M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
P.Lewis British Aircraft 1809-1914 (Putnam)
The pilot and passengers of the early pusher aeroplanes received no protection from the elements until a little thought was finally given to improving their comfort. The obvious answer was to provide some form of shield, and this was done by enclosing the controls and the seats within a nacelle.
Short Brothers' popular S.27 was modified in this way late in 1912, the front elevator being mounted on outriggers in front of the nacelle. Biplane S.38 gave its number as the title of the new series of enclosed type of pushers; minor modifications were introduced as experience was gained. These included the removal of the front elevator. The two seats were in tandem and the engine was the 80 h.p. Gnome.
The S.38 went into service with the Naval Wing of the R.F.C. during 1913 as the T.2 for training, and was used at R.N.A.S. Chingford and Eastchurch. It also took part in coastal patrols from Great Yarmouth during the early months of the 1914-18 War. The S.38 was one of the earliest machines to carry a machine-gun aloft and was employed also for experiments with wireless.
Description: Two-seat pusher biplane. Wooden structure, fabric covered.
Manufacturers: Short Brothers, Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey, Kent.
Power Plant: 80 h.p. Gnome.
Dimensions: Span, 52 ft. Length, 35 ft. 6 ins.
Weights: Empty, 1,050 lb.
Performance: Maximum speed, 58 m.p.h. Endurance, 5 hrs.
O.Thetford British Naval Aircraft since 1912 (Putnam)
SHORT S.38 TRAINER
Developed from earlier Short pushers but introducing a crew nacelle and dual control, the S.38 trainer was widely employed by RNAS flying schools at Chingford and Eastchurch during 1915-16. Thirty-six were built by Supermarine (1580-1591), White and Thompson (3143-3148 and 8530-8541) and Norman Thompson (8434-8439). One 80 hp Gnome engine. Maximum speed, 58 mph. Span, 52 ft. Length, 35 ft 6 in.
H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
S.38. A pioneer installation of a Maxim gun, probably of 0.45-in calibre, was made in 1913 on a Short pusher biplane of this type (No.66). This was dubbed 'Eastchurch Gun Machine' and was used for armament trials. The gun was mounted on a pillar in the nose of the nacelle. In wartime, rifles were carried aboard aircraft of the same type. No.34 was associated with early armament trials.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1913
SHORT BROS. Works and flying grounds: Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey, Kent. London office: Queen's Circus, Battersea Park. Took up construction at a very early date. Wright agents in 1909. Have built numerous biplanes and monoplanes to specifications. Produced their own first machine (see 1911 edition) in 1910.
S 38. 1913.
Military Nacelle Biplane.
50 h.p. 80 h.p.
Length...............feet(m.) 35? (10.80) 35? (10.80)
Span.................feet(m.) 52 (15.85) 52 (15.85)
[**Note: Typo in chart. Using metric and changing 32 to 52]
Area...........sq. feet(m?.) ... ..
Weight, machine.....lbs.(kg.) 950 (432) 1050 (480)
useful......lbs.(kg.) ... ...
Motor................... h.p. 50 Gnome 80 Gnome
Speed, max...........(m.p.h.) 42 (68) 58 (94)
min...........(m.p.h.) 35 (57) 39 (63)
Endurance................hrs. 4 5
Number built during 1912 ... ...
Specially designed for reconnaissance. Tandem seats, pilot in front. An
extra passenger can be accommodated.
Flight, June 7, 1913.
70-H.P. SHORT BIPLANE.
MESSRS. SHORT BROS, execute so much confidential work for the Admiralty that the details of their construction are apt to escape the appreciation of the wider public that they certainly well deserve. Long ago, however, the firm established a reputation for sound aeroplane building, and the enviable good fame has remained, while the Short designs have met with an ever-increasing measure of success. To-day, the position of Short Bros, in the hydro-aeroplane industry is unique, and their factory is marked by extension upon extension.
It is a Short biplane, built originally for Mr. Frank McClean for use over water, that forms the subject of our scale drawings and sketches this week, and equally with ourselves our readers are indebted to Mr. F. K. McClean for the courtesy in placing this machine of his at our disposal for the purpose of their preparation.
