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Short Type 166

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1914

Single-engine, two-seat, two-bay biplane, twin-float patrol bomber seaplane

Short - Type 135 / Type 136 - 1914 - Великобритания<– –>Short - Type 827 / Type 830 - 1914 - Великобритания

C.Barnes Short Aircraft since 1900 (Putnam)

Short Seaplanes (1914-16): Admiralty Types 166, 827 and 830

   The first proposal for an aircraft carrier was submitted to the Board of Admiralty by the Air Department in December 1912, based on a design by Beardmores of Dalmuir; but it was not accepted, because the Admiralty had already decided to equip the cruiser Hermes as a seaplane depot ship. Hermes was commissioned in May 1913 and carried Short seaplane 81 and a Caudron seaplane during the manoeuvres in July, in the course of which the Caudron was flown off a forecastle platform, as S.38 had done from Hibernia a year previously. The Caudron was considered too small for operational use, but the Short, the first to have folding wings, was highly commended. Subsequent production of the 160 hp ‘folder’ has already been described, together with the operational use of the two Salmson-engined prototypes 135 and 136.
   The reserve of power of 136 suggested its possible use as a torpedo-carrier, while 135, though underpowered, had established the basic reliability of the 135 hp Salmson engine. The Air Department therefore ordered small production batches of folding seaplanes with both types of engine, the lower-powered type being somewhat smaller to reduce stowage space on seaplane-carriers, the first of which, Ark Royal, ms bought late in 1913 from the Blyth Shipbuilding Co, Sunderland, while still building as a tramp steamer. After extensive redesign and conversion she was still not ready when war broke out and was in fact not commissioned till 9 December, 1914, too late to be used in the famous Cuxhaven raid on Christmas Day. For this operation, as already related, only the makeshift converted Channel packets Empress, Engadine and Riviera were available to serve as seaplane-carriers, but they proved so successful that they were joined later by the Isle of Man packets Ben-my-Chree, Manxman and Vindex. All these ships had hangars, cranes for hoisting outboard and very limited workshop equipment; only the last two had small forward flying-off decks. The seaplanes initially tailored to fit the Ark Royal proved to be well suited to the converted packets, as the Cuxhaven raid and Gallipoli campaign showed.
   The production version of the larger prototype, 136, was generally similar except that the wing extensions were braced by king-posts and cables instead of lift struts. This saved weight at the expense of a small increase in drag, but the practical advantages were that the sloping lift struts were all too easily damaged because of their small clearance from the tailplane when folded, and the stranded cables that replaced them were a normal product of seafaring skill, whereas the repair of struts was a specialised workshop job; at little increase of drag the cables could be duplicated, giving a valuable ‘fail-safe’ advantage under enemy fire. The first production batch of six 200 hp seaplanes (S.90-95), known as Short Type A, was already in hand at Eastchurch when war broke out; they received serials 161-166 and were referred to in Admiralty records as Type 166, in accordance with the early system of naval nomenclature. They were embarked in Ark Royal in November 1915 and acquitted themselves well at Salonika, bombing enemy batteries and spotting for the guns of the monitors Raglan and Roberts. They never carried torpedoes, although equipped to do so, and later in the campaign 163 and 166 were flown as landplanes from the R.N.A.S. airfield at Thasos. No further production of Type 166 was ordered from Short Brothers, but a batch of 20 (9751-9770) without torpedo gear was built by the Westland Aircraft Works, Yeovil, and of these 9754 also became a landplane at Thasos. They were delivered to Hamble by rail in July 1916 and test-flown there by Sydney Pickles; they were fitted to carry wireless and three 112-lb bombs, and the observer in the rear cockpit was armed with a Lewis gun. Somewhat similar in dimensions and role to Type 166 was the prototype Type B ordered as 178 but cancelled after war began, and so never built. This was an attempt to improve the crew’s view by placing them ahead of the wings and moving the engine aft to maintain balance, driving the airscrew through a long shaft; the engine proposed was a 200 hp Le Rhone two-row rotary, and some indication of the layout is given in patent No. 13,021 of 27 May, 1914.
Type 166 - Span 57 ft 3 in (17 45 m); length 40 ft 7 in (12-4 m); area 575 sq ft (53-5 m2); empty weight 3,500 lb (1,589 kg); all-up weight 4,580 lb (2,080 kg); max speed 65 mph (104 6 km/h); duration 4 hr.

