Alliance P.2 Seabird
|Alliance P.2 Seabird|
|National origin||United Kingdom|
|Manufacturer||Alliance Aeroplane Company|
|Designer||James Arthur Peters|
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.
Design and development
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. With an endurance of 21 hours it had an enclosed cabin for the crew of two and two aircraft were built.
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. 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. 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. 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.
The company never recovered from the accident and was closed down in 1920.
Data from British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 1
- Crew: 2
- Length: 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
- Wingspan: 53 ft 0 in (16.16 m)
- Wing area: 700 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 miles (4828 km)
- Endurance: 21 hours 0 min
- Jackson 1973, p. 283
- "Atlantic Airmen Still Waiting - Another Entry". News. The Times (42078). London. 19 April 1919. col E, p. 11.
- "D. Napier & Son, Ltd.". Display Advertising. The Times (42210). London. 20 September 1919. col F, p. 5.
- "Two Airmen Killed. Crash Just After Start For Australia.". News. The Times (42257). London. 14 November 1919. col B, p. 9.
- Flight 15 May 1919, p. 636.
- "New Arrivals For The Atlantic Flight - The Alliance Entry". News. The Times (42096). London. 10 May 1919. col C, p. 11.