A triplane is a fixed-wing aircraft equipped with three vertical stacked wing planes. Tailplanes and canard foreplanes are not included in this count, although they may be occasionally; the triplane arrangement may be compared with the biplane in a number of ways. A triplane arrangement has a narrower wing chord than a biplane of similar area; this gives each wing-plane a slender appearance with higher aspect ratio, making it more efficient and giving increased lift. This offers a faster rate of climb and tighter turning radius, both of which are important in a fighter; the Sopwith Triplane was a successful example, having the same wing span as the equivalent biplane, the Sopwith Pup. Alternatively, a triplane has reduced span compared to a biplane of given wing area and aspect ratio, leading to a more compact and lightweight structure; this offers better maneuverability for a fighter, higher load-capacity with more practical ground handling for a large aircraft type. The famous Fokker Dr. I triplane offered a balance between the two approaches, having moderately shorter span and moderately higher aspect ratio than the equivalent biplane, the Fokker D.
VI. Yet a third comparison may be made between a biplane and triplane having the same wing plan: the triplane's third wing provides increased wing area, giving much-increased lift; the extra weight is offset by the increased depth of the overall structure, allowing a more efficient construction. The Caproni Ca.4 and Levy-Besson families of large, multi-engined triplanes both had some success with this approach. These advantages are offset to a greater or lesser extent in any given design by the extra weight and drag of the structural bracing and by the loss of lift resulting from aerodynamic interference between the wings in any stacked configuration; the multiplane idea was taken a step further by the quadruplane. No examples were successful, as biplane design advanced, it became clear that the disadvantages of the triplane and quadruplane outweighed their advantages. In a practical landplane design, the lower set of wings are set level with the underside of the aircraft's fuselage, the middle set level with the top of the fuselage, the top set supported above the fuselage on cabane struts.
In a practical flying boat the lowest wing must be placed well above the waterline of the hull, creating a tall structure overall. The first heavier-than-air craft to carry a person in free flight was a triplane, as far back as 1848 and long before the advent of powered flight. One of the few Danish designs to fly, in 1907, the first powered type to fly in Germany, was a triplane; however the Triplane has proved a practical solution and few types have entered production. The majority of triplane designs emerged during a narrow period from 1908 to 1923. Besides the famous fighting triplanes of the First World War, several larger types became successful bombers and maritime patrol aircraft, sometimes as different variants of the same basic design, both during and after the war; the last triplane design, a private homebuild, was introduced shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. The first heavier-than-air machine to carry a human on a free, untethered flight was a triplane glider constructed by George Cayley and flown in 1848.
It was modern in form, having three stacked wings above the fuselage and a separate stabilising tail with both fin and tailplane. The wings were of typical Cayley kite-like planform having a low aspect ratio; the craft was not large enough to carry an adult so a local boy was chosen as the passenger, but his name is not known. Between 1907 and 1911 a number of pioneers experimented with triplanes, some capable of flight and others not. None proved outstanding, although the series produced by A. V. Roe sold in small numbers. In 1907 the Danish pioneer Jacob Ellehammer flew a powered triplane and would receive a prize for flying it in Germany; the French Bousson-Borgnis canard triplane of 1908 was a failure. The Goupy No.1, designed in 1908 by Ambroise Goupy and built by Voisin, was more successful. A few weeks after the Goupy No.1 flew, Hans Grade's triplane became the first German-built aeroplane to fly. In the same year Farman modified his original Voisin machine to triplane configuration, Dorand constructed a military triplane.
