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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 34381
Last updated: 11 August 2019
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Date:26-APR-1915
Time:
Type:Wight No.2 Navy Plane
Owner/operator:HMS Ben-my-Chree, Royal Naval Air Service
Registration: 928
C/n / msn: 4
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Southampton Water, Calshot, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Southampton Water, Calshot, Hampshire
Destination airport:Southampton Water, Calshot, Hampshire
Narrative:
A company on the Isle of Wight that started building planes before the war was J Samuel White & Co, also based at Cowes. It had been a boat-building firm on the island since 1802 and was, at this time, a warship builder. In 1912, White's opened an aircraft division, and in May 1913 their first plane, the Wight No 1 Seaplane was finished. Sadly, though, its early flights proved disastrous and, after being rebuilt for the third time, it successfully flew on 28 August, 1913, having been renamed Wight No 2 Navy Plane. Subsequently, White's built a modified version, the Wight Enlarged Navy Plane in 1914. This was then one of the largest planes constructed, and was so successful that seven were built.

Three of the Wight Enlarged Navy Planes were bought by the Royal Navy and used with the seaplane carrier HMS Argus, the other four being bought by the German Navy. However, after the first plane was delivered to the Germans, it appeared that war was likely to break out. At this point, White's refused to deliver the remaining planes to the Germans, not wanting to supply a potential enemy, and the remaining three planes saw service in anti-submarine patrols.

Before the war, White had also designed one more type of aircraft, the Wight Improved Navy Plane, 11 of which were built. Four of these served aboard HMS Ark Royal during the war, and were used for the attack on the naval base at Smyrna on 4 April, 1915. The others operated coastal patrol flights searching for submarines and airships.

One of the aircraft, RNAS Serial No.928 was wrecked when it crashed into Southampton Water, at Calshot, Hampshire on 26th April 1915, after just two days in service and on its first test flight from HMS Ben-my-Chree, “Type 860” floatplane No.928 crashed from 600 feet, after banking slightly with the engine throttled back, possibly intending to alight but side-slipping into a nose dive beside the ship. Both crew - Flt Sub Lt Stephen Medlicott RNAS (aged 23) & Air-Mechanic Henry G Hughes (aged 26) - were killed.

Sources:

1. Air Enthusiast 56
2. http://www.islandeye.co.uk/history/aircraft_aerospace_and_airfields/wight-no-2-navy-plane.html
3. https://h2g2.com/edited_entry/A430886
4. http://www.hampshireairfields.co.uk/hancrash.html
5. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
6. http://www.everymanremembered.org/profiles/soldier/3055969/
7. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/3055969/MEDLICOTT,%20STEPHEN
8. http://www.thepeerage.com/p19394.htm
9. https://www.kingstonaviation.org/sopwith-day-by-day/1915.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
11-Feb-2017 19:40 Dr.John Smith Updated [Date, Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
14-Feb-2017 18:22 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
25-Nov-2018 01:52 Dr.John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Narrative]
26-Nov-2018 16:30 Dr.John Smith Updated [Registration, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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