GARY L. SMITH COLLECTION
No. 9393. Boulton & Paul P.7A Bourges Mk.IA (F2904) Royal Air Force
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Boulton & Paul P.7A Bourges Mk.IA

10/31/2009. Designed by the company's chief designer J.D. North, the Bourges was a prototype three-seat twin-engined biplane day bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. Of wooden construction, it was designed to be powered with two 320 hp A.B.C. Dragonfly Mk.I nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engines carried in streamlined nacelles between the wings. Three prototypes were ordered by the Air Ministry.

P.7 Bourges Mk.I, s/n F2903
Due to delays in delivery of the engines, F2903 was fitted with 230 hp Bentley BR2 rotary engines and flew in June 1918. In July the Dragonfly's were fitted and due to the clean, compact design, performance and manouverability were of an exceptionally high order. The undercarriage was of split-axle type, of very wide track and modern appearance.

Armament was two Scarff-mounted 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns, one in the nose and one in the dorsal position, and four 230 lb (105 kg) bombs could be carried. The unbalanced ailerons were replaced by balanced ones, increasing span from 54 ft (16.46 m) to 57 ft 3.6 in (17.47 m).

After the Armistice the aircraft came on the civil registry, initially as K-129, reregistered G-EACE on May 20, 1919. It was one of the first twin-engined aircraft on which aerobatics were performed, as demonstrated by F.T. Courtney at the first public demonstration at Hendon, June 1919. On this occasion the Bourges was repeatedly looped, rolled and spun. The registration was cancelled in May 1920 as the aircraft was scrapped.






Created October 31, 2009