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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 230976
Last updated: 25 November 2021
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Date:24-MAR-1948
Time:day
Type:Boulton Paul Balliol T Mk I
Owner/operator:Boulton Paul Aircraft Ltd
Registration: VL917
MSN:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Pendeford Airfield, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Wolverhampton Airfield, Pendeford, Staffordshire
Destination airport:
Narrative:
The Balliol was developed to meet Air Ministry Specification T.7/45 for a three-seat advanced trainer powered by a turboprop engine, competing against the Avro Athena. It was a conventional low-wing monoplane with a retractable main undercarriage and a fixed tailwheel. Pilot and instructor sat side by side ahead of the observer. The first prototype first flew on 30 May 1947, being temporarily powered by an 820 hp (611 kW) Bristol Mercury 30 radial engine. The second prototype (VL917) was completed with the Mamba engine, and became the first single engined turbo-prop powered aircraft to fly when it made its maiden flight on 24 March 1948. The turbo-prop engine was carried in front of the cockpit, with the jet exhaust on the lower starboard fuselage. This took the exhaust away from the tail, and operated against the torque from the propeller. The exhaust provided around 20% of the aircraft's power.

The third prototype followed on 27 May 1948. This was fortunate, as the second prototype was damaged in a crash during test flights. (According to some sources, during its very first flight). As a replacement, the first prototype (VL892) was also given the Mamba engine, and this version of the aircraft became the Balliol T.1, but the fourth Mamba prototype was cancelled. The Air Ministry had second thoughts about its training requirements, and issued a new specification, T.14/47, requiring a two-seat trainer, powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin piston engine.

The second prototype Balliol serial VL917 was completed as a T1 with a Mamba gas turbine engine. During a flight test Robert Lindsay-Neale experienced engine failure. Attempting to regain the airfield with a dead engine and a propellor windmilling in coarse pitch, the exceptional pilot almost pulled it off but the airframe caught on the boundary railings, severely damaging the wings and tearing off the tail unit. Lindsay-Neale suffered a broken leg

Sources:

1. National Archives (PRO Kew) File AVIA 5/29/W2414: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C6578260
2. The Boulton Paul Balliol: The Last Merlin-Powered Aircraft By Alec Brew
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boulton_Paul_Balliol#Design_and_development
4. https://sharehistory.org/janes/uploads/1270-boulton-paul-balliol-t1
5. https://www.theengineer.co.uk/boulton-paul-balliol/
6. http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_boulton_paul_P108_balliol.html
7. Flight Magazine (July 1st 1948 p 13-18): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1948/1948%20-%200991.html?search=Balliol%20accident
8. https://www.agefotostock.com/age/en/Stock-Images/Rights-Managed/MEV-10844120
9. http://www.historywebsite.co.uk/articles/Pendeford/Airport.htm

Media:

Boulton Paul Balliol T.Mk.1 VL917 at Wolverhampton in 1948 The Aviation Photo Company: Balliol (Boulton Paul) &emdash; RAF Boulton Paul P.108 VL917

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
29-Nov-2019 20:58 Dr. John Smith Added
03-Dec-2019 02:47 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code]

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