THE SHUTTLEWORTH COLLECTION: The Shuttleworth Collection was founded in 1928 by Richard Shuttleworth, Richard collected several vintage cars and aeroplanes, restoring them to full working order. Richard was tragically killed in a flying accident during World War Two, subsequently his mother Dorothy established the Shuttleworth Trust to maintain his collection and to educate the public in aviation and automotive transport. The Collection was opened to the public in 1963, the collection includes more than forty aircraft and thirty vehicles maintained in full working order.
AIRCRAFT EXHIBITS: Nothing static here, all the aircraft are maintained in full working order. The physical space allocation and detailed signage adjacent each exhibit and the abundance of natural lighting, truly impressive.
1909: BLERIOT TYPE XI: In 1906 Louis Bleriot built and tested various aircraft of his own design, finally adopting the monoplane configuration. The aircraft design incorporated a wooden fuselage frame braced with supporting struts and tension wires and partial cover. The wings were of wooden construction, fabric covered and incorporated control wires to enable them to be warped for lateral control. Following the establishment of a European flying duration record of 36 minutes and 55 seconds, Bleriot decided to attempt the competition for the first aircraft crossing of the English Channel, at 4.30am on the 25th July 1909 Bleriot took off from Baraqes, Calais, flew across the channel at an altitude of nominally 330 feet and crashed into the Cliffs of Dover at 5.17am to claim the 1,000 Pounds prize.
This aircraft, #BAPC 3, is similar to the aircraft used by Bleriot and it was used by the Bleriot Flying School at Hendon in 1910. In 2008~2009 the aircraft was completely overhauled and due to the significance in aviation history flights are restricted to hops across the aerodrome. It it possibly the oldest aeroplane fitted with the earliest aero-engine in flying condition. The aircraft is designated as a single seat monoplane, powered by a 24hp Anzani three cylinder 'fan' engine with a maximum speed of 46mph at sea level.
1910: DEPERDUSSIN: Armand Deperdussin, a French silk merchant founded his Aircraft Company, the Society Pour les Appareiles Deperdussin, SPAD in France in 1910. The company developed a series of wire braced, shoulder wing, lightweight monoplanes which incorporated bracing wires which could be used to warp the wings to provide flight controls. SPAD aircraft achieved numerous successes including winning the inaugural Schneider Trophy race at Monaco and the world absolute speed record of 126.7mph in 1913. A financial scandal involving Armand Deperdussin resulted in the Company collapsing, it was taken over by Louis Bleriot, he retained the Company initials and subsequently the Company was responsible for the famous World War 1 SPAD fighter aircraft.
The aircraft is designated as a single seat general purpose monoplane, powered by a 35hp Anzani three cylinder 'Y' type engine with a maximum speed of 60mph at 500 feet.
1910: AVRO TRIPLANE IV: British aviation pioneer A.V. Roe chose this triplane layout for greater lift and inherent lighter structure for a given wing area. The design incorporated three narrow wings with a small engine required to maintain flight as compared to the needs of similar monoplane and biplane types of the era. This aircraft was built for the movie The Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines. The aircraft is designated as a single seat triplane, powered by a 35hp Green (original aircraft), 85hp Cirrus III in-line 4 cylinder (replica), with a maximum speed of 45mph at 500 feet.
1912: BLACKBURN MONOPLANE: The oldest airworthy British aeroplane in the world. Robert Blackburn, one of Britain's earliest aviation pioneers built this aircraft for a newly qualified pilot, Cyril Foggin. The order was for a single seat monoplane of compact and streamlined design. The aircraft is designated as a single seat monoplane, powered by a 50hp Gnome seven cylinder radial engine, with a maximum speed of 60mph at 1,000 feet.
1914: BRISTOL SCOUT TYPE D: The Scout created a sensation at the Olympia Air Show of 1914, subsequently Scouts served in World War 1, initially in a reconnaissance role. As the war escalated improvised rifles and ultimately interrupter gear was fitted to some Scouts and a few were sent to the front line with fixed Vickers machine guns. The Type D saw service with both the Royal Flying Corp (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), they were not used in great numbers and were withdrawn from service in 1916. Scouts continued to be used in the Middle East where the opposition was weaker and in home training squadrons. The aircraft is designated as a single seat scout biplane, powered by a 80hp Gnome, Le Rhone or Clerget engine, with a maximum speed of 100mph. Armament, where fitted, was a single synchronized Vickers machine gun.
1916: SOPWITH PUP: Entering service in 1916, the Pup initially saw action with the RNAS and subsequently the RFC, it was used on the Western Front and later for home defence duties. The RNAS used the marque for pioneering sea trials and in 1917 a Pup made the first ever landing on a ship at sea. This aircraft, #9917, served for a time on HMS Manxman. The aircraft is designated as a single seat biplane fighter, powered by a 80hp Le' Rhone nine cylinder rotary engine, with a maximum speed of 112mph at sea level, with an operational ceiling of 15,000 feet. Armament included one .303 calibre Vickers machine gun. Some Pups were fitted with electrically fired rockets used with some success against observation balloons.
