The first of a series of new blogposts by Naval Air History author Matthew Willis was published today on the Global Maritime History site. The series takes a look at unusual or forgotten naval aircraft prototypes. The first observes the weird and inconsistently wonderful Blackburn Blackburd torpedo bomber
From the earliest days of naval aviation in the UK, aircraft types were developed which, for one reason or another, did not enter service. These ranged from private ventures offered to the Admiralty on spec to aircraft formally requested through an official requirement. Some of these were short-lived, others tested for years through multiple evolutions with a range of powerplants and other differences. Some prototypes lost out to other, more successful types, sometimes they were developed into successful machines, and sometimes the whole requirement was scrapped and all proposed types abandoned. This series aims to give an overview of the prototypes considered and ultimately rejected for naval aviation.
The first aircraft to be considered is the Blackburn Blackburd, a torpedo bomber conceived during the First World War and representing the wave of aircraft that bridged the wartime and interwar periods.