General Aircraft GAL42​ Cygnet

The first British light aircraft to have a stressed skin fuselage and wings. Developed into the General Aircraft Owlet basic trainer.
General Aircraft GAL42 Cygnet (G-AGAX) General Aircraft GAL42 Cygnet (G-AGAX) at Manchester Airport in March 1955
 
The Cygnet was initially an all-metal, low wing monoplane designed by CR Chronander and JI Waddington and built in Slough by CW Aircraft Ltd. As first flown, the CW Cygnet was a tail-wheeled, low wing monoplane fitted with a single fin and rudder.
 
The prototype (G-AEMA), first flown at Hanworth Air Park, Middlesex in May 1937, was fitted with a 90 hp Cirrus Minor engine. The prototype was then progressively modified to feature twin fins and rudders, a Gipsy Major engine and a tricycle undercarriage.
 
CW Aircraft then sought to develop a twin engine machine, but ran into financial difficulties. 
 
General Aircraft took over CW Aircraft Limited and acquired the rights to the Cygnet during the spring of 1938. They developed the CW Cygnet prototype into the General Aircraft GAL42 Cygnet II, adopting a more powerful engine and a more streamlined tricycle undercarriage in the process.
 
General Aircraft GAL42 Cygnet air to air General Aircraft GAL42 Cygnet air to air
 
The first General Aircraft GAL42 Cygnet II (G-AFVR) completed its maiden flight on 2nd April 1940.
 
The stressed skin aircraft was an advanced machine for its day and was put into limited production with ten examples being built. Three of these however, did not acquire civil registrations and may not have ever flown.
 

Specification (GAL.42 Cygnet II)


Powerplant
One 150 hp Blackburn Cirrus Major II
Span
34 ft 6 in
Maximum Weight
2,200 lb
Capacity
Two seats
Maximum Speed
135 mph
Cruise Speed
115 mph
Range
445 miles

 

Number built


CW Cygnet (G-AEMA) 1 prototype converted to GAL42 Cygnet II (G-AFVR) prototype
GAL42 Cygnet II 10 aircraft (3 of which were not registered and may not have flown)      

 

Survivors


GAL 42 Cygnet II
(G-AGBN) 
National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, Scotland, UK