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Supermarine N.1B Baby

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1918

Single-seater Flying-boat

Supermarine - Patrol Seaplane - 1916 - Великобритания<– –>Supermarine - Sea Lion / Sea King - 1919 - Великобритания

G.Duval British Flying-Boats and Amphibians 1909-1952 (Putnam)

Supermarine Baby (1918)

   One of the very few single-seater fighter flying-boats produced during the 1914/18 war, the Supermarine Baby was built to the Air Board Specification N.1B, which was aimed at the elimination of the efficient German Brandenburg fighter seaplanes over the North Sea patrol areas. Its performance compared favourably with contemporary landplane fighters, and had the war continued for a little longer it would have replaced the elderly float seaplanes at R.N.A.S. stations. Extremely small, the Baby had a wing span of just over 30 feet and was powered by a 150 h.p. Hispano-Suiza pusher engine driving a four-bladed propeller. The hull, of Linton-Hope design, was a monocoque structure covered by strips of polished mahogany, with an external planing surface from bows to the main step amidships, and a small auxiliary step fitted further aft. The wings were supported just above the hull by four struts, the wing-tip floats being directly attached to the undersurface of the lower wing and strut-braced for extra strength. The tailplane, carried above the fin and rudder by four struts, had an inverted camber, as on the A.D. Boat, and for the same reason, namely, to reduce the trim changes in the pitching plane caused by power alterations with a high thrust line. Ailerons were at first fitted to the upper mainplane only, later being fitted to both mainplanes. Two prototypes were built, serialled N59 and N60, the first flight taking place in February 1918, at the hands of Flt. Lt. Goodwin. Further testing indicated that the Baby was fast, light on the controls, with a good endurance. On 10 August, 1918, one of the machines was tested with a 200 h.p. Sunbeam Arab engine; the results of this test are not known. With the Hispano-Suiza, the Baby had a rate of climb of just under 1,000 ft/min, and a service ceiling of 10,700 feet. The Baby did not go into production, due to the Armistice and policy changes, but the two existing machines were flown on trial from a number of R.N.A.S./R.A.F. coastal stations before the war ended. Post-war, the design formed a basis for the successful Sea Lion series, of which the famous Walrus amphibian was a direct descendant.


   Power Plant: One 150 h.p. Hispano-Suiza, or one 200 h.p. Sunbeam Arab (experimental)
   Span: 30 feet 6 inches
   Length: 26 feet 4 inches
   Weight Loaded: 2,326 pounds (2,508 pounds with Arab engine)
   Total Area: 309 square feet
   Max. Speed: 117 m.p.h. (115 m.p.h. with Arab engine)
   Endurance: 3 hours
   Armament: Provision for free-mounted Lewis gun in bows, and racks for light bombs under the wings

P.Lewis The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)

In the course of 1918, three single-seat fighters were planned by separate companies, each machine being within the Admiralty’s N.1B requirement. One of them, the Supermarine N.1B Baby, N59, is notable as being the first of an extremely select class of British warplane - the single-seat, flying-boat fighter. As was to be expected from Supermarine, the Baby was of very pleasing appearance with an elegant mahogany Linton Hope hull. The 200 h.p. Hispano-Suiza engine was installed between the folding biplane wings to drive a pusher propeller. Maximum speed at sea level when tested in February, 1918, was 117 m.p.h., combined with excellent handling and manoeuvrability. Six months later, in August, the Baby was tested also with the 200 h.p. Sunbeam Arab engine but no production of the machine was undertaken.

