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GENERAL AIRCRAFT G.A.L.42 CYGNET

The General Aircraft GAL.42 Cygnet II was a 1930s British single-engined training or touring aircraft built by General Aircraft Limited and Hanworth Aerodrome.

The Cygnet was designed and built at Slough by C.W. Aircraft Limited in 1936. It was the first all-metal stressed-skin lightplane to be built and flown in the United Kingdom. It was first flown in May 1937 at Hanworth Aerodrome. The company having spent a lot of money on another design (the C.W. Swann) collapsed in 1938 and General Aircraft Ltd acquired all the rights to the Cygnet.

The design was modified (mainly by the change to a tri-cycle undercarriage and twin fins) by General Aircraft as the GAL.42 Cygnet II. Production of a large batch of aircraft began in 1939 but only 10 were built due to the start of the war. Five aircraft were impressed into service with the Royal Air Force as a tri-cycle undercarriage trainer for the Douglas Boston.

The last surviving aircraft G-AGBN was retired on 1988 and is now on display at the Museum of Flight at East Fortune, Scotland.

A trainer version of the Cygnet II was designed with an open-cockpit as the GAL.45 Owlet.

A civilian version was operated in south Argentina, in Tierra del Fuego province where it had an accident. It was repaired and known to continued flying then belonging to an unknown owner in south of Buenos Aires province. After a landing in an Air Club landing strip in Colon City Air Club from where it could never take off again due to landing strip shortness, it remained there and subsequently was converted into a monument at the Air Club entrance. Nowadays in a pretty bad shape.

General characteristics

  • Length: 23 ft 3 in (7.09 m)
  • Wingspan: 34 ft 6 in (10.52 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
  • Wing area: 179 ft (16,35 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,475 lb (669 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,200 lb (1000 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 Blackburn Cirrus Major II 4-cylinder inverted inline piston, 150 hp (112 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 136 mph (217 km/h)
  • Range: 445 miles (716 km)
  • Service ceiling 14,000 ft (4265 m)

References

  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 
  • Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919. London: Putnam. ISBN 0 370 10014 X. 

 

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