The Gloster Gladiator (also known as the Gloster SS.37) is a 1930s British biplane fighter.The Gladiator entered service with the Royal Air Force in 1937 and was used in front-line fighter duties until around 1941, after being declared obsolete RAF Gladiators did non-combat work like meteorological work, Finland still used the Gladiator in combat duties until 1945. [6] However, the Goshawk engine proved to be unreliable, mainly due to its over-complex and underdeveloped cooling system, and unsuited to use on fighter aircraft and this outcome stalled development of the aircraft intended to use it. These achieved some success against the Italian Regia Aeronautica, which was mainly equipped with Fiat CR.32 and Fiat CR.42 biplanes, and against Luftwaffe bombers. "On Silver Wings – Part 20". [6], In June 1935, production plans for the aircraft were proposed; two weeks later a production specification, Specification F.14/35, had been rapidly drawn up, partially prompted by events in continental Europe, such as the invasion of Abyssinia by Fascist Italy and the rise of Adolf Hitler to power in Germany, in response to which the British government mandated an urgent expansion of the RAF to counter the emerging threats. The month-long Syria-Lebanon Campaign in June–July 1941 saw heavy fighting both in the air and on land, until the Vichy French authorities in Syria surrendered on 12 July 1941. A modified Mk II, the Sea Gladiator, was developed for the Fleet Air Arm (FAA), with an arrestor hook, catapult attachment points, a strengthened airframe and an underbelly fairing for a dinghy lifeboat, all for operations aboard aircraft carriers. [89], TheRegia Aeronautica had also dispatched a force of 12 Fiat CR.42s that arrived in Iraq on 23 May. It was a derivative of the Gauntlet that the Gladiator was built, being a private venture to specification F.7/30 and first flew as a prototype on 12th September 1934 and then only known as the SS37. Initially it was thought that only the old CR.32s were involved, but there were also many CR.42s; it is likely that the then inexperienced Pattle was shot down by another future ace, Franco Lucchini.  This is a biplane (the last built for the RAF) but was quickly superseded by the superior monoplane designs, eg Spitfire and Hurricane. 72 operated the type until April 1939, longer than any other home-based frontline unit. Experiences such as operating the Gladiator's landing flaps and familiarisation with its sliding hood have been attributed to having favourably impacted pilot conversion. L8032 was the last production Gladiator I built in 1937 but not actually assembled until 1938. The introduction of these aircraft had been eased by the presence of the Gladiator, squadrons that had operated Gladiators prior to converting to the monoplane types experienced a noticeably improved accident record than those who converted from older types such as the Gauntlet. [13][14] Of the 98 aircraft built as, or converted to, Sea Gladiators, 54 were still in service by the outbreak of the Second World War.[13]. Pier Giorgio Bonassin | Hendon - RAF Museum Royal Air Force | Gloster Gladiator. [95], As late as mid-1941, the RAF Chief-of-Air Staff offered 21 Gloster Gladiators gathered from various meteorological and communications flights in the Middle East, as well as five from a Free French unit, to AOC Singapore in order to strengthen the colony's defences against the emerging Japanese threat. [17] Between March and April 1937, No. [70], The complete 112 Squadron moved to Eleusis by the end of January 1941, and by the end of the following month, had received 80 Sqn's Gladiators, after the latter unit had converted to Hawker Hurricanes. [39] At the Narvik front, 263 Squadron was reinforced by Hurricanes of 46 Squadron, which flew into an airstrip at Skånland a few days later. The Swedish Gladiators scored eight aerial victories and destroyed four aircraft on the ground. On 8 August 1940, during another dogfight, 14 Gladiators of 80 Squadron took 16 Fiat CR.42s from 9° and 10° Gruppi of 4° Stormo (a Regia Aeronautica elite unit) by surprise over Gabr Saleh, well inside Italian territory. The RAF used it in France, Norway, Greece, the defence of Malta, the Middle East, and the brief Anglo-Iraqi War (during which the Royal Iraqi Air Force was similarly equipped). [38] By the end of the day, ten Gladiators had been destroyed for the loss of three German aircraft. Marius Bekker | Old Warden The Shuttleworth Collection | Gloster Gladiator… Williams, Anthony