Miles M.25 Martinet / M.50 Queen Martinet / M.37 Martinet Trainer
Before the issue of Air Ministry Specification 12/41, it had been standard RAF practice to use out-dated aircraft, however unsuitable, for the task of target towing. The outbreak of World War II had highlighted this short-sighted policy, leading to the procurement of an aircraft designed specifically for such a role.
The Miles M.25 prototype (LR241) was flown for the first time on 24 April 1942, the aircraft being based on the Miles Master Mk II but with a lengthened nose to compensate for the weight of target-towing equipment. Incorporated within a modified cockpit was the drogue cable winch, which could be powered by an electric motor or wind-driven propeller, and there was comfortable space for the operator and stowage of the drogue targets.
THe type entered service as the Miles Martinet and between 1942 and 1945 a total of 1,724 was built; the type was complemented in 1946 by the M.50 Queen Martinet which had been developed to Specification Q.10/43. This was a radio-controlled pilotless target version of the Martinet, 11 being built as new and the remaining 54 being conversions of M.25s. Planned variants included a glider-tug version of the Martinet, similar to the Master GT Mk II, and the M.37 two-seat trainer of which two prototypes were built. Six surplus Martinets received civil registrations after the war, four of them sold to Sweden and operated by the civil target-towing company Svensk Flygjarst.
Engine: 1 x Bristol Mercury XX/XXX, 649kW / 858 hp
Wingspan: 11.89 m / 39 ft 0 in
Length: 9.42 m / 30 ft 11 in
Height: 3.53 m / 11 ft 7 in
Wing area: 22.48 sq.m / 241.97 sq ft
Max take-off weight: 3062 kg / 6751 lb
Empty weight: 2105 kg / 4641 lb
Wing loading: 27.88 lb/sq.ft / 136.0 kg/sq.m
Max. speed: 208 kts / 386 km/h / 240 mph
Range: 603 nm / 1117 km / 694 miles