DAN SHUMAKER COLLECTION
No. 9522. Blackburn T.5E Ripon Mk.III (S1272) Royal Air Force
Aeroplane Photo Supply (APS) Photo No. 406

Blackburn T.5E Ripon Mk.III

12/31/2009. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "This two-seat carrier-borne torpedo-bomber was designed to Specification 21/23. The first prototype, designated T.5 Ripon Mk.I (s/n N203), flew on April 17, 1926, powered by an 470 hp Napier Lion Vtwelve-cylinder liquid-cooled W-engine, while the second prototype, designated T.5 Ripon Mk.II (s/n N204) flew on August 26 fitted with floats.

In 1927 a production prototype appeared, designated T.5A Ripon Mk.II (s/n N231), this was powered by a 570 hp Lion X and fitted with shorter-span duralumin wing-ribs and smaller rudders. A production batch of eight aircraft (s/n S1265 to S1272) was ordered and the first entered service in August 1929. The last aircraft (s/n S1272) was finished as the sole T.5E Ripon Mk.III, an all-metal aircraft fitted with a 570 hp Lion XIA and other refinements. Another batch of thirteen T.5A Ripon Mk.II (s/n S1357 to S1369) followed.

To Specification 2/29 the T.5B Ripon Mk.IIA was designed, featuring an aiming window in the floor of the fuselage and defensive armament: one fixed forward-firing 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machinegun and one 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis machinegun on a flexible mount in the aft cockpit. Forty (s/n S1424 to S1432, S1465 to S1473, S1553 to S1574) were delivered between July 1930 and May 1931, while a number of Mk.II weremodified to the Mk.IIA.

Next came the T.5B Ripon Mk.IIC, designed to Specification 13/31, these were fitted with additional sweep-back and steel wing-spars and 26 aircraft (s/n S1649 to S1674) were delivered by March 1932. In 1933 an additional four aircraft (s/n K2884 to K2887) were produced from spare parts, while a batch of fourteen aircraft (s/n K3546 to K3559) ordered as T.5B Ripon Mk.IIC was converted on the production line to the T.8 Baffin.

A single T.5D Ripon IIF, was produced, this was fitted with a 530 hp Bristol Jupiter VIII radial engine and with s/n RI-121 it was delivered to Valtion Lentokonetehdas (State Aircraft Factory) at Tampere, Finland in September 1929. After successful trials Valtion constructed 25 aircraft under license, fitted with plywood-covered fuselages and wheel/float/ski landing gears. These aircraft were fitted with a variety of radial engines: 480 hp Gnome-Rhone Jupiter VI (s/n RI-129 to RI-135), 535 hp Armstrong Siddeley Panther IIA (s/n RI-136 to RI-143) en 580 hp Bristol Pegasus IIM3 (s/n RI-150 to RI-159).

The Ripon had a provision for one 1,576 lb (714 kg) Mk. VIII or Mk. X torpedo; alternatively one 1,100 lb (499 kg) smoke-container or a bomb-load comprised of three 230/250 lb (104/113 kg) or three 520/550 lb (239/249 kg) bombs on universal carriers under wings and fuselage and light series carrier for 20 lb (9 kg) practice bombs below starboard wing. The Ripon was fitted with spools for catapulting and could be used for long-range reconnaissance with armament removed and extra fuel-tanks installed to give a total endurance of fourteen hrs.

Created December 31, 2009