G. and Dr. Emmanuel Gustin. To me it seems that this aircraft more than any other in the Collection spans the gap between the age of graceful 1930’s silver- winged biplanes and … [39] Glorious sailed for home but was intercepted by the German battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst. Jan 13, 2019 - This Pin was discovered by Robert Miner. [32] On 10 April 1941, 804 NAS took off from Hatston, in Orkney, to intercept a group of approaching German aircraft. [3] Actually the British heavily overclaimed as it seems that Regia Aeronautica that day lost only two CR.42s. The South African ace Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle (who served with the RAF), claimed 15 kills in Gladiators during the North African and Greek Campaigns, making him the highest-scoring RAF biplane ace of the war. 33 and 80 Squadrons, with ten individual kills, 1 shared kill, and 1.5 damaged. 1,585 81. [84] Although much of the RoIAF was destroyed in the air or on the ground in the following days, the Iraqi Gladiators kept flying until the end of the war, carrying out strafing attacks on A Company of 1 Battalion, The Essex Regiment on the outskirts of Baghdad on 30 May. Saved by Jacek Ścibor. [31], Gladiators typically flew patrol flights that led to occasional clashes with Luftwaffe reconnaissance aircraft. By April, Malta was in need of fighter protection and it was decided to form a flight of Gladiators at RAF Hal Far, to be composed of RAF and FAA personnel. Initial service with the type proved the Vickers guns to be problematical; the Gladiator was quickly armed with .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machi… 47484V) Lieutenant Lancelot Charles Henry "Paddy" Hope, at Dabat airfield, scrambled to intercept the CR.42 (MM7117). 3 Squadron at Kenley also received Gladiators from the remainder of the first production batch, replacing their obsolete Bristol Bulldogs. Tension had been building between Greece and Italy since 7 April 1939, when Italian troops occupied Albania. [20], In October 1937, the Chinese Central Government ordered 36 Gladiator Is, which were delivered in two crated batches to Guangzhou via Hong Kong. 72 Squadron, based at Tangmere, became the first squadron to be equipped with the Gladiator; No. We use cookies to give you a great and free experience on our website. 80 Squadron, who won 15.5 confirmed air victories while flying the Gladiator (out of his 50+ kills), plus four probably destroyed and six damaged. If a clever man said, 'I am going to build a big thing that will burn better and quicker than anything else in the world,' and if he applied himself diligently to his task, he would probably finish up by building something very like a Gladiator. [8][9], In spring 1934, Gloster embarked on the construction of a single SS.37 prototype. The Gladiators landed on frozen lakes around Oslo and were abandoned by their pilots, then wrecked by souvenir-hunting civilians.[37]. You can change your Cookie settings at any time. In June 1935, Gloster Aircraft proposed an improved version of the Gloster SS37 with an enclosed cockpit, revised tail unit and 830hp Mercury IX engine. The Italian air force units deployed against Malta should have easily defeated the Gladiators but its manoeuvrability and good tactics won several engagements, often starting with a dive on Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero bombers before the Fiat CR.42 and Macchi MC.200 escort fighters could react. The Finnish air force claimed 45 victories over Russian aircraft in the Winter War for 15 Gladiator losses. Despite the valiant defence put up by her two escorting destroyers, HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent, she was sunk along with the aircraft from four squadrons. "Gloster Gladiators and Fiat CR.42s over Malta 1940–42. Download | 14757Kb (.jpg) Marketplace. Serial numbers: N2265 – N2302. [63] Hope (N5531) was destroyed on the ground by enemy bombing in May 1941. The Gloster Gladiator-page contains all related products, articles, books, walkarounds and plastic scale modeling projects dedicated to this aircraft. One concern was expressed when F 19's executive officer Captain Björn Bjuggren wrote in his memoirs, that the tracer rounds of the Gladiator's machine guns would not ignite the gasoline when penetrating the fuel tanks of Soviet bombers. [99] Irish Gladiators also overflew the site of the sinking of the liner SS Athenia in 1939 and offered the help of the Irish military. [74], On 6 June 