Single seat Type E rt  under construction April 1912
The first single seat all-steel monoplane (right) being built for Lt Lawrence in April 1912.
The Blackburn Type E Monoplane (also known as the All-metal Monoplane) was built by Blackburn Aeroplanes of Leeds in time for the 1912 Military Aeroplane Trials held at Larkhill, on Salisbury Plain.
The trials were organised against a requirement calling for a two-seat reconnaissance aircraft although as it turned out Blackburn only entered a single-seat version. 32 aircraft had entered the trials, which were eventually won by Col SF Cody (the first man to achieve flight in the UK), who had entered his Cody V biplane. The single seat Blackburn Type E was disqualified from taking part along with at least 10 others who failed to start the evaluation.
The Blackburn Type E Monoplane was a development of the Blackburn second Monoplane. It made use of a steel tube structure with aluminium covered fuselage panels, making it Britain's first all-metal fuselage design. The warping wings made use of two tubular steel spars, similar to that seen on the Blackburn Mercury III Monoplane, which were fabric covered.
Two dissimilar examples were built, the first of which was the aforementioned single-seater, powered by a 60hp Green engine and painted grey. It was was built for Lt. Lawrence of The Indian Aviation Company and was known as 'L’Oiseau Gris' and first flew at Filey in April 1912.  It was then delivered to Brooklands in May, ready to take part in the London Aerial Derby but it was scratched from the entry list, possibly due to cooling problems.
Blackburn Type E all-steel monoplane
The second two-seat Type E was intended to compete in the 1912 Military Trials.
The second Blackburn Type E Monoplane (also known as the Military Monoplane) was a tandem two-seater, as previously prescribed for the Military Trials and was powered by a 70hp Renault V-8 engine.  When first tested in June 1912, it was found to be too heavy, failing to leave the ground and subsequently withdrawn from the trials.
Blackburn Type E Cockburn High School Leeds 1912
The second Type E Military Monoplane exhibited at Cockburn High School in late 1912.
The aircraft was put on ground display at the Cockburn High School, Leeds in late 1912, in front of a large audience. It was not flown again however, failing to make an appearance at the 1912 Military Trials, where it was to have been flown by Lt Spenser Grey and Capt R Gordon.
Blackburn Type E military monoplane 16X9
Despite its impressive appearance, the two-seat Blackburn Type E was never flown.


Variants & Number Built

Two dissimilar aircraft: one single seat with 60hp Green; one two-seat with 70hp Renault.


Single seat
Two seat
One 60 hp Green engine
One 70 hp Renault engine
38 ft 4 in
Maximum Weight
950 lb
Pilot only
Pilot and passenger
Maximum speed
80 mph
4 hours
5 hours



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