This website uses cookies. By navigating around this site you consent to cookies being stored on your machine

Blackburn
TR1 Sprat

Blackburn’s contender against Specification 5/24 for a two-seat advanced trainer for the RAF and the Fleet Air Arm.
Blackburn TR1 Sprat Landplane N207 side view A side view of the sole Blackburn 2F1 Sprat N207 in its landplane configuration.
 
When it was issued Air Ministry Specification 5/24 sought an advanced trainer for Royal Air Force use alongside being suitable for the Fleet Air Arm for practice deck-landings and general seaplane operations. This resulted in primary characteristics which included good low-speed handling and good acceleration on take-off.
 
Contracts were placed for three prototypes; Blackburn TR1 Sprat (N207), Vickers Vendace I (N208) and the Parnall Perch (N217). Power in each case was provided by a 275 hp Rolls-Royce Falcon III engine although the Sprat could also accommodate the Siddeley Puma or ADC Nimbus engines.
 
Blackburn TR1 Sprat Landplane N207 This view of the TR1 Sprat clearly shows the flight instruments mounted on the wing centre-section.
 
The Blackburn Sprat was a single-bay biplane with folding wings and a wide-track divided undercarriage. Unusually, the centre section struts were in an 'X-configuration' splayed out from the fuselage top longerons,  reminiscent of the earlier Blackburn Dart and Velos. The air crew were provided with triangular windshields with flight instruments arranged along the trailing edge of the upper wing centre section.
 
Twin floats were fitted for seaplane operations and the types water handling was said to be excellent. Correctly trimmed, the aircraft would fly cleanly off the water surface, even with the pilot’s hands off the controls.
 
Blackburn TR1 Sprat floatplane Felixstowe 23 June 1926 The TR1 Sprat floatplane under test at Felixstowe on 23 June 1926.
 
The prototype (N207) was flown for the first time on 24th April 1926 and was subsequently tested at Martlesham Heath (on wheels) as well as Felixstowe (on floats) during June 1926.
 
By 3rd July 1926, N207 had been restored to its landplane configuration and was shown in the New Types Park at the annual RAF Display at Hendon. It gave a well-received and spirited flying display at the show although sadly it did not receive any order nor a production contract.
 
The winning design was judged to be the Vickers Vendace 1 although also failed to receive a production contract as the requirement was later cancelled as on economy grounds.
 
Blackburn TR1 Sprat operating on floats June 1926 The Blackburn Sprat showed excellent water handling characteristics as a floatplane.

Variants & Numbers Built

One prototype only, serial number N207.

Specification

  Landplane Seaplane
Powerplant One 275 hp Rolls-Royce Falcon III
Span 34 ft 9 in
Maximum Weight 3,220 lb 3,550 lb
Capacity & Armament Instructor and student; no armament
Speed (sea level) 115 mph  112 mph
Speed (5,000 ft) 112 mph 109 mph

Survivors

Nil, presumed scrapped in 1926.