I think it is time for more experimental aircraft. Britain seemed to have a large number of them during the Great War. Small companies without any aviation experience all rolled up their sleeves and produced a bewildering collection of aircraft which would never enter service. They may have never flew in combat, but they do make the history of aviation colorful.
An Ill Fated Zeppelin Chaser
Parnall and Sons of Bristol initiated work on the company's first original aircraft, a single-seat anti-airship fighter to the designs of A Camden Pratt, in 1916. Intended to meet a requirement formulated by the Admiralty, this aircraft, unofficially known as the Zeppelin Chaser, was a large, two-bay staggered biplane of wooden construction. It was powered by a 260hp (194 kW) Sunbeam Maori 12-cylinder water-cooled engine and armed with a single 0.303 in (7.7mm) gun offset to starboard and firing upward at an angle of 45°. Two prototypes were ordered, but the first of these proved appreciably overweight. Although the Scout reportedly flew twice, it was considered to possess unacceptably low safety factors and was returned to the manufacturer, development being abandoned.
On the designs of A. Camden-Pratt, Parnall began work on a single-seat anti-airship fighter aircraft in 1916, initially intended to meet an aircraft specification from the Admiralty. A large, wooden two-bay staggered biplane, it was finished and initially tested in late 1916.
The Scout reportedly flew twice in late 1916 under Admiralty testing, however it was found to be heavy, slow and with few safety features. As such it was returned to Parnall in the same year and no further development progressed.
- Parnall Scout. (2010, September 18). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:50, October 28, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Parnall_Scout&oldid=385560970
- Parnall Scout 1916 Retrieved 11:53, October 28, 2010, from http://www.aviastar.org/air/england/parnall_scout.php
- Parnall Scout Retrieved 11:56, October 28, 2010, fromhttp://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/11426865
- Parnall Scout (1916) (England) The-Blueprints.com Retrieved 19:56, October 08, 2010, from http://www.the-blueprints.com/blueprints/ww1planes/ww1-english/36141/view/parnall_scout__1916___england_/
- Green, William; Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. Godalming, UK: Salamander Books. pp. 463.