1916: SOPWITH TRIPLANE: Entering service in early 1917, the Sopwith Triplane was a design extension of the Pup Biplane Scout, achieved by installing a more powerful engine and a third wing. The Triplane retained the manoeuvrability of the Pup, offered an improved field of view, increased rate of climb and superior speed. Operated exclusively by the RNAS, the Sopwith was the first Triplane to enter service on the Western Front gaining almost immediate supremacy over enemy fighter aircraft for 6~8 months. This aircraft, #N6290 G-BOCK, is a reproduction aircraft powered by an original Clerget 130hp rotary engine. The aircraft had a maximum speed of 117mph at 6,000 feet. Armament included one or two synchronised .303 calibre Vickers machine guns. Combat success on the Western Front did not ensure a long service life for the Triplanes, they were withdrawn from service in favour of the Sopwith Camel in late 1917.
1916: BRISTOL M.1C: Ignoring the then Air Ministry's bias towards biplanes, the British and Colonial Aircraft Company, Bristol, developed a single seat monoplane fighter with a synchronised firing mechanism to allow the machine gun to fire through the propeller arc. The M.1C had a conventional wooden airframe with a tubular steel cabane over the cockpit to support the shoulder mounted wings. Aluminium sheet was used to cover the area forward of the wing and the remainder of the fuselage and wing surfaces were fabric covered. A novel approach was adopted to allow pilots a downward view through the wings with clear panels provided at the wing roots. A total of 130 aircraft were ordered by the Air Ministry for service with the RFC during 1916~1917. The aircraft is designated as a single seat, shoulder wing monoplane, powered by a 110hp Le Rhone nine cylinder rotary engine, with a maximum speed of 130mph at 1,000 feet. Armament included one synchronised Vickers machine gun firing through the propeller arc.
1917: BRISTOL F.2B: Designed as a fighter-reconnaissance aircraft, the F.2B was a large, rugged biplane which entered service with the RFC in March 1917, operating mainly on the Western Front. After the First World War the F.2B continued it's operational use in the newly formed Royal Air Force (RAF) in the roles of army co-operation and liaison. This aircraft was built in 1918 and saw no operational wartime service, it did serve with the #208 Squadron in Turkey in 1923. The aircraft is designated as a two seat biplane, powered by a 275hp Rolls Royce Falcon III V12 engine, with a maximum speed of 122mph at 5,000 feet. Armament included one single fixed Vickers machine gun firing through the propeller arc and one or a pair of Lewis Guns mounted for the rear gunner.
1917: ROYAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY SE5a: Designated as a single seat biplane, the SE5a entered service in June 1917 with squadrons based in France and in England for home defence and by the close of World War 1 the RAF had sixteen operational squadrons of SE5a's. This aircraft, #G-EBIA, never saw active service and was purchased new for non military use and in 2007 the aircraft was refurbished and repainted to represent a Flight Commander's aircraft of #92 Squadron during World War 1. The aircraft is powered by a 200hp Wolseley Viper engine, with a maximum speed of 138mph at 5,000 feet. Armament included one single fixed Vickers .303 machine gun and a Lewis gun on top of the upper wing centre section. Interestingly an early prototype SE5a was fitted with a Hispano-Suiza V8 which incorporated a reduction gear drive and a hollow propeller shaft which allowed a machine gun to fire ammunition through the shaft, eliminating the need for gun synchronisation gear which the Allies had not perfected at the time.
1923: ENGLISH ELECTRIC WREN: The Wren was designed by W.O.Manning of the English Electric Company and was offered to the British Air Ministry as an ultralight training aeroplane capable of operating on very low power, whilst able to sustain a positive rate of climb. The aircraft had a wooden frame covered with fabric, the wings were designed to achieve glider-like performance, the prototype aircraft first flew in 1923. Incredibly the aircraft was powered by an engine designed for motorcycles. A total of three were built with limited success. The aircraft is designated as a single seat monoplane, powered by a 398cc ABC horizontally opposed twin engine, with a maximum cruise speed of 40mph at 500 feet.
1923: DE HAVILLAND 53 'HUMMING BIRD': Initially designed for light aeroplane trials competition, the RAF ordered eight Humming Birds for communications and practice flying. The last two Humming Birds supplied to the RAF took part in experiments to launch them from the Airship R33, followed by airborne recovery flights. The aircraft is designated as a single seat private flying and communications ultralight monoplane, powered by a 34hp A.B.C. Scorpion horizontally opposed twin engine, with a maximum speed of 73mph at 3,000 feet.
MORE SHUTTLEWORTH COLLECTION COVERAGE: Please continue my 'Shuttleworth Collection coverage' by selecting from the following pages...
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