Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Parnall Peto

The Peto, submarine-launched floatplane, was amongst the most technically difficult tasks that Parnall took on. It was a two-seat reconnaissance float biplane of very small overall dimensions designed to be folded and carried in the confines of a submarine.
Of mixed wood, fabric, aluminium and steel construction, it had unequal span, warren-braced rectangular wings and the initial aircraft was powered by a 128hp Bristol Lucifer with mahogany plywood "Consuta" type floats.
Performance on test was generally satisfactory but modifications were put in hand and the machine was rebuilt with new wings, metal floats and a 169hp AS Mongoose engine.
Tests both on the sea and in the air showed that Bolas had fully met the requirements and it was officially judged to be exceptionally good; it was successfully catapult launched from the ill-fated submarine M2 but the concept of submarine carried aircraft died after the loss of the M2 which took with it one of the Petos.


Anonymous said...

Submarine as an aircraft carrier is the weirdest idea I've ever heard of!

Lord K said...

Well, the idea was implemented not only in the Royal Navy but also in the Marine Nationale (see Surcouf submarine cruiser) and Imperial Japanese Navy (see I-400 monster subs).