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British Industrial History

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Blackburn: Sydney

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1929. Blackburn Nile
1930. Three Engined Monoplane Flying Boat.

The Blackburn R.B.2 Sydney was a long-range maritime patrol flying boat developed by Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Co for the Royal Air Force in 1930, in response to Air Ministry Specification R.5/27. It was a parasol-winged braced monoplane of typical flying boat arrangement with triple tail fins and its three engines arranged on the wing's leading edge. After evaluation, it was not ordered into production and no further examples were built.

With development of the Sydney abandoned, construction of a cargo-carrying variant powered by radial engines, the C.B.2 Nile was also put to an end.[1]

The Blackburn Nile

The hull is an all-metal structure, composed of duralumin, with stainless steel fittings and is based on the lanes of the hill of the firm's "Iris" flying boat, a military machine which has proved very successful. It contains accommodation for fourteen passengers, two pilots and a steward. Internally, the accommodation is strikingly similar to that provided in a railway " Pullman" car. The pilots sit side by side in an enclosed cockpit, which is entered through a door from the passengers' cabin. The access to the cabin through a hatchway and passengers gain accommodation ladders. It is a three-engined monoplane. The wings are carried high above the waterline to avoid their being damaged by high seas, and the engines are mounted on top of then\ to obviate interference with their working by spray. The wings are supported above the hull by a faired structure of steel tubes, and by diagonal stream-lined steel struts sloping from the sides of the hull. Two side floats are carried below the diagonal struts, and are set unusually close to the hull. The wing structure is built up of duralumin box spars and duralwnin ribs. The tail is also a monoplane structure.

It carries three rudders operated by a servo-control, and is equipped with tail trimming gear. The engines are three Bristol " Jupiters" of 490 H .P. each, or other designs of similar power. They are carried in nacelles faired into the leading edge of the wings. The main petrol tanks are carried in the fairing between the wings and the hull, and from these tanks petrol is distributed to a small service tank in each engine nacelle. There are no fuel tanks, cocks or piping inside the hull.

The leading dimensions of the machine are indicated on the drawing above. It will have a total weight of 20,700 lb., and a total load of 5950 lb. The fuel carried will be from 340 to 603 gallons, and the endurance will be from 4 to 8 hours, according to the load. It is estimated that the top speed at sea level will be 107 knots, the cruising speed 87 knots, and the landing speed 52 knots. From sea level it should be able to climb at a rate of 700ft. per minute. The service ceiling will be in the neighbourhood of 14,000ft. The Engineer 1929/08/02

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