|Terrence I. Murphy, e-mail, 14.02.2012 18:30|
The White and Thompson No. 2 was a British flying boat of the First World War. The prototype was originally designed to compete in an air-race around the UK.
In 1914, the White and Thompson Company Limited, of Bognor Regis, England, who had become exclusive licence holders for Curtiss flying boats for Great Britain the previous year, decided to build two different flying boats, one single-engined and a larger twin-engined machine, to compete in the Daily Mail £5,000 Circuit of Britain race for seaplanes, scheduled to start on 10 August that year.
The first to be completed was the single engine machine, designated the White & Thompson No. 2 Flying Boat. This was a two-bay, uneven-span pusher biplane powered by a 120 hp (90 kW) Beardmore built Austro Daimler engine mounted between the upper and lower wings. Its hull, construction of which was subcontracted to S.E.Saunders was of copper sewn mahogony (or Consuta) over a wooden frame and carried a crew of two in a side by side cockpit.
It first flew on 1 August 1914, but was impressed by the Royal Naval Air Service owing to the situation in Europe, with Britain declaring war with Germany on 4 August.
An order for eight similar flying boats followed, designated White and Thompson No.3. These had rounded wingtips and a larger tail fin, and had the central fin surface that was mounted above the upper wing centre-section on the prototype replaced by two smaller surfaces above the wings. The production aircraft were powered by a 120 hp Beardmore engine, although one aircraft was fitted with a 150 hp (112 kW) Hispano-Suiza.
General characteristics (prototype)
Length: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Wingspan: 45 ft 0 in (13.72 m)
Height: 10 ft 5 in (3.18 m)
Wing area: 400 ft² (37.2 m²)
Airfoil: RAF 6 
Empty weight: 1,600 lb (727 kg)
Loaded weight: 2,400 lb (1,091 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Austro-Daimler, 120 hp (90 kW)
Maximum speed: 61 knots (70 mph, 113 km /h )
Wing loading: 6.00 lb /ft² (19.5 kg /m²)
Power /mass: 0.05 hp /lb (0.08 kW /kg)
Endurance: 6 hours
Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 33 min 40 sec
Guns: 1x .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun
Bombs: Provision for underwing bomb racks