Deliveries to the newly re-formed No. 101 Squadron at Bircham Newton began in 1928, the first batch of six aircraft being the Sidestrand Mk II with ungeared Bristol Jupiter VI engines. These were followed by nine of the Sidestrand Mk III variants with geared Jupiter VIII Fs, and the final three production aircraft were replacement Mk IIs. The squadron then moved to RAF Andover in 1929.
The Sidestrand inherited the good manoeuvrability of the Boulton Paul P. 7 Bourges, but despite proving to be an excellent aircraft for bombing and gunnery, only No. 101 Squadron was equipped. In the early 1930s a Sidestrand Mk III was fitted with Bristol Pegasus IM3 engines. This was intended to become the Sidestrand Mk IV, but eventually became the prototype for the redeveloped Boulton Paul Overstrand which would begin replacing the Sidestrand in service in 1936. Four Sidestrands were eventually converted to Overstrand standard and essentially are considered Overstrands.
Read more about this topic: Boulton Paul Sidestrand
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