F.Mason The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)

Supermarine N.1B Baby

   Because progress on the Blackburn N.1B was slow, the Supermarine contender to the same specification was completed and tested before the official requirement was allowed to lapse. Designed by F J Hargreaves, the Baby was of very similar general configuration to that of the Blackburn, but featured a monoplane tail with single tailplane and elevator placed above a single fin and rudder. The hull, also built in mahogany on the Linton-Hope principle, possessed a straight top line, its cross-section being almost circular with a skirted planing bottom. As originally flown, ailerons were only fitted to the upper wings, but were later repeated on the lower wings as well. A small triangular fin was added above the tailplane.
   The engine installation, a 200hp Hispano-Suiza pusher engine mounted close under the upper wing centre section, comprised a partly cowled nacelle with flat car-type radiator in front. The front inboard interplane struts were duplicated and located on either side of the wing fold line, thereby maintaining structural rigidity with the wings folded.
   First flown in February 1918 by Flight-Lt Goodwin, the Supermarine Baby, N59, well exceeded the performance demanded, returning a sea level top speed of 117 mph; no armament was carried on test, although ballast carried suggested that allowance was being made for a single Vickers gun.
   As already stated, the Air Department’s N.1B requirement was abandoned in its original terms, and Supermarine therefore went ahead on its own with development of the Baby, installing a 200hp Sunbeam Arab in place of the Hispano engine. The second and third aircraft, N60 and N61, were not built, but would have also been Arab-powered. N59 underwent official trials in August 1918 with the Arab and, although rather heavier than with the Hispano engine, produced much the same performance figures.

   Type: Single pusher engine, single-seat, single-bay biplane flying-boat fighter.
   Manufacturer: The Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd, Woolston, Southampton.
   Air Department Specification: N.1B of 1917.
   Powerplant: One 200hp Hispano-Suiza engine driving four-blade pusher propeller; later one 200hp Sunbeam Arab engine.
   Dimensions: Span, 30ft 5 9/16 in; length, 26ft 3 1/2 in; height, 10ft 7in; wing area, 309 sq ft.
   Weights: Tare, 1,699 lb; all-up, 2,326lb.
   Performance: Max speed, 117 mph at sea level; climb to 10,000ft, 25 min 10 sec; endurance, 3 hr.
   Armament: None carried on test, but allowance probably made for a single Vickers machine gun.
   Prototypes: Three, N59-N61. Only N59 completed, and first flown in February 1918.

J.Bruce British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 (Putnam)

Supermarine N.1B, Baby

  ONE of the many British aircraft which were named “Baby” during the 1914-18 war was an attractive little single-seat fighter flying-boat built by the Supermarine Aviation Works.
  It was not by any means the first single-seat fighter flying-boat ever built, for it was preceded by the German Hansa-Brandenburg CC (used by the Austrians as the Brandenburg KDW), the Brandenburg W.20 and W.23, the Austrian Phonix A, the Italian Macchi M.5 and M.7, and the French Marcel Besson M.B.14. The Baby was, however, the first British fighter flying-boat. It was also the progenitor of a line of successful Supermarine fighter flying-boats and Schneider Trophy racing boats.
  The Baby was a conventional single-bay biplane flying-boat with a 24-foot mahogany hull built on the Linton-Hope principle. The wings were arranged to fold backwards, and the 200 h.p. Hispano- Suiza engine was installed as a pusher, under the upper centre-section. The engine was partly cowled, and the nacelle had a flat radiator surface at its forward end. Ailerons were at first fitted to the upper wings only, but later they were added to the lower mainplanes also.
  The inverted-camber tailplane was mounted on top of the fin, and was braced to the hull by struts. At a later stage a small triangular fin was added on top of the tailplane.
  The Baby was flown in February 1918, by Flight Lieutenant Goodwin. Performance was good and compared favourably with that of contemporary landplane fighters. Manoeuvrability was also good, and the Baby promised to be a useful replacement for the Sopwith Baby seaplanes. However, the Supermarine Baby did not go into production, possibly because of the same change of policy which resulted in the shelving of the P.V.9 seaplane fighter.
  A later development was the fitting of a 200 h.p. Sunbeam Arab engine in place of the Hispano-Suiza, and in this form the Baby was tested in August 1918.

