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Port Victoria P.V.2

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1916


Pilcher - multiplane - 1899 - Великобритания<– –>Port Victoria - P.V.4 - 1917 - Великобритания

P.Lewis The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)

During the early part of 1916 Sqn.Cdr. J.W. Seddon, one of the early pioneers of British aviation, was stationed at Port Victoria on the Isle of Grain and was responsible for the investigations which resulted in the construction of the Port Victoria P.V.1. This was an attempt at improving the performance of the Sopwith Baby seaplane, particularly as far as its weight-lifting qualities were concerned. As with any service aeroplane, the tendency was to continue adding more equipment to the steady deterioration of performance.
   The standard Baby’s wings were of the popular low thickness/chord type with comparatively little camber. This form of aerofoil gave low drag but possessed accompanying low lift properties. National Physical Laboratory experiments on aerofoil sections with greater camber had shown them to be superior for general weight lifting but a loss of speed was the penalty. Sqn.Cdr. Seddon decided to put the Laboratory investigations to practical test and had a Sopwith Baby modified by fitting a standard fuselage with new wings of identical area but with increased aspect ratio and of heavily-cambered profile. Forward stagger was also increased and new larger floats were installed. The finished conversion weighed some 300 lb. more than the normal Baby but was quite successful in proving that the revised wings enabled the P.V.1 to lift greater loads. With the 100 h.p. Monosoupape Gnome the top speed was 77 m.p.h. and the height reached was in excess of 8,000 ft. The P.V.1 later contributed to early experiments related to possibilities of launching by catapult in the course of which it took off from a railway truck on the Isle of Grain.
   The R.N.A.S. Experimental Construction Depot at Port Victoria was now getting into its stride and followed up the P.V.1 conversion with a completely original design, the P.V.2, for a Zeppelin-intercepting seaplane, single-seat gun-carrier. The armament selected was the Davis 2-pounder with ten rounds and further stipulations were that the top speed was to be 80 kt., operational cruising height 10,000 ft. and endurance 3 hours.
   The P.V.2 was drawn up around the 100 h.p. Monosoupape Gnome, enveloped by a broad-chord cowling, from the periphery of which the fuselage section tapered smoothly to the tail end. The upper wings were mounted direct onto the top longerons, to avoid obstruction of the pilot’s view by struts, while the narrow-chord lower planes passed in one piece well below the underside of the fuselage. Rectangular-section pontoon-type floats were fitted but were changed later for the more refined style of Linton Hope float.
   The P.V.2 N.1 presented an altogether extremely attractive appearance for its time, and during its first flight tests in June, 1916, flew successfully with the exception of the aileron control. This fault was rectified by shortening the original broad-span ailerons to half their span and with strengthening them. The P.V.2 was not destined to adhere to the original project of operating with the Davis gun as development of the weapon was terminated.
   Rather than abandon the P.V.2 altogether, the machine was rebuilt as the P.V.2bis with the upper wings elevated by 1 ft. on struts, together with the addition of a 2 ft. centre-section, so that they passed over the fuselage and thereby improved the forward view for landing. As a seaplane fighter the P.V.2bis was scheduled to carry a pair of Lewis guns above the upper centresection but apparently only one was fitted eventually.

F.Mason The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)

Port Victoria P.V.2 / P.V.2bis

   Aircraft whose designation carried the prefix Port Victoria were those produced by an RNAS unit situated on the Isle of Grain on the northern banks of the Medway estuary in Kent. Originally commissioned as the Royal Naval Aeroplane Repair Depot early in 1915, the name Port Victoria was adopted to distinguish it from the nearby RNAS seaplane base. It later became the Marine Experimental Depot, of which one component came into being as the Experimental Construction Depot under the command of Lt J W Seddon rn.
   The first aircraft produced, the P.V.1, was a development of the Sopwith Baby, fitted with high-lift wings to enable it to be flown safely while mounting external bombs and other military equipment. The first original design to be undertaken was the P.V.2, a small twin-float anti-Zeppelin seaplane fighter, intended to be armed with a Davis two-pounder gun. Initially completed with angular pontoon floats, the aircraft, N.1, was a sesquiplane, the lower wing being of short span and chord, and the upper wing of broad chord and span. When viewed from ahead, the interplane and float struts formed a ‘W’, the interplane struts being angled sharply outwards. Power was provided by a 100hp Gnome monosoupape driving a four-blade propeller. The upper wing, in two halves, was attached to the top fuselage longerons providing an excellent field of fire for the Davis gun and uninterrupted upward field of vision for the pilot.
   However, by the time N.1 was completed, the Davis gun had been abandoned, and the aircraft was converted into a straightforward fighting scout by mounting two Lewis guns on the upper wings. It was quickly found that these wings created a blind area for the pilot during alighting and the seaplane was rebuilt with a continuous upper wing raised twelve inches above the fuselage, and at this time Linton Hope floats replaced the earlier pontoons. In this form N.1 was re-designated the P.V.2bis and first flown early in 1917 and, although not ordered into production, it proved popular among its pilots and contributed much valuable information for the development of later aircraft from Port Victoria.

