The Austin Motor Company had produced large numbers of aircraft, including 800 Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5s, for the war effort and they promptly submitted a design by J. Kenworthy, formerly of the Royal Aircraft Factory. Kenworthy’s design was named the Austin Greyhound.
An order for three prototypes was placed on 18 May 1918.
The Greyhound was a two-bay biplane of all-wooden construction. The craft had a wingspan of 39 feet with wing area of 400 feet and a Gross weight of 3,032 pounds.
While the first prototype was quickly built, problems with the Dragonfly engine, which was found to be 66 pounds over its designed weight and was subject to severe overheating. The copper-plated cooling fins proved useless; the cylinder heads tended to glow a dull red at operational speeds. Developed power fell far short of estimates and it showed much poorer fuel consumption than expected. Attempts to improve cooling with cylinder redesign were marginally successful. All this meant that testing was delayed.
Although performance was deemed good, no production was ordered of any of the competitors, with the Bristol Fighter remaining in service until 1932. The last Greyhound remained in use as a flying test bed at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough until June 1922.
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