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Wight Converted Seaplane

The Wight Converted Seaplane was a British twin-float patrol seaplane produced by John Samuel White & Company Limited (Wight Aircraft).

Developed from the unsuccessful Wight Bomber for use as an anti-submarine patrol aircraft, the “Converted” Seaplane was a straight forward adaptation of the landplane bomber to a seaplane.

The aircraft was a three bay biplane with unswept, unequal span, unstaggered wings.

It had twin floats under the fuselage and additional floats at tail and wings tips.

Initial production aircraft were powered by a 322 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle IV engine mounted in the nose driving a four bladed propeller, with later production batches being powered by a 265 hp (198 kW) Sunbeam Maori engine owing to shortages of Eagles.

Fifty were ordered for the RNAS, of which only 37 were completed.

The Converted Seaplane entered service with the RNAS in 1917, operating from bases at Calshot, Dover, Portland and Cherbourg.

On 18 August 1917, a Wight Converted Seaplane flying from Cherbourg sank the German U-boat UB-32 with a single 100 lb bomb, the first submarine to be sunk in the English Channel by direct air action.

Seven remained in service with the RAF at the end of the First World War.





44 ft 8.5 in (13.627 m)


65 ft 6 in (19.96 m)


16 ft 0 in (4.88 m)

Wing area

715 sq ft (66.4 m2)

Empty weight

3,758 lb (1,705 kg)

Gross weight

5,556 lb (2,520 kg)


1 × Rolls-Royce Eagle IV, 

V-12 water cooled piston engine,

322 hp (240 kW)


4 bladed fixed pitch propeller


Maximum speed

84 mph (135 km/h, 73 kn)


3½ hours

Service ceiling

9,600 ft (2,900 m)

Time to altitude

6,500 ft (1,981 m) 18 min 20 sec

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