Biplane

Gloster Gladiator

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Gloster Gladiator

Gloster Gladiator Biplane History
The Gloster Gladiator was designed as a biplane fighter by Henry Phillip Folland, chief designer at Gloster Aircraft Company Ltd., in the mid 1930's. The Gladiator, and it's navel variant the Sea Gladiator, represented the end of the biplane fighter era and, as such, were the most advanced to date. They featured an enclosed cockpit (a first for a British fighter) and sprung cantilever undercarriage, armament consisting of dual machine guns in the fuselage and twin under-wing machine gun pods.

Gloster Gladiator Obsolete on Introduction
By the time the Gloster Gladiator biplane entered RAF service in 1937, it was almost immediately made obsolete by the introduction of new monoplane fighters. As the Gloster Gladiator fighters existed in considerable numbers at the beginning of WW2, they were allocated to the less demanding theatres of war so that they could be effectively used without facing the latest German monoplane Fighters.

Gloster Gladiator Defence of Malta in WW2
This aircraft is best known for it's contribution to the defence of Malta, in 1940, against Italian forces. Shortages in fuel and other essential commodities normally resulted in only three aircraft flying on patrol at a time, which led the local population to believe that there were only three aircraft left to defend them. Because of this misunderstanding, the local population famously named the three fictitious Gloster Gladiator aircraft Faith, Hope and Charity.

When the RAF formed a fighter wing in the Falkland Islands after the 1988 war, they named their aircraft Faith, Hope and Charity after the fabled three aircraft that had supposedly defended the island of Malta in WW2 during 1940.

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

Gloster Gladiator Fighter Specifications:

Gloster Gladiator Crew:
Pilot only
Gloster Gladiator Wingspan:
32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
Gloster Gladiator Length:
27 ft 5 in (8.36 m)
Gloster Gladiator Loaded weight:
4,594 lb (2,088 kg)
Gloster Gladiator Engine:
Single Bristol Mercury VIIIS3 840 hp radial engine
Gloster Gladiator Maximum speed:
253 mph (407 km/h)
Gloster Gladiator Rate of climb:
2,300 ft/min (11.7 m/s)
Gloster Gladiator Service ceiling:
10,500 m
Gloster Gladiator Range:
715 km

Gloster Gladiator Armament:

Bombs:
Various bomb loads.

Guns:
4 x 8 mm Browning machine guns
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