1941, the Regia Aeronautica had only two serviceable aircraft remaining: a CR.32 and a CR.42, therefore air superiority was finally achieved by Gladiators and the Hurricanes. In Part two, we add the harnesses to the seat and install the cockpit. In May 2009, the remains of Charity and others were the subject of an underwater search by NATO minesweepers. [6] Around the same time, Gloster proceeded to plan a further improved version, featuring an 840 hp (630 kW) Mercury IX engine, a two-blade wooden fixed-pitch propeller, improved wheel discs and a fully enclosed cockpit. The Norwegian Campaign saw both Norwegian and British Gladiators battling the Luftwaffe, with the Norwegian Jagevingen fighting in the defence of Oslo on the first day of Operation Weserübung, the German invasion. On 1 July 1935, the aircraft formally received the name Gladiator. [88][74] A last resupply of Gladiators came on 17 May in the form of four more 94 Squadron aircraft. [70] 112 Squadron, and Flight Sergeant Don S. Gregory, from Nos. Post May 05, 2010 #1 2010-05-05T16:10. [20] The Gladiator saw considerable action during early stages of the war, including participating in the action in the French and Norwegian campaigns, in addition to various peripheral campaigns. Goulding, James and Robert Jones. Stromberg dived on it and shot it down into the forest near its airfield with two bursts. On 5 April, German forces invaded Greece and quickly established air superiority. In addition to air defence duties, in the last days of May ground attack missions were also flown by the Gladiators, targeting railway stations, enemy vehicles, and coastal vessels.[39]. ", "Underwater search for Gloster Gladiator 'Charity'. Actually the Italians lost four aircraft, and four more force-landed (it seems that all were later recovered). ", "Biplane fighter aces: Italy, Capitano Franco Lucchini Medaglia d'Oro al Valor Militare. [48] Gladiators also saw action against the Vichy French in Syria.[49]. [22] During that clash, Chinese Gladiators lost two of their number. British pilots claimed 13 to 16 confirmed victories and one to seven probables, while losing two Gladiators. Graffer, was shot down during a combat where seven aircraft were downed, four of them British. ICM | 32042: Gloster Sea Gladiator Mk.II Reviewed by Iain Ogilvie History. The Iraqi Gladiators' only claim during the war was a Vickers Wellington bomber shared with ground fire on 4 May. [69] [6] According to aviation author Francis K. Mason, the Air Ministry were sceptical about the aircraft achieving such performance from a radial engine design, and thus funded a protracted series of evaluation trials. In one encounter between the Royal Air Force and the Vichy French Air Force on 15 June 1941, six Gloster Gladiators were jumped by an equal number of Dewoitine D.520 monoplane fighter aircraft. That also looks a very worthwhile addition to any Gladiator … By February 1938, these aircraft had been assembled into two squadrons and the Chinese pilots familiarised themselves with them. Top Finnish Air Force Gladiator ace was Captain Paavo Berg, who claimed 6 of his 11 victories with Gladiators. This topic is categorised under: Aircraft » Propeller » Gloster Gladiator. The next day the wreckage was found, the dead pilot still in the cockpit. Shores, Christopher and Brian Cull with Nicola Malizia. [75] Other authors state that Malavolti managed only to fire on the two Gladiators before being shot down. Hope dropped a message on Italian positions at Ambazzo: "Tribute to the pilot of the Fiat. [55] No 1435 Flight, which later assumed control of Malta's air defence, took on the names Faith, Hope and Charity for its aircraft upon its reformation as the air defence unit in the Falkland Islands in 1988. There No 112 Sqn recorded a few claims over twin-engined aircraft before being evacuated to Egypt during the Battle of Crete. The Gladiator was the last British biplane fighter to be manufactured, and the first to feature an enclosed cockpit. On 11 June 1940, a Gladiator damaged a Macchi and on 23 June, a Gladiator flown by George Burges, managed to shoot down an MC.200. At the beginning of the Second World War, during what was known as the "Phoney War", Britain deployed the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) into France to fight alongside the French army. By then, 263 Squadron had flown 249 sorties and claimed 26 enemy aircraft destroyed. Warrant Officer Oiva Tuominen claimed 5 of his 44 victories with Gladiators. Although the CR.42 