not giving of its best, or that I was not getting the best out of the Ava. Another 10 h.p. would make all the difference to a machine which is certainly a very pleasant one.
   As far as flying qualities are concerned the Kitten may, perhaps, be compared with one of the earlier Klemms, though the aileron control is much lighter and more pungent. The controls are, in fact, extremely nice, even though, in common with those of other ultra-lights, they are not particularly well harmonised. Probably it would be worse if they were, since the methods used for flying a machine with a wing-loading as low as 5.3 lb./sq. ft. are not at all normal.
   When I tried the machine no spinning tests had been made, so my stalling experiments were carried out somewhat gingerly. At something a good deal less than an indicated 40 m.p.h. the Kitten started to sink on an even keel with ample control in all axes. A better test of its safe stall was given, quite unconsciously, by another pilot who had had little previous experience of such machines. He took it off successfully with the tail skid almost on the grass and with the machine thoroughly and adequately stalled; he brought it in much too slowly and held off too high, yet the machine just sank firmly on to the earth without dropping a wing. The aerofoil section, incidentally, changes from the root to the tapered tip, with a distinct "gull" effect, and this probably accounts for its good natural stability at the stall.


   Structurally, the machine is otherwise quite straightforward and does not give one the impression of being of small size; there is, in. fact, lots of elbow room in the cockpit - a feature which cannot be overstressed. The undercarriage is of simple cantilever design, sprung by means of rubber discs.
   Once a pilot has accustomed himself to the carburation, the Ava engine is very pleasant and exceptionally smooth-running in the air. On the ground there is an idling vibration inseparable from such a design and the movement of the protruding cylinders is startling to behold. However, it is better that the engine should leap about on its Silentbloc mountings than that it should try to break the machine. From the ground observer's point of view, it is, however, too noisy.
   With the tail held a little below horizontal the Kitten flies itself off after one or two minor bounces, and, at the end of a trip, will land itself with almost equal facility, though the newcomer must be careful not to over-do the checking process. Naturally enough with such a relatively clean machine, the hold-off is somewhat prolonged, but all is well so long as the aforementioned newcomer does not treat his elevator violently. I found that, after an initial levelling-off, the stick could be held almost stationary until the final stall.
   Given a rather more powerful engine the Dart Kitten will be a worthy candidate for the single-seater market.
H. A. T.

27 h.p. Ava flat-four engine

   Span 31ft. 9in.
   Length 21ft. 4 in.
   Height 7 ft. 11 in.
   Weight empty 440 lb.
   Disposable load 242 lb.
   Wing loading 5.3 lb./sq.ft.
   Power loading 25.4 lb./h.p.
   Maximum speed 75-80 m.p.h.
   Cruising speed 65 m.p.h.
   Stalling speed 37 m.p.h.
   Endurance at cruising speed 4 hours.
   Price ?345
   Makers: Dart Aircraft, Ltd., 29, High Street North, Dunstable. Beds.
Two views of the completed prototype taken in 1937.
This Flight photograph of the Kitten gives a good idea of its comparatively large size.
A.Curtis flying the prototype Dart Kitten at Hatfield on March 20, 1937. The picture was taken by his missus.
A. R. Weyl testing the Kitten I, G-AERP, near Dunstable in January 1937. Note the lack of engine cowlings and the long, straight exhaust pipes of the 27 h.p. Ava flat-four two-stroke engine.
In this flying picture, the "gull" effect may just be discerned.
Designed to be flown by the novice pilot: the Dart Kitten, at present fitted with a 7 h.p. Ava flat-four two-stroke engine.
The prototype Dart Kitten, G-AERP, at Dunstable in January 1937. It is fitted with the original Ava engine.
LIGHTWEIGHT: The Dart Kitten, which is now flying
Kittens G-AERP and G-AEXT together at Hatfield in 1937.
Dart Kitten G-AEXT at Hatfield in May 1937 with, it is believed, Weyl in the cockpit. The apparent gull shape of the wing is evident.
'XT snapped at Hanworth on May 29,1937 at the start of the Isle of Man air race; F. D. Bradbrooke is in the cockpit.
Clive Stubbings' newly restored 1937 Dart Kitten, G-AEXT, Made its first air display appearance at Old Warden on October 27, 1985.
The start: P. B. Elwell's Taylor Cub is seen getting away, and Alington's Dart Kitten is next in the line.
F. D. Bradbrooke swinging 'XT's compass at Hatfield three days before the Isle of Man Race.
F. D. Bradbrooke sets off from Hanworth in Kitten II G-AEXT on May 29, 1937, in The Isle of Man Race, only to be forced down with engine trouble.
The second Dart Kitten, G-AEXT, with tail up at Hanworth May 1937 at the start of the Isle of Man race; Bradbrooke of The Aeroplane is the pilot. Note the amount of down elevator. Bradbrooke was forced down at Bicester with oil pump trouble and damaged his hand trying to turn the engine over.
John Fricker air testing Kitten II G-AEXT for The Aeroplane in 1950, when the aircraft was owned by W. G. A. Harrison. This owner had G-AEXT completely rebuilt after the war.
По состоянию на 2010 год, самолет Dart Kitten II (G-AEXT) все еще числился в британском гражданском авиареестре.
John Fricker peers over his shoulder while positioning G-AEXT for The Aeroplane’s photographer in 1950.
Dawson-Paul lands Dart Kitten G-AEXT at Mousehold aerodrome, Norwich in 1938.
Kitten III G-AMJP, fitted with wheel brakes, crashed at Hillington, King's Lynn, on June 5, 1966. A fourth Kitten, VH-WGL, was home-built at Port Moresby in New Guinea. Does anyone have any photos of this aircraft, please?
The new engine has been very neatly installed in the Kitten as this Flight photograph of its nose shows
Dart Kitten G-AEXT following a forced landing at Broxbourne in 1939, sitting atop Frank Dawson-Paul's car.
The Dart Kitten (25 h.p. Ava)