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Blackburn Bluebird Aircraft Information

Blackburn Bluebird

L.1 Bluebird

Manufacturer: Blackburn Aircraft
First flight: 1924
Introduced: 1928
Retired: 1937
Produced: 1928-1929
Number built: 20
Variants: Blackburn Bluebird IV

The Blackburn L.1 Bluebird was a British single-engine biplane light trainer/tourer with side by side seating built in small numbers by Blackburn Aircraft in the 1920s.

Design and development

The Bluebird L.1 was initially designed as a competitor in the Lympne light aircraft trials to be held in September 1924 for a low-powered two-seater, fitted with a 67 in (1,100 cc) Blackburne Thrush three-cylinder radial engine. The Bluebird was a wooden single-bay biplane, with folding wings and was fitted with a single side-by-side cockpit.

Although first flying in 1924, it was not finished in time to compete in the 1924 competition. It was realised that the machines that resulted from the 1923 and 1924 light aircraft trials were too low-powered for serious use, the Daily Mail sponsored a similar competition in September 1926, this time allowing the use of heavier and more powerful engines. The prototype Bluebird was then fitted with an Armstrong Siddeley Genet radial engine and dual controls for entry into the competition. Interest in the Bluebird following the competition and its success in the 1926 Grosvenor Cup air race, which it won, resulted in Blackburn manufacturing a batch of 13 production aircraft, known as the L.1A Bluebird II, which were similar to the prototype, and a further seven modified L.1B Bluebird III. The Bluebird formed the basis for the all-metal Blackburn Bluebird IV.

Operational history

The wooden Bluebirds were mainly used by flying clubs, and were heavily used, but several were quickly written off, with only three surviving for more than four years. One Bluebird II was fitted with floats and another, the Bluebird III prototype, was fitted with a ADC Cirrus engine as a testbed for the Bluebird IV. The last wooden Bluebird was destroyed in a fire-fighting demonstration in 1937.


L.1 Bluebird I Prototype. Originally powered by Blackburne Thrush engine, later re-fitted with Armstrong Siddeley Genet I radial engine and dual controls. L.1A Bluebird II Production. Powered by Genet II engine. 13 built. L.1.B Bluebird III Modified internal structure. One prototype and six production aircraft.


United Kingdom

Specifications (Bluebird II, III)

Data from British Civil Aircraft since 1919, Volume 1

General characteristics

Crew: Two
Length: 22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)
Wingspan: 28 ft 0 in (8.54 m)
Height: 8 ft 4 in (2.54 m)
Wing area: 237.5 ft (22.1 m)
Empty weight: 793 lb (360 kg)
Loaded weight: 1,385 lb (630 kg)
Powerplant: 1x Armstrong Siddeley Genet II five cylinder radial, 80 hp (60 kW)


Maximum speed: 77 kn (88 mph, 142 km/h)
Cruise speed: 61 kn (70 mph, 113 km/h)
Wing loading: 5.83 lb/ft (28.5 kg/m)
Power/mass: 0.058 hp/lb (0.095kW/kg)

Related development

Blackburn Bluebird IV
Blackburn B-2

Comparable aircraft

Avro Avian
de Havilland Moth

Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919, Volume 1. London: Putnam. ISBN 0370100069.
Taylor, M J H (Editor) (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions.

Blackburn Bluebird Pictures and Blackburn Bluebird for Sale.

Living Warbirds: The best warbirds DVD series.

Source: WikiPedia

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