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Encyclopedia > RAF Rescue Launch
Type Two 63 ft HSL

Type: High Speed Launch
Builder: British Power Boats
Nation: UK
Era: World War Two
Operators: RAF
Displacement:
Length: 63 ft
Beam:
Draught:
Propulsion: 3 x Napier Sea Lion (1500 h.p)
Range: 500 miles
Speed: 36 kt
Complement: 9
Armament: 2 x 0.303 MG

Known as the "Whaleback" from the distinctive curve to its deck, the Type 2 HSL (High Speed Launch) was used to rescue Allied aircrew from the sea after they were shot down during the Second World War. The Royal Air Force (often abbreviated to RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... General characteristics Layout W-block inline Cooling water-cooled Cylinders 12 Valve type poppet Displacement 1462 in³ (25 l) Rotation rate 2050 rpm Power 500 hp Power 370 kW Weight 858 lb (290 kg) The Lion was a 12-cylinder W-block inline aircraft engine built by Napier & Son starting... When spelt with a capital A, Allies usually denotes the countries that fought together against the Central Powers in World War I and against the Axis Powers in World War II. For more information, see the related articles: Allies of World War I and Allies of World War II. Other... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ...

Contents


History

In the Second World War, the retrieval of pilots and aircrew shot down over the sea around the British Isles was the responsibility of the Royal Air Force Air Sea Rescue Service, (motto: "The Sea Shall Not Have Them") operating launches and aircraft in cooperation with the Royal Navy. The Royal Air Force (often abbreviated to RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the senior service of the British armed services, being the oldest of its three branches. ...


The Type Two was designed in 1937 by Hubert Scott-Paine, founder of the British Power Boat Company at Hythe. Scott-Paine had worked previously for the Supermarine Aviation Company, builders of the Supermarine Spitfire. The pier at Hythe, Southampton Hythe is a village near Southampton, Hampshire, England. ... Supermarine was a British ship and aircraft manufacturer. ... Spitfire in action The Supermarine Spitfire was a single-seat fighter used by the RAF and many Allied countries in World War II. The Spitfires elliptical wings gave it a very distinctive look; their thin cross-section gave it speed; the brilliant design of Chief Designer R.J. Mitchell...


A lowset cabin contained the wheel-house, chart room and a sickbay. For defence against enemy aircraft, on top of the cabin were two aircraft-style turrets made by Armstrong-Whitworth each with a single .303 in Vickers machine gun. Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd was a major British manufacturing company of the early years of the 20th century. ...


Usage

The Type Two was supplied to RAF Marine Craft Units from the middle of 1940. Around seventy "Whalebacks" were built for the RAF between 1940 and 1942. They were used throughout the war.


Variants

Following their performance during the Dieppe raid in August 1942, the Type Two was modified. Extra armament was fitted - paired .303 in machine guns mounted either side of the wheel-house and a single 20 mm Oerlikon on the (strengthened) rear deck. Protection was improved by adding anti-shrapnel padding around the forward cabin area. Dieppes pebble beach and cliff immediately following the raid on 19 August 1942. ... The design of the Oerlikon 20mm cannon, by Reinhold Becker dates back to 1914, and is still in use today, after having been used extensively during the Second World War. ...


Specification

  • Maximum speed: 36 knots
  • Engines:Three x . Napier Sea Lion (500 h.p)
  • Power: 1500 hp
  • Range: 500 miles at 25 knots
  • Crew: 9 (including Captain and a Medical Orderly)

See also


 
 

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