F.Manson British Bomber Since 1914 (Putnam)

Short Admiralty Type 166

   The first purpose-designed torpedo-carrier produced by Shorts was the Admiralty Type 166, which retained the 200hp Salmson engine of the Type 135 and embodied the arched cross-struts between the floats incorporated in the modified Folders to mount the torpedo. The first six production aircraft, Nos 161-166, were just beginning construction at Eastchurch when war broke out on 4 August 1914, just over a week since No 121 had first dropped a torpedo - such was the Admiralty's determination to press ahead with this air-dropped weapon without further delay.
   The Type 166 featured Shorts' customary wire-braced wooden box structure in the fuselage and single-acting ailerons were fitted but, unlike the Type 135s, the outer wing extensions were wire-braced by kingposts located immediately above the outboard interplane struts; the two-bay wings were made to fold using the Short patented system, but it had been found that the sloping struts supporting the wing extensions possessed little clearance with the tailplane in the folded position, with a risk of damage; hence the decision to revert to extensive wire bracing with kingposts instead. The Type 166 also introduced a much-enlarged fixed fin, and retained the ungainly vertical radiator block on top of the nose, a feature of most Salmson-powered aircraft and one which would have interfered with the pilot's line of sight during a torpedo attack.
   The six Short-built Type 166s were the only examples to give service with the RNAS during 1915 and, as far as is known, were never flown in service with torpedoes. Instead they remained at home naval air stations until, in November that year, five of them were shipped in HMS Ark Royal to the Eastern Mediterranean. They were used to good effect, bombing enemy gun batteries at Salonika and spotting for the monitors HMS Raglan and Roberts. Two of them, Nos 163 and 166, were later converted to landplanes for operations from RNAS Thasos.
   By 1916 Short Bros were heavily engaged in production o f later aircraft so that, when the need arose for further Type 166s, an order for twenty aircraft (Nos 9751-9770) was placed with Westland Aircraft Works at Yeovil. On completion of the seaplanes they were moved by train to Hamble where they were test flown by Sidney Pickles on behalf of Shorts. Being no longer required to carry torpedoes, these 166s reverted to the straight cross-struts between the floats and, equipped with wireless and armed with a Lewis gun on the rear cockpit, were fitted with racks to carry up to three 112 lb bombs. At least one o f them. No 9754, was flown as a landplane at Thasos, while another, No 9758, is known to have still been on charge with 'A' Squadron, RNAS, at Thasos in February 1917.

   Type: Single-engine, two-seat, two-bay biplane, twin-float torpedo-bomber reconnaissance seaplane.
   Manufacturers: Short Bros, Eastchurch, Kent; Westland Aircraft Works, Yeovil.
   Powerplant: One 200hp Salmson fourteen-cylinder water-cooled two-row radial engine.
   Dimensions: Span, 57ft 3in; length, 40ft 7in; height, 14ft 0 3/4in; wing area, 573 sq ft.
   Weights: Tare, 3,500 lb; all-up, 4,580 lb.
   Performance (with two 112 lb bombs): Max speed, 62 mph at sea level; service ceiling, 8,200ft; endurance, 1 3/4 hr; max endurance without external load, 4 hr.
   Armament: Provision to mount one Lewis gun in rear cockpit. Bomb load of up to three 112 lb bombs or one 810 lb 14in Admiralty torpedo (the latter not employed operationally).
   Prototype and Production: A total of 26 Type 166s was built, Nos 161-166 by Short Bros in 1914-15, and Nos 9751-9770 by Westland during 1916.
   Summary of Service: Type 166s served in the bombing role with HM Seaplane Carrier Ark Royal at Salonika at the end of 1915 and with 'A' Squadron, RNAS, at Thasos in 1916; they also served at RNAS, Calshot.

