F.127 / N.9
В конце 1917 года фирма создала облегченный вариант F.127 меньших размеров для опытов с корабельными катапультами. Опытный гидросамолет F.127 являлся модификацией гидросамолета F.17 с уменьшенным нижним крылом (фактически полутораплан) и одностоечной коробкой крыльев. Поплавки с нижнего крыла были сняты, а кабины экипажа сдвинуты ближе к двигателю. Самолет оснащался двигателем Роллс-Ройс "Фэлкон" (190 л. с).
H.Taylor Fairey Aircraft since 1915
A long line of Fairey aircraft, starting with the Series IIIA and ending with the IIIF and its derivatives, stemmed from the second of two experimental seaplanes designed and built in 1917. Both enjoyed life-spans which were valuable and long. Neither was given a type name; they were known by their manufacturer’s construction numbers and/or by their Admiralty serials - though the second was later designated the Fairey III.
The first of these two seaplanes, N9 (F.127), was a single-bay, folding biplane with a massive overhang, giving it the appearance of what would later have been described as a sesquiplane. More compact than contemporary seaplanes, it was designed to meet Admiralty specification N.2(a) for a two-seat aircraft for operation from seaplane carriers. It was never so used, but was strengthened for experimental work with a prototype catapult.
Powered by a 200 hp Rolls-Royce Falcon I twelve-cylinder vee liquid-cooled engine - virtually a scaled-down Eagle - N9 had a maximum sea-level speed of 90 mph. Camber-changing gear was fitted, with flaps along the whole length of the lower wing and on the upper wing between the centre-section and the ailerons - which do not appear to have been used as a part of the flap system. Armament initially consisted of a Lewis gun on a Scarff ring for the observer/gunner in the rear cockpit. The first flight is recorded as having been made on 5 July, 1917.
Because of renewed confidence in the value of aircraft in acting as ‘eyes’ for warships, and following the progress made by the US Navy - which, in 1916, had three cruisers fitted with catapults - this method of launching aircraft had been reconsidered by the Admiralty, which had examined but shelved the idea prior to the war. In 1916 tenders were invited for the construction of a catapult in which the specification required an ability to launch an aircraft weighing up to 2 1/2 tons at a speed of 60 mph within a distance of 60 ft without exceeding an acceleration of 2.5 g. Two types of catapult were later ordered. The tests for which N9 was used were those with the type designed and built by a Newcastle-based company in the group which had, 20 years before, become Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth.
The method involved the use of highly compressed air in a cylinder, the piston of which pulled, by means of wire hawsers, a trolley which travelled along a 60-ft main rail and two steadying rails. These rails were installed on a steel structure which was mounted on a steam hopper (a powered mud-carrying vessel used in support of dredging operations) which had been specially commissioned for tests by the Marine Experimental Aircraft Depot. After preliminary trials on the Tyne, the catapult vessel, appropriately named HMS Slinger, went to the MEAD at Grain for real-life tests with N9. These were started in June 1918 under the direction of Lt-Col H. R. Busteed, who did most, if not all, of the flying.
Although the system was, as required, capable of accelerating the trolley and its aircraft to a speed of 60 mph within the length of the rail, the launches were apparently made at a maximum of only about 40 mph. The use of this lower speed was practical for N9, which had a stalling speed of 38 mph when using a few degrees of flap, and reduced the acceleration loads on the pilot, who had no headrest. A modicum of wind would have widened the gap between ‘ground’ speed and the airspeed. Tests were successfully completed with HMS Slinger both at rest and under way, and were the first to be made in Britain with a seaplane, though earlier trials had been made with landplanes at Hendon aerodrome using the other catapult which had been ordered. However, it was to be seven years before a Service aircraft was actually launched from a warship. This was in October 1925 when a Fairey IIID seaplane was catapulted from the cruiser HMS Vindictive.
As with N10 (F.128), N9 was bought back by Fairey from the Admiralty in 1919 and was re-engined with the more powerful 250 hp Sunbeam Maori II twelve-cylinder vee liquid-cooled engine and modified with equal-span wings. This was possibly the seaplane being considered as the company’s entry, announced in March 1919, in the competition to win the Daily Mail prize of ?10,000 for the first nonstop crossing of the Atlantic. The crew for the flight was to have consisted of Sydney Pickles as pilot and Capt A. G. D. West as navigator.
In preparation for the official approval, on 1 May, 1919, of civil flying in the United Kingdom, N9 was one of the earliest aircraft to be civil-registered. The very first, K-100, was an Airco D.H.6; Fairey’s N9 was K-103, later to be G-EAAJ when the earlier form of registration was changed. In May 1920, it was sold to the Norwegian Navy. Seven years later it was bought by Bjorne Neilson of Eidsvold, near Oslo, civil-registered N-20 and scrapped in February 1929 following an accident on 12 June, 1928.