In 1909 the American Morris Bokor constructed his own canard triplane and the Frenchman Alfred Groos constructed a triplane which failed to fly. Through 1909 and 1910 the British aviation pioneer A. V. Roe built a series of four experimental triplanes—types I, II, III and IV—and selling a small number of his Type II and III designs, before abandoning the triplane. Alexander Graham Bell was experimenting with an "octahedral" wing design and in 1910 built a triplane example, the Oionus I, which failed to fly. In 1911 the Belgian César Battaille constructed a triplane capable of short flights or hops, the Russian Rodjestveisky constructed a triplane. During World War I, some aircraft manufacturers turned to the triplane configuration for fighter aircraft. In practice these triplanes offered inferior performance to the equivalent biplane and, despite a brief vogue around 1917, only four types saw limited production. Nieuport built a series of triplane prototypes between 1915 and 1917, featuring a top wing staggered backwards to improve the pilot's view and a characteristic triangular strut arrangement bracing the three wings.
The design resulted in poor handling and was dropped. Sopwith developed three different triplane designs in 1916. One, known as the Sopwith Triplane, went into production and became the first military triplane to see operational service, it had equal-span wings of high a
Decalage on a fixed-wing aircraft is the angle difference between the upper and lower wings of a biplane, i.e. the acute angle contained between the chords of the wings in question. Decalage is said to be positive when the upper wing has a higher angle of incidence than the lower wing, negative when the lower wing's incidence is greater than that of the upper wing. Positive decalage results in greater lift from the upper wing than the lower wing, the difference increasing with the amount of decalage. In a survey of representative biplanes, real-life design decalage is zero, with both wings having equal incidence. A notable exception is the Stearman PT-17, which has 4° of incidence in the lower wing, 3° in the upper wing. Considered from an aerodynamic perspective, it is desirable to have the forward-most wing stall first, which will induce a pitch-down moment, aiding in stall recovery. Biplane designers may use incidence to control stalling behavior, but may use airfoil selection or other means to accomplish correct behavior.
Decalage angle can refer to the difference in angle of the chord line of the wing and the chord line of the horizontal stabilizer. This is different from the angle of incidence, which refers to the angle of the wing chord to the longitudinal axis of the fuselage, without reference to the horizontal stabilizer. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics test reports accessed through the Cranfield University AERADE website
Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing
The Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing is an American biplane with an atypical negative wing stagger. It first flew in 1932. At the height of the Great Depression, aircraft executive Walter H. Beech and airplane designer Ted A. Wells joined forces to collaborate on a project to produce a large and fast cabin biplane built for the business executive; the Beechcraft Model 17, popularly known as the "Staggerwing", was first flown on November 4, 1932. During its heyday, it was used as an executive aircraft, much as the private jet is now, its primary competition were the Waco Custom Cabin and Waco Standard Cabin series of biplanes; the Model 17's unusual negative stagger wing configuration and unique shape maximized pilot visibility and was intended to reduce interference drag between the wings. The fabric-covered fuselage was faired with wood formers and stringers over a welded, steel tube frame. Construction took many man-hours to complete; the Staggerwing's retractable conventional landing gear, uncommon at that time, combined with careful streamlining, light weight, a powerful radial engine, helped it perform well.
In the mid-1930s, Beech undertook a major redesign of the aircraft, to create the Model D17 Staggerwing. The D17 featured a lengthened fuselage that improved the aircraft's handling characteristics by increasing control leverage, the ailerons were relocated to the upper wings, eliminating interference with the flaps. Braking was improved with a foot-operated brake linked to the rudder pedals. Sales began slowly; the first Staggerwings' high price tag scared off potential buyers in an depressed civil aircraft market. Only 18 Model 17s were sold during 1933, the first year of production, but sales increased; each Staggerwing was custom-built by hand. The luxurious cabin, trimmed in leather and mohair, held up to five passengers; the Staggerwing captured a substantial share of the passenger aircraft market. By the start of World War II, Beechcraft had sold more than 424 Model 17s; the Staggerwing's speed made it popular with 1930s air racers. An early version of the Model 17 won the 1933 Texaco Trophy Race.
