Floatplane over Portsmouth built for bid to be first to fly round globe

You might recall this picture from last month when I asked if anyone could identify the aircraft flying over Old Portsmouth.

Tuesday, 9th August 2016, 6:00 am
The Fairey Fremantle swoops over the Round Tower, Old Portsmouth

John Nichol says it was a Fairey Fremantle built for a projected around-the-world flight which never took place because by the time it was ready in November 1924 the Americans had beaten us to it.

He adds: ‘It was one of the largest single-engined floatplanes ever built and had a wingspan of 68ft 10ins.

‘It could carry seven passengers in a large cabin as well as the pilot. Its last recorded flight was in 1926 with the RAF on development work connected with radio-navigations.

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‘When I saw the photo I realised it was much earlier than 1946, because of the old-fashioned floats. All later floats had a step to enable them to take off more easily.

‘Its maximum speed was 100mph and it had a 1,000-mile range.’