   Type: Single-engine, single-seat, twin-float sesquiplane fighting scout seaplane.
   Manufacturer: RNAS Experimental Construction Depot, Port Victoria, Isle of Grain, Kent.
   Powerplant: One 100hp Gnome monosoupape air-cooled nine-cylinder rotary engine driving four-blade propeller.
   Structure: Wire-braced wooden box-girder fuselage formed to circular section and fabric-covered; fabric-covered two-spar wings with faired steel tube interplane and float struts.
   Dimensions: Span (P.V.2), 27ft 0in; (P.V.2bis), 29ft 0in; length, 22ft 0in; height (P.V.2), 8ft 4in; (P.V.2bis), 9ft 4in; wing area (P.V.2), 168 sq ft; (P.V.2bis), 180 sq ft.
   Weights (P.V.2bis): Tare, 1,211 lb; all-up, 1,702 lb.
   Performance (P.V.2bis): Max speed, 93 mph at sea level; climb to 3,000 ft, 6 min; service ceiling, 10,000 ft.
   Armament: Intended to mount one Davis two-pounder gun above fuselage with ten rounds of ammunition; changed to proposal to mount two Lewis guns above the wing centre section to fire above the propeller.
   Prototype: One, N.1 (first flown at the Isle of Grain as P.V.2 in June 1916, and as P.V.2bis early in 1917). No production.

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


   The Royal Naval Aeroplane Repair Depot was commissioned at the Isle of Grain early in 1915, and to distinguish it from the seaplane station already established there it was named Port Victoria. Ultimately it became known as the Marine Experimental Aircraft Depot and undertook original design work. Its first entirely original design was the P.V.2 single-seat anti-Zeppelin seaplane. Of wooden construction and powered by a 100 hp Gnome Monosoupape rotary, the P.V.2 was an exceptionally clean sesquiplane, the wing cellule being almost devoid of bracing wires with the upper wing attached to the upper fuselage longerons and the lower wing passing beneath the fuselage. The intended armament was a two-pounder Davis gun, although this was never fitted. The P.V.2 was first flown in June 1916 with floats of the pontoon type, these later being replaced by Linton Hope floats. Trials showed considerable promise and it was decided to develop the design further as the P.V.2bis (which see).

Max speed, 95 mph (153 km/h) at sea level.
Time to 3,0 ft (915 m), 5.0 min.
Empty weight, 1,087 lb (493 kg).
Loaded weight, 1,590 lb (721 kg).
Span, 27 ft 0 in (8,23 m).
Length, 22 ft 0 in (6,70 m).
Height, 8 ft 4 in (2,54 m).
Wing area, 168 sqft (15,60 m2).


   The decision to develop the P.V.2 as the P.V.2bis single-seat fighter seaplane resulted in major changes to the original prototype, the most significant being the raising of the upper wing by 1 ft (30 cm) to improve the pilot’s view for alighting and the insertion of centre-section struts. The span and area of the upper wing were increased by introduction of a 2-ft (61-cm) centre section, and the planned armament was two 0.303-in (7,7-mm) machine guns to fire forward and upward above the propeller, although, in the event, only one such gun was apparently fitted. The P.V.2bis was flown early in 1917, providing data for later Port Victoria types.

Max speed, 93 mph (150 km/h) at sea level.
Time to 3,000 ft (915 m), 6.0 min.
Empty weight, 1,211 lb (549 kg).
Loaded weight, 1,702 lb (772 kg).
Span, 29ft 0 in (8,84 m).
Length, 22 ft 0 in (6,70 m).
Height, 9 ft 4 in (2,84 m).
Wing area, 180 sq ft (16,72 m2).

