British Aircraft Eagle

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British Aircraft Eagle
British Aircraft Eagle II
British Aircraft Eagle II
Type: Light aircraft
Design country:

United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom


British Klemm Airplane Company

First flight:




Production time:

1934 to?

Number of pieces:


The British Aircraft Eagle was a British light aircraft that was designed and built in the 1930s. The aircraft caused quite a stir by participating in several intercontinental air races.


The Eagle was the first in-house design of the British Klemm Airplane Company . The company based at London Air Park was founded by Major EF Stephen in the early 1930s for the purpose of recreating sport aircraft from the Klemm Leichtflugzeugbau GmbH company. From November 1933 the British Klemm Swallow , a licensed replica of the Klemm Kl 25 , was built there.

The Eagle was similar to the Klemm Kl 32 , but was an independent development by G. Handasyde , the chief developer of the British Klemm Airplane Company. With the larger, more powerful and, thanks to the closed cabin, more comfortable model, a successor to the Swallow was to be established on the market. The machine completed its maiden flight at the beginning of 1934. Six of the original variant were built. In 1935 the improved Eagle II appeared . In the same year, the company changed its name to British Aircraft Manufacturing to emphasize the independence of the designs. The Eagle II differed from its predecessor in that it had changed rudders and an extended stern. A total of 37 copies were made of this version.


The Eagle was designed as a low wing aircraft. The fuselage and surfaces of the aircraft consisted of a wooden structure that was planked with plywood or covered with fabric. Only the engine cover was made of metal. The wings could be folded to save space. A characteristic feature of the machine was the retractable landing gear , but a specimen from the Eagle II series was built with a fixed tail wheel landing gear . The crew and passengers were accommodated in a closed cabin; access was made possible through two doors that opened to the front. The pilot took a single seat in the front, the two passengers sat next to each other behind him. The engine used was a de Havilland Gipsy Major , a four-cylinder in- line engine with hanging cylinders and an output of 130 hp.


A total of six of the Eagle , flown for the first time in 1934 , were built. 37 of the Eagle II , manufactured from 1935, were made , one of which had a fixed landing gear. The first eagles manufactured before the company was renamed were known as the British Klemm Eagle .


The Eagle was mostly sold to private owners, where it was primarily used as a sport and touring aircraft. A few specimens were also obtained from various aviation clubs.

The guy first gained fame through his participation in the MacRobertson Air Race in 1934. Flight Lieutenant G. Shaw started with the starting number 47 with his Eagle II, baptized The Spirit of Wm. Shaw & Co Ltd , but had to race in Give up Bushir . An Eagle II also took part in the Schlesinger Race between England and South Africa, but this aircraft did not reach the destination either. The crew of Alington and Booth were the first to give up the race. The retractable landing gear of her Eagle was damaged on landing near Regensburg . Between 1935 and 1937, different pilots took off with aircraft of this type in the annual King's Cup Race .

When the Second World War broke out , the Royal Air Force pulled in seven eagles and used them as trainers. Two other aircraft are said to have been used in the same role in Australia, and another aircraft in Kenya. The retractable landing gear proved to be the weak point of the machine, most aircraft had to be written off due to landing gear damage. Only two aircraft survived and were used by civilian operators in Australia after the end of the war.

Technical specifications

Parameter Data
crew 1
Passengers 2
length 7.93 m
span 11.97 m
height 2.06 m
Empty mass 659 kg
Max. Takeoff mass 1091 kg
Top speed 238 km / h
Cruising speed 209 km / h
Service ceiling 4900 m
Climb performance 3.6 m / s
Range 1047 km
Engine de Havilland Gipsy Major , hanging air-cooled four-cylinder in-line engine, 130 hp

Preserved copies

There are currently two aircraft of this type that have survived. The G-AFAX is exhibited in the Fundaćion Infante de Orleans aviation museum in Spain and was kept in an airworthy condition at least until 2009, the VH-UTI is in an exhibition in Australia.

See also

Web links

Commons : British Aircraft Eagle 2  - Collection of images, videos and audio files