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World War I late ventures

In 1916 the RFC were desperate to find single seat Scouts which could outfly their opponents. Rotary engines were the norm but at the limits of their power band. Other options were around but the majority were earmarked for front line fighters. Designers like barnwell looked for alternatives, one of the front runners was the Sunbeam Arab but this showed an incurable vibration fault and better engines were sought. A promising new radial engine was emerging, the small diameter Cosmos Mercury designed by A H R Fedden and L F G Butler both working for Brazil Straker & Co. Ltd of Fishponds, Bristol.

Fedden approached Barnwell, Filton is only some three miles from Fishponds, looking for a suitable aircraft to test the new engine. Barnwell installed the engine in the Scout F.1 B3991 and on 4th September 1918, Cyril Uwins, recently seconded from the RFC made his first flight as company test pilot. the aircraft went up to 6,000 feet, spun and rolled and showed its potential, sea level speed of 145 mph and a climb rate almost 50% faster than the same aircraft fitted with the Sunbeam Arab. The Mercury engine was going to be a winner.

At the Armistice all hopes of contined production faded, the Cosmos contract was cancelled by the Air Ministry and Sir George White noted the company and in 1920 acquired the rights to the Mercury along with all the assets of Cosmos plus Roy Fedden and his complete design team and seven engines, all this for just £15,000. Even at that price the Air Ministry had almost forced the company to make the purchase.

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This is page 13 of FILTON - THE AIRCRAFT.
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Scout F - Type 21a

Scout F - Type 21a
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Cyril F Uwins

Cyril F Uwins
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Sir Roy Fedden

Sir Roy Fedden
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