  Manufacturers: The Supermarine Aviation Works, Ltd., Woolston, Southampton.
  Power: 200 h.p. Hispano-Suiza; 200 h.p. Sunbeam Arab.
  Dimensions: Span: upper 30 ft 5 9/16 in. Length: 26 ft 3 1/2 in. Height: 10 ft 7 in. Chord: 5 ft 6 in. Gap: 6 ft 2 in. Stagger: nil. Dihedral: 3°. Incidence: 1° 30'. Span of tail: 12 ft.
  Areas: Wings: 309 sq ft.

Weights (lb) and Performance:
Engine Hispano-Suiza Arab
No. of Trial Report - N.M.213
Date of Trial Report - August 10th, 1918
Type of airscrew used on trial - Integral 2411
Weight empty 1,699 1,902
Military load - 66
Pilot 180 180
Fuel and oil - 360
Weight loaded 2,326 2,508
Maximum speed (m.p.h.) at
sea level 117 -
2,000 ft - 115
6,500 ft - 113
10,000 ft - 111-5
m. s. m. s.
Climb to
2,000 ft - - 2 20
6,500 ft - - 11 00
10,000 ft - - 26 30
Service ceiling (feet) - 10,700
Endurance (hours) 3 3

  Armament: It is unconfirmed that any armament was fitted to the Baby. The figure of 66 lb quoted as military load in Trial Report N.M.213 hints at an installation of a single Vickers machine-gun.
  Serial Numbers: N.59-N.60.

H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)

Baby. A makers' drawing indicates that a single Lewis gun was the armament (actual or intended) of this single-seat fighter flying-boat (1918).

Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919

Type of machine Single-seater Flying-boat.
Name or type No. of machine Supermarine "Baby."
Purpose for which intended Single-seater Seaplane Fighter.
Span 30.5 ft.
Overall length 26.3 ft.
Maximum height 10.6 ft.
Chord 5.5 ft.
Total surface of wings 309 sq. ft.
Engine type and h.p. 150 h.p. Hispano-Suiza.
Weight of machine empty 1699 lbs.
Load per sq. ft. 7.5 lbs. per sq. ft.
Weight per h.p. 15.5 lbs. per h.p.
Tank capacity in hours 3 hours.
   Speed low down 117 m.p.h.
   Landing speed 57 m.p.h.
Disposable load apart from fuel 627 lbs.
Total weight of machine loaded 2326 lbs.

J.Bruce - British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 /Putnam/
Supermarine Baby. The Hispano-Suiza-powered Baby in its later form with ailerons on upper and lower wings, and the small additional fin above the tailplane.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
Side View of the Supermarine "Baby" with wings folded.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
Front View of a Supermarine "Baby" Flying-Boat (150 h.p. Hispano-Suiza engine).
F.Mason - The British Fighter since 1912 /Putnam/
The Supermarine Baby, N59, after being fitted with ailerons on the lower wings, and with the auxiliary fin above the tailplane.
H.Cowin - Aviation Pioneers /Osprey/
The Supermarine N IB Baby may not have been the world's first single seat flying boat fighter, but it can lay claim to being the first of British design. First flown in February 1918, two N IBs were to be built to meet an Admiralty requirement, the first, serial no N59, being powered by a 200hp Hispano-Suiza, while N60 used the 200hp Sunbeam Arab. Top level speed attained by N IB, N59, was 117mph at sea level. The Admiralty decision to operate Sopwith Pup and Camel fighters from aboard ship eliminated the need for such as the N IB, but Supermarine managed to incorporate much of this basic design into their Sea Lion I and II, the latter winning the 1922 Schneider Trophy after the previous year's event had been aborted.
F.Mason - The British Fighter since 1912 /Putnam/
Supermarine N.1B Baby
G.Duval - British Flying-Boats and Amphibians 1909-1952 /Putnam/
Supermarine N.1B Baby