Mystery British WWII prototype.

Profile picture for user Mark12

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 10,028

I was shuffling through some prints last night, from the estate of a departed friend, and was quite surprised at the attached. I had never seen this or anything like it before. A single engined 'Hurricanesque' British proto with what looks like a Messier undercarriage. It must be 150% scale of comparable period fighters and seems to have a crew window. Only when I had scanned the print for the forum and wound up the magnification could I even see the vestige of a serial and judge the digits. In fact as of ten minutes ago I now know what it is but I am posting it anyway for comment. Those with a Putnam persuasion will I am sure be able to tell us more. Mark http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/Mark12/MysteryPrototype-01-001.jpg
Original post

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 1,707

A single engined 'Hurricanesque' British proto with what looks like a Messier undercarriage. It must be 150% scale of comparable period fighters and seems to have a crew window.
It's a Folland 43/37 engine testbed. The company built 12 of them for in-flight testing of big engines, mainly the Napier Sabre and Bristol Centaurus. The Bristol Hercules was used for ferrying flights.
Profile picture for user JDK

Member for

16 years

Posts: 8,195

Nice one. Often called the "Folland Frightful" and one of the aircraft the following quote from the test pilot is attributed to: "Getting into this aircraft is difficult. I reccomend it is made impossible." PS No Putnams were hurt in the researching of these conjectures. Not seen that particular pic before though. Cheers!
Profile picture for user Michel Lemieux

Member for

15 years 1 month

Posts: 77

Juging by the height of the landing gear.........the prop must have been huge.... Must have been a handfull on takeoff :))
Profile picture for user Mark12

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 10,028

Yes. P1783, a Folland 43/37 flying engine test bed. Testing the Hercules XI and in this case more probably testing the propeller that goes with it as I suspect this image has its origins in Dowty Rotol by association with other prints in the pile. The full frame of this shot shows in the background a Halifax and one of those high altitude pressurised Wellingtons with the lower 2/3 of the fuselage in either white of yellow. Mark
Profile picture for user Skyraider3D

Member for

14 years 11 months

Posts: 1,358

Very interesting! Looks like this is one of those planes where the following quote would be applicable: "If it looks good, it flies good. This plane couldn't do either".
Profile picture for user adrian_gray

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 2,935

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Good grief! That's the first picture I've ever seen of one with some sort of scale - it's HUGE! Didn't one break up in mid-air very nearly taking an eminent test pilot (Michael Daunt?) with it? Or am I getting it muddled with rather a lot of other planes? Adrian

Member for

15 years 7 months

Posts: 65

Folland I remember as a lad always riding on the top deck of the bus from Gloucester to Cheltenham as I could see over the hedge at Staverton as we went past the Rotol flight shed. Apart from the Folland I remember seeing a Baker Martin MB5, Wellington Mark 6(?) - the pressurised version, and the Westland Welkin. There was a large dispersal area on the south side full of Typhoons that were waiting for delivery from Glosters and there was also a rank of Albemarles also awaiting delivery.