Parnall Plover

The Parnall Plover was a British single seat naval fighter aircraft of the 1920s. Designed and built by George Parnall & Co. for use off the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers, it was ordered into small-scale production, but after extensive evaluation, the Fairey Flycatcher was preferred for large-scale service.

Parnall Plover
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Parnall
Origin United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain)
Country Name Origin Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1922
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) 1923 1924 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Parnall 13 View

The Parnall Plover was designed by Harold Bolas, chief designer of the reformed George Parnall & Co. to meet the requirements of the British Air Ministry Specification 6/22 for a single-seat fighter aircraft to replace the Nieuport Nightjar, powered by either a Bristol Jupiter or Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar engine capable of being operated both from the decks of aircraft carriers or as a floatplane. The Plover was a single bay biplane of wood and fabric construction, fitted with full span flaps, and could be fitted either with a conventional wheeled undercarriage, or, as an alternative floats (with wheels protruding through the bottom of the floats) could be used to allow amphibious operation. The first prototype flew in late 1922, powered by a Bristol Jupiter. Two more prototypes followed, with the second a floatplane, also powered by a Jupiter, and the third a landplane powered by a Jaguar engine.

The three prototypes proved to be similar in performance to the competing Fairey Flycatcher, with small orders being placed for both types to allow more detailed operational evaluation. Ten Plovers were therefore ordered.

Six of the Plovers entered service with 403 and 404 Fleet Fighter Flights of the Royal Air Force in 1923, allowing the type to be evaluated in service against the Flycatcher, and the Nightjar, which both types were planned to replace. The Flycatcher was preferred, being a more popular aircraft to fly as well as being easier to rig, replacing the Plover in 1924.

One aircraft was entered on the civil register as G-EBON and was flown in the 1919 King's Cup Air Race, the Plover retired from the race due to fuel flow problems. G-EBON crashed and was destroyed in January 1929.

Role Fighter
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Parnall & Co
Designer Harold Bolas
First flight 1922
Introduction 1923
Retired 1924
Primary user Royal Air Force
Number built 13


General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 23 ft 0 in (7.00 m)
  • Wingspan: 29 ft 0 in (8.84 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 0 in (3.65 m)
  • Wing area: 306 ft² (28.4 m²)
  • Empty weight: 2,035 lb (923 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 2,984 lb (1,354 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Jupiter III radial engine, 436 hp (325 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 123 knots (142 mph, 228 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 23,000 ft (7,000 m)
  • Wing loading: 9.75 lb/ft² (47.7 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.15 hp/lb (0.24 kW/kg)
  • Climb to 20,000 ft: 25 min 12 sec

Armament

  • Guns: Two fixed forward-firing .303 in Vickers machine guns

End notes