Bellanca 31-40

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31-40 Senior Pacemaker
Bellanca Skyrocket.jpg
CF-DCH Reynolds-Alberta Museum c. 2006, photo by Ruud Leeuw
Role Civil utility aircraft
Manufacturer Bellanca, Northwest Industries (under licence)
First flight 1935
Number built ca. 20 + 13 under licence

The Bellanca 31-40 Senior Pacemaker and its derivatives were a family of a six- and eight-seat utility aircraft built in the United States in the late 1930s. They were the final revision of the original Wright WB-2 design Bellanca had bought in the late 1920s. The model numbers used by Bellanca in this period reflected the wing area (in this case, 310 square feet) and engine horsepower (400 and up in this series), each divided by ten. Like their predecessors, these were high-wing braced monoplanes with conventional tailwheel undercarriage.

A single Senior Skyrocket was bought by the United States Navy in 1938 for use as a utility transport, designated JE-1. Senior Skyrockets were also built under licence by Northwest Industries in Canada following World War II.

In 2007, a single example remains extant - the first Canadian-built aircraft (registration CF-DCH). It is preserved at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum.


Variants[edit]

  • 31-40 Senior Pacemaker - Wright Cyclone engine, 400 hp (298 kW)
  • 31-42 Senior Pacemaker - Fitted with a redesigned tail surface, accommodation for one pilot and five passengers, powered by a 550-hp (410-kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp S3H1 radial pistone engine.
  • 31-50 Senior Skyrocket - Pratt & Whitney Hornet engine, 550 hp (410 kW)
    • L-11 - One 31-50 impressed into service by the United States Army Air Forces in Alaska in 1942.
  • 31-55 Senior Skyrocket
    • JE-1 - Senior Skyrocket version for US Navy with 570 hp (425 kW) engine
    • de Luxe Senior Skyrocket - 31-55 with improved instrumentation and superior interior and exterior finishes, powered by a 525-hp (391-kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial piston engine.
    • Model 31-55A - Built under licence in Canada by Northwest Industries.


Operators[edit]

 United States

Specifications (31-55 Senior Skyrocket)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Capacity: 7 passengers
  • Length: 27 ft 9 in (8.5 m m)
  • Wingspan: 50 ft 6 in (15.3 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 6 in (2.5 m)
  • Wing area: 310 ft2 (28.8 m2)
  • Empty weight: 3,940 lb (1,787 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Hornet radial, 550 hp (410 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 180 mph (290 km/h)
  • Range: 900 miles (1,450 km)

References[edit]

  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. pp. 149–50. 
  • aerofiles.com