Although this particular aeroplane is not a new model, it has the greater advantage of being well tried and a thorough success. Not only was it a good waterplane, but its owner was so favourably impressed with its qualities as a land machine after he had substituted a set of wheels for the floats, that he has since retained it for this purpose, in order to obtain greater enjoyment from its more frequent use over the Royal Aero Club's grounds at Eastchurch, where he has his sheds.
As a type the "pusher," as this machine is familiarly called in order to distinguish it from a tractor biplane of the same make that Mr. McClean also owns, is remarkable for its light loading. It has a wing surface of 750 sq. ft. for the support of 1,250 lbs. plus pilot, passenger and fuel. Allowing 350 lbs. for the people on board and for the petrol, it is evident that the loading is only just over 2 lbs. per sq. ft., a fact which explains the remarkably good gliding-angle of the machine.
An examination of the accompanying scale drawing will show the machine to be of the engine-behind type, with a front elevator. This elevator, however, is of such small size that it might quite conceivably be done away with without in any way impairing the stability of the machine; but it is of use, in so far as it enables the pilot to judge the angle of the rear elevator.
In plan, the main planes are somewhat unusual, as, for a distance of about 16 ft. from the tip, the leading edges slope backwards. This portion of the wing is also given a slight dihedral angle in order to impart a certain amount of natural lateral stability to the machine.
From the front view of the machine it will be seen that the span of the lower plane is considerably shorter than that of the upper plane, and the chord is some 10 ins. narrower. Lateral balance is maintained by means of ailerons of large area - about 28 square feet each - hinged to the rear spar of the top plane.
These ailerons are operated in the usual way through stranded cables running to a drum on the axle of the control wheel in front of the pilot Another cable running along the leading edge of the plane interconnects the two ailerons - Farman fashion.
Four wooden outriggers carry the tail planes, which consist of a fixed-plane of rectangular form, attached to the two upper outriggers, and which has hinged to its trailing edge the rear elevator plane. Underneath the elevator and hinged to the two rear struts connecting the tail-booms are the twin rudders by means of which tin machine is steered in a horizontal direction.
Two tail skids carried on extensions of the rear outrigger struts and sprung from the lower tail-booms by means of rubber shock absorbers protect the tail planes against contact with the ground.
For use on land, the machine is fitted with a chassis of the wheel and skid type. Four struts secured at their upper ends in sockets on the lower main plane carry at their lower extremities two stout wooden skids. A single tubular axle carrying the wheels is sprung from the skids by means of rubber bands. It will be noticed that the arrangement differs from the usual practice in having the wheels inside the skids. Strong diagonal bracing gives rigidity to the whole structure.
Projecting well out in front of the main planes is the nacelle, which carries on its nose the front elevator, and inside which are the pilot's and passenger's seats. From the front seat the pilot controls the machine by means of a hand-wheel mounted on the upper end of a tubular steel column, which in turn is secured to a transverse rocking-shaft. To the ends of this shaft, and outside the nacelle, are brazed two short levers, from which cables pass to the elevators.
A to-and-fro motion operates the elevators, while the ailerons are worked by rotation of the hand-wheel. As the machine is comparatively short for its span, it has been found desirable to have the rudders turn through a great angle for a small movement of the foot bar operating them.
This has been effected by making the levers on the rudders short, and having the foot bar itself long, so that the action is geared up. In front of the pilot are the instruments, altimeter, revolution indicator, compass, clock, map case, &c. Behind the pilot, and right over the leading edge of the lower plane is the passenger's seat. Owing to the positions of the seats both pilot and passenger have an exceptionally fine view of the country underneath.
At the rear end of the nacelle, and mounted on channel steel bearers, is the 70-h.p. Gnome engine, which furnishes the power. Between the rear engine bearer and the engine is a propeller of 8 ft. 6 in. diameter.
Petrol and oil is carried in a tank of streamline form, supported on tubular steel stanchions, which are attached to the upper longerons of the nacelle. The flying speed of the machine is 48 m.p.h.