Boulton & Paul P.6

1st Flight 1918

The Boulton & Paul P.6 was a one-off conventional single engine biplane built to test the aerodynamics of different airfoil sections.

It was later used as the company sales machine.

The P.6 was a wood and fabric two-seat single-engine single-bay biplane.

Its wings were without stagger or sweep, with a constant chord of 5 ft (1.52 m) on both wings.

The intention was to explore the effects of different airfoil sections and the large interplane gap, also 5 ft, would have helped to reduce the complications of interference effects.

The initial section used was RAF15.

There were ailerons on both upper and lower wings.

The fuselage was flat sided with a rounded top, rather similar in construction to that of the Camel and using many Camel parts.

The fin and horn balanced rudder together were almost circular and the tail plane was braced to the fin.

The large interplane gap put the upper wing well above the fuselage with the centre section braced to front and rear spars by outward sloping struts from the upper longerons.

The pilot’s cockpit was under the trailing edge, where there was a cut-out for visibility and the passenger sat in a separate cockpit under the wing.

The 90 hp (67 kW) RAF 1a engine drove a four bladed, 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m) diameter propeller and was partly enclosed in a metal cowling, with the cylinder heads protruding as it was air-cooled.

There was a simple single axle undercarriage and tail skid.

There is a replica of this aircraft and it was built by the Boulton Paul Association.

It is currently in storage at the Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford, UK.

Specifications

Crew

1

Capacity

1 passenger

Length

19 ft 0 in (5.79 m)

Wingspan

25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)

Height

8 ft 0 in (2.44 m)

Wing area

235 sq ft (21.8 m2)

Airfoil

RAF 15

Empty weight

1,100 lb (499 kg)

Gross weight

1,725 lb (782 kg)

Fuel capacity

20.1 imp gal (24.1 US gal; 91 L)

Powerplant

1 × RAF1a air-cooled V-8 engine, 90 hp (67 kW)

Performance

Maximum speed

103 mph (166 km/h, 90 kn) at 1,000 ft (300 m)

Endurance

2 hr 20 min

Time to altitude

9 min to 5,000 ft (1,500 m).

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