Percival Mew Gull

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 08:15

Le monomoteur de courses Percival Mew Gull par Wikipedia in english.

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The Percival Mew Gull was a [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien] racing aircraft of the 1930s. It was a small, single-engine, single-seat, low wing [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien] of wooden construction, normally powered by a six-cylinder [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien] piston engine.

During its racing career it set many records and was considered a significant, efficient design, one that eventually reached a top speed of 265 mph (425 km/h) on a modest 205 hp (153 kW) in its final 1939 form.

A modern-day observer has characterised the Mew Gull as "the Holy Grail of British air racing".

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During the second half of the 1930s, Mew Gulls were dominant in air-racing in the UK and consistently recorded the fastest times until the outbreak of war stopped all civilian flying in late 1939.
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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 08:15

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 10:42

Design and development

With the [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien] already making a name for itself as a racer, over several months in 1933-1934, Capt. [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien] designed and built a single-seat racer derivative initially named the E1.

This was developed into the E2, E2H and the E3H variants between 1934 and 1938.

The sometimes-used designation "P6" is incorrect; this retrospective tag was created after Percival left the company and long after the Mew Gulls were built, thus no Mew Gulls were ever built as "P6s".
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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 10:44

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 10:44

With the exception of the sole E3H, G-AFAA - which was built after the company moved to Luton, all of the Mew gulls were built in the small factory at Gravesend.

Structurally, there was very little commonality of parts between the Gulls IV/ VI/ Vega Gull and the Mew Gull, other than a few minor components.
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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 10:47

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 10:48

All of the Gulls, however, did use a similar generic structure.

Proprietary equipment such as engines, airscrews, spinners, instruments, undercarriage legs, wheels and tyres were generally common to all series.

The Mew Gulls (apart from the E1 in its initial configuration) used a fixed, conventional oleomatic main [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien] and a fully castoring tailskid.

Small manually-operated, split trailing-edge wing flaps were incorporated into the mainplanes, but were “...singularly ineffective even when fully extended".

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 10:49

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 10:50

The aircraft was designed for handicapped air racing which gained huge popularity in the UK during the 1920s and especially 1930s – the so-called "Golden Age" of aviation.

The [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien], an annual handicapped air racing event developed to aid in the development of [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien] light aircraft, was considered to be the "Blue-Riband" event. Ultimately, Mew Gulls went on to win this event four times.

The prototype G-ACND first flew in March 1934 with a 165 hp [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien], but it was replaced with a more powerful and reliable 200 hp Gipsy Six engine, fitted with a fixed-pitch airscrew, prior to its first race.
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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 10:51

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 10:51

Type history

The King's Cup was a handicap race dating back to 1922; each racing result was compared to the time that the committee decided each contestant should have completed the course.

The more an entry beat its prescribed time, the better the chance of winning. Initially [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien] was to present a cup to the winner, and like the [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien], the same cup would be engraved and awarded to the new winner each year.

After the first year's race it was decided that a new cup would be presented each year.
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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 10:52

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 10:53

Percival entered the King's Cup Race in July 1934, but failed to place.

The original E1 was redesigned following an accident into the much-refined E2 configuration, with much of the design work completed by Arthur Bage.

In July 1935, with a 180 hp French Regnier installed, G-ACND competed in the [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien], a race of 1,046 miles from Deauville, France to Cannes and back.

The Mew Gull was flown by Count de Chateaubrun, the Percival representative in France, and averaged 188 mph in the race.

Immediately after, the original British de Havilland Gipsy Six was reinstalled.

Guy de Chateaubrun subsequently became the only pilot to [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien] of a Mew Gull, abandoning G-ACND because of fog.
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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:02

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:02

In September 1935 Percival placed 1st in a 120 mile (190 km) race, and in July 1936 he finished 4th in the King's Cup Race flying G-AEKL, the third Mew Gull and first "production" E2H.

Later in August, Percival finished 7th in the 174-mile race for the Folkestone Trophy.
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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:04

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:04

In September 1936 G-AEKL, having previously been Edgar Percival's private mount, was re-engined and modified to enter in the [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien].

The Schlesinger African Air Race was a race from England to South Africa (6,154 miles), but G-AEKL was withdrawn ten days before the Schlesinger following a fatal taxiing accident at Liverpool [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien].

Two other E2H Mew Gulls were entered, both of which had been built at the same time to the same specification as the modified 'KL. Both failed to finish the race to South Africa.

In the 1937 King's Cup Race, G-AEKL was 1st with Charles Gardner at the controls. He averaged 234 mph over the 1,442-mile course.

Percival flew his latest E3H "Super"-Mew G-AFAA, the sixth and last Mew Gull built, to a third place finish and still another E2H, G-AEXF was raced by [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien].
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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:05

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:06

The 1938 King's Cup Race was a 1,012 mile event and this time, Alex Henshaw's much modified E2H G-AEXF came in 1st at 236 mph and Giles Guthrie in his "standard" E2H G-AEKL placed 2nd.

Edgar Percival flew a third Mew Gull, the E3H (G-AFAA) and finished 6th.

Percival might easily have won, but as well as being made scratch-man by the Handicappers, he left the fine-tuning of his airscrew pitches until just before the race and his ground-crew were still tinkering with them as Alex' Henshaw took off.

At this time the Bracket-Type airscrew simply did not have the pitch-range to cope with the exceptionally wide speed range of the E3H (59-265 mph.).

An optimisation for either cruise or takeoff and climb would inevitably compromise the other.
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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:08

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:10

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:11

Alex Henshaw attempted to take the England - Cape Town Record in 1939, taking off on 5 February 1939 from [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien], landing at [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien] at the Cape the next day, covering the 6,377 miles course in 39 hours and 25 minutes, averaging 209.44 mph while in the air.

The return trip was just 11 minutes longer. It is interesting to note that during all of Alex Henshaw's adventures in this aircraft it was never damaged.
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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:12

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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:13

Henshaw sold G-AEXF to Frenchman Victor Vermoral in late 1939. During the [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien], the aircraft was stored in a hangar in France with several owners continuing to hide it from German authorities.

In 1950, Hugh Scrope found and bought and with Doug Bianchi's help, refurbished the aircraft to fly it back home to England.

After restoration, G-AEXF continued its racing career but it was damaged in a landing accident in August 1951 at Shoreham. J.N. Somers, the next owner repaired it and raced G-AEXF again.
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Message par DOUGLAS le Mer 01 Déc 2010, 11:14

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