The Blackburn B-9, also known as the HST10 (HST for High Speed Transport), followed on from the Blackburn Seagrave with its Duncanson Monospar wing. It was a twin-engine commercial monoplane built by the Blackburn Aircraft Company on the banks of the Humber at Brough, East Yorkshire.
In many ways, the concept of the B-9 (B9 was its test designation) anticipated the post-war De Havilland DH104 Dove executive and communications aircraft, built in the mid 1940s.
The Blackburn B-9 was an all-metal, twin engine, twelve seat aircraft with a retractable undercarriage, powered by two 365 hp Napier Rapier engines.
A military version was drawn up, following a request from the Air Ministry, but this was not built.
Construction of a civil prototype was commenced as a private venture in late 1934, the type being intended from the outset as a high cruising speed aircraft. To modern eyes, it might have been seen as a somewhat high-risk project.
This view is justified sadly when the design failed to gain Government support, despite the Duncanson wing design, high-lift flaps and two entirely new engines. Additionally, it was the first Blackburn design to include a hydraulically-operated, retractable undercarriage.
The wing was of all-metal construction with fabric covering whilst the fuselage was of semi-monocoque construction with an Alclad skin. Cabin accommodation was provided for twelve passengers, with provision made for heating, ventilation and even a toilet at the rear of the cabin. The two pilots were seated side-by-side in the nose. The one-piece wing was mounted below the fuselage and featured a large wing root fillet to minimise drag.
Military orders for the Blackburn Baffin and Blackburn Shark delayed work on the HST10, whilst sadly the project suffered even further blow, when Frank Duncanson was killed in a car accident. Nevertheless, the project was completed structurally, inspected and then signed off ready for taxying trials on 7th July 1936.
In the event, the Blackburn HST10 remained unflown due to Blackburn Aircraft Company directing their resources to meet the ever increasing demands of Blackburn Shark and Blackburn Skua production.
The Blackburn HST10 remained in the flight hangar until it was donated, in early 1939, to Loughborough College of Technology (Aeronautical Department) for use as an instructional airframe.
It was finally dismantled in 1946.
One only, B-9. Completed in mid-1936 but remained unflown.
Specification (estimated performance)
|Powerplants||Two 365hp Napier Rapier VI engines|
|Span||57 ft 4 in|
|Maximum Weight||8,850 lb|
|Capacity||Two crew; up to twelve passengers|
|Maximum Speed||204 mph at 5,500 ft|
|Max cruise speed||175 mph|
|Range||320 miles with 12 passengers; 1,000 miles with 6 passengers|
None - The sole prototype was donated in 1939 to Loughborough College as an instructional airframe, being subsequently broken up in 1946.