Parnall Elf

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Parnall Elf in flight.jpg
Role Two-seat light aircraft
Manufacturer Parnall & Co
Designer Harold Bolas
First flight 1929
Number built 3
Parnall Elf G-AAIN, Shuttleworth

The Parnall Elf is a British two seat light touring aircraft of the 1920s. Built by George Parnall & Co. the Elf was the last aircraft designed by Harold Bolas before he left the company to go to the United States.

Design and development[edit]

The Parnall Elf was designed by Harold Bolas, chief designer of the reformed George Parnall & Co. The type made its public debut at Olympia in July 1929.[1] The Elf was a biplane of wood and fabric construction with staggered wings set well forward on the fuselage as a feature to assist crew escape in an emergency. The wings were unusually braced with 'vee' interplane struts which dispensed with any flying wires [2] and could be folded for ease of hangarage. The main fuel tank was fitted in the fuselage, while a pump raised the fuel to a small tank in the wing centre section where it was then fed to the engine by gravity. An Elf placed fifth in the 1930 King's Cup Air Race out of a field of 88 entrants. The purchase price of the aircraft at this time was between £875 and £890.[3]


Specifications (Elf)[edit]

Data from The Shuttleworth Collection, 1969.

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 22 ft 10.5 in (7 m)
  • Wingspan: 31 ft 2.5 in (upper wing) 26 ft 9 in (lower wing) 7 ft 2 in (folded) (9.5 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 6 in (2.6)
  • Wing area: 195 ft² (18 m²)
  • Empty weight: 1,140 lb (517 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Cirrus Hermes II in-line piston engine, 115 hp (86 kW)


See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era



  1. ^ Ogilvy, 1989.
  2. ^ Ogilvy, 1989
  3. ^ Guttery, 1969. p. 43.
  4. ^ The Shuttleworth Collection – Parnall Elf Retrieved: 8 April 2010


  • Guttery, T.E. The Shuttleworth Collection. London: Wm. Carling & Co, 1969. SBN 901319-01-5
  • Ogilvy, David. Shuttleworth – The Historic Aeroplanes. Shrewsbury, England: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1989 ISBN 1-85310-106-0

External links[edit]

  • Parnall Elf – British Aircraft Directory
  • Elf in Flight, 4 April 1930