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Blackburn R.T.1 Kangaroo

The Blackburn R.T.1 Kangaroo was a British twin-engine reconnaissance torpedo biplane of the First World War.

In 1916, the Blackburn Aircraft Company designed and built two prototypes of an anti-submarine floatplane designated the Blackburn G.P. or Blackburn General Purpose.

It was not ordered but Blackburn developed a landplane version as the Blackburn R.T.1 Kangaroo (Reconnaissance Torpedo Type 1).

The first aircraft was delivered to Martlesham Heath in January 1918.

Test results were disappointing, with the rear fuselage being prone to twisting and the aircraft suffering control problems, which led to the order for fifty aircraft being cut to twenty, most of which were already partly built.

From the sixth aircraft, they were powered by the more powerful Rolls-Royce Falcon III engine replacing the 250 hp (190 kW) Rolls-Royce Falcon II.

The Kangaroo entered service later that year with No. 246 Squadron RAF based at Seaton Carew, County Durham which had six months of wartime operations, in which they sank one U-boat and damaged four others. 

UC-70, was spotted lying submerged on the sea bottom near Runswick Bay on 28 August 1918, by a Kangaroo flown by Lt E. F. Waring.

The U-boat was badly damaged by the near miss of a 520 lb (240 kg) bomb and finished off by the destroyer HMS Ouse.





44 ft 2 in (13.46 m)


74 ft 10 in (22.81 m)


16 ft 10 in (5.13 m)

Wing area

868 sq ft (80.6 m2)

Empty weight

5,284 lb (2,397 kg)

Gross weight

8,017 lb (3,636 kg)


2 × Rolls-Royce Falcon II V-12 water-cooled piston engines,

250 hp (190 kW) each


4-bladed fixed-pitch propellers


Maximum speed

98 mph (158 km/h, 85 kn) at 6,500 ft (1,981 m)


8 hours

Service ceiling

13,000 ft (4,000 m)

Rate of climb

480 ft/min (2.4 m/s)


2× 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis machine guns

Up to 920 lb (417 kg) of bombs

Military User’s

Peruvian Army Flying Service

Royal Air Force

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