In spring 1928, Blackburn Aircraft Limited produced the Blackburn Lincock I, a private venture ‘mini-fighter’. With a 22 ft 6in span biplane and powered by a 240 hp Lynx engine, it was noted for its aerobatic capabilities.
This first silver-painted prototype (G-EBVO) was of all-wood construction and was first shown publicly on 15th May 1928.
It was entered in the 1928 King’s Cup Air Race, with the engine cylinders fitted with low drag, helmeted fairings. The Blackburn Lincock took 10th place in the race at 145.32 mph, despite suffering from overheating due to the cylinder head fairings which were subsequently removed.
The Blackburn Lincock I was a notable aerobatic performer, as highlighted in the following advertising material: ‘Blackburn Lincock - metal single seat fighter and two seater advanced training machine. Adopted for foreign service’.
A quote from a pilot who had recently tested the aircraft added - ‘Having flown a number of single-seaters, I can think of none to compare with this remarkable little aeroplane. I was immediately struck by its incomparable manoeuvrability and lightness of control, which combined with its sturdy construction, gives one an amazing sense of security. The pilot’s position is extremely comfortable, while the vision is exceptionally good for an aeroplane of this type. With its astounding performance, simplicity and freedom from vice, I consider the ‘Lincock’ to be the perfect single-seater’.
Other contemporary reports describe its ‘amazing performance’ and ‘phenomenal manoeuvrability’, suggesting that the advertising was not far from the truth. The Lincock I was subsequently repainted in a blue colour scheme for a tour to the United States in the summer of 1930, being flown by Flt Lt RLR Atcherley.
It returned to the UK and was flying up until the end of July 1931, being dismantled at the Blackburn Factory at Brough after its Certificate of Airworthiness expired in August 1931.
Two all-metal demonstrator versions of the Blackburn Lincock were built, these being the civil Blackburn Lincock II (G-AALH), flown in autumn 1929 and Lincock III (G-ABFK), flown in 1930.
The Blackburn Lincock I had attracted Canadian interest and who required an all-metal design and Blackburn consequently built the Blackburn Lincock II, complete with a 255 hp Lynx IV engine.
The Blackburn F2A Lincock II featured a split undercarriage, with the main legs mounted further aft than those of the Lincock I.
It was shipped to Canada in February 1930, where it was first flown at Downsview, Ontario on 21st March 1930. It was later tested by the Royal Canadian Air Force in May and June 1930, although despite favourable pilots’ reports, no orders were forthcoming.
The Blackburn Lincock II was shipped back to the UK and modified with a Lynx Major engine, together with a cross-axle undercarriage (thereby resembling a Blackburn Lincock III).
In 1933, the Blackburn Lincock III formed part of Sir Alan Cobham’s touring fleet of aircraft, performing ‘radio controlled’ aerobatics as part of the National Aviation Day Displays.
The Canadian interest in the Blackburn Lincock finally resulted in the further development of the Blackburn F2D Lincock III, powered by the 270 hp Lynx Major engine. One aircraft (G-ABFK) was built as a civil demonstrator whilst four additional armed Blackburn Lincock IIIs were exported for military use, two to China and two to Japan.
The Blackburn Lincock III was flown for the first time on 6th June 1930.
The company demonstrator undertook an extensive European Tour during October 1931, and this resulted in a licensing agreement with Italy. One, two-seat example was constructed as the Piaggio P.11 with a wooden monocoque fuselage, together with a licence-built Lynx Major engine. The sole example was first flown in 1932.
Another aircraft (G-ABFK) also joined Alan Cobham’s fleet, performing alongside the Lincock II (G-AALH).
In 1934, this aircraft was donated to the College of Aeronautical Engineering at Brooklands as an instructional airframe. As a project, the students re-engined the aircraft in 1936 with a lighter Alfa Romeo engine, lengthening the nose by an additional bay in order to preserve the aircraft’s centre of gravity.
Variants & Number Built
|Blackburn Lincock I||One only, registered as G-EBVO; 225 hp Lynx IVC|
|Blackburn Lincock II||One only, all metal registered as G-AALH; 255 hp Lynx IV (later 270 hp Lynx Major)|
|Blackburn Lincock III||Five aircraft, all metal. Two for Japan, two for China and company demonstrator G-ABFK; 270 hp Lynx Major engine|
|Piaggio P.11||One only, first flown 1932; 270 hp Alfa Romeo Lynx Major|
|Total production||8 aircraft|
Specifications (Lincock I - III)
|F2 Lincock I||F2A Lincock II||F2D Lincock III|
|Powerplant||One 225 hp Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IVC||One 255 hp Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IV (geared)||One 270 hp Armstrong Siddeley Lynx Major|
|Span||22 ft 6 in|
|Maximum Weight||2,000 lb||2,082 lb|
|Capacity||Single pilot only|
|Armament||Nil||Two fixed Vickers 0.303 machine guns|
|Max Speed (sl)||146 mph||155 mph||164 mph|
|Max (10,000 ft)||-||142 mph||159 mph|
|Cruise speed||-||128 mph||141 mph|
|Range||-||390 miles||380 miles|