1919 Leyland R.A.F. Type Motor-Van

BB 10 Leyland R.A.F. Type Motor Van..jpg
BB 10 Leyland R.A.F. Type Motor Van..jpg

1919 Leyland R.A.F. Type Motor-Van


During the apprehensive years before WW I the War Office engaged in plans to mobilise in the event of hostilities. One plan involved having many lorries available without having to garage or maintain them. In 1912 the War Office prepared a specification for 1,500 Kg (30-cwt) and 3,000 Kg (3-ton) 'subsidy' lorries. At the trials held that year the only vehicles to qualify were two by Leyland Motors. The cost to buyers was subsidised together with an annual maintenance subsidy. In return the owner agreed to surrender the vehicle within 72 hours’ notice if the Army Reserve were called out. The Government agreed to pay second-hand value plus a 25 per cent bonus. The scheme proved to a success. Production of the 3-ton continued throughout the war and some 4,000 were produced. By 1919 the number comprised one tenth of all lorries in service. Subsidy vehicles were first allocated to the Army and the Royal Flying Corps, but in 1915 the entire fleet was taken over by the Royal Air Force, as it was later known. Over 6,000 were used as RAF tenders during the war, nearly half in France while others gave service all over the world. Their use was as general aircraft service tenders carrying a crew of mechanics and fitted out as mobile workshops with hinged canopies and platforms which opened out all round. They were used as radio transmitting stations, petrol tankers, balloon vehicles, searchlight carriers and aircraft transporters. This vehicle is in the collection of the Hampshire Cultural Trust at the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

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Length: 9.03m (29 ft 7½ in)

Width: 2.24m (7 ft 4 in)

Height: 3.23m (10 ft 7 in)

Unladen weight: 4,500 Kg (4 tons 9 cwt)

Payload: 3,050 to 4,060 Kg (3 to 4 tons)

Front track: 1.82m (5 ft 11½ in)

Rear track: 1.6m (5 ft 3 in)

Wheelbase: 4.22m (13ft 10 in)

Front tyres: Solid rubber

Rear tyres: Twin solid rubber

Springs front and rear: Semi-elliptic

Cylinders: 4, with side valves

Bore: 100 mm (4 in)

Stroke: 150 mm (6 in)

Ignition: Magneto

H.P: 36

Clutch: Leather-lined cone

Gears: 4 forward and reverse

Max speed: 24 kph (15 mph)