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General Aircraft Owlet

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GAL.45 Owlet
GAL.45 Owlet
Role two-seat trainer
Manufacturer General Aircraft Ltd
First flight 1940
Introduction 1941
Retired 1942
Status crashed, and written off
Primary user Royal Air Force
Number built 1
Developed from General Aircraft Cygnet

The General Aircraft GAL.45 Owlet was a 1940s British single-engined trainer aircraft built by General Aircraft Limited at London Air Park, Hanworth.

History

The Owlet was a training version of the Cygnet II built as an attempt to produce a cheap primary trainer for the Royal Air Force. The main change was a modified fuselage with a tandem open cockpit (the Cygnet had an enclosed cockpit with side-by-side seating). The same outboard wing panels were used, but due to the slimmer fuselage, the resulting wingspan was reduced by 24 inches (61 cm), and wing area was reduced.

The Owlet prototype (registered G-AGBK) first flew on 5 September 1940. It did not attract any orders, but ironically it was impressed into service (with serial number DP240) with the Royal Air Force as a tricycle undercarriage trainer for the Douglas Boston, which was the primary use to which unmodified Cygnets were also being put.

The only Owlet crashed near Arundel, Sussex on 30 August 1942.

Military operators

 United Kingdom

Specifications

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 24 ft 7 in (7.5 m)
  • Wingspan: 32 ft 5 in (9.88 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,563 lb (709 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,300 lb (1,043 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Blackburn Cirrus Major I 4-cyl. inverted air-cooled in-line piston engine, 150 hp (110 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 125 mph (201 km/h, 109 kn)

See also

Notes

References

  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982–1985). Orbis Publishing.
  • Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-10014-X.
  • "A tricycle trainer". Flight. 28 November 1940.
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General Aircraft Owlet
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