Boulton-Paul P.3 Bobolink
|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / Boulton-Paul|
Although built only in prototype form, the Boulton & Paul P.3 Bobolink is worthy of mention as Boulton & Paul's first aeroplane. The company had manufactured wooden buildings at its Norwich factory, and during World War I built aircraft under sub-contract. Among the types produced were the FE.2b and Camel, and the Bobolink was the result of a design competition to find a Camel replacement.
The winner of the competition was the Sopwith Snipe, so the Boulton & Paul aircraft did not enter production; three serial numbers were allocated for the prototypes, but records suggest that only one was built. An interesting feature made it possible for the Bobolink's pilot to jettison its main fuel tanks in the event of an in-flight fire.
As might have been expected, the Bobolink had a number of similarities to the Camel, and its performance was comparable with that of the Snipe, but the latter was considered to be more suitable for mass production.