Dart Kitten

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The Dart Kitten was a British-built ultra-light aircraft of the 1930s.

Dart Kitten
Dart Kitten II Kemble 09.05.09R.jpg
The 1937-built Dart Kitten II visiting the Kemble (Glos) air rally in May 2009
Role ultra-light aircraft
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Dart Aircraft Ltd
Designer A.R. Weyl
First flight 15 January 1937
Status Dart Kitten II airworthy in 2009
Primary user private owner pilots
Number built 4

Design and development[edit]

The Dart Kitten was designed by A.R. Weyl in 1936 and built by Dart Aircraft Ltd at Dunstable, Bedfordshire. It is an ultra-light single-seat low-wing aircraft with a fixed tailskid undercarriage. The four examples built were powered by a variety of engines of between 27 h.p. and 40 h.p.[1]

Operational history[edit]

The Dart Kitten I G-AERP first flew in January 1937 and was sold to a private owner at Tollerton airport near Nottingham. It was stored during the Second World War. It was re-engined with a 40 h.p. J.A.P. J-99 postwar and flew with a private owner at Broxbourne airfield Hertfordshire before crashing there in November 1952.

The Dart Kitten II G-AEXT received its authorisation to fly on 30 April 1937 and had a series of owners before being badly damaged in a crash at Willingale, Essex in November 1964. It was subsequently rebuilt and in 2009 was airworthy with a private owner near Aylesbury Buckinghamshire. As of 2012 it is based with the Real Aeroplane Company at Breighton near Selby in North Yorkshire.

The Dart Kitten III G-AMJP was built by Dart Aircraft in January 1952 and was flown by owners in Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Lincolnshire before being lost in a crash near Kings Lynn in June 1966.[2]

A fourth Kitten was home-built at Port Moresby New Guinea in 1960 and registered in Australia as VH-WGL.[3]

Variants[edit]

Kitten I 
27 h.p. Ava 4A-00 flat four engine;
Kitten II 
36 h.p. Aeronca-J.A.P. J-99 engine, revised rear decking and simplified undercarriage;
Kitten III 
as Kitten II but with wheel brakes.

Specifications (Kitten III)[edit]

Data from Green, 1965, p. 150

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 1
  • Length: 21 ft 4 in ( m)
  • Wingspan: 31 ft 9 in ( m)
  • Height: 7 ft 11 in ( m)
  • Wing area: 130 ft2 ( m2)
  • Empty weight: 582 lb ( kg)
  • Gross weight: 860 lb ( kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Aeronca-J.A.P. J-99 two-cylinder air-cooled, 40 hp ( kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 95 mph ( km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 83 mph ( km/h)
  • Range: 340 miles ( km)
  • Service ceiling: 19,700 ft ( m)

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Green, 1965, p. 150
  2. ^ Jackson, 1973, p. 395
  3. ^ Jackson, 1973, p. 298
Bibliography
  • Green, William (1965). The Aircraft of the World. Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd. 
  • Jackson, A.J. (1973). British Civil Aircraft since 1919 - Volume 2. Putnam & Company Limited. ISBN 0-370-10010-7.