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The Shane Airworks Piongain was a Flying Boat Fighter in service with the SDF-Navy, from its introduction in 1932, under the 1922 Naval Armament Program, to its retirement from 1950 onwards, built by Shane Airworks.

Piongain means penguin.

Design

Mark I

The Piongain Mark I was a catapult-launched flying boat (it worked just as well when launched conventionally) built of wood, a single-seat monoplane aircraft with a 450 horsepower engine (Mark II replaced this engine). Liquid cooled and driving a three-blade pusher propeller, the engine was mounted on four struts above the fuselage/hull.

The Piongain was armed with three Gabha R-22 8mm Machine Guns.

Mark II

Mark III - Jet-Penguins

Operational History

The Selkie, ever since someone had the idea of putting floats on an aircraft, had a long tradition in building flying boats and seaplanes for a variety of purposes, from postal delivery to medical evacuation to, indeed war. In 1918, the Focaeir became the first reconnaissance flying boat in service of a Water Police, a cumbersome biplane design spanning ten metres with a crew of two men and a range of a little less then 800 kilometres. These were not taken into service of the SDF-Navy in 1920, when it was founded, but under the 1922 Naval Armament Program, there was the call for a wide variety of seaplanes to operate from different platforms. One of them was a Seaplane or Flying Boat Fighter. The SDF hoped to be able to provide air cover and reconnaissance for both vessels and SDF-Army Troops with a versatile and cheap platform, that didn't need airfields, only a stretch of calm water, and approached a company with experience in the building of seaplanes and other such planes, Shane Airworks. In 1925, the Shane Airworks Tromán made its debut, a plane, that met the requirements, but was prone to failure. So, Shane Airworks went back to the Drawing Boards and began work on the Piongain, which made its first flight in 1929.

They were retired from 1950 onwards, with the introduction of the first jet fighter aircraft, most notably Sciathán Fabhcún.

Surviving Examples

Trivia

  • Based heavily on SIAI S.67, an Italian Flying Boat Fighter from 1930.
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