|Type 151 "Jockey"|
|Vickers Type 151 Jockey|
|National origin||United Kingdom|
|Designer||Rex Pierson and J Bewsher|
|First flight||April 1930|
The Vickers Type 151 Jockey was an experimental low-wing monoplane interceptor fighter powered by a radial engine. It was later modified into the Type 171 Jockey II which had a more powerful engine and detailed improvements. Only one was built, and this was lost before its development was complete, but the knowledge gained enabled Vickers to produce the more refined Venom.
In the late 1920s the idea of the interceptor fighter was forming. To deal with the faster and higher flying bombers, fighters had both to be fast at height and quick to get there. The Air Ministry was keen to determine the best aircraft configuration and sought, under Air Ministry specification F.20/27, manufacturers to build biplanes and both low- and high-wing monoplanes. Vickers were asked for a prototype low wing fighter, and this became (somewhat unofficially) called the "Jockey", or sometimes the Jockey I. This name covered both Vickers Types 151 and 171; the Jockey II was an early name for the later Venom.
The Type 151 Jockey was a compact and rather angular low cantilever wing monoplane, built using the Wibault-Vickers corrugated skinned all metal method as used, for example on the Vireo. The unstressed skin was riveted onto a largely duralumin structure, a few steel tubes forming highly stressed members. The parallel chord, square tipped wing used the thick, high lift RAF 34 cross section Vickers had employed previously on the Viastra. The tailplane was equally rectangular and the fin clipped. All control surfaces apart from the rudder were unbalanced. The pilot's open cockpit was at the highest part of the fuselage at mid-chord. The 480 hp (360 kW) Bristol Mercury IIA 9-cylinder radial was initially mounted without a cowling. A single axle undercarriage had legs attached to front and rear wing spars.
The Jockey was taken to RAF Martlesham Heath for its first flight in April 1930 and subsequent testing. A rear fuselage vibration was at first thought to be aerodynamic but proved to be structural; it was cured after Barnes Wallis redesigned the internal bracing. The rudder was modified, its balance removed and a trim tab installed. Spats were added to the undercarriage and a Townend ring enclosed the engine. The same aircraft was re-designated the Type 171 Jockey when the Mercury was replaced by a 530 hp (395 kW) supercharged Bristol Jupiter VIIF. The intention to power the Jockey with a supercharged Mercury IVS2 was never realised after the sole Jockey was lost to a flat spin on 15 July 1932, crashing at Woodbridge, Suffolk, pilot successfully bailing out at 5,000 feet. The results of the tests had been sufficiently good to encourage Vickers to refine its design into the Vickers Venom.
Specifications (Type 171)
Data from Andrews & Morgan 1988, p. 254
- Crew: 1
- Length: 23 ft 0 in (7.01 m)
- Wingspan: 32 ft 6 in (9.90 m)
- Height: 8 ft 3 in (2.51 m)
- Wing area: 150 ft2 (13.94 m2)
- Empty weight: 2,260 lb (1,025 kg)
- Gross weight: 3,161 lb (1,434 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Jupiter VIIF nine cylinder radial, 530 hp (395 kW)
- Maximum speed: (at 10,000 ft, 3,048 m) 218 mph (351 km/h)
- Service ceiling: (absolute) 31,000 ft (9,450 m)
- Rate of climb: ( to 10,000 ft, 3,048 m) 2,083 ft/min (10.6 m/s)
- provision for 2 Vickers machine guns
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