P.Lewis The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)
The same fate befell another aeroplane built by Austin before the War’s end. This was a proposed replacement for the Bristol F.2B, named the Greyhound, and was a two-seat, two-bay biplane armed with two Vickers guns for the pilot and a single Lewis for the gunner. The machine was a promising design, constituting a serious effort to embody in every way recommendations resulting from active operation of previous types. To enable the Greyhound to fulfil its purpose of fighter reconnaissance to the best advantage, very comprehensive equipment was installed. One less happy aspect of the design was in the choice of engine, the 320 h.p. A.B.C. Dragonfly 1, a unit which was to prove unreliable and the undoing, regrettably, of a number of prototypes designed around it in the hope of making good use of its expected high output of power.
F.Mason The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)
As the Austin Osprey was undergoing its flight trials in March 1918, the design of Austin’s last wartime military product was submitted to the Air Board on news that a new Specification was about to be issued for a Bristol Fighter replacement. The new design was the handsome Greyhound, a two-seat, two-bay biplane of strictly conventional appearance and construction. Unlike the privately-funded Sopwith Bulldog, the Greyhound was officially sponsored from the start and was therefore among the first aircraft to be allotted the new 320hp ABC Dragonfly I, a nine-cylinder aircooled engine on which many hopes were to be pinned. In due course the new Air Ministry’s Specification Type III was issued and the Greyhound seemed a promising contender for acceptance.
Designed by John Kenworthy, the Greyhound featured a flat-sided and fairly deep fuselage, the pilot and observer/ gunner enjoying an excellent field of view, this being partly afforded by a lower wing of narrow chord. The wings, rigged with moderate stagger, were of unequal span and chord, and carried ailerons top and bottom. The tail comprised fixed ventral and dorsal fins, with the tailskid integral with a triangular segment below the rudder - reminiscent of the S.E.5A. The rudder’s horn balance was faired to provide an unbroken outline with the dorsal fin.
Although quickly completed during the summer of 1918, under a contract signed on 18 May, the first of three prototypes was held up by prolonged engine trials, and it was the second aircraft, H4318, which underwent official evaluation at Martlesham Heath in January 1919. H4317 followed on 15 May that year, and remained with the A & AEE until September 1920. The third aircraft made its maiden flight in February 1920, the same month that H4318 was delivered to the RAE (the Factory at Farnborough having been renamed an Establishment to avoid confusion with the new RAF), but was damaged and written off after a landing accident on 29 August 1921.
Despite an enormous amount of work on it, the Dragonfly engine never truly succeeded in overcoming its fundamental mechanical weaknesses and brought about the abandonment of numerous promising aircraft, among them the attractive Greyhound. It might have proved possible to substitute another engine had such a decision been taken early on, but after the Armistice aircraft production contracts were being severely cut back, and the design staff at Austin was, in any case, quickly shrinking.
Type: Single-engine, two-seat, two-bay biplane fighter.
Manufacturer: The Austin Motor Co (1914) Ltd, Birmingham.
Air Ministry Specification: Type III of 1918.
Powerplant: One 320hp ABC Dragonfly I nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine driving two-blade propeller.
Structure: All-wooden construction with fabric, ply and aluminium sheet covering.
Dimensions: Span, 39ft 0in; length, 26ft 8 1/2 in; height, 10ft 4in; wing area, 400 sq ft.
Weights: Tare, 1,838lb; all-up, 3,032lb.
Performance: Max speed, 134 mph at sea level, 126 mph at 10,000ft; climb to 10,000ft, 10 min 50 sec; service ceiling, 22,000ft; endurance, 3 hr.
Armament: Two synchronized 0.303in Vickers Mk I machine guns in nose, and one Lewis gun with Scarff ring on rear cockpit.
Prototypes: Three, H4317-H4319; all built, but no subsequent production.
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
AUSTIN GREYHOUND UK
The Greyhound tandem two-seat fighter-reconnaissance aircraft was designed by J Kenworthy as a potential successor to the Bristol Fighter, but the first prototype was not completed until after the Armistice of 1918 owing to difficulties with its 320 hp ABC Dragonfly I nine-cylinder radial engine. Flight testing eventually commenced in May 1919, and three prototypes were built and flown, but no further development was undertaken. Armament comprised two fixed synchronised 0.303-in (7,7-mm) Vickers guns and a single 0.303-in (7,7-mm). Lewis gun on a Scarff ring in the rear cockpit.
Max speed, 129 mph (207 km/h) at 6,500 ft (1 980 m), 126 mph (203 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3 050 m).
Time to 10,000 ft (3 050 m), 10.83 min.
Endurance, 3 hrs.
Empty weight, 1,838 lb (834 kg).
Loaded weight, 3,032 lb (1375 kg).
Span, 39 ft 0 in (11,89 m).
Length, 26 ft 8 1/2 in (8,14 m).
Height, 10 ft 4 in (3,15 m).
Wing area, 400 sqft (36,16 m2).
J.Bruce British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 (Putnam)
THE Greyhound was the last military aircraft to be designed and built by the Austin Motor Co. during the 1914-18 war. It was a handsome two-seat two-bay biplane, intended to replace the Bristol Fighter as a fighter-reconnaissance type; and it represented an attempt to provide the performance and equipment considered necessary after the experience of four years of war.
