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Gloster Gladiator

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Sadurian Mike
554232.  Thu May 14, 2009 9:13 pm Reply with quote

Britain's last biplane fighter and the first with an all-enclosed cockpit, the Gloster Gladiator has a number of interesting facts associated with it, quite apart from it being a sexy little number.



Although already obsolete when WW2 started, the Gladiator fought in Norway, France, the Battle of Britain (although they did not claim any kills) North Africa, Greece and, most famously, Malta (of which more later). It was also used in the invasion of Iraq by the UK in 1941, and was actually used by both sides because Iraq had purchased a number of Gladiators in happier pre-War times.

As well as the UK (which included the Fleet Air Arm flying Sea Gladiators), the sturdy Gladiator was used by Australia, Belgium, Finland, China, Germany (using captured aircraft as glider and target tugs), Iraq, Lithuania, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, and Norway, all with remarkable success given the aircraft's obsolesence (Belgium was the exception, with most of its Gladiators destroyed early on).

Malta, in 1940, was a vital air- and sea-base in the Mediterranean that interdicted Axis convoys to North Africa and allowed Allied convoys to gain vital air cover. On 11th June 1940 the so-called siege of Malta by Axis aircraft began, with round the clock bombing. Popular legend has it that for ten famous days the island was defended by only three Sea Gladiators, "Faith", "Hope" and "Charity". In fact, there were four Gladiators operational at the start, with two aircraft flying continuous air cover at any one time, and when two were destroyed another two were assembled from airframes crated and shipped just before war began.

Once retired from front-line fighter service, the Gladiator was used in the Army Cooperation role (mainly spotting and directing artillery fire) and Meterological work.

Aeroflight.co.uk
Wikipedia
BBC h2g2 encyclopedia
Richard Seaman, mainly photos at Duxford air show

 
samivel
554247.  Fri May 15, 2009 2:41 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Richard Seaman


Oh dear, his parents really didn't think that through.

 
djgordy
554321.  Fri May 15, 2009 4:57 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
It was also used in the invasion of Iraq by the UK in 1941, and was actually used by both sides because Iraq had purchased a number of Gladiators in happier pre-War times.


So that's what Bush and Blair were referring to when they said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction; a couple of old biplanes.

 
Moosh
554371.  Fri May 15, 2009 6:46 am Reply with quote

Vague recollections of this being one of the planes flown by Roald Dahl when he was in the RAF in WW2. Anyone got a copy of Going Solo and can check? I know he was stationed in Greece for at least part of the war.

 
bemahan
554379.  Fri May 15, 2009 6:59 am Reply with quote

Says about it at the end of this link:http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1118

 
Moosh
554382.  Fri May 15, 2009 7:05 am Reply with quote

bemahan wrote:
Says about it at the end of this link:http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1118

Thanks bemahan. This was what I was thinking of:

bemahan's link wrote:
On the nineteenth of September [1940] Dahl took off from Abu Suweir in a Gloster Gladiator, a plane he had never flown before, on his way back to the squadron. The squadron, however, was not where he expected to find it, and with his fuel gauge worryingly low, he decided to try and land. It was a rough landing; the Gladiator hit a boulder, and Dahl's skull was fractured and his nose driven back into his face from hitting the metal reflector sight.

 
gerontius grumpus
557174.  Tue May 19, 2009 6:26 pm Reply with quote

I object, this is grossly unfair. I tried to start a thread about the Gloster Gladiator but nobody was interested.

Somebody else starts a thread on the same subject and suddenly everybody's falling over themselves to post replies.

Grrr!

 
Sadurian Mike
557177.  Tue May 19, 2009 6:34 pm Reply with quote

Sorry GG, I didn't see yours.

Perhaps a friendly passing moderator can merge the two?

 
suze
557181.  Tue May 19, 2009 6:44 pm Reply with quote

Sadly, I don't think that's possible with the tools at QI Moderator's disposal.

Here is a link to the other thread on these particular airplanes, anyways.

 
gerontius grumpus
557183.  Tue May 19, 2009 6:47 pm Reply with quote

Aw, now you've made me feel all guilty.
I wasn't getting at you SM, it's just my inverted paranoia rearing its ugly head again.
I don't think a merge would work.
Anyway the Gladiator is a very good subject that certainly deserves an airing.

 
Sadurian Mike
557188.  Tue May 19, 2009 6:56 pm Reply with quote

Airplaning?

 
Sadurian Mike
557190.  Tue May 19, 2009 6:58 pm Reply with quote

Nice model GG, is it powered?

 
gerontius grumpus
557647.  Wed May 20, 2009 5:16 pm Reply with quote

Being a bit short of money at the time I built it, I made it with a rubber motor. This was just about enough to power it from a gentle hand launch.

I made it from my own plans derived from three-view drawings and some detailed line drawings. I have since found some much better drawings with cross sections, so I would like to build an updated version but I haven't built any model aircraft for over ten years now so I need to build my Kiel Kraft Spitfire kit and my Westwings Hart kit to get me back into the right frame of mind.

 
Sadurian Mike
557698.  Thu May 21, 2009 2:10 am Reply with quote

Well I applaud the results.

 

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