Gloster Gauntlet

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Gloster Gauntlet

Gloster Gauntlet Biplane History
Developed from the Gloster S.S.19B design, the Gloster Gauntlet was a British Royal Air Force single seated biplane, built as a fighter with an open cockpit. The Air Ministry placed an initial order for twenty four, each carrying two .303 caliber Vickers Mk V machine guns. Following Hawker’s takeover of Gloster, a further order was placed for the improved Gloster Gauntlet Mk II. The Mk IIs were built using Hawker’s construction methods which allowed easier building and repair. Variants to the Gloster Gauntlet included the following: SS.18, SS.18A, SS.18B, SS.19, SS.19A, SS.19B, Mk I, Mk II.

The Gloster Gauntlet Biplane Operations
In May 1935, No. 19 Squadron, based at RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire, became the first squadron to receive the Mk I. With a maximum speed of 230 mph, it was a full 56 mph faster than the Bristol Bulldog it was replacing. In fact it was the RAF’s fastest aircraft between 1935 and 1937. A year later, in May 1936, the Mk II came into service, resulting in a total of fourteen RAF squadrons being equipped with this aircraft at it’s peak. As WW2 began, the Gauntlets were retired from front line duties and used as training aircraft. Apart from the Royal Air Force, they were also used by the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Danish Air Force, The Finnish Air Force, the Southern Rhodesian Air Force and the South African Air Force.

There is only one airworthy example in the world today. It is a Mk II which is displayed in the Kymi Airfield Aviation Museum near Kotka, Finland.

Various scale models, model kits and plans of this aircraft have been available in the market place.

Gloster Gauntlet Biplane Specifications:

Gloster Gauntlet Crew:
Pilot only
Gloster Gauntlet Length:
26ft 5in (8.05m)
Gloster Gauntlet Wingspan:
32ft 9˝in (10.0m)
Gloster Gauntlet Height:
10ft 3in (3.13m)
Gloster Gauntlet Wing area:
315ft˛ (29.3 m˛)
Gloster Gauntlet Empty weight:
2,770lb (1,259kg)
Gloster Gauntlet Engine:
Single Bristol Mercury VI S2 9-cylinder radial engine, 645 hp (481 kW)
Gloster Gauntlet Maximum speed:
230mph (370 km/h)
Gloster Gauntlet Range:
460 mi (740 km)
Gloster Gauntlet Service ceiling:
33,500ft (10,210m)

Gloster Gauntlet Biplane Armament:

244lb (111kg) mounted externally

2 x .303 inch Vickers Mk V machine guns
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Modified 2018