Portholme fighter
Страна: Великобритания
Год: 1920



ON OCTOBER 6, 1911, a company entitled the Portholme Aerodrome Ltd was formed by pilot James Radley and William Bernard Rhodes-Moorhouse. Based on the site of the old Huntingdon Racecourse on Portholme Meadow in Cambridgeshire, it built several one-off aircraft types before the First World War.
  After the outbreak of war the company was subcontracted to build Wight 840 seaplanes and Sopwith Camels and Snipes, and in 1918 its assets were purchased by the Portholme Aircraft Co Ltd. When government contracts ceased at the war's end the small company evidently needed to develop a product of its own to remain solvent. Thus, during 1919-20, a single-seat fighter was designed. This extremely obscure project escaped the attention of most publications, but a simple two-view general arrangement drawing, along with some basic data, was published in The Aerial Year Book and Who's Who of the Air 1920, although it was not listed in the book's index.
  As the drawing shows, the aircraft was a biplane of conventional layout, with a curvaceous flatsided fuselage, a rounded fin and horn-balanced rudder, staggered wings and a vee undercarriage. A pair of forward-firing machine-guns was mounted immediately forward of the cockpit. The intended powerplant was a 170 h.p. ABC Wasp seven-cylinder single-row air-cooled radial engine. This is not shown in the drawing, so the omission of exposed cylinders around the aircraft's nose gives the fighter deceptively clean lines. Other data provided are a "useful military or civil load" of 250lb (113kg), a wing loading of 7.4lb/ft2, a speed at ground level of 135 m.p.h. (217km/h) and of 125 m.p.h. (200km/h) at 15,000ft (4,600m), a climb to 10,000ft (3,000m) in 7 1/2 min and a range of 435 miles (700km).
  It is not known who was responsible for the design, and whether construction was begun, but in 1922 the directors of the Portholme Aircraft Co Ltd resigned and a Receiver was appointed on June 19 that year. On July 11 the company was compulsorily wound up, and it was dissolved in 1929. If any readers have any additional information on this apparently forgotten design, please contact the Editor.

Philip Jarrett
This two-view drawing of the obscure Portholme single-seat fighter design of 1920 is apparently the only illustration of the type. It shows the aircraft’s basic lines, but with the intended 170 h.p. ABC Wasp radial engine omitted, making it appear rather more sleek than the completed machine may have looked.