In 1935, a British diplomat, Capt. H. L. Farquhar flew around the world in a Model B17R, traveling 21,332 miles from New York to London, by way of Siberia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and back across Europe. Louise Thaden and Blanche Noyes won the 1936 Bendix trophy in a Model C17R Staggerwing. Thaden won the Harmon Trophy for her achievement. Jackie Cochran set a women's speed record of 203.9 mph, established an altitude record of over 30,000 feet, finished third in the 1937 Bendix Trophy Race, all in a special Model D17W Staggerwing. The aircraft made an impressive showing in the 1938 Bendix race, as well. In 1970, due to a dispute with the T-6 racing class, the Reno National Air Races invited five Staggerwings to perform a demonstration race. Two G models and two D17 models raced; the five pilots were Bryant Morris, Bert Jensen, Don Clark, Noel Gourselle, Phil Livingston, the only pilot to have prior racing experience in the T-6 class. The race was flawless with ABC Wide World of Sports coverage, but protesting T-6 racers prevented the class from future competition with allegations of safety issues.
As World War II loomed, a number of Model B17Ls were pressed into service as bombers by the FARE, the air forces of the Second Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War. China ordered a number of Staggerwings to use as ambulance planes in its fight against Imperial Japan. Finland had one C17L as a liaison aircraft between 1940–1945. On October 2, 1941, Beech shipped a special camouflaged D17S to Prince Bernhard of Lippe, in exile in London after the German invasion of the Netherlands, he used it for refugee work around London. The Beech UC-43 Traveler was a modified version of the Staggerwing. In late 1938, the United States Army Air Corps purchased three Model D17Ss to evaluate them for use as light liaison aircraft; these were designated YC-43. After a short flight test program, the YC-43s went to Europe to serve as liaison aircraft with the air attachés in London and Rome. Early in World War II, the need for a compact executive-type transport or courier aircraft became apparent, in 1942, the United States Army Air Forces ordered the first of 270 Model 17s for service within the United States and overseas as the UC-43.
These differed only in minor details from the commercial model. To meet urgent wartime needs, the government purchased or leased additional "Staggerwings" from private owners, including 118 more for the Army Air Force plus others for the United States Navy. In Navy service, the planes were designated as GB-1 and GB-2; the British Royal Air Force and Royal Navy acquired 106 "Traveller Mk. I" through the Lend-Lease arrangement to fill its own critical need for light personnel transports; the production UC-43 differed in minor details from the service test YC-43. Two distinguishing external features of the UC-43 are the circular automatic direction finder antennae mounted between the main landing gear and landing lights near the lower wingtips, they were all powered by the 450 horsepower Whitney R-985 engine. After the war's end, Beech co
Boeing-Stearman Model 75
The Stearman Model 75 is a biplane used as a military trainer aircraft, of which at least 10,626 were built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. Stearman Aircraft became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934. Known as the Stearman, Boeing Stearman or Kaydet, it served as a primary trainer for the United States Army Air Forces, the United States Navy, with the Royal Canadian Air Force as the Kaydet throughout World War II. After the conflict was over, thousands of surplus aircraft were sold on the civilian market. In the immediate postwar years they became popular as crop dusters, sports planes, for aerobatic and wing walking use in air shows; the Kaydet was a conventional biplane of rugged construction with a large, fixed tailwheel undercarriage, accommodation for the student and instructor in open cockpits in tandem. The radial engine was uncowled, although some Stearman operators choose to cowl the engine, most notably the Red Baron Stearman Squadron. After World War II, thousands of surplus PT-17s were auctioned off to civilians and former military pilots.
Many were modified for cropdusting use, with a hopper for pesticide or fertilizer fitted in place of the front cockpit. Additional equipment included pumps, spray bars, nozzles mounted below the lower wings. A popular approved modification to increase the maximum takeoff weight and climb performance involved fitting a larger Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior engine and a constant-speed propeller. An iconic movie image is a Stearman cropduster chasing Cary Grant across a field in North by Northwest. Christopher Reeve and Scott Wilson are shown flying 1936 variants in the 1985 movie The Aviator; the U. S. Army Air Forces Kaydet had three different designations based on its power plant: PT-13 with a Lycoming R-680 engine. 2,141 total all models. PT-13 Initial production. R-680-B4B engine. 26 built. PT-13A R-680-7 engine. 92 delivered 1937-38. Model A-75. PT-13B R-680-11 engine. 255 delivered 1939-40. PT-13C Six PT-13Bs modified for instrument flying. PT-13D PT-13As equipped with the R-680-17 engine. 353 delivered.
