Spartan Cruiser G-ACDW (c/n 3 – Faithful City) whilst in Australia (Nat Library of Australia – nla.pic-vn3722840-v)
Country of origin:
Light commercial airliner
Three 97 kw (130 hp) de Havilland Gipsy III four-cylinder inline air-cooled engines
- Wingspan: 16.46 m (54 ft)
- Length: 11.94 m (39 ft 2 in)
- Height: 3.04 m (10 ft)
- Wing area: 40.5 m² (436 sq ft)
- Max speed: 217 km/h (135 mph)
- Cruising speed: 177 km/h (110 mph)
- stallling speed: 92 km/h (57 mph)
- Initial rate of climb: 183 m/min (600 ft/min)
- Ceiling: 3,962 m (13,000 ft)
- take-off run: 160 m (525 ft)
- landing run: 110 m (360 ft)
- fuel capacity – standard: 555 litres (122 Imp gals)
- Fuel capacity – optional: 796 litres (175 Imp gals)
- Range: 1,062 km (660 miles)
- Empty weight: 1,542 kg (3,400 lb)
- Loaded weight: 2,495 kg (5,500 lb)
The Cruiser was a three-engine low-wing cantilever monoplane with a crew of two and seating six passengers. The prototype Cruiser I (G-ABTY) was shown at Hendon in London on 27 June 1932. A variety of engines was installed in the series but most had the 97 kw (130 hp) de Havilland Gipsy Major unit. The Mailplane variant and the Cruiser I had three 90 kw (120 hp) de Havilland Gipsy III engines; the Cruiser II had three 97 kw (130 hp) de Havilland Gipsy Major, Cirrus Hermes IV or Walter Major 4 engines, and the Cruiser III had the Gipsy Major engine. Production amounted to one Cruiser I, 12 Cruiser IIs and three Cruiser IIIs, the total production of the type all being placed on the British Civil Aircraft Register. Production of the series concluded in 1935, the Company eventually being absorbed by Saunders Roe.
Spartan Air Lines Ltd was formed to operate the type between Heston in the Hounslow district of London and Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Operations began in April 1933. In the period October to December 1933 a Cruiser II G-ACDW (c/n 3 – Faithful City) was flown by Patrick Windsor Lynch-Blosse, chief pilot of Spartan Airlines, from England to Australia, leaving Lympne on 10 October and arriving in Brisbane, QLD on 29 October after 110 hours flying time. Lynch-Blosse had previously flown for a short period in New Guinea, and at another stage flew in command of the Avro X Southern Sun in Queensland in 1930.
On 30 October the aircraft was flown to Sydney, NSW, later through Victoria, up the west coast to Derby, WA having circled the continent. It returned to the United Kingdom, arriving on 26 December 1933. This flight was a long-distance charter and was claimed by the owners to be the longest private charter of its type undertaken. The aircraft was later sold to Misr Airwork in Egypt and operated as SU-ABL. Its ultimate fate is not known.
No complete Cruiser survives but the centre fuselage section of a Cruiser II (G-ACYK) survives at the Museum of Flight at East Fortune in the United Kingdom.