Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mid War Monoplanes of Entente Powers

More Monoplane of the Great War

My post today focuses on mid late war development in the nations which formed the Entente Powers. As I said in my last post – the development of the monoplane as a military aircraft was one of the important steps in the evolution of aviation technology. During the middle period of the Great War, Britain and France produced the more monoplane designs than any other nation.

I'll write more on monoplane research and Development during the pre-war and early war soon.

French Monoplane Fighters

Morane-Saulnier Type AI - 1917
Morane-Saulnier Type AI - 1917

The Morane-Saulnier Type AI was a French parasol-wing fighter aircraft produced by Morane-Saulnier during World War I, to replace the obsolete Morane-Saulnier Type N. Its engine was mounted in a circular open-front cowling. The parasol wing was swept back. The spars and ribs of the circular section fuselage were wood, wire-braced and covered in fabric. The production aircraft were given service designations based on whether they had 1 gun (designated MoS 27) or 2 guns (designated MoS 29)

British Monoplane Fighter

Bristol M1C - 1916
Bristol M1C - 1916

The Bristol M1C was a well designed and effective aircraft that was not given a real chance to show it's true potential. The M1C had a maximum speed approximately 30-50 mph (50-80 km/h) faster than any of the contemporary German Fokker Eindecker monoplanes.

British Experimental Monoplane

Sopwith Swallow - 1918
Sopwith Swallow - 1918

The Sopwith Swallow single-seat fighter monoplane was basically an F.1 Camel fuselage built by Boulton & Paul, which Harry Hawker mated with a parasol wing. The Swallow was powered by a 110hp (82 kW) Le Rhone 9J air-cooled nine-cylinder rotary engine and carried the standard armament of twin 0.303 in (7.7 mm) fixed forward-firing, synchronized Vickers machine guns.

Russian Fighter Monoplane

Torpedo, Olkhovskij - 1917
Torpedo, Olkhovskij - 1917

The Torpedo was a two-seat fighter with a wooden monocoque fuselage. It was the first such aircraft built in Russia. The aircraft had very clean lines, it's engine was completely covered with a cowling and the propeller was fitted with a large spinner. The design proved to be unsuccessful because the split wing resulted in increased drag and a loss of lift. One plane was built at the Anatra factory in February 1917, and was flown on March 6-20 in Odessa. The aircraft flew well, but it was underpowered. This aircraft was used later as a trainer.

2 comments:

Jon said...

I saw that the Air Ministry thought the monoplanes would be unsafe in combat. Why is that?

W. I. Boucher said...

@Jon You were looking at a group with a very conservative mindset. The problem is they are always planning on winning the last war and not the one they are involved in at that moment. It seems the reasoning went that it was too easy to lose a wing, and it would be better to have a spare one just in case. Partially it was a quest for more lift and increased climb rates. I guess they were disregarding the additional drag created by the addition of another wings. The weight and drag produced by the extra spars and wires would cut into the gain of another lift surface. More is not always better in aircraft design.