Blackburn Skua

 

1st Flight 1937

The Blackburn B-24 Skua was a carrier-based low-wing, two-seater, single-radial engine aircraft operated by the British Fleet Air Arm which combined the functions of a dive bomber and fighter.

It was designed in the mid-1930s and saw service in the early part of the Second World War.

Variants

Skua Mk.I 

Powered by the Bristol Mercury, it had distinctive fairings to the engine cowling over the tappet valves of the Mercury.

The first prototype, K5178, had a much shorter nose while K5179, the second prototype, had a lengthened nose to improve longitudinal stability.

Skua Mk.II

Production aircraft powered by the sleeve valve Bristol Perseus.

Long nose as per K5179 but with a shorter, smooth cowling.

Two-seat fighter and dive bomber for the Royal Navy

Specifications

Crew: 2

Length: 35 ft 7 in (10.85 m)

Wingspan: 46 ft 2 in (14.07 m)

Height: 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m)

Wing area: 319 sq ft (29.6 m2)

Airfoil: root: NACA 2416; tip: NACA 2409

Empty weight: 5,496 lb (2,493 kg)

Gross weight: 8,228 lb (3,732 kg)

Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Perseus XII 9-cylinder air-cooled radial sleeve-valve piston engine, 890 hp (660 kW)

Propellers: 3-bladed variable-pitch propeller

Performance

Maximum speed: 225 mph (362 km/h, 196 kn) at 6,500 ft (1,981 m)

Cruise speed: 187 mph (301 km/h, 162 kn)

Range: 760 mi (1,220 km, 660 nmi)

Service ceiling: 20,200 ft (6,200 m)

Rate of climb: 1,580 ft/min (8.0 m/s)

Armament

Guns:

4 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) forward-firing Browning machine guns with 600 rounds per gun

1 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis or Vickers K machine gun on flexible mount in rear cockpit

Bombs: 1 × 500 lb (230 kg) semi-armour piercing bomb under fuselage or 8 × 30 lb (14 kg) practice bombs under wings.

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