Tarrant Tabor

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Tabor
Tarrant Tabor 1.jpg
Role Bomber
Manufacturer W.G Tarrant Ltd
Designer Walter Barling
First flight 26 May 1919
Primary user RAE
Number built 1

The Tarrant Tabor was a British triplane bomber designed towards the end of the First World War and was briefly the world's largest aircraft. It crashed fatally on its first flight.

Development[edit]

The Tabor was the first and only aircraft design produced by W.G Tarrant Ltd, a well-known property developer and building contractor at Byfleet, Surrey, who hired Walter Barling from the Royal Aircraft Factory to design a very large long range heavy bomber.

The sole Tarrant Tabor F1765

Construction was primarily in wood with conventional tri-plane strut-braced wings and a monocoque fuselage built up from ply veneers.[1][clarification needed]

The Tabor was originally planned as a biplane powered by four 600 hp Siddeley Tiger engines. However delays in development of the engines[note 1] meant these would be unavailable and so the aircraft was redesigned to use six 450 hp Napier Lion engines to give a similar power/weight ratio, and a third, upper wing added.[2]

The final design had a wingspan of over 131 ft (40 m), with the central wing of much greater span than the other two. Four engines were mounted in push pull configuration pairs between the lower and middle wings with the other two mounted in tractor configuration between the middle and upper wings, directly above the lower pairs. The tractor engines used two-bladed propellors, the pushers four-bladed ones. With the end of the war conversion to a passenger aircraft was planned.

The monocoque construction gave a large open space within the fuselage. The pilots were situated in the nose, with a partition separating them from the engineer's station and the engine controls mounted on either side of the opening in the partition.[3] The fuel tanks were in the top and sides of the fuselage to maintain the clear internal space.


F1765 after its crash

Work on the aircraft had stopped at then end of the First World War, when it was no longer needed as a bomber[clarification needed] . It was later completed with the design altered to allow it to be used as a commercial or transport aircraft. [4]

The Tabor's maiden flight was from the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough on 26 May 1919. The Tabor, with two pilots and five passengers was taxied around the landing field using only the four lower engines. Satisfied with the behaviour of the aircraft the crew decided to take-off.[4] The tail was off the ground but it was still running on the main wheels, intermittently lifting off . When the top two engines were started the aircraft pitched forward, burying the nose into the ground and seriously injuring all on board.[4] The second pilot died after reaching hospital and the pilot died of his injuries a few days later.[4][5]

Later analysis suggested that the upper engines were so far above the fuselage that they forced the nose down when driven up to full power. The situation may not have been helped by the addition of 1,000 lb of lead ballast in the nose against the wishes of Tarrant.[2]

Operators[edit]

 United Kingdom

Specifications (estimated)[edit]

Data from The British Bomber since 1914[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Six
  • Capacity: 9,000 lb load as passenger aircraft
  • Length: 73 ft 2 in (22.31 m)
  • Wingspan: 131 ft 3 in (40.02 m)
  • Height: 37 ft 3 in (11.36 m)
  • Wing area: 4,950 ft² (460 m²)
  • Airfoil: RAF 15
  • Empty weight: 24,750 lb (11,250 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 44,672 lb (20,305 kg)
  • Powerplant: 6 × Napier Lion 12-cylinder, water-cooled piston engine (four tractor, two pusher), 450 hp (336 kW) each
  • Fuel capacity: 10,000 lb

Performance

Armament

  • Bombs: approximately 4,600 lb planned

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ the Tiger would not run until 1920 and the project was cancelled
Citations
  1. ^ a b "The Tarrant Giant Triplane" (PDF). Flight XI (19): 592. May 8, 1919. No. 541. Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Mason, Francis K (1994). The British Bomber since 1914. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books. pp. 126–127. ISBN 0-85177-861-5. 
  3. ^ Flight p630
  4. ^ a b c d "Triplane Wrecked at Farnborough - Capt P.T. Rawlings Killed" (News). The Times (London). Tuesday, 27 May 1919. (42110), col D, p. 9.
  5. ^ "Tarrant Triplane Pilot's Death" (News in Brief). The Times (London). Thursday, 29 May 1919. (42112), col A, p. 9.

External links[edit]