Second Monoplane

The first Blackburn design to fly successfully.
Construction of Second Monoplane Balm Rd The fuselage of the Second Monoplane being built at the Benson Street works.
The second Blackburn Monoplane bore a resemblance to the French Antoinette and REP designs and featured a fuselage of inverted triangular cross-section design and a rectangular planform wing with wing warping for lateral control. The fixed tailplane and fin were also triangular with separate triangular rudders mounted above and below the elevator.
The aircraft was similar in general design to the later Mercury monoplanes from which it can readily be distinguished by its twin-wheel undercarriage, rather than the four-wheel design used on all the Mercury monoplanes.
Power was provided by a 40hp seven-cylinder Isaacson radial engine, manufactured by the Hunslet Engine Company, also based in Leeds.
The aircraft was shown statically at the Blackpool Flying Meeting between 28th July and 20th August 1910 and although at this stage the engine was fitted, it was not yet ready to run. Furthermore, the undercarriage also required modification and strengthening before a take-off or landing could be contemplated.
After the Blackpool event, the monoplane was moved to Blackburn’s preferred testing ground on the beach at Filey. Initial tests revealed that the modified undercarriage was still unsatisfactory and so a further change was implemented, incorporating bungee rubber suspension.
Trials recommenced at Filey and on 8th March 1911 the machine took off successfully, piloted by Mr BC Hucks.
It was said to have flown 'some distance' at around 30ft and at a speed close to 50 mph. When a turn was attempted, however, the aircraft side-slipped to the ground.
The machine was successfully repaired and continued in use as an instructional machine at Filey, alongside the successful series of Mercury two-seat and single-seat monoplanes that soon followed.
Blackburn Second Monoplane Filey The second Blackburn Monoplane at Filey in 1911, fitted with wing-tip skids.

Variants & Numbers Built

One example only, which led on to the successful Blackburn Mercury monoplanes.


One 40 hp Isaacson radial engine
30 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight
1,000 lb
Pilot only
Maximum speed
60 mph