P.Lewis British Bomber since 1914 (Putnam)

Sqn. Cdr. Longmore’s success with releasing a torpedo at Calshot from the adapted Short Folder just prior to the commencement of hostilities had provided convincing proof of the practical possibilities of such a technique. Short Brothers thereupon put in hand a development of the Admiralty Type 135, the new design being evolved specifically for the carriage and launching of a torpedo.
   In common with the second Type 135 No.136, the Admiralty Type 166 - as the newcomer came to be known - retained the 200 h.p. Salmson engine, cooling of which was by a prominent radiator block mounted on the foredeck. Little alteration was visible in the fuselage, but revision had taken place in the support of the upper extensions of the two-bay wings. The previous bracing struts had been discarded and replaced by kingposts and wire. To provide additional lift for transporting the extra load of a torpedo, the wings of the Type 166 were increased in area, the upper span reaching 57 ft. 3 in. The very large fin, which had by now become a prominent characteristic of Short seaplanes, was evident at the tail and provided support for the top of the balanced rudder. The convenience of wing-folding was retained, and the undercarriage system used the standard layout of two main and one rear pontoon floats, together with wingtip cylindrical air-bags. A water-rudder was hinged to the tail pontoon, and the steel tube spacers bracing the main floats were curved upwards to take the 14 in. 810 lb. torpedo. Six only Type 166s - Nos. 161-166 - were built by Short Brothers; a second batch - Nos. 9751-9770 - was produced during 1916 by the Westland Aircraft Works at Yeovil, differing from the parent firm’s version in omitting the arch in the floats’ horizontal struts so that a torpedo could not be accommodated. Instead, the Westland-built Type 166 carried three 112 lb. bombs, and the observer was provided with a Lewis machine-gun.

M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)

Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing

P.Lewis British Aircraft 1809-1914 (Putnam)

Short Admiralty Type 166

   A further development of the folder seaplane, intended specifically for torpedo-dropping, was an enlarged version of Admiralty No. 136, from which it differed chiefly in having pylon-braced upper wings of increased span and a still larger fin. The first to be built, early in 1914, bore the Short works number S.90 and received the Admiralty serial number 161. Unlike its successors, its 200 h.p. Salmson engine was uncowled. There were six aircraft in the initial batch, and the Admiralty chose to identify the type by the number of the last of these - 166 - which subsequently served at Salonika on board H.M.S. Ark Royal. Span, 57 ft. 3 ins. Length, 40 ft. 7 ins. Height, 14 ft. 1 in. Weight loaded, 4,580 lb. Maximum speed, 65 m.p.h.

J.Bruce British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 (Putnam)

Short Seaplane, Admiralty Type 166

  FOLLOWING the successful experiments in torpedo-dropping made with a Short Folder seaplane, work was begun on the design of a new Short seaplane, developed from the Short 135. The new machine was designed from the beginning as a torpedo-carrier and, like the Short 135, was fitted with a 200 h.p. Salmson fourteen-cylinder two-row radial engine. The aircraft became officially known as the Admiralty Type 166: the designation was derived from the serial number of a machine of the first batch.
  The Short 166 was a thoroughly workmanlike seaplane. The fuselage was the usual wire-braced wooden structure with rounded top-decking. The first machine, No. 161, had no cowling of any kind on the engine, but later Short 166s had a small cap-like cover over the uppermost cylinders in line with the fuselage top-decking. The radiator was a large, clumsy affair, mounted on top of the fuselage just in front of the wings. The mainplanes had two bays of struts, and the extensions of the upper wings were wire-braced: there were king-posts above the outer interplane struts. In this feature the Short 166 differed from the Short 135, which had strut-braced extensions. The later type had slightly larger wings to provide the area required to lift a torpedo, and its ailerons did not extend inboard beyond the outer pair of interplane struts; the ailerons were one-piece surfaces and had compound inverse taper. The mainplanes could be folded.
  A balanced rudder was fitted, and a large low aspect-ratio fin was a conspicuous feature of the tail-unit: it had a curved leading edge, and was of the shape and proportions which became and remained a characteristic feature of Short seaplanes until the S.364 and N.2B appeared.
  The main floats were typical wooden pontoon-type structures, spaced by two steel tubes which were arched in the middle to accommodate a torpedo. The tail-float was fitted with a water-rudder.
  Only a few Short 166s were built by Short Brothers themselves, and there is no record that the type ever used a torpedo operationally. By the end of 1915 the seaplane carrier Ark Royal, then at Salonika, had five Short 166s, one of which was No. 166 itself.
  In 1916 a batch of twenty Short 166s were built by the Westland Aircraft Works. They had no provision for carrying a torpedo: straight cross-bars connected their floats, and their offensive load consisted of three 112-lb bombs. The Westland-built Short 166s were crated and sent to Hamble by rail. There they were assembled and were tested by Sidney Pickles on behalf of Short Brothers.

