Short Springbok

Short Springbok

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Short Springbok

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The Short Springbok was a two-seat, all-metal reconnaissance biplane produced for the British Air Ministry in the 1920s. Altogether six aircraft of the Springbok design were built but none entered service with the armed forces.


The Springbok fuselage was of streamlined monocoque construction mounted on the lower wing and almost filling the gap between the upper and lower wings. The wings were single-bay, of unequal span and unequal chord, constructed of steel spars with an aluminum (S.3/3a Springbok) / fabric covering (S.3b Chamois). The ailerons were on the upper wing only. The crew of two sat in tandem open cockpits, with a cut-out in the upper mainplane for the pilot's head; the observer/gunner sat behind the pilot, just behind the upper wing. The tail unit comprised a braced monoplane tail at top of fuselage with a single fin and rudder. The undercarriage was of the cross-axle type, situated under the nose and complemented by a tail skid at the rear.


The Springbok traces its history from the pioneering, all-metal Short Silver Streak, which was exhibited at the Olympia Aero Show in 1920. The Air Ministry had purchased the Silver Streak and subjected it to structural tests for two years at R.A.E., Farnborough. When in due course the Air Ministry issued a "Bristol Fighter-replacement" Specification 19/21, Short Brothers contracted to deliver two S.3 Springbok I two-seat reconnaissance biplanes (J6974 and J6975). On 30 November 1923, the second...
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