|Role||Submarine-launched naval reconnaissance|
|Manufacturer||George Parnall and Company Limited|
|First flight||4 June 1925|
Design and development
Two examples were designed and built by George Parnall and Company and were given serial numbers N181 and N182. The first prototype, N181, crashed at Gibraltar and was rebuilt as N255 before being lost with the submarine HMS M2 when her hangar flooded. The Peto was one of the most challenging design projects that the Parnall company undertook, because of the very small hangar in which the aircraft had to fit.
Of mixed wood, fabric, aluminium and steel construction, it had unequal span, Warren-braced folding rectangular wings. The first aircraft, N181, was powered by a 128 hp Bristol Lucifer engine and had mahogany plywood "Consuta" type floats. Performance was generally satisfactory but following crash damage, improvements were made and the machine was rebuilt with new wings, metal floats and a 169 hp Armstrong Siddeley Mongoose engine. Tests both on the sea and in the air showed that designer, Harold Bolas, had met the requirements and it was officially judged to be exceptionally good.
The aircraft was launched using a compressed air catapult mounted on the forward casing of the submarine and recovered using a crane.
With the loss of M2, the Royal Navy abandoned submarine-launched aircraft, although most other navies also experimented with the concept in the interwar years.
The two aircraft built were:
- Prototype which was wrecked at Gibraltar on 11 February 1930 and rebuilt as N255 with improved floats and lost with HMS M2.
- Crew: two (pilot and observer)
- Length: 22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)
- Wingspan: 28 ft 5 in (8.66 m)
- Height: 8 ft 11 in (2.72)
- Wing area: 174 ft² (16.17 m²)
- Empty weight: 1,300 lb (590 kg)
- Loaded weight: 1,950 lb (885 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Armstrong Siddeley Mongoose IIIC five-cylinder air-cooled radial engine with two bladed wooden propeller, 135 hp (101 kW)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 3. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-10014-X.
- Wixey, Kenneth (1990). Parnall Aircraft since 1914. Annopolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-930-1.
- Marriott, Leo (2006). Catapult Aircraft. Barnsley, UK: Pen and Sword Aviation. pp. 151–7. ISBN 1-84415-419-X.
- Crosby, Francis (2009). The World Encyclopedia of Naval Aircraft. Lorenz Books. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-7548-1670-6.
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