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Blackburn YA 7 & 8

Old 14th Nov 2019, 08:17
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Blackburn YA 7 & 8

I cam across this recently apparently designed to fit the same spec that resulted in the Fairey Gannet.

Mason's "British Bombers" says it wasn't a great success but what killed it was that they couldn't load a specific homing torpedo into the bomb bay even though this had been an integral requirement of the original Spec.

Can anyone shed any light on how you could go ahead and not only design, but also build and fly an aircraft so out of touch with the spec. you were intending to meet?


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Old 14th Nov 2019, 08:38
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The YA 7 and 8 were powered by RR Griffon engines; the YB 1 built about he same time to roughly the same design (3 seats instead of 2) had the same Double Mamba as the Gannet.
Only one of each was built.
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 09:20
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Mason says that Blackburn hoped to fit a Double Mamba from day 1 but Fairey's, who'd developed the concept, made sure the first ones went in the Gannet prototype.

There was also a problem in fitting three crew in the YA-7 - they were all on top under one canopy whereas the Gannet could get people inside which made for a better work environment. Still can't understand why Blackburn didn't get the bomb bay right tho'.
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 10:19
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Didn't Shorts build an aircraft to the same spec?
No not the Seamew!
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 13:22
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Still can't understand why Blackburn didn't get the bomb bay right tho'.
I'm not saying it was necessarily the case, but it wouldn't have been the first (or last) time that the Ministry retrospectively revised a spec after manufacturers had started to design/build an aircraft.

Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Didn't Shorts build an aircraft to the same spec?
Wikipedia suggests not. It lists only Blackburn and Fairey as contenders for GR.17/45 (OR.220): List of Air Ministry Specifications
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 14:17
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Didn't Shorts build an aircraft to the same spec?
No not the Seamew!
According to C H Barnes in his book Shorts Aircraft since 1900 on page 417 covering the Short Sturgeon he states "Meanwhile a further development had resulted in 1949 from a proposal to adapt the Sturgeon to suit the general requirement of specification GR.17/45 as modified for anti-submarine radar search and patrol; for this role specification M.6/49 was drafted, and the last Sturgeon SH.1599 became the first prototype of a new design S.B.3 being drastically modified before reaching the final assembly jigs; a second prototype, SH.1603 , was also laid down, and serials WF632 and 636 were allotted".
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 14:34
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According to Mason the torpedo was mentioned in the original spec for GR 17/45 and Fairey , Blackburn & Short tendered - the first two had prototypes ordered. He does note "it may be significant that at no time was any mention made in Blackburn's records of the YA7's ability to carry homing torpedoes"

Apparently it may not just have been the torpedoes - it seems the weapons bay doors had insufficient ground clearance for "some naval weapons specified." Sounds like it was designed by the "C" team TBH.

Shorts design was the SB3 - originally an adaptation of the Sturgeon and as MR says a new spec M./6/49 was issued with 2 prototypes being ordered. It was at Farnborough 1950 but "had lost almost ever vestige of the Sturgeon's handling capabilities... nightmare.... fundamental shortcomings...." abandoned after with only one prototype flying. Scrapped early 1951.

The Seamew was built to spec M.123 which was completely different and first flew in 1953
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 16:27
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 17:29
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It depends which Sturgeon you refer to. The in service TT.2 and TT.3 were apparently very easy to fly and a delight - the SB.3 on the other hand was truly awful to fly and a bit of a dog (or elephant, depending on how you see it).


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Old 14th Nov 2019, 18:25
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Not surprising looking at that picture..................
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Old 14th Nov 2019, 19:46
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Originally Posted by Wyvernfan View Post
It depends which Sturgeon you refer to. The in service TT.2 and TT.3 were apparently very easy to fly and a delight - the SB.3 on the other hand was truly awful to fly and a bit of a dog (or elephant, depending on how you see it).
Though strictly speaking by the time it was developed into the S.B.3 it was no longer a Sturgeon, so the latter's easy-to-fly reputation remained intact.

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Old 15th Nov 2019, 08:45
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"Yes Madam - I can assure you this is not a Boeing 737-MAX. It is a Boeing 737-8200" - courtesy of Ryanair's new paint job
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Old 22nd Nov 2019, 15:04
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Looks like it should have a blade attached to the nose, and be used for clearing snow off airstrips!
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