H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
Type H. Answering to the same requirements as the Beardmore W.B.IV, this 'ship's fighter', or 'seaborne scout' as the makers called it, was built in 1917. It had a fixed Vickers gun mounted on the fuselage to port (250 rounds), and a Lewis gun above the centre-section (three 97-round drums).
P.Lewis The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)
Two other single-seat fighters which were constructed during 1917 and remained prototypes only were the H.1 and H.2 designed for Mann Egerton and Co. by J. W. Carr to fall within the Admiralty’s N.1A requirement. Both were square-set, two-bay biplanes, fitted with the 200 h.p. Hispano-Suiza engine and armed with a single Vickers gun on the front decking and a Lewis gun on the upper centre-section. Intended for shipboard operations, the wings were made to fold, and N44 - the H.1 - carried external flotation equipment in the form of wing-tip floats as well as an under-fuselage float. The H.2 - N45 - utilized inflatable bags to provide its buoyancy. Although both machines were reasonably successful in their tests, neither version found official favour.
F.Mason The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)
Mann, Egerton H.1 and H.2
The Norwich car manufacturer, Mann, Egerton & Co, entered the aircraft industry in 1915 and became engaged in building Short Type 184 patrol seaplanes on sub-contract, going on to produce a small number of an improved version of this aircraft, known as the Mann, Egerton Type B. Other subcontracted aircraft followed, including the French Spad S.VII, and in 1917 the company embarked on an aircraft entirely of its own origin, designed by J W Carr and intended to approximate to the Admiralty requirement for a naval land or ship-based single-seat scout, set out in Specification N.1A - to which the Beardmore W.B.IV was also being designed. An important aspect of this requirement was the aircraft’s ability to remain afloat for a specified period after an enforced alighting on the water.
This aeroplane was the Mann, Egerton H.l, a compact two-bay, equal-span biplane powered by a 200hp Hispano-Suiza engine and with the facility of wing-folding for shipboard stowage. To enable the aircraft to ditch in greater safety, the undercarriage was jettisonable and, to remain afloat, a large external buoyancy chamber was attached below the engine cowling, extending aft beyond the trailing edge of the lower wings. In addition, there were floats under the lower wingtips.
The only prototype H.1, N44, was flown in late September or early October by Clifford B Prodger, followed almost immediately by its official trials. All went well to begin with, it being pleasant to fly and manoeuvrable, and even declared suitable for night flying. Unfortunately it failed the flotation test.
A second aircraft, the H.2 (N45) was immediately put in hand, fundamentally the same as N44 but without external buoyancy chambers; instead, internal inflatable air bags were provided, which could be trimmed by hand pump. The engine exhaust pipes were shortened considerably, and the rudder was increased in area and horn balanced.
The discarding of the external impedimenta allowed a significant all-round increase in performance. The H.2 was the officially tested in December and flew at Isle of Grain, but no production order was awarded.
Type: Single-engine, single-seat, two-bay land-based or shipborne biplane scout.
Manufacturer: Mann, Egerton & Co Ltd, Norwich, Norfolk.
Powerplant: One 200hp Hispano-Suiza engine driving two-blade propeller.
Dimensions: Span, 30ft 9in; length, 21ft 11in; height, 8ft 11 1/2 in; wing area, 310 sq ft.
Weights: H.1. Tare, 1,838lb; all-up, 2,404lb. H.2. Tare, 1,760lb; all-up, 2,326lb.
Performance: H.1. Max speed, 100 mph at 6,500ft; climb to 10,000ft, 18 min; service ceiling, 12,800ft; H.2. Max speed, 113 mph at 6,500ft; climb to 10,000ft, 12 min 30 sec; service ceiling, 16,800ft.
Armament: One synchronized 0.303in Vickers machine gun on fuselage, forward of cockpit, offset to port; one Lewis gun above upper wing centre section.
Prototypes: One H.1, N44, and one H.2, N45. N44 was first flown in late September or early October 1917. No production.
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
MANN EGERTON Type H UK
The first original design produced by Mann Egerton and Company, which had previously manufactured various aircraft types under licence, the Type H single-seat shipboard fighter was designed by J W Carr to Specification N.la. Powered by a 200 hp Hispano-Suiza 8Bd eight-cylinder water-cooled engine, the Type H was an equi-span unstaggered two-bay biplane armed with a single fixed 0.303-in (7,7-mm) Vickers gun mounted to port on the fuselage and a Lewis gun of similar calibre mounted above the wing centre section. The wings could be folded manually and the first prototype had a large, flush-fitting float attached to the underside of the fuselage. In addition, flotation chambers were included in the fuselage, and the undercarriage, which was attached to the underside of the float, could be jettisoned in the event that the aircraft was forced to alight on water. Flight testing of the first prototype commenced in the autumn of 1917, but the aircraft failed flotation testing and was therefore considered unacceptable. The second prototype differed in having inflatable flotation bags in place of the fixed float, a more conventional undercarriage and a horn-balanced rudder. This aircraft underwent official testing during December 1917, but the Type H was not accepted for service use and further development was discontinued. The following data relate specifically to the second prototype.
Max speed, 113 mph (182 km/h) at 6,500 ft (1 980 m).
Time to 6,500 ft (1 980 m), 6.45 min.
Endurance, 3.25 hrs.
Empty weight, 1,760 lb (798 kg).
Loaded weight, 2,326 lb (1055 kg).
Span, 30 ft 9 in (9,37 m).
Length, 21 ft 11 in (6,68 m).
Height, 8 ft 11 1/2 in (2,73 m).
Wing area, 310 sq ft (28,80 m2).