Canadian Warplanes 4: Miles Master and Miles Martinet

Miles Master and Miles Martinet

 (RAF Photo)

Miles M.9A Master Mk. IA, RAF (Serial No. T8559).

The Miles M.9 Master was a British two-seat monoplane advanced trainer designed and built by aviation company Miles Aircraft Ltd. It was inducted in large numbers into both the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Fleet Air Arm (FAA) during the Second World War. 55 RCAF aircrew were killed in flying accidents (KIFA) on Masters.

The Master can trace its origins back to the earlier M.9 Kestrel demonstrator aircraft. Following the failure of the rival de Havilland Don as a satisfactory trainer aircraft, the RAF ordered 500 M9A Master advancer trainers to meet its needs. Once in service, it provided a fast, strong and fully aerobatic aircraft that functioned as an excellent introduction to the high performance British fighter aircraft of the day: the Spitfire and Hurricane. Throughout its production life, thousands of aircraft and various variants of the Master were produced, the latter being largely influenced by engine availability. Numerous Masters were modified to enable their use as glider tows. The Master also served as the basis for the Miles Martinet, a dedicated target tug adopted by the RAF.

Perhaps the most radical use of the aircraft was the M.24 Master Fighter. Armed with six .303 in machine guns, it was intended to function as an emergency fighter during the Battle of Britain; this model did not ultimately see combat. Ordinary trainer models could also be fitted with armaments, including a single .303 in Vickers machine gun and eight bombs, albeit intended for training purposes only. Beyond the British air services, other nations also chose to adopt the Master, including the South African Air Force, United States Army Air Force (USAAF), Irish Air Corps, Royal Egyptian Air Force, Turkish Air Force, and the Portuguese Air Force. While thousands of Masters were manufactured, no complete examples have been preserved. (Wikipedia)

Miles M.9A Master Mk. IA, RAF trainer.  (RAF Photo)

Miles M.9A Master Mk. IA, RAF trainer.  (RAF Photo)

Miles M.27 Master Mk. III, RAF (Serial No. W8667), No.5 SFTS.  (IWM Photo, COL 198)

(RAF Photo)

Miles Martinet, RAF (Serial No. HN861).

The Miles M.25 Martinet was a target tug aircraft of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Fleet Air Arm (FAA) that was in service during the Second World War. It was the first British aircraft to be designed specifically for target towing. Ten RCAF aircrew were killed in flying accidents (KIFA) on the Martinet.

Work on the Martinet was started in response to the RAF's shortage of obsolete frontline aircraft for target towing duties. It was intentionally designed with as much commonality as was feasible to existing production aircraft, being a derivative of Mile's prolific Master trainer. The first prototype Martinet conducted its maiden flight on 24 April 1942, with quantity production commencing immediately thereafter. A total of 1,724 Martinets were produced, of which the majority were operated either by the RAF or FAA, although a minority were also used by overseas and civilian operators.

The Martinet was also developed into a relatively secretive aircraft in response to Specification Q.10/43, which called for a radio-controlled target drone. This aircraft, designated M.50 Queen Martinet, was only produced in small numbers, and its existence was a state secret for numerous years, being only officially acknowledged during 1946. Several other derivatives of the base aircraft were also produced, including a dedicated glider tug and a trainer variant. (Wikipedia)

(RAF Photos)

Miles Martinet TT Mk. I, RAF (Serial No, HN862), ca 1943.

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