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Roe Triplane I (Bull’s Eye Avroplane) 1909




Alliot Verdon Roe transferred his experiments to Lea Marshes in 1909 and designed a triplane. Unable to afford the hire of the Antoinette engine, he built a triplane and covered its wings with brown paper in the hopes that it would be light enough to fly on 9 hp. On 13 July 1909 at Lea Marshes, with Roe at the controls, the Triplane No 1 became the first British built and piloted aeroplane to make a successful flight in England.


His triplane is now preserved in the National Aeronautical Collection at South Kensington.






In London movie makers needed a full-size flying reproduction of A.V.Roe’s 1909 triplane for the 1964 “Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines”. Blueprints were available so Avro built one for the movie scenes.


full-scale Roe Triplane replica at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, UK.


Engine: 1 x 9hp JAP 2-cylinder / 20 hp JAP
Wingspan: 6.10 m / 20 ft 0 in
Wing chord 3 ft. 71 in.
Wing area 217.5 sq. ft.
Length: 7.01 m / 23 ft 0 in
Height: 3.35 m / 11 ft 0 in
Weight empty 136 kg / 300 lb
Take-off weight: 204 kg / 450 lb
Max. speed: 40 km/h / 25 mph

Crew: 1




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