F.Manson British Bomber Since 1914 (Putnam)
Short Admiralty Types 827 & 830
As early as 1912 both the War Office and Admiralty had expressed concern that no British engine manufacturer was yet working on an engine which promised high power with reliability. During the following year Louis Coatalen at the Sunbeam Motor Car Company was commissioned by the Admiralty to start on an adaptation o f his successful 3-litre racing car engine, producing a V-8 of 150hp (later named the Nubian) and a V-12 of 225hp. The first examples of these engines, roughly equivalent in power and weight to the Salmson nine- and fourteen-cylinder water-cooled radials (which were being purchased in small numbers from France), were not ready by the outbreak of war. In anticipation of deliveries, however, the Admiralty had during the early summer of 1914 ordered twelve new seaplanes from Short Bros similar in most respects to the Type 166; six of them (Nos 819-821 and 828-830), referred to as Admiralty Type 830, were powered by the 135hp Salmson, while Nos 822-827, the Type 827, featured the 150hp Sunbeam Nubian.
By the time these seaplanes were being completed at the end of 1914, the Admiralty was beginning to express a preference for bombs, and neither the Type 827 nor 830 had provision to carry torpedoes. Moreover, despite its slightly inferior performance, it was the Type 827, with its indigenous Sunbeam engine, that was selected for the greater production, sub-contracts being placed with Brush Electrical Engineering, Parnall and Sunbeam for a total of 72 aircraft, in addition to 30 further examples from Shorts, which switched production from Eastchurch to Rochester.
Following shipboard trials by Nos 824 and 826 with HMS Campania in June 1915, Type 827s began delivery to the RNAS Stations at Calshot, Dundee, Grain, Great Yarmouth and Killingholme, being equipped to carry a pair of 112 lb bombs for coastal patrol duties.
When Lowestoft and Southwold were shelled by warships of the German High Seas Fleet in April 1916, a Short 827 was among the British seaplanes which attacked the enemy ships with bombs.
Three Short 827s were shipped to East Africa to spot for British naval guns operating against the German warship Konigsberg trapped in the Rufiji delta, but arrived too late to take part; they were therefore sent on to Mesopotamia where two of them, converted as landplanes with wheel undercarriages, flew bombing attacks on the Turkish forces advancing on Kut in December 1915.
Another epic involved the use of four Short 827s, Nos 3093-3095 and 8219, which were handed over to Belgian volunteers who, in March 1916, were opposing German colonial forces on Lake Tanganyika. Dismantled and transported overland to Lake Tongwe, they were assembled and flown in May, and two months later bombed the German lake cruiser Graf von Goetzen in port at Kigoma, leading to the surrender of the town three days later.
At home, Short 827s remained in service until late in 1918.
Type: Single-engine, two-seat, two-bay biplane, twin-float reconnaissance bomber seaplane.
Manufacturers: Short Brothers, Rochester, Kent; The Brush Electrical Engineering Co Ltd, Loughborough; The Fairey Aviation Co Ltd, Hayes, Middlesex; Parnall & Sons Ltd, Eastville, Bristol; The Sunbeam Motor Car Co Ltd, Wolverhampton.
Powerplant; Type 830. One 135hp Salmson water-cooled radial engine. Type 827. One 150hp Sunbeam (later Nubian) eight-cylinder water-cooled in-line engine.
Dimensions: Span, 53ft 11in; length, 35ft 3in; height, 13ft 3in; wing area, 506 sq ft.
Weights: Type 830. Tare, 2,624 lb; all-up, 3,324 lb; Type 827. Tare, 2,700 lb; all-up, 3,400 lb.
Performance: Sunbeam. Max speed, 61 mph. Salmson. Max speed, 70 mph; climb to 2,000ft, 10 min 25 sec; endurance, 3 1/2 hr.
Armament: Provision to mount one Lewis gun on rear cockpit. Bomb load of two 112 lb or four 65 lb bombs carried on underwing racks.