Model E-75. PT-17 With a Continental R-670-5 engine. 3,519 delivered PT-17A 18 PT-17s were equipped with blind-flying instrumentation. PT-17B Three PT-17s were equipped with agricultural spraying equipment for pest-control. PT-18 PT-13 with a Jacobs R-755 engine, 150 built. PT-18A Six PT-18s fitted with blind-flying instrumentation. PT-27 Canadian PT-17; this designation was given to 300 aircraft supplied under Lend-Lease to the RCAF. The U. S. Navy had several versions including: NS Up to 61 delivered. Powered by surplus 220 hp Wright J-5 Whirlwind. N2S Known colloquially as the "Yellow Peril" from its overall-yellow paint scheme. N2S-1 R-670-14 engine. 250 delivered to the U. S. Navy. N2S-2 R-680-8 engine. 125 delivered to the U. S. Navy. N2S-3 R-670-4 engine. 1,875 delivered to the U. S. Navy. N2S-4 99 US Army aircraft diverted to the U. S. Navy, plus 577 new-build aircraft. N2S-5 R-680-17 engine. 1,450 delivered to the U. S. Navy. Stearman 70 Original prototype, powered by 215 hp Lycoming radial engine. Temporary designation XPT-943 for evaluation.
Model 73 Initial production version. 61 built for U. S. Navy as NS plus export variants. Model 73L3 Version for Philippines, powered by 200 hp R-680C1 engines. Seven built. Model A73B1 Seven aircraft for Cuban Air Force powered by 235 hp Wright R-790 Whirlwind. Delivered 1939–1940. Model A73L3 Improved version for Philippines. Three built. Stearman 75 Evaluated by the U. S. Army as a primary trainer; the X75L3 became the PT-13 prototype. Variants of the 75 formed the PT-17 family. Stearman 76 Export trainer and armed versions of the 75. Stearman 90 and 91 Productionized metal frame version, becoming the XBT-17. Stearman XPT-943 The X70 evaluated at Wright Field. American Airmotive NA-75 Single-seat agricultural conversion of Model 75, fitted with new, high-lift wings. ArgentinaArgentine Air Force Argentine Navy received 16 Model 76D1s 1936 to 1937 and 60 N2S Kaydet post-war. Canada Royal Canadian Air Force received 301 PT-27s under Lend Lease. Republic of China Republic of China Air Force received 150 PT-17s under Lend-Lease, 104 refurbished aircraft post war in Taiwan.
The ROCAF used them until 1958. Colombia Colombian Air Force CubaCuban Air Force Dominican RepublicDominican Air Force GreeceHellenic Air Force GuatemalaGuatemalan Air Force HondurasHonduran Air Force Iran Imperial Iranian Air Force Israel Israeli Air Force purchased 20 PT-17s. Mexico Mexican Air Force Nicaragua Nicaraguan Air Force Paraguay Paraguayan Air Force Peru Peruvian Air Force Philippines Philippine Army Air Corps Philippine Air Force United States United States Army Air Corps/United States Army Air Forces United States Marine Corps United States Navy Venezuela Venezuelan Air Force Yugoslavia Yugoslav Air Force A considerable number of Stearmans remain in flying condition throughout the world, as the type remains a popular sport plane and warbird. ArgentinaAn N2S-5 is at the Argentine Naval Aviation Museum in flight condition. BrazilA PT-17 is displayed at the Museu Aeroespacial in Rio de TAM Museum in São Carlos. CanadaA PT-27 is maintained in operating condition at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario.
