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British WWII's fighters

prepared by Jirka Wagner


Gloster Gladiator, Sea Gladiator

Last British biplane fighter, a development of the Gauntlet with an enclosed cockpit and cantilever landing gear. The Gladiator was used during WWII in theatres were the RAF could not afford better equipment. The famous story about the three Gladiators called Faith, Hope and Love that defended Malta is incorrect: there were seven aircraft involved, Sea Gladiators from Navy stocks. Gladiators were also sold to Belgium, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, China, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Egypt, Iraq, and South Africa.

General characteristics Gladiator II
Primary function Fighter
Power plant One 9cylinder Bristol Mercury IX radial engine
Thrust 840 HP 626 kW
Wingspan 32.3 ft 9.85 m
Length 27.5 ft 8.38 m
Height 10.4 ft 3.17 m
Wingarea 323 sq ft 30.01 sq m
Weight empty Gladiator 3,450 lb 1,565 kg
Sea Gladiator 3,730 lb 1,692 kg
max. Gladiator 4,863 lb 2,206 kg
Sea Gladiator 5,400 lb 2,449 kg
Speed Gladiator 253 mph 407 km/h
Sea Gladiator 244 mph 392 km/h
Initial climb rate 2,300 ft/min 700 m/min
Ceiling 33,000 ft 10,060 m
Range Gladiator 440 mi 708 km
Sea Gladiator 423 mi 680 km
Armament 4x 7.7mm machine gun
Crew One
First flight September 1934 (prototype)
Date deployed March 1937
Number built Minimum 756 (480 RAF, 60 RN; 216 export into 13 countries)

Jirka Wagner


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