WW1 Planes
An encyclopediae of 1914-18 aircraft types


A long-lasting British manufacturer

Blackburn monoplane 1909 The one-man affair Blackburn Aircraft company was founded by Robert Blackburn in Leeds in 1908. Robert Blackburn flew his aircraft on the beaches at Marske and Filey, and Holme-on-Spalding Moor. Several models followed until the company's Olympia Works were setup at Roundhay in 1914. From there the definitive company was funded as Blackburn Aeroplane & Motor Company and a new plant was later dedicated at Brough (Yorkshire) in 1916, headed by Robert's brother, Norman Blackburn as managing director. The company would manufacture about twenty models with various success during the war, most of which being successful U-boat and Zeppelin hunters. After the war in the 1930s the company acquired Cirrus-Hermes and started a range of Blackburn Cirrus engines and the same year in 1937 Maurice Denny (Denny Bros.) approached the company for a merger with the Dumbarton shipbuilding company, a new factory was established at Barge Park, Dumbarton.

Blackburn Type D
The single Blackburn Type D replica

The Blackburn Botha was from this plant in 1939. Becoming the Blackburn Aircraft Limited in 1939, it was amalgamated with General Aircraft Limited after the war in 1949 and back to Blackburn Aircraft Limited by 1958. However with the rationalization of British aircraft manufacturers it was absorbed by Hawker Siddeley and then Bristol Siddeley and disappeared as independent entity in 1963. There was also in 1929 an American manufacturer, Blackburn Aircraft Corp., in Detroit. But Blackburn also had plants at Olympia, Leeds, Sherburn-in-Elmet, and Brough (East Yorkshire).

Blackburn Mercury
Blackburn Mercury, a replica at the Yorkshire Air Museum

Blackburn White Falcon
Blackburn White Falcon

Blackburn Models

The Blackburn First Monoplane in 1909 was a single-engine, single-seat high-wing monoplane and the second Blackburn Monoplane of 1911 was a single-engine midwing model. And the came the Blackburn Mercury in 1911, as a Single-engine, two-seat midwing monoplane for training. A development of it was the Blackburn Type B (1912), suceeded by the Type D the same year, 1912 with the same monoplane configuration, now preserved in flying condition at the Shuttleworth Collection (Old Warden). The Type E, also the same year, was metal-framed, and one variant was a two-seater. The year 1913 saw the Blackburn Type I emerge with a new monoplane configuration, single-engine 1/2-seat and mid-wing and proposed and tested both as land-based and seaplane. The Type L, a single-engine two-seat biplane seaplane appeared just before the war, and became a mass-production success. But the planes Blackburn were best remembered for became the Blackburn Twin Blackburn in 1915, which was a twin-engine twin-fuselage and seats, anti-Zeppelin seaplane. The AD Scout which appeared the same year was an Admiralty design, a single-engine, single-seat pusher which was specialized to hunt Zeppelins, but only two were built by both Blackburn and Hewlett & Blondeau for testings.

Blacburn GP
The Blackburn GP was the blueprint for the RT1 Kangaroo

RT1 Kangaroo Interesting models of 1916 were the Blackburn Triplane, a triplane version of Scout (also built under licence), the White Falcon, which was a single-engine two-seat mid-wing monoplane, and the "General Purpose" a twin-engine three-seat seaplane biplane anti-submarine patroller, upon which the RT1 Kangaroo was built. Close to this mass-production success, Blackburn tried to replace it with the Blackburd in 1918, as single-engine, single-seat biplane torpedo bomber, long range. The company also tried a single-seat biplane flying boat for the bombers escort, called the N.1B/Pellet (1918) and a light bomber variant, started but ever completed and never flew. The largest and perhaps best known model was the RT1 Kangaroo, an excellent torpedo bomber.

WW1 Models

Blackburn Blackburd

Blackburn Blackburd, three built for testings by Harris Booth

  • Blackburn Monoplane (1909) (1)
  • Blackburn Monoplane (1911) (1)
  • Blackburn Mercury (1911) (9)
  • Blackburn Type B (1912) (1)
  • Blackburn Type D (1912) (1)
  • Blackburn Type E (1912) (2)
  • Blackburn Type I (1913) (3)
  • Blackburn Type L (1914) (1)
  • Blackburn Twin Blackburn (1915) (9)
  • Blackburn AD scout (1915) (4)
  • Blackburn White Falcon (1916) (1)
  • Blackburn Triplane (1916) (1)
  • Blackburn General Purpose "GP" (1916) (2)
  • Blackburn N.1B/ Pellet (1918) (1)
  • Blackburn Blackburd (1918) (3)
  • Blackburn RT1 kangaroo (1918) (20)

Read More:

Wikipedia - Blackburn aircraft
On military factory
Black Kangaroo
Blackbrun Kangaroo