pilot took violent evasive action, Hope pursued, closing to 20 yards and firing as it tried to dive away. [51][52][53][54] More than three aircraft were operational, though not always at the same time; others were used for spare parts. Thetford, Owen. It was under Finnish insignia that the Gladiator achieved its last air victory. Britain dispatched help to the embattled Greeks in the form of 80 Squadron, elements of which arrived at Trikkala by 19 November. In the Mediterranean Theatre during 1940–41, Gladiators saw combat with four Allied air forces: the RAF, Royal Australian Air Force, South African Air Force and Ellinikí Vasilikí Aeroporía (Royal Greek Air Force) squadrons. [6], Gloster recognised that, instead of developing an all-new design from scratch, the existing Gauntlet fighter could be used as a basis for a contender to meet Specification F.7/30. Manlio Tarantino shot down Hartley's Gladiator (N5519), badly burning him. [59] Charity was shot down on 31 July 1940. The top scoring Gladiator aces flew it in North Africa and Greece, scoring most of their successes against Regia Aeronautica aircraft. Hot on the heels of the superb ICM kit of the Gloster Gladiator Mk.I, John at AIMS has been very busy creating some really useful after-market sets/decals for the kit.From this reviewers perspective one of the most useful is the photo-etched brass detail set for the cockpit area as featured here. [89], During the fighting, the sole Gladiator-on-Gladiator kill occurred on 5 May, when Plt. [97] Although unable to intercept any intruding aircraft, the Irish Gladiators shot down several British barrage balloons that had broken from their moorings. The top ace was Flight Lieutenant Pat Pattle, from No. It began series production to Specification F.14/35 in July 1935 and the first flight of the Gloster Gladiator was made in the January of 1937. 239 Squadron, using Gladiators for army cooperation and 804 Naval Air Squadron, outfitted with Sea Gladiators, were also operational during the Battle of Britain.[47]. 80 Squadron. 33 and 80 Squadrons, scored all of their kills (respectively, 9.5 and 8) flying the Gladiator. In a confused battle, both sides lost one aircraft shot down and one severely damaged. A little bit of background. [67] Wykeham Barnes, who was shot down but survived, claimed a Breda 65, while Pattle claimed a Ba 65 and a CR.42. Air Ministry specification F.7/30 was formally issued to industry in late 1931. On 28 October 1940, Italy issued an ultimatum to Greece, which was promptly rejected; a few hours later, Italian troops launched an invasion of Greece, initiating the Greco-Italian War. F.7/30 demanded a top speed of at least 250 mph (400 km/h) and an armament of four machine-guns, while encouraging the use of the new Rolls-Royce Goshawk evaporatively cooledengine, which was used by most of the competitors for the specification. ", Royal Air Force History: History of No. FSADDON have released another WWII Fighter ie the GLOSTER GLADIATOR, designed specifically for FSX. The Gladiator saw action in almost all theatres during the Second World War, with a large number of air forces, some of them on the Axis side. At the same time, the development of monoplane fighters such as the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire cast doubt over the future viability of the requirement altogether. [4] The Air Ministry's technical planning committee formulated Specification F.7/30, which sought a new aircraft capable of a maximum speed of at least 250 mph (400 km/h), an armament of no fewer than four machine guns, and such handling that that same fighter could be used by both day and night squadrons. [20] Initial air operations on either side were limited by the winter weather; however, immediately following Germany's commencement of the Manstein Plan and its invasion of the Low Countries on 10 May 1940, the BEF's Gladiators participated in the Dyle Plan, an unsuccessful counterattack on German forces. I) Chapter 3 — Meeting the German Attack.". [19][17], During 1938, the RAF had begun to receive its first deliveries of the Hurricane and Spitfire monoplanes; an emphasis was soon placed on quickly re-equipping half of the Gladiator squadrons with either of these monoplane types. [citation needed], The Luftwaffe used captured Latvian Gladiators as glider tugs with Ergänzungsgruppe (S) 1 from Langendiebach near Hanau during 1942–3. Data from Gloster Aircraft since 1917,[121] The Gloster Gladiator,[122][123], Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era, The