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Nieuport London Aircraft Information

Nieuport London

Manufacturer: Nieuport & General Aircraft
Designed by: Henry Folland
First flight: 1920
Status: Prototype only
Number built: 2

The Nieuport London was a British night bomber aircraft designed in the First World War. A twin-engined triplane, the London was dogged by the unavailability and unreliability of its engines, and did not fly until 1920. Only two were built.

Development and design

In 1918, Henry Folland, chief designer of the Nieuport (England) Ltd (later to become the Nieuport & General Aircraft Co Ltd.), formerly of the Royal Aircraft Factory and designer of the S.E.5, designed the Nieuport London to meet the RAF Type VII specification for a night bomber, an order for six Londons was placed in July 1918.

The London was a twin-engined triplane with equal span, two-bay wings, powered by the new ABC Dragonfly radial engine. It was designed for ease of production, and was built of wood with use of metal fittings minimised. The angular fuselage was covered by inch (6 mm) thick wooden boarding joined by Tongue and groove joints, techniques more usually found in furniture manufacture. The fabric covered wings were unstaggered and had ailerons fitted to each wing, while the tail unit had a prominent ventral fin similar to that fitted to Folland's S.E.5 and Nighthawk fighters. Bombload was 2,250 lb (1,023 kg), while as the London was solely intended to operate by night, defensive armament was limited to a pair of Lewis guns in the nose.

The end of the First World War meant that the RAFs needs for heavy bombers could be met by the existing Vickers Vimy, and the last four Londons were cancelled in December 1918. Despite the great expectations placed on the Dragonfly, which had been ordered into large scale production prior to testing being carried out, and formed the powerplant for many of the types planned to equip the Royal Air Force of 1919, the engine was disappointing, with the prototype Londons being delayed by many months before engines were delivered, with the first eventually flying on 13 April 1920, followed by the second in July. Despite its simple structure and angular lines, handling proved excellent, it being possible to remove the ailerons from the lower two sets of wings while not adversely affecting control. Although Folland had designed a civil transport version capable of carrying 13 passengers or heavy loads of cargo or mail, Nieuport and General closed down in August 1920, ending development of the London.

Specifications

Data from The British Bomber since 1914

General characteristics

Crew: Two
Length: 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
Wingspan: 59 ft 6 in (18.14 m)
Height: 17 ft 6 in (2.29 m)
Wing area: 1,100 ft (102 m)
Airfoil: RAF 15
Empty weight: 4,380 lb (1,991 kg)
Loaded weight: 8,650 lb (3,932 kg)
Powerplant: 2x ABC Dragonfly I 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 320 hp (239 kW) each

Performance

Maximum speed: 100 mph (87 knots, 161 km/h) at sea level
Service ceiling: 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
Wing loading: 7.86 lb/ft (38.5 kg/m)
Power/mass: 0.074 hp/lb (0.12 kW/kg)
Endurance: 4 hours
Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 30 min

Armament

Guns: 2x .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns on Scarff ring in nose
Bombs: 9x 250 lb (114 kg) bombs or equivalent

Comparable aircraft

Vickers Vimy

"The Nieuport "London" Night Bomber". Flight, 2 December 1920. pp. 1231-1239
Bruce, J.M. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. London:Putnam, 1957.
Lewis, Peter. The British Bomber since 1914. London:Putnam, Second edition 1974. ISBN 0 370 10040 9.
Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber since 1914. London:Putnam, 1994. ISBN 0 85177 861 5.

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Source: WikiPedia

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