H.King Sopwith Aircraft 1912-1920 (Putnam)
B.1 and Derivatives
Finally, a brief note on the closely-related two-seat reconnaissance aircraft, the P.V. N50 Grain Griffin, the development of which followed the delivery to Port Victoria of the Sopwith Bomber which had been flown to Dunkirk for assessment in its designated role. After close deliberations in October 1917, folding wings and wireless were installed in a modified example, numbered N50, and the addition of a hydrovane landing gear and a pillar-mounted swivelling bracket for a free Lewis gun behind the rear cockpit further proclaimed the new-found application. Drastic redesign of the whole aircraft was quickly found to be necessary, and the seven aircraft formally named Grain Griffin (N100-N106) were built accordingly. These were somewhat larger aeroplanes, powered by the Sunbeam Arab or Bentley B.R.2 engine; and though they still owed much to the basic Sopwith design, they were not true inmates of the 'zoo'. Certainly they would have done it little credit respecting handling, though during 1919 Griffins, together with Camels, 1 1/2 Strutters and Short 184s were aboard HMS Vindictive (formerly Cavendish) in the Baltic on anti-Bolshevik operations.
O.Thetford British Naval Aircraft since 1912 (Putnam)
Produced by the Port Victoria design staff at the Isle of Grain, the Griffin reconnaissance aircraft was based closely on the concept represented by the Sopwith B.1 single-seat bomber prototype of 1917. The Griffin introduced a second cockpit for an observer and folding wings for carrier operations. Prototype (N50) was followed by seven production aircraft (N 100-106). The type saw very little service but one (N 100) was reportedly embarked in HMS Vindictive during 1919. One 200 hp Sunbeam Arab or 230 hp Bentley B.R.2 engine. Span, 42 ft 6 in. Length. 27 ft 3 in. Maximum speed, 115 mph at 5.000 ft. Climb, 12 min to 10,000 ft. Endurance, 3 hr. Service ceiling, 19.000 ft.
H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
Grain Griffin. This 1918 conversion of a Sopwith Bomber as a two-seater fleet reconnaissance aircraft had a Lewis gun on a pillar-mounted swiveling bracket behind the rear cockpit.