Blackburn L.1C Bluebird IV
Type
Two seat sportplane
Engine
1  de Havilland Gipsy I
Dimensions
Length 7,06 m, height 2,74 m, span 9,15 m, wing area 22,9 m2
Weights
Empty weight 486 kg, flying weight 795 kg, wing loading 34,7 kg/m2
Performance
Maximum speed: 193 km/h, cruising speed 137 km/h, range 515 km, climb 3,7 m/sec
Type
Werk.Nr
Registration
History
L.1C Bluebird IV
SB.240
D-2536, G-ABEX, G-
ABVZ
First owner Prince Ghansbyam Singh registered in Sept. 1930. Sold to North Sea Aerial & General Transport
Ltd/Brough 18.04.32 (G-ABVZ) Sold Germany 12.32 Imported by K.Winkler at Halbau Crashed in June 1933 ?
The Blackburn Bluebird IV was a single-engine biplane light trainer/tourer biplane with side-by-side seating designed by Blackburn Aircraft. It was an all-metal development of the wooden Blackburn Bluebird I, II and II aircraft.
In 1929, Blackburn completely redesigned the wooden Bluebird side-by-side trainer aircraft with an all-metal structure as the L.1C Bluebird IV. With its metal structure, the Bluebird IV was larger and heavier than its wooden predecessors, and was fitted with a near rectangular balanced rudder, without a fixed fin to replace the rounded fin and rudder assembly of the wooden Blackbirds. It could be fitted with a variety of engines, with the de Havilland Gipsy, ADC Cirrus or Cirrus Hermes engines available as standard, and could also be fitted with floats. The first Bluebird IV flew in early 1929, and was used to fly its owner home to South Africa in March 1929, completing the journey between Croyden and Durban between 7 March and 15 April 1929. A further two aircraft were built by Blackburn, who were busy fulfilling orders for military aircraft, so further construction was sub-contracted to Saunders-Roe, who built a further 55 aircraft  with Boulton & Paul Ltd producing the wings.
Like the wooden Bluebirds, the Bluebird IV was heavily used by flying clubs, and unfortunately also suffered high attrition, with several being lost in fatal crashes, including a number of unexplained dives into the ground from normal cruising flight.
Privately owned Bluebird IVs undertook a number of pioneering long distance flights, the most famous of which was the round the world trip by The Hon Mrs Victor Bruce, and also including a number of flights to Australia and Africa. No Bluebirds survive today, the last being scrapped in 1947.
Blackburn L.1C Bluebird IV construction details