The lines of the fuselage reflected a compromise between comparative simplicity of structure and aerodynamic and operational efficiency, based on the usual contemporary method of construction. The pilot sat fairly high and directly under a large cut-out in the trailing edge of the centre section, and his downward view was helped by the narrow chord of the lower wings. The observer was immediately behind the pilot, as in the Bristol Fighter, and had an excellent field of fire for his Lewis gun.
The equipment of the Greyhound included a camera, wireless, oxygen and heating apparatus. Its performance was by no means bad, and it seems a pity that this interesting type was not further developed. In common with so many of its contemporaries, of course, it suffered from the temperamental nature of its A.B.C. Dragonfly radial engine. If it had gone into production it would have required a different power unit, but it seems that no attempt was made to develop the Greyhound in any way after the failure of the Dragonfly engine. (The story of the A.B.C. Dragonfly is related in the history of the Nieuport Nighthawk).
Manufacturers: The Austin Motor Co. (1914), Ltd., Northfield, Birmingham.
Power: 320 h.p. A.B.C. Dragonfly I.
Dimensions: Span: upper 39 ft, lower 36 ft 7 in. Length: 26 ft 8 1/2 in. Height: 10 ft 4 in. Chord: upper 6 ft 4-8 in., lower 4 ft 3 in. Gap: 4 ft 11 7/8 in. Span of tailplane: 12 ft 9 5 in.
Areas: Wings: 400 sq ft. Ailerons: each upper 14-8 sq ft, each lower 7-8 sq ft, total 45 2 sq ft. Tailplane: 27-2 sq ft. Elevators: 19-8 sq ft. Fin: upper 2-76 sq ft, lower 2-3 sq ft, total 5-06 sq ft. Rudder: 9-9 sq ft.
Weights: Empty: 1,838 lb. Military load: 324 lb. Crew: 360 lb. Fuel and oil: 510 lb. Loaded: 3,032 lb.
Performance: Maximum speed at 6,500 ft: 129 m.p.h., at 10,000 ft: 126 m.p.h., at 15,000ft: 121 m.p.h. Climb to 6,500 ft: 6 min 20 sec, to 10,000 ft: 10 min 50 sec, to 15,000 ft: 19 min 40 sec. Service ceiling: 22,000 ft. Endurance: 3 hours.
Tankage: Petrol: 66 gallons. Oil: 8 gallons.
Armament: Two fixed, synchronised Vickers machine-guns firing forwards; one Lewis machine-gun on Scarff ring-mounting on rear cockpit.
Serial Numbers: H.4317-H.4319.
H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
Greyhound. Designed in 1918, like its competitors the Bristol Badger and Westland Weasel, this intended Bristol Fighter replacement had two close-set, internally mounted synchronised Vickers guns firing through ports in the nose and a Lewis gun on a Scarff ring-mounting almost flush with the decking atop a narrow fuselage, which allowed an extensive field of fire. Fighting effectiveness was enhanced by the closeness of pilot and gunner. The reported ammunition supply of 1.700 rounds may indicate 500 rounds per gun for the pilot and seven double drums for the gunner.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919
The Austin "Greyhound" represents one of the latest efforts to produce a fast quick climbing two-seater, fighting and reconnaissance biplane In general arrangement it follows standard practice. The fuselage carries in its nose a 320 h.p A.B.C. Dragonfly " engine A conical cowling covers the engine in with the exception of the cylinder head>, the shape of the cowling being preserved throughout the length of the fuselage by fairing. There is almost equal fin area above and below the fuselage. The upper main plane trailing edge is cut away, and the lower plane is of lesser chord than the upper, thereby giving the pilot a good view. Accommodation is made for the machine to carry three guns, camera, wireless, oxygen apparatus and heating apparatus.
Type of machine Two-seater Fighter, Reconnaissance Biplane
Name or type No. of machine "Greyhound"
Purposes for which intended Fighting and Reconnaissance.
Engine type and h.p. A.B.C. "Dragonfly", 320 h.p.
Top plane, 39 ft;
bottom plane, 36 ft. 7 in.
Gap 4 ft 11 7/8 In.
Maximum height 10 ft 4 in.
Top plane, 6 ft. 4.8 in.;
bottom plane, 4 ft. 3 in.
Total surface of wings 400 sq. ft.
Span of tail 12 ft 9.5 In.
Total area of tail 47 sq. ft.
Total area of elevators 19.8 sq. ft
Area of rudder 9.9 sq. ft.
Area of fin
Top, 2.76 sq. ft
bottom, 2.3 sq. ft
Area of each aileron and total area
Two top, 14.8 sq ft.;
two bottom, 7.8 sq. ft;
total, 45.2 sq. ft
Weight of machine empty 2,050 lbs.
Load per sq. ft 7.72 lbs. per sq. ft
Weight per h.p. 10.3 lbs.
Tank capacity in hours 3 hours.
Tank capacity in gallons
Petrol 66 galls.,
oil 8 galls.
Weight of machine full 3,090 lbs. (Including guns, ammunition, &c.)
Speed at 10,000 feet 130 m p.h.
Landing speed 45 m.p.h.
Climb. To 10,000 feet 11 minutes.