  Manufacturers: Short Brothers, Rochester.
  Other Contractors: Westland Aircraft Works, Yeovil, Somerset.
  Power: 200 h.p. Salmson (Canton-Unne).
  Dimensions: Span: upper 57 ft 3 in., lower 42 ft. Length: 40 ft 7 in. Height: 14 ft of in. Chord: 6 ft. Gap: 6 ft 3 in. Stagger: nil. Dihedral: nil. Incidence: 5.
  Areas: Wings: 573 sq ft.
  Weights: Loaded: 4,580 lb.
  Performance: Maximum speed: about 65 m.p.h.
  Armament: One 14-in. torpedo weighing 810 lb, or three 112-lb bombs. The observer could have a Lewis machine-gun.
  Service Use: R.N.A.S. Station, Calshot. Aegean: “A” Squadron, R.N.A.S., Thasos. The seaplane carrier Ark Royal had five Short 166s at Salonika in January, 1916.
  Serial Numbers: 161-166: built by Short Brothers. 9751-9770: built by Westland Aircraft Works.
  Notes on Individual Machines: 166: H.M.S. Ark Royal, Salonika. 9758: “A” Squadron, R.N.A.S., Thasos (this aircraft was reported to be there on February 6th, 1917). 9770: R.N.A.S., Calshot.

O.Thetford British Naval Aircraft since 1912 (Putnam)


   Originally the Short Type C, the Type 166 was designed to carry an 810 lb 14 in torpedo, though there is no record of this weapon having been used operationally by the aircraft in service. The parent firm built six (Nos.161 to 166) and the Westland Aircraft Works 20 (Nos.9751 to 9770); the photograph shows the first of the Westland-built Type 166 seaplanes on the Hamble River in 1916. The Type 166 was used by the RNAS at Calshot and Thasos and in the seaplane-carrier Ark Royal. One 200 hp Salmson engine. Loaded weight, 4.580 lb. Maximum speed, 65 mph. Span, 57 ft 3 in. Length, 40 ft 7 in.

H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)

The seaplanes Types 166, 827 and 830 and that which had had the 140-hp Salmson engine all carried bombs under the fuselage. The first Westland-built 166s had arched cross-bracing struts between the floats to enable them to carry a 14-in torpedo, but all later examples had a standardized installation of three 112-lb bombs. These same aircraft could have a Lewis gun in the rear cockpit, provided with six 47-round drums.

M.Goodall, A.Tagg - British Aircraft before the Great War /Schiffer/
Short S.94 (RNAS No.165) one of a batch built in 1914-1915 known as Admiralty Type 166.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
The Salmson-engined Short Admiralty Type 166 seaplane about to get off реу water in Salonica harbour.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
No 166 being hoisted by steam crane outboard from the seaplane carrier Ark Royal at Mitylene, Greece, in 1916.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
Short Type 166 seen being lifted out from her shed with wings folded on HMS Ark Royal. The engine is a Salmson (Canton-Unne) of 130 h.p. The main floats, wing-tip floats and steerable tail floats may be noted.
Журнал - Flight за 1916 г.
WITH THE BRITISH FORCES IN SALONICA. - Lowering a Short Type 166 folding wing seaplane in Salonica Bay from H.M.S. "Ark Royal", a seaplane carrier which has done much work in the Mediterranean.
J.Bruce - British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 /Putnam/
Short Admiralty Type 166 with arched spacers between floats to carry the torpedo.
D.James - Westland aircraft since 1915 /Putnam/
The first Westland-built Short 166 floatplane, 9751, in the Yeovil factory, with the Salmson radial engine of another aircraft visible at the left of the photograph.
O.Thetford - British Naval Aircraft since 1912 /Putnam/
The photograph shows the first of the Westland-built Type 166 seaplanes on the Hamble River in 1916.
D.James - Westland aircraft since 1915 /Putnam/
The fuselage of a Short 166 being loaded into a railway wagon in the siding of Westland's despatch department in 1916.
D.James - Westland aircraft since 1915 /Putnam/
A horse-drawn cart takes Short 166 wings and centre-sections from the factory to Yeovil's Great Western Railway junction.
F.Mason - British Bomber since 1914 /Putnam/
Short Admiralty Type 166
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
Short Type 166