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The Folland Fo. 108, also known as the Folland 43/47, was a engine testbed used by Great Britain during the 1940s.

Description[]

Resembling a scaled up Hawker Hurricane, the Fo. 108 was a low wing monoplane with fixed undercarriage. The large fuselage, which contained a large cabin for two observers and their instruments, was a light alloy semi-monocoque construction, while plywood was used to cover the tail assembly and the wings. The latter featured split trailing edge flaps and automatic wingtip slots,[2] and were constructed for Folland at Eastleigh by Oddie Bradbury & Cull.[3]

History[]

The first design by Folland Aircraft Ltd to reach the hardware stage, the Fo. 108 was developed in response to Specification 43/37, which called for an aircraft capable of testing a variety of aero engines. Selected ahead of designs from Percival and General Aircraft, 12 examples of the Fo. 108 were built,[2] with serials P1774 to P1785.[4]

The first aircraft was delivered in 1940, with examples remaining in service until 27th March 1945.[2]

Details of Service[]

  • P1774 - Delivered 1940. Lost 14th September 1944.[2] Engines fitted: Napier Sabre I, Sabre II, Bristol Centaurus
  • P1775 - Lost 18th September 1944.[2] Engines fitted: Hercules VIII, Centaurus.[4]
  • P1776 - Lost 28th August 1944.[2] Engines fitted: Centaurus IV, Sabre I.[4]
  • P1777 - Engines fitted: Sabre I, Centaurus.[4]
  • P1778 - Struck off charge 27 March 1945 after Griffon tests. Engines fitted: Griffon,[2] Centaurus I (also used by de Havilland for propeller tests.[4]
  • P1779 - Lost 14th September 1944.[2] Engines fitted: Sabre I, Hercules XI, various Sabre engines.[4]
  • P1780 - Engines fitted: Hercules XI, various Napier engines
  • P1781 - Lost 28th April 1944, while conducting Centaurus IV take off tests at Heston.[N 1] Engines fitted: Centaurus IV.[4]
  • P1782 - Engines fitted: Hercules XI;[2] various Bristol engines.[4]
  • P1783 - Engines fitted: Hercules XI;[2] various Bristol engines.[4]
  • P1784 - Struck of charge 5th March 1945 after testing Hercules XI. Engines fitted: Hercules XI;[2] various Bristol engines.[4]
  • P1785 - Engines fitted: Hercules XI;[2] various Bristol engines.[4]

Notes[]

  1. This was the first recorded loss of an Fo.108.[2]

Sources[]

  1. 1000 Aircraft photos
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. File 894 Sheet 44 (A-Z of Aircraft:F - Fokker (America) O-27 and B-5 to Folland Fo. 139 Midge)
  3. Aviastar
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Robertson, Bruce. British Military Aircraft Serials 1912-1966. Ian Allen Ltd. 1967 Page 141