J.Bruce British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 (Putnam)

Port Victoria P.V.1

  AT the end of December, 1912, the first British seaplane station was commissioned at the Isle of Grain under the command of Lieutenant J. W. Seddon, R.N. By August, 1914, it had become one of the largest seaplane stations in the country.
  Even before the outbreak of war, it had been decided to use the Isle of Grain as something more than merely a seaplane base, and early in 1915 the R.N. Aeroplane Repair Depot was commissioned under Squadron Commander G. W. S. Aldwell. This unit was housed in what had once been a Salvation Army Congress Hall: the building was transported to the Isle of Grain and re-erected a few hundred yards away from the original Air Station. To distinguish the new unit from the original it was named Port Victoria.
  Later in 1915, the Experimental Armament Section was set up beside the Repair Depot, and early in the following year the Seaplane Test Flight came into being, originally in the person of one Flight Sub-Lieutenant who was under the orders of K Section of the Air Department of the Admiralty.
  As the war progressed, Port Victoria grew in size and the Isle of Grain air station declined. Ultimately the place became known as the Marine Experimental Aircraft Depot, and was divided into the Experimental Construction Depot, Seaplane Test Depot, and Experimental Armament Section.
  The Experimental Construction Depot was originally the R.N. Aeroplane Repair Depot. It began its construction work early in 1916.
  In the histories of the Sopwith Baby and the Fairey Hamble Baby mention is made of the malpractice of flying the Baby seaplanes in an overloaded condition. Early in 1916 it was not being done on a large scale, but even then Squadron Commander Seddon recognised that the Sopwith Baby was not capable of flying with two 65-lb bombs and other Service equipment.
  The Sopwith Baby’s wings had the flat, thin aerofoil section typical of so many contemporary aeroplanes, but tests had been carried out at the National Physical Laboratory with heavily cambered aerofoils which produced much greater lift than any then in use. Study of the reports of these tests convinced Squadron Commander Seddon that, by using wings of high-lift section, a seaplane of the Baby type could lift the requisite load at the expense of some speed. It was decided to experiment with a modified Sopwith Baby, and Port Victoria set about fitting a Baby with high-lift wings. The resulting seaplane was designated P.V.1. It consisted of the fuselage of a Sopwith Baby to which had been fitted a pair of wings of the same area as the original surfaces, but heavily cambered, of higher aspect-ratio, and with pronounced stagger. Enlarged floats were also fitted.
  So great was the haste to test the P.V.1 that no attempt was made to save weight in making the conversion. The original lower wing spars were simply sawn off flush with the fuselage sides and left in place; and the new mainplanes were fitted where they gave the pilot the best possible view. The centre of gravity was restored to its rightful place by the crude expedient of putting lead into the floats.
  It comes as no surprise, therefore, to learn that the completed P.V.1 was about 300 lb heavier than the standard Sopwith Baby. In spite of this weight penalty, however, the P.V.1 demonstrated the effectiveness of its high-lift wings by taking off with an additional 300 lb of lead on board and climbing to over 8,000 feet. The machine was reported to be free from “sogginess”.
  The maximum speed was no more than 67 knots (77 m.p.h.) but that was little worse than had been expected. In terms of climb, the P.V.1 fulfilled all that was expected of it.
  The machine remained at Port Victoria for some time, and was later used in the course of preliminary investigation of problems associated with the catapulting of aircraft. During the experiments the P.V.1 was once flown off a railway truck in the sidings at Grain.

  Manufacturers: Conversion carried out at R.N.A.S. Experimental Construction Depot, Port Victoria, Isle of Grain.
  Power: 100 h.p. Gnome Monosoupape.
  Areas: Wings: 240 sq ft.
  Weights: Loaded: 2,180 lb.
  Performance: Maximum speed: 77 m.p.h. Ceiling: over 8,000 ft.