Prototypes and Production: The Type 830 (Salmson) appeared before the Type 827 (Sunbeam), the first 830s being flown and delivered to the RNAS at the end of 1914. Production of the Type 830 was 19 aircraft, all built by Short Bros (Nos. 819-821, 827*-830 and 1335-1346). Total of 827s' was 107 aircraft: Short, 35 (Nos 822-826, 3063-3072 and 3093-3112); Brush, 20 (Nos 3221-3332 and 8230-8237); Parnall, 20 (Nos 8218-8229 and 8250-8257); Sunbeam, 20 (Nos 8630-8649); Fairey, 12 (Nos 8550-8561).
Summary of Service: Short 827s and 830s served on patrol and bombing duties at RNAS Stations Calshot, Dundee, Grain, Great Yarmouth and Killingholme; others were shipped to East Africa with HM Armed Liner Laconia, and operated from Laconia. Himalaya and Manica, flying with No 8 Squadron, RNAS; Short 827s operated in the Mediterranean at Otranto, Italy, and from HM Seaplane Carrier Ben-my-Chree.
* No 827 was test flown with both Sunbeam and Salmson engines; therefore it was at one time a Type 827.
K.Wixey Parnall Aircraft Since 1914 (Putnam)
Parnall and Sons Limited
Aircraft Built under Contract 1914-1918
Having become established as sub-contractors to build naval aeroplanes for the Admiralty, Parnall undertook the construction of two types of machine designed by Short Brothers. The first of these was the Short Seaplane Admiralty Type 827, of which twenty were ordered from Parnall in two batches of twelve and eight respectively.
The Short 827 was a single-engined, two-seat twin-float seaplane designed for naval reconnaissance and bombing duties, and was identical to its contemporary, the Short 830, except for the powerplant installation. The Short 827 was powered by a 150 hp Sunbeam Nubian water-cooled vee-type engme, whereas the Short 830 was fitted with the 135 hp Salmson radial.
In the event the Type 827 predominated, the Nubian being more or less standardised for the type with the result that comparatively few Type 830s were built. Indeed while the parent firm produced only nineteen Type 830s, the Type 827 of which more than 100 were ordered, was sub-contracted to four other companies, Short Brothers producing forty-eight.
The Type 827 was a two-bay biplane with steel-tube interplane struts and wire bracing, and the extended upper wings, which included inversely tapered ailerons, were cable-braced. Both sets of wings folded rearward to facilitate stowage. A rather large radiator was mounted above the Sunbeam Nubian engine forward of the wings. Provision was made for the carrying of a .303-in Lewis machine-gun for the observer's use, and small bombs could be carried on racks beneath the fuselage.
After the Short Type 827 began to appear in 1915, it remained in service until the Armistice, and was employed both at home and overseas. Those used in home waters flew patrol duties over the English Channel, and especially the North Sea. They were based at the RNAS coastal air stations at Calshot, Dundee, Killingholme, the Isle of Grain and Great Yarmouth. In fact it was one of the Great Yarmouth based Short Type 827s, which, at 04.05 on 25 April, 1916, bombed the German warships that had begun bombarding Lowestoft.
Short Type 827s also operated from the seaplane carriers Ben-my-Chree, Manica and Raven II, while the armed merchant ships Laconia and Himalaya operated one Short Type 827 each. During March 1916, four Short 827s, in company with four French Voisin pusher biplanes were shipped to Zanzibar for service in East Africa, where they eventually became No.8 Naval Squadron.
Four other Short Type 827s were handed over to the Belgian forces in East Africa, and in 1917, a further four went to the Mediterranean area, where they operated from a base at Otranto.
Parnall's first order for Short 827s was for twelve machines (8218-8229) one of which served with No.8 Naval Squadron in East Africa. This aircraft was one of four later handed over to the Belgian forces. Four other 827s from this batch were fitted with dual controls.
An extension of the original contract for twelve Short 827s was undertaken by Parnall's, and involved the construction of a further eight.
Two-seat reconnaissance and bomber seaplane. 150 hp Sunbeam Nubian eight-cylinder vee water-cooled engine.
Span 53 ft 11 in upper, 40 ft lower; length 35 ft 3 in; height 13 ft 6 in; wing area 506 sq ft.
Loaded weight 3,400 lb.
Maximum speed 61 mph at 2,000 ft.
