Central Centaur IV
|Role||three-seat biplane trainer|
|Manufacturer||Central Aircraft Company Limited|
|Designer||A A Fletcher|
|Primary user||Central Aircraft Flying School|
The Centaur IV was a two-seat wire-braced, fabric-covered wooden biplane designed by A.A. Fletcher. It was the first original design to be built by Central Aircraft Company at Kilburn, London during 1919. The prototype had a 70 hp (52 kW) Renault air-cooled V-8 engine but the seven production aircraft were fitted with an Anzani radial engine.
The Centaur IV was originally proposed in two versions:
- A two-seat aircraft, with the two seats side-by-side in an open cockpit;
- A three-seat aircraft, with two seats side-by-side and the open cockpit extended to allow installation of a third (single) seat.
No market existed for private ownership at that time, so the eight aircraft were all built as three-seaters. All the aircraft were initially used by Central Aircraft for joyriding or instruction at Northolt Aerodrome. The fifth aircraft was fitted with a three-float undercarriage. It was used for a week giving joyrides at Southend-on-Sea. It was converted into a landplane later in 1920 and crashed in October 1920.
- Centaur IV – dual-control version
- Centaur IVA – single-pilot version
- Centaur IVB – float landing gear
- Central Aircraft Flying School
Specifications (Centaur IVA)
- Length: 24 ft 9 in (7.54 m)
- Wingspan: 24 ft 2½ in (10.43 m)
- Height: ()
- Empty weight: 900 lb (408 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 1,400 lb (635 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × British Anzani 100hp 10-cyl. air-cooled two-row radial piston engine, 100 hp (75 kw)
- Maximum speed: 75 mph (121 km/h)
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982–1985). Orbis Publishing.
- Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 1. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-10006-9.