Finnish Winter War and Continuation War, By 1934 Hawker was parent company of Gloster, or on 31 July, according to the historian Håkan Gustavsson, "Chinese biplane fighter aces – 'Buffalo' Wong Sun-Shui", "Finnish Air Force Aircraft: Gloster Gladiator. All MK II Gladiators also carried Browning 0.303-inch machine guns (licence-manufactured by the BSA company in Birmingham) in place of the Vickers-Lewis combination of the MK I. [10][6] K5200 was later used to trial modifications for production aircraft, such as the addition of a sliding hood for the pilot. Chinese aviators considered the Gladiator an excellent fighter in its class but pilots soon found it increasingly difficult to hold their own against the modern A5M, and because of a lack of spare parts due to an arms embargo the surviving Gladiators were mostly relegated to training. [79] After a break of two weeks, 80 Sqn returned to operations on 19 December 1940. A stock of 18 Sea Gladiators from 802 Naval Air Squadron had been delivered by HMS Glorious, in early 1940. Newsfeed. I mean those early silver doped RAF ones. The Gloster Gladiator was a British-built biplane fighter. [21] The Gloster Gladiator had its combat début on 24 February 1938. [96], The Irish Air Corps was supplied with four Gladiators on 9 March 1939. Twelve Gladiators were lost in combat during the Winter War and three during the Continuation War. Discover (and save!) your own Pins on Pinterest [56] Another successful pilot over Malta was "Timber" Woods who managed to shoot down two S.79s and two CR.42s, also claiming a Macchi hit on 11 June and another S.79 damaged. ", "New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vol. Gloster Gladiator cockpit´s door RODEN/EDUARD / 1:48 / Légi közlekedés / QuickBoost / Gyantás elemek / Kiegészítők / 32035. This engine proved, however to be unrelia… [90] RAF Gladiators proved effective against the Iraqi aircraft, which had been reinforced by Axis aircraft. The Gladiator's last air combat with an Italian fighter was on 24 October 1941, with the CR.42 of Tenente Malavolti (or, according to historian Håkan Gustavsson, sottotenente Malavolta). It was almost immediately made obsolete by the much faster monoplane fighters being developed by Britain and Germany, but gave valuable service in a number of peripheral actions where the opposition was weaker. [62] Woods shot down Antonio Chiodi, commander of the 75a Squadriglia five miles east of Grand Harbour. [40][41][42], Belgian Gladiators suffered heavy losses to the Germans in 1940, with all 15 operational aircraft lost,[43][44] while only managing to damage two German aircraft. Though often pitted against more formidable foes during the early days of the Second World War, it acquitted itself reasonably well in combat. Several Sea Gladiators were assembled and test-flown. Wong is believed to have shot down a second A5M, for the wrecks of two Japanese fighters were found. The Gloster Gladiator II was the last in a successful line of biplane fighters including the Grebe and Gauntlett. According to the Italian historian Nico Sgarlato, the CR.42 was intercepted by three Gladiators and managed to shoot down two of them, but was then itself shot down and the pilot killed. On this occasion, the Fiats managed to surprise the Gladiators, shooting down three of them. Instruction sheets. [39] After less than a week, all the squadron's aircraft were unserviceable and the personnel were evacuated back to Britain. On 2 June, one Gladiator pilot, Louis Jacobsen, was credited with the destruction of three Heinkel He 111s, along with the probable destruction of a Junkers Ju 88 and an addition He 111 aircraft, during a single sortie. Browse 21 gloster gladiator stock photos and images available, or start a new search to explore more stock photos and images. 110s over Rashid Airfield at Baghdad on 17 May. None of our partner shops or mates has this currently for sale. [17], By September 1937, all eight Gladiator squadrons had achieved operational status and had formed the spearhead of London's air defences. It was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) (as the Sea Gladiator variant) and was exported to a number of other air forces during the late 1930s. End of the Karelian Army around Lake Ladoga a last resupply of Gladiators came on May. 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Pins on Pinterest the Shuttleworth Collection | Gloster Gladiator - Interior ( # MD 032212 ) from gloster gladiator cockpit kill!