M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
GRATZE monoplane (Eugene V. Gratze Ltd., 446 Whitfield St., London Wl)
This machine, originally known as the 'Dirigoplane', was taken to the Blackpool Meeting in October 1909. It did not fly, as the wings had been lost in transit, and temporary wings made there were unsuitable.
The system of control was unusual and complicated, involving the use of three hand wheels and a pedal. One wheel operated a tail elevator and the incidence of the wings; the second operated the rudder portion of the cruciform tail together with horizontal movement of the propeller axis, which was mounted on a universally jointed shaft; the third wheel enabled the sweep angle of the wings to be changed, together with the upward alignment of the propeller. The foot pedal was to move the flexible wing tips upwards, in unison, with the object of increasing the dihedral angle to improve stability.
During the winter months, changes were made to the machine, which was at Canewdon, near Southend, in the middle of May 1910, where it was christened 'Daisy' in the traditional manner. The alterations included the addition of a shortspan plane, above the center section, the center portion of which served as an elevator. This operated in conjunction with flaps on the leading edges, near the wing tips, which could be raised vertically. A larger cruciform tail unit was fitted, and the rounded ends of the wings squared off. It is not clear how much of the original control system was retained, but presumably the flexible wing tips were no longer used. Although perhaps 'flown' in November 1909, no further reports of flight were published. Finally, in November 1911, the machine, which had cost the owner ?800, was advertised for sale at ?80.
Power: 40hp JAP eight-cylinder air-cooled vee.
Chord 5ft 6in
Length 28ft 6in
P.Lewis British Aircraft 1809-1914 (Putnam)
The single-seat tractor Daisy or Dirigoplane monoplane was designed and built in 1909 by Eugene V. Gratze. It was powered by the eight-cylinder 40 h.p. J.A.P. engine, and was fitted with elevators mounted above the wings and with balancing flaps on the leading-edges towards the wing-tips. The wings were attached to the fuselage by universal joints which permitted variable incidence and variable dihedral. The propeller was mounted on a universal joint and was interconnected with the tail unit to facilitate turning. The Daisy first flew in November, 1909, and in June, 1910, was at Canewdon, near Southend, Essex, for further testing. Span, 40 ft. Length, 28 ft. 6 ins.
Flight, December 18, 1909
To the Editor of FLIGHT.
SIR, - I herewith enclose a photograph of my monoplane, which contains several new and distinctive features which are protected by patents.
First, the steering is executed by the propeller, which works on a universal swivel joint. The wings are also pivoted on a junction of the frame on a patent universal-joint which enables them to be swivelled in any direction, i.e., up or down, backwards or forwards, and to alter the angle of inclination or incidence.
The motor is an 8-cyl. 40-h. p. air-cooled engine.
Yours faithfully, p.p. E. V. GRATZE,
Flight, May 28, 1910
New Gratze Monoplane.
FOLLOWING somewhat the lines of his old machine, Mr. Eugene V. Gratze has now completed his new monoplane, and is ready for trial at Cahewdon, near Southend-on-Sea, it being formerly christened "Daisy" last week by breaking a bottle of wine over the propeller. The steering is performed by means of the propeller, while the elevating is regulated by an overhead plane placed slightly forward of the main plane. Lateral stability is effected by means of two flaps at the ends of the main planes. Mr. Gratze has secured a good flying ground at Canewdon, which runs along the Crouch for two miles, and has a superficial area of about 200 acres, all perfectly flat. He will be pleased to arrange for anyone wishing to share the ground.