The first prototype, two-seat B-54 with the Rolls-Royce Griffon 56 piston engine and counterrotating propellers flew on 20 September, 1949. The second prototype with a crew of three flew on 3 May 1950. The third prototype was a turboprop-powered B-88 flown on 19 July 1950.
No series production followed because the Fairey Gannet was selected.
|A three-view drawing of Blackburn B-54 (597 x 460)|
| ENGINE||1 x Armstrong Siddeley Double Mamba, 2200kW|
| Take-off weight||5938 kg||13091 lb|
| Wingspan||13.46 m||44 ft 2 in|
| Length||13.0 m||43 ft 8 in|
| Height||5.11 m||17 ft 9 in|
| Max. speed||515 km/h||320 mph|
Chain drive? I dont think so. Contra props were no novelty in 1949,It had a reduction gearbox gearbox. As for the distinctive sound , yes contra props with the Griffon or the turbine would have been distinctive.
|Mike Cole-Hamilton, 06.01.2017|
Loyalties apart (I flew the AEW3, AS4 and T5 Gannets in the 60's) I think the AS and T5 were better lookers. NOBODY could accuse the AEW3 of being a good looker, but it was endearing and a pleasure to fly. Re. the chain drive, I am astounded!
|Trevor Webb, 20.12.2013|
The designations of this type is very confusing. The first protype was designated B-54 and YA5. This had the RR Griffin engine as did the second prototype also known as the YA7 but retaining the B-54 designation. The third protype with the Double Mambas was designated both the B-88 and YB1.
At least it looks nicer than the Gannet.
|John Sutton, 13.10.2010|
If I remember this aircraft had a chain drive to the propellers and it made an extraordinary noise when flying. One flew over our school playing fields at Uppingham, Rutland in the early 1950's and I always remember the sound.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?