P.Hare Royal Aircraft Factory (Putnam)
The Royal Aircraft Factory's only flying-boat design, the Coastal Experimental No 1 was first conceived in February 1917, to assist in combatting the growing threat to shipping posed by enemy submarines. W S Farren had overall responsibility for the design.
The C.E.1 was a two-seat pusher with a wooden hull which had a single step. The underside of the after portion was concave. Its empennage was carried on booms which met at the tailplane spar in a manner reminiscent of the F.E.8, and the fin and horn-balanced rudder were symmetrical above and below the tailplane. The wings were arranged to fold, the hinges being immediately outboard of the point at which the tailbooms joined the rear spar, a small section of the trailing edge having to be hinged upwards to make folding possible. Provision was made for up to three Lewis guns carried on pillar mountings, and for bombs carried beneath the lower wing.
Two prototypes were built, the first, N97, being powered by a 230hp R.A.F.3a and the second, N98, by a 260hp Sunbeam Maori, each engine driving a four-bladed propeller. After construction at Farnborough they were taken, in turn, to Hamble for assembly and testing, where N97 made its first flight on 17 January 1918, with its designer at the controls. Lateral control clearly gave some cause for concern because, following these trials, the ailerons were shortened and their horn balances removed.
Although the type completed service trials at the Isle of Grain, no production orders were placed because the Felixstowe F.2 was considered superior. The two prototypes were then used extensively in experiments to verify data obtained from tests on model hulls conducted in the tank at the National Physical Laboratory, particularly with regard to 'porpoising' when in motion on the water. Their eventual fate is unknown.
230hp R.A.F.3a (N97)
260hp Sunbeam Maori (N98)
span 46ft 0in
chord 7ft 0in;
gap 7ft 0in;
wing area 609 sq ft;
dihedral 3 1/2°;
length 36ft 3in;
height 13ft 4in.
N97 3,241lb (empty) 4,910lb (loaded)
N98 3,342lb (empty) 5,000lb (loaded)
max speed 88mph at sea level;
endurance 4 1/2hrs.
max speed 92mph at sea level;
endurance 3 3/4hrs.
H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
C.E.1. Two 230-lb anti-submarine bombs could be carried by this single-engined pusher flying-boat. There were three pillar-type mountings for Lewis guns, one in the front cockpit and two between the cockpits, one on each side of the hull.