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Austin A.F.T.3 Osprey

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1918


Austin - A.F.B.1 - 1917 - Великобритания<– –>Austin - Greyhound - 1918 - Великобритания

W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters


  A private venture intended to compete with the Sopwith Snipe, the Osprey was of wooden construction with fabric skinning and was powered by a 230 hp Bentley B.R.2 nine-cylinder rotary engine. Armament comprised two fixed and synchronised 0.303-in (7,7-mm) Vickers machine guns and one semi-free Lewis gun of similar calibre on the rear spanwise member of the middle-wing centre section. The Osprey was flown for the first time in February 1918, but performance proved to be inferior to that of the Snipe, and construction of second and third prototypes was abandoned.

Max speed, 118mph (190 km/h) at 10,000ft (3 050 m), 110 mph (177 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4 570 m).
Time to 10,000 ft (3 050 m), 10.35 min.
Endurance, 3 hrs. Empty weight, 1,106 lb (502 kg).
Loaded weight, 1,888 lb (856 kg).
Span, 23 ft 0 in (7,01m).
Length, 17 ft 7 in (5,36 m).
Height, 10 ft 8 in (3,25 m).
Wing area, 233 sq ft (21,64 m2).

P.Lewis The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)

During 1917 the Austin Motor Co. decided to design a single-seat fighter to Specification A.1A but, rather surprisingly in view of the generally-conceded superiority by then of the well-developed biplane, their tender appeared at the beginning of 1918 as a triplane - the A.F.T.3 Osprey. The machine was fairly small and, as was to be expected with the power of the 230 h.p. Bentley B.R.2, the overall performance was quite creditable. The standard armament scheduled for the Osprey was a pair of fuselage-mounted Vickers but X15, the sole prototype, carried temporarily a Lewis gun in addition. However, against the new biplanes then appearing the Osprey stood relatively little chance of adoption and went the way of so many hopefully-created prototypes.

H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)

Osprey. In addition to two synchronised Vickers guns on the fuselage decking forward of the cockpit, and having ejection chutes in the fuselage sides, the single-seat Osprey (1917-18) had provision, as had competitive fighters, for a Lewis gun with a limited arc of movement. The aircraft being a triplane, this was mounted on the rear spar of the 'centre centresection'. The actual installation was in dummy form only (land-service type, with 'single' drum).

P.Lewis - The British Fighter since 1912 /Putnam/
The sole example of the A.F.T.3 Osprey to be completed and flown.
The A.F.T.3 Osprey was intended to compete with the Snipe, but proved inferior.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
Side View of an Experimental Austin Triplane
H.Cowin - Aviation Pioneers /Osprey/
If nothing else this trim-looking triplane helps illustrate the point that for every winning design, a number of other design submissions fall by the wayside. First flown in February 1918, the company-funded Austin AFT 3 Osprey was designed to meet the same Air Board's Type A 1(a) requirement that led to the production contract for Sopwith's Snipe. Powered by a 230hp Bentley BR 2, the Osprey's top level speed was 118.5mph at 10.000 feet, this height being reached in 10 minutes 20 seconds. Armament consisted of three forward-firing .303-inch guns, of which two were fixed and synchronised Vickers, backed by an overwing Lewis that could be swivelled in elevation for 'belly-raking' an adversary's underside. Only the first of the three examples on which work had commenced was to be completed and flown. It is seen here at Farnborough in mid-June 1918, following its Martlesham Heath trials of March 1918.
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters