Kennedy Aeroplane Ltd Giant
The Kennedy Giant was a British biplane heavy bomber designed by Kennedy Aeroplanes Ltd. during the First World War. The design was an imitation of works by Igor Sikorsky, with whom the owner of Kennedy Aeroplanes Ltd., Chessborough J. H. Mackenzie-Kennedy, had ostensibly worked prior to setting up the company.
The four-bay, unstaggered wings spanned 142 feet; ailerons were fitted to the upper wings only, their control rods extending along the top of the leading edge, and the wing overhang being braced by pairs of outraked struts. The four engines, mounted in tandem pairs in nacelles on the lower wings, were very early British-built examples of the Canton-Unne/Salmson Z9 nine-cylinder water-cooled radials, each of which was provided with a pair of large vertical radiators on the sides of the nacelles.
The fuselage was of rectangular section over its entire length and tapered towards the tail only in plan. It provided fully-enclosed accommodation for the crew, the pilot being situated in the extreme nose, with individual compartmented cabins aft. The tail surfaces were of inadequate area, the tiny rudder (later enlarged) being unbalanced and without a fixed fin. The undercarriage was a complicated structure of multiple V-struts and skids.
The aeroplane was a notorious failure; its size meant that construction had to take place in an open field at the Fairey factory at Heston as none of the hangars near Hayes, Middlesex, where the prototype was assembled, were large enough to house it.
Supply of the Sunbeam engines, manufactured under licence by the Dudbridge Iron Works Ltd of Stroud, were afforded very low priority (and were not subject of official trials until May 1919). Early examples were rated at only 200hp and, with these, the Giant was made ready for flight at Hendon late in 1917.
Movement needed two trucks and seventy men, but these efforts broke the tail of the aircraft. It was repaired, but the fuselage shortened by 10 feet (3,048 m).
This power proved insufficient to gain true flight, and despite being taxied at full throttle downhill, the pilot, Lieut Frank T Courtney, only managed to lift the mainwheels off the ground for a short hop with the tailskid still dragging along the ground. The prototype was left derelict at Northolt Aerodrome for a number of years.
Engines: Canton-Unne Salmson Z9, 200hp / 150 kW
Propellers: two tractor and two pusher two-blade
Wingspan: 142 ft 0 in / 43.28 m
Length: 80 ft 0 in / 24.38 m
Height: 23 ft 6 in / 7.16 m
Empty weight: 19017 lb / 8626 kg