|November 30, 1912|
10 mins. each. Lieut. Hubbard made two flights on this machine,
and Air Mechanic Higginbottom also did a circuit. Lieut. Smith-Barry
did a fine spiral de cent on the Maurice Farman 403 from a
height of 2,500 ft., and Major Ashmore, Lieut. Courtney, Lieut.
Freeman, and Lieut. Winfield Smith each did some good flying on
the same machine. Lieut. Stopford did a 8 minutes' trip on Maurice
Wednesday was not very promising as the wind was rather strong from the north-west, and there was some rain. Major Gerrard ventured out, however, and took up Leading Seaman Brady for seven minutes on Shott biplane 401. Lieut. Lushington also went out on this machine, and was away about 15 minutes. Lieut. Cholmondeley went up with Lieut. Pepper for 12 minutes on the Maurice Farman 403, and Lieut. Abercromby, Lieut. Freeman, and Major Ashmore made some good flights on the same machine, being out about a quarter of an hour each.
Thursday was a dull day with the wind still in the north-west, and the flying was practically a repetition of Monday's doing. Friday opened rather misty, but the sun came out later, and
there was a light north-west wind. Capt. Fulton took Leading Seaman
Bateman out for 20 minutes' instruction, and then allowed him to do
straights for 15 minutes alone. Leading Seaman Bateman
afterwards did a good circuit in eight minutes. There was also good
flying on the other machines, similar to that performed by the
various officers early in the week.
Saturday was very dull and bitterly cold, with a strong north-west wind. Lieut. Cholmondeley with Paymaster Lidderdale, R.N., left on Maurice Farman 415 for Winchester, but after battling with the stormy wind and encountering sharp rainstorms, returned, being out about an hour. Air Mechanic Higginbottom climbed up to a height of 2,500 ft. on Avro 404, doing a very good performance. The Maurice Farman 215 came over from Farnborough, piloted by Capt. Beck, who was accompanied by Lieut. Martyn as passenger. Pizey also paid another visit to the school on Bristol monoplane from. Lark Hill.
Sunday and Monday no flying.
DESIGNER OF THE LATEST BRISTOL BIPLANE.
GORDON ENGLAND has terminated his connection with the
Bristol Co., but will not actually leave Filton until be has completed
the tests of the two new tractor biplanes that are his latest design.
When these aTe finished, however, he intends to widen his
experience of the world of flight, which is his sole reason for leaving
the Company, with which he parts on the best of terms. Gordon
England, as our readers will remember, has had a varied experience
already, and he commenced his acquaintance with the air long before
most modern pilots knew what it was like to be aloft. He had the
termrily to practise gliding in the little man-carriers made by that
early pioneer, Jose Wie.v, who was and still is a strong advocate of
the inherent stability ol the bird-like wing, with crescent shaped
entry, retreated up-turned tip, and a variable camber from shoulder
Joe Wiess made hundreds of models down in the country far removed from observation, and at last he succeeded in bringing his knowledge of the subject to a point at which he could be sure of building a model and so loading it that it could glide quite air-worthily in any wind. Sometimes, when the wind was strong, he would launch his models which weighed several pounds, and they would soar upwards and baikwards in the air-currents blowing up the side of the hill that served as his aerodrome. When he bad reached this point, he obtained the most complete confidence in his system, and so, too, apparently, did Gordon England, for when Wiess made a machine large enough to carry a man Gordon England never hesitated about being the pilot. He just sat in the little cockpit, which would hardly hold him, and was pushed off down the steep slope. Nothing happened for a little while, and there was a precipitous drop in view straight ahead if nothing continued to happen indefinitely. Before the unpleasant alternative could occur, however, the little machine had gathered enough speed lor flight, and proceeded to glide off through the air. Very soon it was some 20 or 30 feet above the ground and Gordon England had
no controls of any sort to guide or control it. He could regulate
the position of the centre of gravity a little by leaning forwards or
backwards, but if the machine couldn't fly he could do little or
nothing to make it, and if it were not inherently stable it was a sure
thing that he would be tossed out sooner or later Although he
made many such glides, however, and on some occasions actually
soared in strong winds he never met with any mishap. These facts
are even more interesting now than they were considered to be at
the lime. Indeed, at the time, comparatively few people either
knew about the work that was done, or appreciated its
M. Eiffel has also been making some experiments recently on surfaces of double curvature, and he has even expressed surprise at the results, for he found a tendency for the lift 10 drift ratio to improve with speed, and for the movements of the centre of pressure with changes of angle to be restricted to a much smaller zone than is common with wings of single curvature. The double curvature wing has long since been the subject of experimental research by Mr. W. Turnbull, in Canada, and he also drew attention to certain merits of the shape. The connection between this work and that of Wiess, and other experimenters like Etrich and Handley Page, lies in the tendency to give the so-called bird-like wings a reversal of curvature in the run. Sometimes this takes place all along the trailing edge and sometimes it is confined more particularly to the extremity, but there is no doubt that one way and another considerable interest attaches to the feature.
Gordon England's work as a designer has, of course, necessarily been confined within the limits of the conventional, so far as general lines are concerned, and although he might doubtless like to have the opportunity of getting unfettered expression to his ideas, nevertheless the success that he had achieved with what may be described as the commercial type of machine is only all the more to his credit on that account. We publish two illustrations of his latest biplane.
British and Colonial Aeroplane Co. are now under test.