Gloster Gladiator

The Gloster Gladiator was the last British biplane fighter to be produced. A development of Gloster's previous fighter, the Gauntlet, the first Gladiator flew in September 1934. It entered service with Britain's Royal Air Force in February 1937, but even then, with the advent of monoplane fighters, it was already becoming obsolete. The Gladiator was quite agile, but its speed, rate of climb, and armament let it down. During the Second World War it was employed over France and Norway during 1940, and throughout the Mediterranean theatre up until 1943. It was outmatched by German aircraft over Europe but performed more creditably against Italian aircraft over Libya in 1940 and 1941. Gladiators were responsible for approximately 250 air combat victories during the war. A total of 746 Gladiators were produced, including 98 Sea Gladiators designed for use from aircraft carriers. 3 Squadron was the only Royal Australian Air Force Squadron to operate Gladiators.

Specifications:



Gloster Gladiator Mk II

Type:   Biplane fighter
Entered service:   1937
Crew:   1
Wing span:   9.83 m
Length:   8.36 m
Weight (laden):   2,206 kg
Ceiling:   10,210 m
Endurance:   Maximum range 709 km
Speed:   414 km/h
Armament:   4 x .303-in machine-guns


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