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AD Navyplane
Role Reconnaissance aircraft
Manufacturer Air Department/Supermarine
Designed by Harold Bolas
First flight August 1916
Introduced n/a
Retired 1917-09-27
Status Cancelled
Primary user Royal Naval Air Service
Produced January 1916
Number built 1

The AD Navyplane was designed by the British Admiralty's Air Department as a reconnaissance aircraft for use during World War I. Performance of the prototype was so disappointing that plans to produce it were cancelled almost immediately.

The Navyplane was designed by the Admiralty's Harold Bolas with the assistance of R.J. Mitchell of Supermarine. It was a seaplane of unusual biplane configuration – the pilot and observer being seated in a streamlined lightweight nacelle mounted in the gap between the upper and lower sets of wings. A Smith Static radial engine and a pusher propeller were installed behind them.[1]

Two examples were ordered in 1916 for the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS).[2] Serial numbers were allocated for seven Navyplanes (9095-'96, N.1070-'74) but just one prototype (9095) was completed.[3] Tests of this Supermarine-built prototype commenced in August 1916 (flown by Lieutenant-Commander John Seddon) but soon proved seriously underpowered and unsatisfactory. The engine was replaced with an AR.1 rotary engine (which was later redesignated the BR.1 for Bentley Rotary 1) and retested in May 1917. However, even without a military load and observer, the Navyplane's performance still proved to be poor,[4] and the design was abandoned on 27 August 1917, with no second prototype being produced.

Supermarine attempted to design an improved version to replace the Short 184, the design, the Supermarine Patrol Seaplane, being powered by a 200 hp (149 kW) Sunbeam engine. While contracts for six aircraft were placed, work was abandoned before a prototype was built, the Short 184 proving adequate in the patrol role.[2][4]

Specifications (AD Navyplane)

Data from "British Aeroplanes 1914-18 [5]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 27 ft 9 in (8.46 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
  • Wing area: 364 ft² (33.8 m²)
  • Empty weight: 2,042 lb (928 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 2,550 lb (1,159 kg)
  • Powerplant:Bentley BR.1 rotary engine, 150 hp (110 kW)



  • Guns: 1× .303 in (0.770 mm) Lewis machine gun on flexible mount for observer
  • Bombs: Provision for bombs[4]

See also


  1. ^ Andrews and Morgan 1987, p.25.
  2. ^ a b Andrews and Morgan 1987, p.26.
  3. ^ Bruce 1957, p.9.
  4. ^ a b c Mason 1994, p.65.
  5. ^ Bruce 1957, pp. 8-9.
  • Andrews, C.F. and Morgan, E.B. Supermarine Aircraft since 1914. London:Putnam, 1987, ISBN 0 85177 800 3.
  • Bruce, J.M. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. London:Putnam, 1957.
  • Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber since 1914. London:Putnam, 1994. ISBN 0 85177 861 5.


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