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Essex Aero Sprite light aircraft

hesham

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Hi,

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1947/1947%20-%200799.html
 

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hesham

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From Decollage 6/1947.
 

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steelpillow

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From: http://www.discovergravesham.co.uk/business-industry/british-built-aircraft-gravesend-airport.html

"Essex Aero contemplated entry into the light aircraft market with a two seat project known as the Essex Aero Sprite, intended to be powered by a Nuffield horizontally opposed engine. A model of the project featured a low wing monoplane configuration with side-by-side seating under a cockpit canopy resembling that of the Provost. The aircraft also had a retractable undercarriage and butterfly tail."
 

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I seem to remember there was an article in Air Enthusiast on the Sprite, a couple of issues before it ceased publication.
Probably the best account I have read on the aircraft.
 

hesham

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I seem to remember there was an article in Air Enthusiast on the Sprite, a couple of issues before it ceased publication.
Probably the best account I have read on the aircraft.

AE 131.
 

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steelpillow

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I seem to remember there was an article in Air Enthusiast on the Sprite, a couple of issues before it ceased publication.
Probably the best account I have read on the aircraft.
Arthur Ord-Hume; "Butterfly from Essex", Air Enthusiast, 131, September/October 2007, pp.22-25.

Amazingly when I tracked it down just now I found I already had a copy, bought for the next article along.

I have also just created a rather basic article on Wikipedia for Essex Aero. I hope to add more about the Sprite when I get time - dimensions, estimated performance and stuff.

The Sprite and its Nuffield engine were a real tragedy. Back in in the early 1920s de Havilland designed the Moth but there was no suitable engine. He persuaded Frank Halford to develop what became the ADC Cirrus and the resulting Cirrus Moth created the Golden Age of aviation. After WWII a similar problem arose, as all the Cirrus and de Havilland Gipsy capacity was reserved for Miles and Auster's military contracts. Lord Nuffield, of Morris motor car fame, and Jack Cross of Essex Aero tried to pull the same trick again, with a Nuffield 100 hp flat-four and the Sprite. Sadly, when Nuffield was blocked from other markets by the monopoply-cartel tactics of Cirrus and DH, he bottled it and the Sprite died engineless.
 
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steelpillow

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Frank R. Turner's self-published booklet Essex Aero Limited. Gravesend., Gravesend at war series No. 7. (2000), does not mention the Sprite but does claim that

"...Essex Aero Ltd. actually designed an all magnesium alloy twin engined fighter aircraft, capable of vertical climb, at the outbreak of war but this was not pursued by the Air Ministry."

Turner seems a bit unreliable (as do so many self-published authors), so I wonder if there is any truth behind this particular one?
 

hesham

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"...Essex Aero Ltd. actually designed an all magnesium alloy twin engined fighter aircraft, capable of vertical climb, at the outbreak of war but this was not pursued by the Air Ministry."

Wow,

new Info about this Fighter my dear Steelpillow,and did he design any more aircraft or Projects ?.
 

steelpillow

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"...Essex Aero Ltd. actually designed an all magnesium alloy twin engined fighter aircraft, capable of vertical climb, at the outbreak of war but this was not pursued by the Air Ministry."

Wow,

new Info about this Fighter my dear Steelpillow,and did he design any more aircraft or Projects ?.

Hi, Hesham. That is all Turner says. He tells one or two stories which I know are not true, for example in the early days Essex Aero rebuilt de Havilland Comet G-ACSS after it had been scrapped, but Turner gets his facts about that all wrong. But many othe stories he tells are known to be true, so I really do not know if this one is true either.

Jack Cross and his company certainly designed and built all-magnesium coachwork for an Allard sports car chassis; the car is undergoing restoration. They are also known to have made magnesium fuel tanks for many aircraft, including thousands for Spitfires and Seafires, and a huge magnesium four-pointed star the size of a house for the 1951 Festival of Britain. I am sure they have many secrets still.
 

hesham

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Frank R. Turner's self-published booklet Essex Aero Limited. Gravesend., Gravesend at war series No. 7. (2000), does not mention the Sprite but does claim that
"...Essex Aero Ltd. actually designed an all magnesium alloy twin engined fighter aircraft, capable of vertical climb, at the outbreak of war but this was not pursued by the Air Ministry."

My dear Steelpillow,

please can you send a drawing to this fighter Project ?,and you can open new topic in Early Projects section.
 

steelpillow

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Frank R. Turner's self-published booklet Essex Aero Limited. Gravesend., Gravesend at war series No. 7. (2000), does not mention the Sprite but does claim that
"...Essex Aero Ltd. actually designed an all magnesium alloy twin engined fighter aircraft, capable of vertical climb, at the outbreak of war but this was not pursued by the Air Ministry."

My dear Steelpillow,

please can you send a drawing to this fighter Project ?,and you can open new topic in Early Projects section.

Sadly there is no drawing, just the one short paragraph. I quoted it in full. If I find anything more, of course I will come straight back to open a new topic.
 

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