Provision for one .303-in Lewis machine-gun and bombs.
Production (Parnall only)
P.Lewis British Bomber since 1914 (Putnam)
During mid-1914 an initial order for twelve floatplanes of a new design was placed with Short Brothers, half of which were to be powered by the 135 h.p. Salmson, while the other half were to receive the more powerful water-cooled eight-cylinder vee 150 h.p. Sunbeam Nubian. The Admiralty designations applied were Type 827 to the Nubian version and Type 830 to the Salmson model. There was basically little difference in the Types 827 and 830 from the Type 166, one of the main alterations being a reduction in span to 53 ft. 11 in. The compound taper of the 166’s ailerons was abandoned in favour of straight taper on the 827 and 830, while the newly-adopted kingpost-and-wire bracing of the overhanging upper wingtips was embodied once again. The two-bay wings incorporated folding as a standard feature, but no provision was made for a torpedo as a missile. Underneath the fuselage, however, bomb-racks were installed.
O.Thetford British Naval Aircraft since 1912 (Putnam)
Short 827/830 Seaplane
Very similar in appearance to the Short 166 Seaplane, the Short 827/830 was of somewhat smaller dimensions and had two alternative power plants. The Type 827 could be more readily distinguished from the Type 166 in that it had an in-line Sunbeam engine, whereas the Type 830 had a Salmson water-cooled radial as in the Type 166.
The Admiralty's first contract for 12 aircraft was placed in the summer of 1914: it covered six Type 827s (Nos.822 to 827) and six Type 830s (Nos.819 to 821 and 828 to 830). Ultimately, the Type 827 predominated and 108 were ordered, against 28 of the Type 830. The Short 827 enjoyed a remarkably long operational life, for it served from 1915 until the Armistice.
Unlike the Short 830, which was built by the parent firm only, the Short 827 was manufactured by four firms in addition to Short Bros and, indeed, 12 aircraft of this type (Nos.8550 to 8561) were the first aircraft ever built by Fairey before they turned to their own designs.
Both the Short 827 and 830 were used from seaplane carriers, from RNAS, coastal air stations and overseas. In March 1916 four Short 827s accompanied four Voisins to Zanzibar to form a unit which became No.8 Squadron, RNAS. They did much useful work in the East African campaign and a number of successful attacks were planned after photographic reconnaissance by a Short 827 operating from the seaplane carrier Manica. Short 827s operated in Mesopotamia from September 1915 and in December two were converted as landplanes to bomb the Turks advancing on Kut al Imara.
The following year, on 25 April 1916, a Short 827 (No.3108) from Great Yarmouth bombed the German warships that were shelling Lowestoft.
No.8 Squadron, RNAS (East Africa). Seaplane carriers: Ben-my-Chree, Engadine, Manica and Raven II. Armed merchant vessels: Himalaya and Laconia. RNAS coaslal air stations: Calshot, Dundee. Great Yarmouth, Isle of Grain and Killingholme. Overseas: Basra and Otranto.
TECHNICAL DATA (SHORT 827)
Description: Two-seat reconnaissance and bombing seaplane. Wooden structure, fabric covered.
Manufacturers: Short Bros (827s serialled 822-827, 3063-3072, 3093-3112 and 830s serialled 819-821, 828-830, 1335-1346 and 9781-9790). Subcontracted 827s by Brush Electrical (serialled 3321-3332 and 8230-8237), by Parnall (8218-8229 and 8250-8257), by Fairey (8550-8561) and by Sunbeam (8630-8649).
Power Plant: One 150 hp Sunbeam Nubian.
Dimensions: Span, 53 ft 11 in. Length, 35 ft 3 in. Height, 13 ft 6 in. Wing area, 506 sq ft.
Weights: Empty, 2,700 lb. Loaded, 3,400 lb.
Performance: Maximum speed, 61 mph. Endurance, 3 1/2 hr.
Armament: One free-mounted Lewis machine-gun. Bomb-racks below fuselage.
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. A Lewis gun on a centre-section mounting was carried by at least one Type 830, and a similar installation appears to have been made on the 140-hp Salmson type.
M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing