Tarrant Tabor

The enormousTabor biplane was the first
and last aeroplane made by W.G. Tarrant
of Byfleet, Surrey, whose normal business was building houses. Designed by Walter Barling, it was intended for British bombing raids on Berlin but it was still under construction by the time World War I ended.
The aircraft’s name, meaning a type of small drum, probably alluded to its wooden monocoque fuselage. Four of its six Napier Lion engines were arranged in tandem pairs on each side of t he fuselage, between the lower and centre wings: the other two were between
the centre and upper wings. The centre wing had a greater span than the other two.
A 37ft 3in-high behemoth, the triplane had to be erected in the balloon shed of the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough and moved in and out sideways on dollies. When it was ready to fly there was a dispute about weight distribution, and heavy ballast was put in the nose. On 29 May 1919 Captain F.G, Dunn lifted the biplane tail for take-off and opened up the top engines. The Tabor instantly turned over on its nose, killing the pilot and co-pilot and ending up with its tail in t he air. A planned passenger-carrying civil version of
the triplane never materialized.

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