.32 ft., 3 in.
.27 ft., 5in.
...323 sq. ft.
253mph at 14,500 ft.
This restored Gladiator I has the postwar British civil registration G-AMRK. The prewar R.A.F. serial number was L8032. Note the absence ol guns from fuselage troughs and underwing pods.
blade metal propeller was adopted.
By the time war started in September 1939,13 R.A.F. squadrons were equipped with Gladiators, and several squadrons of "navalized" Sea Gladiators were in service aboard aircraft carriers. Extensive export sales started in 1937 and continued after the war began. Twenty-six went to Latvia, 14 to Lithuania and 36 to China. Sweden ordered 55, but 30 of these were later passed to Finland, where they fought Russian Polikarpov L-153 biplanes in the Russo-Finnish war of 1940. Some of these operated on skis.
Belgium received 22 Gladiators; Norway received 12. Most of these, however, were destroyed on the ground by the Luftwaffe in April and
May of 1940. Almost all of the 15 Gladiators sold to Iraq were destroyed by the R.A.F. when they suppressed a revolt there in May 1941.
Two R.A.F. Gladiator squadrons were sent to France as soon as the war started. In April 1940, one squadron was flown to Norway to assist in its defense and was soon joined by several squadrons of Sea Gladiators. In the absence of suitable airfields, these fighters operated from the surfaces of frozen lakes. One squadron of Gladiators fought over England during the Battle of Britain.
Sea Gladiators saw extensive action in the Mediterranean Theater and engaged Italian Fiat CR 42 biplanes over Greece, North Africa and particularly Malta, where four won great fame during their lone defense of the island in
April 1940. The last Gladiators were retired from the R.A.F. late in 1941, but some of the exported and passed-on models continued to fight on.
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