Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Somers-Kendall SK-1

One of the first jets designed for private civil use, the SK-1 is a tandem two seat aerobatic tourer/trainer/racer. It was powered by a 330lb st Turbomeca Palas 1 turbojet, mounted on top of the shoulder wing. Designed by the late Hugh Kendall in 1954 for J. 'Nat' Somers to compete in the National Air Races, it was built by Somers-Kendall Aircraft Ltd in a garage in Berkshire, England.

Registered G-AOBG, the SK-1 was first flown on 8th October 1955, a C of A being issued on 25th March 1956. Minor defects prevented participation in the 1956 Air Races and the aircraft suffered turbine failure in the air on 11th July 1957 which grounded it. After Storage at Cranfield it passed through various hands but was never restored to fly again.

Data: .
Power: one Blackburn-Turbomeca Palas of 350-lb. thrust.
Accommodation: two seat.
Dimensions: span 22 ft.9 in.; length 20 ft. 10 in.
Weights: empty 810 lb.; all-up 1,500 lb.
Performance: maximum speed 332 m.p.h, cruising 250 m.p.h. at 30,000 ft. Sea-level rate of climb: 1,100 ft./min.