Author Topic: A couple of British also rans  (Read 175 times)

Offline Jonesthetank

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A couple of British also rans
« on: June 07, 2022, 02:24:27 AM »
Saro Lerwick
The sheer shortage of suitable flying boat types and the pressing needs of Coastal Command meant that Saunders Roe were pressurised to fix the flaws of their Lerwick flying boat.  After 6 months of extended trials the type was deemed to be suitable for further operational trials and following acceptance by the RAF was issued for squadron use.


Widely used alongside the Sunderland, the type was none the less an “also ran” in comparison to the Catalina in RAF use.  Despite this the Lerwick was used by 8 squadrons of the RAF throughout the war, seeing operational use over the Atlantic and Mediterranean, with 240 Squadron using the type from bases in India and Ceylon until the end of hostilities.

Blackburn Botha
Like many Blackburn designs, the Botha was initially plagued with engine difficulties.  The Perseus engines were badly underpowered, giving the type poor performance.  Blackburn Aircraft fitted one airframe with more powerful Mercury engines, giving the type a considerable jump in performance.  The Air Ministry ordered all existing airframes converted to the new engines.  As the Beaufort was by this time the pre-eminent torpedo bomber in RAF service, the “new” Bothas were issued to Coastal Command units for maritime patrol operations, with many of the type later being fitted with ASV Mark II radar.


Although something of an “also ran” in RAF service, the Botha GR1s served diligently in their patrol role until 1944, when the last was stood down in favour of more capable aircraft.

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Re: A couple of British also rans
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2022, 02:30:44 AM »
 :smiley:
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Offline apophenia

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Re: A couple of British also rans
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2022, 09:40:52 AM »
Excellent concepts. I always liked the look of the Botha. Another option for power would have been the Pegasus - same size as the Perseus but a bit more power.

This has also just prompted some Botha-related speculation on my part.
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