Pemberton-Billing P.B.1

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Role Single-seat Flying Boat
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Pemberton-Billing Limited
Designer Noel Pemberton-Billing
First flight 1914
Number built 1

The Pemberton-Billing P.B.1,[nb 1] sometimes known as the "Supermarine", was a 1910s British single-seat flying-boat built by Pemberton-Billing Limited, which later became the Supermarine Aviation Works. Only one P.B.1 was built, and it never flew any distance further than a hop.

Design and development[edit]

The P.B.1 was a single-seat open cockpit biplane powered by a 50 hp (36 kW) Gnome rotary engine driving a three-bladed pusher propeller,[3] which was mounted in a tractor configuration nacelle between the upper wings and the fuselage. It had a single-step hull designed by the naval architect Linton Hope, with a spruce skin over a mahogany structure, and covered with waterproof fabric. It had two-bay wings constructed of spruce and Ash, with ailerons on the upper wing and floats under the lower wingtips. The pilot sat in a cockpit aft of the wing trailing edge.[4][5]

Described as "a boat that will fly, [instead of] an aeroplane that will float",[3] only one P.B.1 was built;[3] the prototype was displayed at the Olympia Aero Show in March 1914.[3] It was rebuilt during April 1914, with the pilot's cockpit moved forward to the nose of the aircraft, and the Gnome engine mounted on top of the fuselage, driving two 3-bladed pusher propellers via chain drives. Following the modifications, the P.B.1 entered testing, but failed to achieve flight during testing on Southampton Water on 30 May 1914.[6] Noel Pemberton Billing, the head of Pemberton-Billing Limited and designer of the PB.1, claimed that the aircraft made a short hop during June,[6] but other sources state that the PB.1 never flew.[7][8]

Following the conclusion of the attempted flight testing, the P.B.1 was dismantled on 28 July 1914, with its engine being used in the Pemberton-Billing P.B.9 single seat scout aircraft.[1]

Specifications (P.B.1)[edit]

Data from British Flying Boats[9]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1[5]
  • Wingspan: 30 ft 0 in (9.14 m)
  • Wing area: 293 sq ft (27.2 m2)
  • Empty weight: 750 lb (340 kg)
  • Gross weight: 970 lb (440 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Gnome rotary , 50 hp (37 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 50 mph (80 km/h; 43 kn) (estimated)

See also[edit]

Related lists



  1. ^ Pemberton Billing aircraft underwent a retrospective redesignation in 1916, with the original P.B.1 design, as displayed at Olympia, redesignated P.B.7, and the modified aircraft as tested during May–June 1914 redesignated P.B.9.[1] The P.B.9 landplane scout, which was built in August 1914 using the engine of the P.B.1 became the P.B.13 as part of the same redesignation.[2]


  1. ^ a b Jarrett Air Enthusiast Forty-eight, p. 10.
  2. ^ Bruce 1969, p. 60.
  3. ^ a b c d "The Olympia Exhibition: The Supermarine P.B.1 (Pemberton Billing). (49.)". Flight. 21 March 1914. p. 301. 
  4. ^ London 2003, p. 8.
  5. ^ a b Jarrett Air Enthusiast Forty-eight, pp. 7–8.
  6. ^ a b Jarrett Air Enthusiast Forty-eight, p. 9.
  7. ^ London 2003, pp. 8–9.
  8. ^ Andrews and Morgan 1987, p. 15.
  9. ^ London 2003, pp. 262–263.


  • Andrews, C.F.; Morgan, E.B. (1987). Supermarine Aircraft since 1914. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-800-3. 
  • Bruce, J.M. (1969). War Planes of the First World War: Volume Three: Fighters. London: Macdonald & Co. ISBN 0-356-01490-8. 
  • Jarrett, Philip (December 1992 to February 1993). "Supermarine Origins: Pemberton-Billing Flying Boats". Air Enthusiast. No. Forty-eight. pp. 4–10. ISSN 0143-5450.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • London, Peter (2003). British Flying Boats. Stroud, UK: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-2695-3.