Newsletter Issue 4 – August 2014

Blackburn Flyers Newsletter

Issue 4 –  August 2014

To formalise this project, a meeting was organise on 22nd Aug 2014 with the Site Director and Hawk Chief Engineer.

Mat presented the proposal with support from Pat and Richard.

The presentation included the aims and Objectives of the project which was:

  • To celebrate 100th anniversary of Brough, the ‘Home of Hawk’
  • Demonstrate methods of team working that could be applied to solve complex and unsolvable problems.
  • Exhibit Technical capabilities and competences of the Team at Brough
  • Create a scale model of the first aircraft that flew out of Brough
  • Use the scale model as Technology demonstrator to exploit emerging technologies that engineers may have to enhance their creativity and innovations.

The history of first Blackburn flight from Brough started with Robert Blackburn’s design of seaplanes at his manufacturing site in Leeds. Lack of success with the twin-fuselage design prompted the Blackburn company to design a more conventional twin-engine Type. This was a three-seat, long-range, anti-submarine patrol bomber known as the General Purpose (G.P.) seaplane.


Blackburn built only two of the type (Tail no.1415 and 1416) and these differed considerably in detail.  Three crew members sat in open cockpits, with the bomb-aimer/gunner in the nose, the pilot just ahead of the centre section.



A bomb-sight was mounted externally on the starboard side of the front cockpit and the plane was capable of carrying four 230-lb bombs on racks under the wings and a torpedo centrally under the fuselage.

Blackburn’s new aerodrome at Brough was specifically chosen on the ‘River Humber’ where the first experimental hangar and slipway were completed by the time the second G.P. seaplane was ready in 1916.

Numbered 1416 and referred to as the S.P. or Special Purpose seaplane was an advanced version of the original.


The 1416 was powered by Two 190 hp Rolls-Royce engines with the following dimensions:

– Span (upper) 74 ft 10.5in (22.8m)

– Length 46 ft  0in (14m)

– (lower) 52 ft 10in  (16.1m)

– Height 16 ft 10 in (5.1m)

– All-up weight 8,600 lb (3900kg)


The proposal was to Design and Manufacture a ¼ scale flying model of the Special Purpose Sea Plane – Tail no: 1416

The size is limited by the available space and the weight of the final model.  The ¼ scale would create a wing span of about 5.5m long with the estimated weight of 80kg.


Flying model of this Type could be very ambitious as the original design had a lot of issues resulted in significant modifications of its successor Type ‘Kangaroo’.

The nature of the technology demonstrator is to walk into the unknown and experiment with the emerging technologies with very little information or help, hence the outcome for some of these ideas could be uncertain.

Build and fly a model aircraft in the UK of any type weighing between 20kg to 150 kg, it is a mandatory requirement of the Civil Aviation Authority that the aircraft is built, inspected and flight proven using the over 20kg scheme operated by the Large Model Association on behalf of the CAA.

In addition to a flying model it is proposed to make a number of Technology demonstration projects.  These include: See behind Objects using Augmented reality platform with Android devices to blend the live video with interactive content such as CATIA model, videos and animations,  3D Telemetry, Mind control system, 2D to 3D facility and Visualising the first-angle projection drawings in 3D.


Resource requirements were discussed and it was proposed that the hours in support of the Project should be on a Voluntary basis, however a limited number of hours will be required to get some specialists needed for the certification activities (those who did not volunteered).

A request was made for a non-labour budget of £10K to start the Project.  Space required to build and store material is yet to be determined.

The presentation failed to get the full support of the Chief Engineer and there were no decisive outcome from this meeting. The Project organisers were dismayed and decided to abandon the proposal.