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Author Topic: Admiralty Seaplane Lighter 1918  (Read 3433 times)

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Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Admiralty Seaplane Lighter 1918
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 21:33:42 »
I have just found five more photos of the seaplane lighter.
Click links for photos.
Q 114257. Felixstowe flying boat, seaplane lighter and Ceres class light cruiser.
Q 114258. Felixstowe flying boat on seaplane lighter being towed by Admiralty R class destroyer.
Q 114259. Felixstowe flying boat on board seaplane lighter with another lighter to right.
Q 114221. Sopwith Camel on flying-off platform on seaplane lighter.
Q 114220. Close up of Sopwith Camel release gear.
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Offline howard

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Re: Admiralty Seaplane Lighter 1918
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2015, 18:59:12 »
The lighter was being used as a mobile painting platform by a Thames boatyard. I saw her about a year before she was rescued and thought I recognised her. By the time I came back with my camera some months later somebody else had reported her survival. I found out when I went to see Bob Butler, author of a few books on Richborough, to tell him about her and was told I was six weeks too late! Apparently she owes her survival to having been galvanised!

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Admiralty Seaplane Lighter 1918
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2015, 17:48:48 »
This Lighter or one very close still exists in the Fleet Air Arm Museum. Sadly it is not on display at the moment but lives in their storage area.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Admiralty Seaplane Lighter 1918
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 23:03:22 »
Three photos showing a Sopwith Camel on the flying off platform of a Seaplane Lighter.

IWM (Q 69933) Commander C.R. Samson and crew of H.5 Lighter with Sopwith Camel 2F.1 fighter biplane embarked on board.
IWM (Q 27510) Lighter with 30 ft. deck, carrying a Sopwith Camel towed by a destroyer steaming at 10 knots. The second and successful attempt to fly off from a lighter made by Lieutenant S. D. Culley.
IWM (Q 27511) Lieut. S. D. Culley flying a Sopwith Camel during a second and successful attempt to take off from a lighter being towed behind a T.B. Destroyer at 36 knots per hour.

Two links to photos with a more restricted copyright.
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205077565
Side view of a Sopwith Camel on board a lighter.
And this is how the flight would end, unless the aircraft was within range of a shore based airfield.
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205288299
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Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Admiralty Seaplane Lighter 1918
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 22:54:23 »
In September 1916, Lieut Commander John Porte, Commander at RNAS Felixstowe and designer of the Felixstowe series of flying boats, suggested using specially designed lighters to extend the range of his flying boats.
Each lighter would carry one flying boat and it would be partly submersible to allow the aeroplane to be floated on and off. Once floated off, the flying boat could take off in the normal way. The lighters would be towed behind destroyers at speeds of up to 30 knots.
Four prototypes were ordered from Thornycroft of Southhampton, testing beginning in June 1917. The trials proved very successful and 25 production lighters were ordered. This was later increased to 50, but due to the end of the war only 32 were built. The production versions were built by the Royal Engineers at Richborough, Kent, the first being delivered in May 1918.

From March 1918 the lighter mounted flying boats carried out reconnaissance flights off the German coast. A flying off platform could also be mounted on the lighters from which a small fighter could take off.
On 11 August 1918, a Sopwith Camel 2F1, taking off from a lighter and flown by Lieut S. D. Culley, destroyed Zeppelin L53 at 18,700 ft off Terschelling.

Admiralty Seaplane Lighter H21 was rescued from the Thames mud in 1996 and is now at the Fleet Air Arm Museum.

Main sources.
Felixstowe F2A. J. M. Bruce. Albatros Productions Ltd ISBN 1-902207-24-6.
http://navalairhistory.com/2012/03/14/flying-boat-lighter-stunts/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1361523/Worlds-oldest-aircraft-carrier-discovered-rusting-River-Thames.html
Ode to Joy Beethoven

 

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