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B-2
Blackburn B2 at the Shuttleworth Collection
Role Trainer
Manufacturer Blackburn Aircraft
First flight 1931
Introduced 1932
Retired 1942
Primary user Royal Air Force
Number built 42
Developed from Blackburn Bluebird IV

The Blackburn B-2 was a British biplane side-by-side trainer aircraft of the 1930s. Designed and built by Blackburn Aircraft, 42 were built.

Contents

Development

The Blackburn B-2 was developed by Blackburn as a successor for its earlier Bluebird IV trainer, retaining the layout and side-by-side seating of the earlier aircraft, but having a semi-monocoque all-metal fuselage. The prototype B-2 (registered G-ABUW) first flew on 10 December 1932[1], powered by a de Havilland Gipsy III engine. A total of 42 B-2s, including the prototype, were built.

Operational history

The prototype B-2 was shipped to Lisbon in September 1933 for evaluation by Portugal. Although it performed well in the evaluation, the Portuguese preferred a tandem layout and purchased the de Havilland Tiger Moth[2]. Although not successful in competing for major military orders, the B-2 continued in production to equip civilian flying schools in the United Kingdom, which were busy training pilots for the Royal Air Force under the RAF expansion scheme, the B-2 equipping flying schools at Brough and Hanworth owned by Blackburn.

The last three B-2s were sold to the RAF and used by No. 4 EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School), also at Brough.

On the outbreak of the Second World War, the aircraft at Hanworth were moved to Brough and merged with that school's aircraft. The school at Brough continued to be operated by Blackburn, with the aircraft remaining with civilian registrations (although they were repainted with wartime training markings with yellow fuselages, camouflaged wings and RAF roundels) [2]. The remaining aircraft were taken over by the RAF in February 1942 [1], being handed over to the Air Training Corps, where they were used as instructional airframes.

Operators

 United Kingdom

Survivors

Blackburn B-2 at Old Warden

Only two B-2s survived to fly postwar, one crashing in 1951[2], with the sole survivor (G-AEBJ) preserved and maintained in airworthy condition by Blackburn (now part of British Aerospace). G-AEBJ is maintained in airworthy condition as part of the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden [3]

Specifications (B-2)

Data from British Civil Aircraft since 1919, Volume 1 [2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 24 ft 3 in (7.39 m)
  • Wingspan: 30 ft 2 in (9.20 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 0 in (2.74 m)
  • Wing area: 246 ft² (22.9 m²)
  • Empty weight: 1,175 lb (534 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 1,850 lb (841 kg)
  • Powerplant:de Havilland Gipsy III 4 cylinder in-line engine, 120 hp (90 kW)

Performance

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

References

  1. ^ a b Donald, David (Editor) (1997). The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Aerospace Publishing. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.  
  2. ^ a b c d Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919, Volume 1. London: Putnam. ISBN 0 370 10006 9.  
  3. ^ "Aeroplane Monthly - Blackburn B2 moves to the Shuttleworth Collection". 2007-04-01. http://www.aeroplanemonthly.com/news/Blackburn_B2_biplane_trainer_moves_to_the_Shuttleworth_Collection_news_114797.html. Retrieved 2007-06-23.  

External links

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