Alliance P.2 Seabird

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Alliance P.2 Seabird
Role Long-range biplane
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Alliance Aeroplane Company
Designer James Arthur Peters
First flight 1919
Number built 2

The Alliance P.2 Seabird was a British single-engined long-range biplane designed by J.A. Peters to enter the Daily Mail £10,000 Atlantic Flight Prize. In the end it did not compete but became the first aircraft to fly from London (Acton) to Madrid non-stop on 31 July 1919.[1]

Design and development[edit]

The Alliance Aeroplane Company which had constructed aircraft under licence during the First World War decided to build aircraft for the civil market. The Seabird was a long-range two-seat biplane powered by a 450 hp (336 kW) Napier Lion piston engine.[1] With an endurance of 21 hours it had an enclosed cabin for the crew of two and two aircraft were built.[1]

Operational history[edit]

On the 17 April 1919 Peters the designer paid the £100 entrance fee to the Royal Aero Club as entry fee for the Alliance biplane into the competition for the Daily Mail £10,000 Atlantic Flight Prize.[2] Flown by Peters with Captain W.R. Curtis of the Royal Air Force the first Seabird (registration G-EAGL) carried out a trial flight on 31 July 1919 when it made the first direct non-stop flight between London and Madrid, 900 miles in just under eight hours.[3] The aircraft did not in the end compete in the Atlantic competition.

The second aircraft G-EAOX was entered into an Australian Government prize of £10,000 for a flight from Great Britain to Australia.[1][4] Flown by two Australian airmen, Lieutenant Roger Douglas (pilot) and Lieutenant J.S.L. Ross (Navigator), G-EAOX left Hounslow Heath Aerodrome on 13 November 1919 but a few minutes into the flight the Seabird crashed near Surbiton killing both airmen.[4]

The company never recovered from the accident and was closed down in 1920.


Data from [1]British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 1

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
  • Wingspan: 53 ft 0 in (16.16 m)
  • Wing area: 700[5] ft2 (65.1 m2)
  • Empty weight: 2600 lb (1179 kg)
  • Gross weight: 7400 lb (3357 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Napier Lion piston engine, 450 hp (336 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 140 mph (225 km/h)
  • Range: 3000[6] miles (4828 km)
  • Endurance: 21 hours  0 min



  1. ^ a b c d e Jackson 1973, p. 283
  2. ^ "Atlantic Airmen Still Waiting - Another Entry". News. The Times (42078). London. 19 April 1919. col E, p. 11. 
  3. ^ "D. Napier & Son, Ltd.". Display Advertising. The Times (42210). London. 20 September 1919. col F, p. 5. 
  4. ^ a b "Two Airmen Killed. Crash Just After Start For Australia.". News. The Times (42257). London. 14 November 1919. col B, p. 9. 
  5. ^ Flight 15 May 1919, p. 636.
  6. ^ "New Arrivals For The Atlantic Flight - The Alliance Entry". News. The Times (42096). London. 10 May 1919. col C, p. 11.