Spartan Cruiser

Spartan Cruiser

infobox Aircraft
name = Cruiser
type = Light Transport
manufacturer = Spartan Aircraft Limited

caption =
designer =
first flight = 1932
introduced = 1933
retired =
produced =
number built = 16
status =
unit cost =
primary user =
more users =
developed from =
variants with their own articles =

The Spartan Cruiser was a 1930s British three-engined monoplane transport plane for 6 passengers built by Spartan Aircraft Limited at East Cowes, Isle of Wight.


The Cruiser started life as the Saro-Percival Mailplane, a three-engined monoplane mailplane designed by Edgar Percival and built by Saunders-Roe Limited (Saro) at Cowes in 1931. When Saro was financially re-organised, Percival sold his interest in the aircraft to Saro who re-designated it the Saro A.24 Mailplane. Due to the close ties between Saro and Spartan Aircraft the development of the aircraft was transferred to Spartan and the aircraft was re-designated again as the Spartan Mailplane. The Mailplane flew a test flight to Karachi, India in 1932 in 5 days 23 hours 50 minutes.

Spartan decided that there was not a future for the mailplane and the aircraft was re-designed as a passenger carrier. This re-designed aircraft first flew in 1932 and was designated the Spartan Cruiser . The original three-engined low-wing format had been retained, but the plywood fuselage was replaced with an all-metal fuselage to carry six passengers and two crew.

Both the new Cruiser and the Mailplane were displayed at the first Hendon Society of British Aircraft Constructors (SBAC) Show in June 1932. The Cruiser was then used for demonstrations including a 3,593 mile European sales tour. The Yugoslavia airline Aeroput ordered two aircraft and a licence to build further examples in Yugoslavia. Only one aircraft was built in Zemun by Zmaj aircraft company [ [ Zmaj aircraft company] ] in 1935.

Only one Cruiser (later Cruiser I) was built and the aircraft was redesigned as the Spartan Cruiser II. Iraq Airwork Limited ordered two aircraft for an experimental air route between Baghdad and Mosul. In the next two-years twelve Cruisers were built, five of which were exported. Spartan Air Lines Limited was formed to operate the Cruiser between Heston and Cowes. The airline operated the one Cruiser I (G-ABTY) and two Cruiser IIs (G-ACDW and G-ACSM) from 1 April 1933.

One further development was the Spartan Cruiser III which had an aerodynamically refined fuselage, a modified windscreen and a trousered undercarriage. Only three Cruiser IIIs were built (G-ACVT, G-ACYK and G-ADEL).


The fuselage of Cruiser III registration G-ACYK is on display at the Museum of Flight, East Fortune, Scotland. This aircraft crashed in 1938; the cabin section was moved by helicopter in 1973 from the crash site near Largs to the museum.


Civil operators

*Bata Shoe Company

*Misr Airwork Limited

*Maharajah of Patiala

*Iraq Airwork Limited

*British Airways Limited
*Northern and Scottish Airways Limited
*Scottish Airways Limited
*Spartan Airlines Limited


Military operators

*Royal Air Force

pecifications (Cruiser II)

aircraft specification

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