1941 Stearman PT-17 owned & operated by Bruce Bond of Sarnia, Ontario China/TaiwanOne PT-17 of the ROCAF is shown at Aviation Education Exhibition Hall. ColombiaTwo PT-17s remain in active service for display (serials FA
Aviation, or air transport, refers to the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as balloons and airships. Aviation began in the 18th century with the development of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through buoyancy; some of the most significant advancements in aviation technology came with the controlled gliding flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896. Since that time, aviation has been technologically revolutionized by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world; the word aviation was coined by the French writer and former naval officer Gabriel La Landelle in 1863. He derived the term from the verb avier, itself derived from the Latin word avis and the suffix -ation. There are early legends of human flight such as the stories of Icarus in Greek myth and Jamshid and Shah Kay Kāvus in Persian myth.
Somewhat more credible claims of short-distance human flights appear, such as the flying automaton of Archytas of Tarentum, the winged flights of Abbas ibn Firnas, Eilmer of Malmesbury, the hot-air Passarola of Bartholomeu Lourenço de Gusmão. The modern age of aviation began with the first untethered human lighter-than-air flight on November 21, 1783, of a hot air balloon designed by the Montgolfier brothers; the practicality of balloons was limited. It was recognized that a steerable, or dirigible, balloon was required. Jean-Pierre Blanchard flew the first human-powered dirigible in 1784 and crossed the English Channel in one in 1785. Rigid airships became the first aircraft to transport passengers and cargo over great distances; the best known aircraft of this type were manufactured by the German Zeppelin company. The most successful Zeppelin was the Graf Zeppelin, it flew over one million miles, including an around-the-world flight in August 1929. However, the dominance of the Zeppelins over the airplanes of that period, which had a range of only a few hundred miles, was diminishing as airplane design advanced.
The "Golden Age" of the airships ended on May 6, 1937 when the Hindenburg caught fire, killing 36 people. The cause of the Hindenburg accident was blamed on the use of hydrogen instead of helium as the lift gas. An internal investigation by the manufacturer revealed that the coating used in the material covering the frame was flammable and allowed static electricity to build up in the airship. Changes to the coating formulation reduced the risk of further Hindenburg type accidents. Although there have been periodic initiatives to revive their use, airships have seen only niche application since that time. In 1799, Sir George Cayley set forth the concept of the modern airplane as a fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift and control. Early dirigible developments included machine-powered propulsion, rigid frames and improved speed and maneuverability There are many competing claims for the earliest powered, heavier-than-air flight; the first recorded powered flight was carried out by Clément Ader on October 9, 1890 in his bat-winged self-propelled fixed-wing aircraft, the Ader Éole.
It was the first manned, heavier-than-air flight of a significant distance but insignificant altitude from level ground. Seven years on 14 October 1897, Ader's Avion III was tested without success in front of two officials from the French War ministry; the report on the trials was not publicized until 1910. In November 1906 Ader claimed to have made a successful flight on 14 October 1897, achieving an "uninterrupted flight" of around 300 metres. Although believed at the time, these claims were discredited; the Wright brothers made the first successful powered and sustained airplane flight on December 17, 1903, a feat made possible by their invention of three-axis control. Only a decade at the start of World War I, heavier-than-air powered aircraft had become practical for reconnaissance, artillery spotting, attacks against ground positions. Aircraft began to transport people and cargo as designs grew more reliable; the Wright brothers took aloft the first passenger, Charles Furnas, one of their mechanics, on May 14, 1908.
During the 1920s and 1930s great progress was made in the field of aviation, including the first transatlantic flight of Alcock and Brown in 1919, Charles Lindbergh's solo transatlantic flight in 1927, Charles Kingsford Smith's transpacific flight the following year. One of the most successful designs of this period was the Douglas DC-3, which became the first airliner to be profitable carrying passengers starting the modern era of passenger airline service. By the beginning of World War II, many towns and cities had built airports, there were numerous qualified pilots available; the war brought many innovations to aviation, including the first jet aircraft and the first liquid-fueled rockets. After World War II in North America, there was a boom in general aviation, both private and commercial, as thousands of pilots were released from military service and many inexpensive war-surplus transport and training aircraft became available. Manufacturers such as Cessna and Beechcraft expanded production to provide light aircraft for the new middle-class market.
