Slingsby Sailplanes Baynes Bat
In the late 1930s, armies were looking for a way to airlift heavy military units. There were then no cargo aircraft big enough to lift a tank. A solution which was explored during the Second World War was to tow tanks as gliders, and for this wings had to be added. Most designs were based on straight wings with extended empennage and stabilizers. The design of L.E. Baynes in 1941 was for a 100 ft wing-span "Carrier Wing Glider" consisting chiefly of a swept wing with vertical stabilizers on the wing-tips.
A one-third scale prototype was built entirely of wood in 1943 by Slingsby Sailplanes at Kirkbymoorside, and the Baynes Bat made its first flight in July 1943 at the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment at RAF Sherburn-in-Elmet, Yorkshire. Most of the test flights were piloted by Flight Lieutenant Robert Kronfeld.
Tests were successful, but the project was abandoned because a suitable tank was not then available and a decision had been made to develop gliders which could carry heavy equipment within their fuselages.
The one Bat which had been built was the first tailless flapped monoplane to be available for research and it was flown extensively by the Royal Aircraft Establishment to test the stability and control of tailless aircraft. The Bat was last seen in 1958, lying behind a hangar at Croydon Airport.
Wingspan: 33 ft 4 in (10.16 m)
Length: 11 ft 4 in (3.46 m)
Wing area: 160.0 sq ft (14.86 m2)
Aspect ratio: 7
Height: 4 ft 4.8 in (1.340 m)
Empty weight: 763 lb (346.1 kg)
Gross weight: 963 lb (436.8 kg)
Maximum speed: 120 mph; 104 kn (193 km/h)
Cruising speed: 80 mph; 70 kn (129 km/h)
Stall speed: 40 mph; 35 kn (64 km/h)
Wing loading: 6.0 lb/sq ft (29.3 kg/m2)