EnglighGermanFrench

The Shuttleworth Aircraft Collection

1912 - Blackburn monoplane Type - 'D'

1912 - Blackburn monoplane Type - 'D'

1912 - Blackburn monoplane Type - 'D'

Robert Blackburn was born on the 26th March 1885 and became one of Britain's first aircraft designers and builders. His first aeroplane to fly did so at Filey in 1910 and he then produced several designs over the next two years. The basic 1912 machine was called the Mercury or the Type D monoplane. It was quite an advanced design for the time with all surfaces fully covered and an engine cowling around the top part of the engine. Although the design looks modern it still retains wing warping as the method of lateral control. The Collection's Blackburn monoplane was the seventh Mercury monoplane built. It was built in October 1912 to the order of Cyril Foggin, who learnt to fly at the Blackburn School at Hendon. It first flew in December 1912 in the hands of Harold Blackburn and was demonstrated by the company during the first part of 1913. Cyril Foggin first flew his new aeroplane on March 24 1913, but the aircraft was still used as a demonstration model by Blackburn. The aircraft was also used by Harold Blackburn to fly copies of the Yorkshire Post newspaper from Leeds to York between July 23-25 1913. The Blackburn Monoplane was then modified to have rounded wing tips and was fitted with a new design of undercarriage. It was then acquired by Montague Francis Glew, but he crashed the Blackburn at Wittering, Lincolnshire in 1914. The outbreak of the First World War led to the Blackburn being abandoned and forgotten. It was discovered in 1937 by Richard Shuttleworth, hidden under a haystack. Richard had to purchase the haystack to obtain the aeroplane. He then took the aircraft back to Old Warden and started to restore the aircraft, but Richard was killed in 1940 and work stopped. After the war, Richard Shuttleworth's chief engineer, Squadron Leader L.A. Jackson completed the restoration in 1949. The first flight of the Blackburn monoplane after restoration was made at nearby RAF Henlow on September 17 1949 by Group Captain A.H. Wheeler. The first public appearance of the Blackburn was made on the 25th September at the Royal Aircraft Establishments display at Farnborough. Since then it has been flying regularly with the Shuttleworth Collection and when the weather is calm enough it still takes to the air. Today it is a unique machine as it is the oldest airworthy British aeroplane in the world. Height: 8ft Length: 33ft Wingspan: 35ft 8in Engine: one 50hp Gnome rotary Max. Speed: 60mph