Flight dynamics is the study of the performance and control of vehicles flying through the air or in outer space. It is concerned with how forces acting on the vehicle influence its speed and attitude with respect to time. For a fixed-wing aircraft, its changing orientation with respect to the local air flow is represented by two critical angles, the angle of attack of the wing and the angle of attack of the vertical tail, known as the sideslip angle. A sideslip angle will arise if an aircraft yaws about its centre of gravity and if the aircraft sideslips bodily, ie the centre of gravity moves sideways; these angles are important because they are the principal source of changes in the aerodynamic forces and moments applied to the aircraft. Spacecraft flight dynamics involve three forces: propulsive and lift and drag; because aerodynamic forces involved with spacecraft flight are small, this leaves gravity as the dominant force. Flight dynamics is the science of air-vehicle control in three dimensions.
The critical flight dynamics parameters are the angles of rotation with respect to the three aircraft's principal axes about its center of gravity, known as roll and yaw. Aircraft engineers develop control systems for a vehicle's orientation about its center of gravity; the control systems include actuators, which exert forces in various directions, generate rotational forces or moments about the center of gravity of the aircraft, thus rotate the aircraft in pitch, roll, or yaw. For example, a pitching moment is a vertical force applied at a distance forward or aft from the center of gravity of the aircraft, causing the aircraft to pitch up or down. Roll and yaw refer, in this context, to rotations about the respective axes starting from a defined equilibrium state; the equilibrium roll angle is known as wings level or zero bank angle, equivalent to a level heeling angle on a ship. Yaw is known as "heading". A fixed-wing aircraft increases or decreases the lift generated by the wings when it pitches nose up or down by increasing or decreasing the angle of attack.
The roll angle is known as bank angle on a fixed-wing aircraft, which "banks" to change the horizontal direction of flight. An aircraft is streamlined from nose to tail to reduce drag making it advantageous to keep the sideslip angle near zero, though aircraft are deliberately "side-slipped" when landing in a cross-wind, as explained in slip; the forces acting on spacecraft are of three types: propulsive force. The vehicle's attitude must be taken into account because of its effect on the aerodynamic and propulsive forces. There are other reasons, unrelated to flight dynamics, for controlling the vehicle's attitude in non-powered flight; the flight dynamics of spacecraft differ from those of aircraft in that the aerodynamic forces are of small, or vanishingly small effect for most of the vehicle's flight, cannot be used for attitude control during that time. Most of a spacecraft's flight time is unpowered, leaving gravity as the dominant force
The Sopwith T.1 Cuckoo was a British biplane torpedo bomber used by the Royal Naval Air Service, its successor organization, the Royal Air Force. The T.1 was the first landplane designed for carrier operations, but it was completed too late for service in the First World War. After the Armistice, the T.1 was named the Cuckoo. In October 1916, Commodore Murray Sueter, the Air Department's Superintendent of Aircraft Construction, solicited Sopwith for a single-seat aircraft capable of carrying a 1,000 lb torpedo and sufficient fuel to provide an endurance of four hours; the resulting aircraft, designated T. 1 by Sopwith, was a three-bay biplane. Because the T.1 was designed to operate from carrier decks, its wings were hinged to fold backwards. The T.1 could take off from a carrier deck in four seconds, but it was not capable of making a carrier landing and no arresting gear was fitted. A split-axle undercarriage allowed the aircraft to carry a 1,000 lb Mk. IX torpedo beneath the fuselage; the prototype T.1 first flew in June 1917, powered by a 200 hp Hispano-Suiza 8Ba engine.