N9 Span 50 ft (15-24 m); length 35 ft 6 in (10-82 m); height 13 ft (3-96 m); chord 5 ft 6 in (1-68 m); total wing area 456 sq ft (42-4 sq m). Empty weight 2,699 lb (1,224 kg); military load 216 lb (98 kg); crew 360 lb (163 kg); fuel (70 gal, 318 litres) and oil 537 lb (244 kg); loaded weight 3,812 lb (1,729 kg). Maximum speed at sea level 90 mph (145 km/h); at 10,000 ft (3,048 m) 86 mph (138 km/h). Climb to 2,000 ft (610 m) 4 min 10 sec; to 5,000 ft (1,524 m) 9 min 20 sec; to 6,500 ft (1,981 m) 18 min 30 sec; to 10,000 ft (3,048 m), 38 min; service ceiling 8,600 ft (2,621 m). Endurance 5 1/4 hr.
H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
N.9. A Lewis gun on a Scarff ring-mounting appears to have been the sole armament of this 'catapultable' floatplane of 1917.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919
THE FAIREY N9 TYPE F127.
The Fairey seaplane N9 was built in 1917 as a patrol seaplane for the R.N.A.S.
This machine has one set of struts on each side of the fuselage, and a top plane with a large overhang.
Owing to the Rolls-Royce " Falcon " engine being used in other types of machines in production, this type was never proceeded with. It is interesting to note that the original N9 remained in service to the middle of 1918. and was the first float seaplane to begin an actual flight by being thrown off a warship by a catapult gear.
Type of machine Seaplane.
Name or type No. of machine F127.
Purpose for which intended Ship work.
Span 50 ft.
Gap, maximum and minimum 5 ft. 7 in.
Overall length 35 ft. 6 in.
Maximum height 13 ft.
Chord 5 ft. 6 in.
Total surface of wings 420 sq. ft.
Span of tail 13 ft.
Total area of tail 34.2 sq. ft.
Area of elevators 34.2 sq. ft.
Area of rudder 9.8 sq. ft.
Area of fin 8.9 sq. ft.
Area of each aileron and total area 18 ft.
Engine type and h.p. 190 h.p. Rolls-Royce.
Load per sq. ft. 9.08 lbs.
Weight per h.p. 18.15 lbs.
Tank capacity in hours 5 1/4 hours.
Tank capacity in gallons 70 gallons.
Flight, April 10, 1919.
THE TRANSATLANTIC RACE
THE preparations for the great race to be first to cross the Atlantic by air are progressing apace. By way of summary, the Sopwith machine, to be piloted by Mr. H. Hawker, who will have with him as navigator and assistant pilot Capt. Grieve, is already at the starting point in Newfoundland, and is only awaiting favourable weather conditions before making a start. The Martinsyde biplane, with its pilot, Mr. F. P. Raynham, and his navigator, Capt. Morgan, is on its way across, and may, by the time these lines appear in print, have arrived at St. John's. The Fairey machine, up till now the only seaplane entered from this side, is rapidly nearing completion, being, in fact, a standard Fairey 3C type especially adapted for the race. The pilot, as already announced, will be Mr. Sydney Pickles, so well knows to all readers of FLIGHT. The name of the navigator who will accompany him has not yet been disclosed, but will, we understand, be announced shortly. The Short machine entered, and which will be piloted by Major Wood, who will have with him as navigator Capt. Wyllie, has the distinction of being the only entrant which, so far, it is proposed to start from this side, the starting point chosen being Bawnmore, near Limerick, in Ireland. This machine, which has been undergoing severe tests during the last couple of weeks, is to be flown first to Ireland, whence the final start will be made.
As to the probability of one or all of the competitors succeeding in getting across, there is of course, a certain element of luck involved, but arrangements, as announced elsewhere, are being made., by the Air Ministry and Admiralty, to take all possible precautions, and to ensure that, even in cases of engine failure, the occupants should have a very good chance of being picked up by passing vessels.
As interest centres more and more in this race, a few words dealing with the British machines entered will, we feel sure be welcomed by readers of FLIGHT.
The Fairey Machine
As already pointed out, the machine entered by the Fairey Aviation Co. has the distinction of being the only seaplane entered. It is of more or less standard type, resembling the well-known type 3C Fairey seaplane. The most remarkable feature of this machine is, of course, the variable camber wings fitted. This forms a Fairey patent, and has been used with good results on machines employed by the Navy. Briefly speaking, the variable camber is obtained by having the entire trailing edge of the planes hinged along the rear spars in such a manner that the pilot can, by turning a wheel, pull down the whole trailing edge to give greater lift, and again raise it to provide less resistance and hence greater speed. In the ordinary way the chief aim of this variable camber is to provide a low speed on alighting and getting off, but for the Atlantic flight it will also be found useful in providing greater lift while the machine is heavily loaded, allowing of gradually flattening out the wing section as the load becomes less owing to the fuel being consumed. In this manner the first part of the flight will probably be made at a slower speed than that obtained towards the finish of the journey. The engine is, as in two of the other machines entered, a Rolls-Royce "Eagle" of 375 h.p., and the speed of the machine is stated to be about 120 m.p.h. This figure probably refers to the speed with the trailing edge in line with the rest of the wing section. With the trailing edge pulled down the speed will be considerably lower.