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Whitehead Aircraft Comet


At the end of 1916, the Whitehead Aircraft Company completed, at its Richmond, Surrey, works, a small single-seat fighting scout. Not unlike the Camel in general appearance - and perhaps inspired by the Sopwith type, for the production of which Whitehead was a major contractor - the aircraft was a compact single-bay biplane, with ailerons on all four wings. The fuselage was faired to a near-circular cross section and the engine was an 80hp Le Rhone nine-cylinder rotary. The name Comet was bestowed upon the fighter by its manufacturer, although it was also known within the works as the Boyle Scout, in an allusion to its principal designer, Edwin Boyle. It is not clear if it was designed by T. Navarro, who left Whitehead Aircraft to work on another scout project at Thomas Lowe & Sons, or if the designer was the then 23 year old Edwin Boyle. If it was known in the works as the Boyle Scout, that does suggest Boyle.

No details of the planned armament appear to have survived, nor of any flight testing, although the Comet was reported to have flown.



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