Aviation Historian 10
R.Pegram - Folland's Forgotten Monoplanes (2)
The "Gauntlet" employ the 605 h.p. "Mercury VIS" air-cooled radial.
Folland’s reputation as a designer of exceptional biplane fighters was cemented with the robust and agile Gauntlet, which entered RAF service in May 1935. The first unit to receive the type was No 19 Sqn, three Gauntlet Is of which are seen here up from the squadron’s base at Dux ford in the early summer of 1935.
Significant in being the first Gloster monoplane to fly, the first F.5/34 climbs away from Hucclecote some time after its maiden flight in December 1937. Two examples were built, K5604 and K8089, but although the type showed a good deal of promise, its thunder was comprehensively stolen by the advent of the Spitfire and Hurricane.
The design by Folland and Howard Preston to Specification F.5/34 was the first of Folland’s monoplane fighters and the last of his Gloster designs to fly. Echoes of its shape and layout would surface in the E.28/39 jet, a product of Folland’s successor, George Carter.
The author’s three-dimensional rendering of Folland’s High-Speed Mail Carrier with the British civil registration G-ABWC, which fell between a pair of de Havilland Fox Moths in the early 1930s and was never allocated. Note the clear-vision panel set into the forward fuselage to improve the pilot’s view on landing, and the "eyebrow” aerofoil above the windscreen, first seen on Folland’s unbuilt monoplane Charter Airliner of 1931.
This illustration by the author is based on newly discovered documents in the Royal Aero Club Trust archive, and shows Folland’s high-speed monoplane mail carrier of early 1932. The design was remarkably sleek for its time and incorporated Duncanson’s wing ideas.
Supermarine’s design study contemporary with Folland’s High-Speed Mail Carrier. This unnamed non-designated concept shared many characteristics with the Gloster design, and it is likely that both companies were aiming at a monoplane design that could serve as both a mailplane and a high-speed bomber.
A three-dimensional rendering of Folland’s uncharacteristically ungainly design to Specification P.27/32. As well as a rearward-facing gunner’s position, the aircraft was to be armed with a pair of fixed forward­firing Vickers 0-303in machine-guns under each wing.
Folland’s design for a two-seat single-engined day bomber monoplane to Specification P.27/32 appears to be something of a mis-step, and never got beyond the drawing board. The production contract for the Specification was ultimately awarded to the Fairey Battle.
The author’s three-dimensional impression of the Bristol Aquila-powered twin-tailed Gloster F.34/35. It is shown bearing the RAF serial K8625, which was allocated to the type before development work on the design was cancelled when the Boulton Paul Defiant was built to Specification F.9/35, which covered the requirements of both.
Folland's design to Specification F.34/35 for a twin-engined two-seat fighter with a four-gun power-operated dorsal turret and nose armament, as tendered in 1936. Single-finned and twin-finned configurations were drawn up, but again Folland’s hopes were dashed when the project was abandoned.