F.Manson British Bomber Since 1914 (Putnam)
The first new seaplane produced by the Rochester manufacturers, Short Bros Ltd, after the death of Horace Short on 6 April 1917, was designed to Air Board Specification N.2B, and was therefore in direct competition with the Fairey III and the Wight Converted Seaplane.
Design of the Short N.2B was the responsibility of Francis Webber, under the supervision of Oswald Short, and the first aircraft appeared rather later than its rivals, the prototypes being based on use of the 260hp Sunbeam Maori I engine. As both the Fairey and Wight had been ordered into production with Rolls-Royce Eagles, Oswald sought permission to use the same engine but, owing to an anticipated shortage of these engines, his request was refused.
Eight prototype Short N.2Bs were ordered but only the first two were completed. The aircraft was a two-seat, two-bay folding biplane with prominent wing overhang, braced by outward-raked pairs of struts. The Maori was fully cowled with copious provision of cooling louvres and with a frontal radiator. The main floats were complemented by an outrigged tail float and wingtip floats, and the bomb load of two 230 lb bombs was carried on side-by-side racks under the fuselage.
The first aircraft, N66, was launched at Rochester on 22 December 1917 and flown before the end of that month, being delivered for evaluation at the Isle of Grain on 2 Februarv 1918. Here it was seen to possess no better performance than the established Short Type 184, and subsequent efforts to reduce drag, and therefore improve performance, achieved little benefit.
A second prototype, N67, was flown early in 1918 with shorter floats and a generally tidied-up engine cowling with fewer louvres, but it was obvious that, no matter what cosmetic treatment was applied, the Maori engine did not impart adequate power, and work on the other prototypes was abandoned.
Rather later, in 1919, Oswald Short had a borrowed, low-compression Rolls-Royce Eagle installed in N67 but, although this imparted a small speed improvement, it was much too late to consider the aircraft in the context of Specification N.2B. N67 had its Maori reinstated at the end of that year and was taken on RAF charge in January 1920.
Type: Single-engine, two-seat, two-bay biplane, patrol bomber twin-float seaplane.
Air Board Specification: Type N.2B
Manufacturer: Short Brothers, Rochester, Kent.
Powerplant: One 260hp Sunbeam Maori I water-cooled in-line engine driving two-blade propeller.
Dimensions: Span, 55ft 2in; length, 40ft 2in; height, 13ft 9in; wing area, 678 sq ft.
Weights: Tare, 3,280 lb; all-up, 4,911 lb.
Performance: Max speed, 92 mph at sea level; climb to 6,500ft, 19 min 30 sec; service ceiling, 10,600ft.
Armament: One 0.303in Lewis machine gun with Scarff ring on rear cockpit; bomb load of two 230 lb bombs on underfuselage racks.
Prototypes: Two, N66 and N67. N66 first flown in December 1917. No production. (Six other aircraft, N68-N73, cancelled.)
H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
N.2B. A two-seater patrol seaplane of 1917, this type carried two 230-lb bombs (or equivalent) side by side under the fuselage. The pilot had no gun, but there was a Lewis gun on a Scarff ring for the observer. An earlier experimental machine of this general type carried two 65-lb bombs.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919
The Short N2B bombing seaplane is the latest of the many types of float seaplanes produced by Messrs. Short Bros. before and during the war, and used by the R.N.A.S. and subsequently the R.A.F. as sea patrols, etc. The upper main plane has no dihedral and has a slight overhang over the bottom plane which has a dihedral. Two large pontoon floats are fitted to the fuselage by faired struts. The tail unit is on conventional lines except that a very large fin is used in conjunction with a balanced rudder. Wing-tip and tail floats of ample proportions are fitted, the tad float having a small water rudder. The pilot sits under the centre section wherein are carried the petrol gravity tank, and radiator. The observer sits well back and is armed with Lewis Gun carried in a Scarff mounting,
Type of machine Float Seaplane.
Name or type No. of machine Short N.2 B.
Purpose for which intended Bombing.
Span 55 ft.
Gap, maximum 7 ft.
Overall length 40 ft.
Maximum height 13 ft. 9 in.
Chord 7 ft. 6 in.
Span of Tail 15 ft. 6 in.
Maximum cross section of body 11.5 sq. ft.
Engine type and h.p. Sunbeam - Coatalen "Maori", 275 h.p.
Airscrew diam. 10 ft. 6 in.
Weight of machine empty 3,050 lbs.
Tank capacity in hours 4 1/2 hours.
Tank capacity In gallons 70 gallons.
Speed low down 90 m.p.h.
Speed at 10,000 feet 88 m.p.h.
To 5,000 ft. 12 1/2 minutes.
To 10,000 ft. 40 minutes.
Disposable load apart from fuel 1,170 lbs.
Total weight of machine loaded 4,800 lbs.