Port Victoria P.V.2 and P.V.2bis

  THE results of the tests of the P.V.1 amply vindicated Squadron Commander Seddon’s belief in high-lift wings, but the idea of incorporating the results of the experiments in the design of a single-seat bomb-carrying seaplane was abandoned when the Fairey Hamble Baby was adopted in the expectation that it would fulfil Service requirements.
  Port Victoria’s next commission was to design a small fast seaplane for anti-Zeppelin duties. The specification centred upon the armament and its installation: a two-pounder Davis gun had to be mounted above the wings in such a position that it was clear of all wing bracing and yet accessible to the pilot for re-loading. Ten rounds of ammunition and fuel for three hours were to be carried; the machine had to have a maximum speed of 80 knots (about 92 m.p.h.), and had to be able to cruise at 10,000 feet. All this had to be achieved on a Gnome Monosoupape rotary engine of 100 h.p.
  Results obtained from the P.V. high-lift wing on the P.V.1 were sufficiently encouraging for Squadron Commander Seddon to suggest that a monoplane with a high-lift wing could satisfy the requirements of the specification. The aeroplane which was built under the designation P.V.2 was a sesquiplane, but the lower wing was of such small dimensions that the aircraft was nearly a monoplane.
  It was a remarkably clean little seaplane of distinctive appearance. The fuselage was basically a wire-braced wooden box girder, and was carefully faired to a circular cross-section throughout its length. The wing structure was noteworthy for its almost complete lack of bracing wires of any description. The upper wing was attached to the upper longerons of the fuselage, so that the pilot had an unobstructed view of the upper hemisphere and the Davis gun could be mounted in the manner required by the specification. The lower wing passed wholly under the fuselage, and the wing bracing consisted of a faired steel tube connecting the rear float attachment point to the main spar of the lower wing, whence a long vee-strut ran to both spars of the upper wing. Ailerons were fitted to the upper wing only, and at first ran along almost the entire length of the wing. The ailerons had a marked wash-out of incidence towards the tips.
  The floats were originally of the pontoon type, but Linton Hope floats were later fitted.
  The P.V.2 flew for the first time in June, 1916, and performed well, but its lateral control was not satisfactory. The trouble was traced to the excessive length and flexibility of the ailerons, and was eliminated by reducing these surfaces to half their original length and introducing additional stiffening.
  By the time the P.V.2 was completed the Davis gun had been abandoned. The aeroplane was considered to be such a promising design, however, that its development was continued.
  It was decided to convert the P.V.2 into a single-seat fighter seaplane by mounting two Lewis machine-guns on the upper wing. The initial tests had revealed that the upper wing obscured a critical part of the pilot’s field of view for alighting, so the machine was modified by raising the wing through one foot to a position level with the pilot’s eyes. A centre-section was fitted, and was of a length which left the angle of the interplane struts undisturbed; longer struts had to be fitted, owing to the increased gap. In its modified form the aircraft was re-designated P.V.2bis. Other work delayed the execution of the modifications, and it was not until early 1917 that the P.V.2bis was tested. It then proved to be very popular with all who flew it, and it provided data which were used in the design of later P. V. types.

  Manufacturers: R.N.A.S. Experimental Construction Depot, Port Victoria, Isle of Grain.
  Power: 100 h.p. Gnome Monosoupape.
  Dimensions: Span: upper 27 ft on P.V.2; 29 ft on P.V.2bis; lower 19 ft. Length: 22 ft. Height: P.V.2, 8 ft 4 in.;
P.V.2bis, 9 ft 4 in. Chord: upper 5 ft 6 in., lower 2 ft 6 in. Gap: P.V.2, 3 ft 6 in.; P.V.2bis, 4 ft 6 in.
  Areas: Wings: P.V.2, 168 sq ft; P.V.2bis, 180 sq ft.

Weights {lb) and Performances:
Aircraft P.V.2 P.V.2bis
Date of Trial Report - March 29th, 1917
Weight empty 1,087 1,211
Military load 20 Nil
Pilot 180 180
Fuel and oil 303 311
Weight loaded 1,590 1,702
Maximum speed (m.p.h.) at
sea level 95-5 93
2,000 ft - 82
m. s. m. s.
Climb to
2,000 ft - - 3 50
3,000 ft 5 00 6 00
6,500 ft - - 16 05
10,000 ft - - 35 35
Service ceiling (feet) - 10,000

  Tankage: Petrol: 30 gallons. Oil: 9 gallons.
  Armament: P.V.2: it was intended to fit a two-pounder Davis gun above the fuselage; ten rounds of ammunition were to be carried. P.V.2bis: two Lewis machine-guns were to be mounted above the upper centre-section, firing forwards and upwards over the airscrew. Photographs show only one Lewis gun mounted to starboard of centre.
  Service Use: Flown experimentally at the Isle of Grain Test Depot.
  Serial Number: N.1.

H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)

Port Victoria

P.V.1. This was an experimental seaplane of 1916, having a Sopwith Baby fuselage and high-lift wings with a view to improving take-off with two 65-lb bombs.

P.V.2 and P.V.2bis. In 1916 the Davis recoilless gun was still viewed hopefully as an anti-Zeppelin weapon, and the P.V.2 single-seat seaplane was designed to carry a 2-pounder gun of the type. It was to be fitted over the top wing and be accessible for loading (ten rounds provided). Before the airframe was completed, the Davis gun was abandoned, and with two Lewis guns above the raised top wing the aircraft was designated P.V.2bis.

F.Mason - The British Fighter since 1912 /Putnam/
The P.V.2, N.1, with Linton Hope floats.
J.Bruce - British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 /Putnam/
Port Victoria P.V.2 in its original form, with pontoon-type floats.
J.Bruce - British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 /Putnam/
N.1 modified by raising the upper wing and inserting a centre-section.This version was designated P.V.2bis.
F.Mason - The British Fighter since 1912 /Putnam/
The P. V.2bis, N1, with the upper wing raised above the fuselage and a new centresection inserted.
W.Green, G.Swanborough - The Complete Book of Fighters
The P.V.2 anti-Zeppelin aircraft which was intended to carry a two-pounder Davis gun.