Official trials commenced in July 1917 and the Admiralty issued production orders for 100 aircraft in August. Contractors Fairfield Engineering and Pegler & Company had no experience as aircraft manufacturers, resulting in substantial production delays. Moreover, the S. E.5a had priority for the limited supplies of the Hispano-Suiza 8. Redesign of the T.1 airframe to accommodate the heavier Sunbeam Arab incurred further delays. In February 1918, the Admiralty issued a production order to Blackburn Aircraft, an experienced aircraft manufacturer. Blackburn delivered its first T.1 in May 1918. The aircraft experienced undercarriage and tailskid failures, requiring redesign of those components; the T.1 required an enlarged rudder and offset vertical stabilizer to combat its tendency to swing to the right. Fairfield and Pegler began production in August and October, respectively. A total of 300 T. 1s were ordered. A total of 232 aircraft had been completed by the time production ended in 1919. Blackburn Aircraft produced 162 aircraft, while Fairfield Engineering completed 50 and Pegler & Company completed another 20.
After the Armistice, many T. 1s were delivered directly to storage depots at Newcastle. After undergoing service trials at RAF East Fortune, the T.1 was recommended for squadron service. Deliveries to the Torpedo Aeroplane School at East Fortune commenced in early August 1918. Training took place in the Firth of Forth, where Cuckoos launched practice torpedoes at targets towed by destroyers. Cuckoos of No. 185 Squadron embarked on HMS Argus in November 1918, but hostilities ended before the aircraft could conduct any combat operations. In service, the aircraft was popular with pilots because the airframe was strong and water landings were safe; the T.1 was easy to control and was aerobatic without a torpedo payload. The Arab engine proved unsatisfactory, 20 T.1s were converted to use Wolseley Viper engines. These aircraft designated Cuckoo Mk. II, could be distinguished by the Viper's lower thrust line; the Arab-engined variant was designated Cuckoo Mk. I; the Cuckoo's operational career ended when the last unit to use the type, No. 210 Squadron, disbanded at Gosport on 1 April 1923.
The Cuckoo was replaced in service by the Blackburn Dart. Throughout 1917, Commodore Sueter proposed plans for an aerial torpedo attack on the German High Seas Fleet at its base in Germany; the carriers HMS Argus, HMS Furious, HMS Campania, the converted cruisers HMS Courageous and HMS Glorious, would have launched 100 Cuckoos from the North Sea. In September 1917, Admiral Sir David Beatty, commander of the Grand Fleet, proposed a similar plan involving 120 Cuckoos launched from eight converted merchant vessels. Today, no complete Cuckoo airframe a set of Cuckoo Mk. I wings are preserved at the National Museum of Flight in Scotland. Cuckoo Mk. I Main production variant. Powered by a 200 hp Sunbeam Arab engine. Cuckoo Mk. II Mk. I converted to use a 200 hp Wolseley Viper engine. Cuckoo Mk. III Prototype powered by a 275 hp Rolls-Royce Falcon III engine. Sopwith B.1 Single-seat bomber powered by a 200 hp Hispano-Suiza 8 engine. Two prototypes built. Japan Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service - Operated six Cuckoo Mk. II aircraft.
United Kingdom Royal Naval Air Service Royal Air Force No. 185 Squadron RAF - Used Cuckoo from October 1918 but was disbanded the following year. No. 186 Squadron RAF - Used Cuckoo from late 1918. Was renamed No. 210 Squadron in 1920. No. 210 Squadron RAF - Formed in 1920 from No. 186 Squadron, continued to use the Cuckoo until 1 April 1923 when the unit disbanded. Data from British Naval Aircraft Since 1912General characteristics Crew: one, pilot Length: 28 ft 6 in Wingspan: 46 ft 9 in Height: 10 ft 8 in Wing area: 566 sq ft Empty weight: 2,199 lb Loaded weight: 3,883 lb Powerplant: 1 × Sunbeam Arab V8 engine, 200 hp Performance Maximum speed: 105.5 mph Range: 291 nmi Service ceiling: 12,100 ft Armament 1× 18 inch Mk. IX torpedo Related development Sopwith B.1 Related lists List of aircraft of the Royal Air Force List of aircraft of the Royal Naval Air Service