S.Ransom, R.Fairclough English Electric Aircraft and their Predecessors (Putnam)
The first of the Syndicate's own designs, known as the ASL Monoplane had the distinction of being the first full-scale aircraft of canard layout to fly in the British Isles. Designed by Barber and based on his experiments with model aircraft, it was built by Howard Wright and W.O. Manning at the Battersea workshops, during January and February 1910. On Sunday, March 6, with Bert Woodrow, the Syndicate's test pilot, at the controls the ASL Monoplane made its first flight, over Durrington Downs. Before the flight the pilot slowly taxied the machine for about ten minutes and with a following wind proceeded to take off. The aircraft left the ground in about 40-50 yards and rose steadily on an even keel to a height of 25-30 feet. After flying steadily for a short time, Woodrow switched off the engine, and in doing so let the monoplane land with a sideways swing, damaging a wing and the undercarriage. Repairs were put in hand and the aircraft later made further successful flights. This monoplane's fuselage, unlike that of its predecessor, was a wooden, wire-braced structure of rectangular section. A single 60 hp Green engine, driving a two-blade pusher propeller designed by Manning, was mounted aft of the pilot and passenger, the pilot being seated just forward of the wing leading edge and the passenger immediately behind him. The wings were tapered in plan and had a deep aerofoil section of heavy camber set at a small angle of incidence. The rear spar of the wing was pivoted to the fuselage to assist foot operated warping control. Pegamoid cloth covered both wing surfaces. The foreplane was fixed with a relatively large angle of incidence and was fitted with end-elevators which, like the small rudder mounted above the foreplane were operated by hand levers placed on either side of the pilot. The main undercarriage was sprung on the Farman principle and was supplemented by a pair of nosewheels and wingtip wheels reminiscent of the 1909 Biplane.
At this juncture it seems a disagreement arose between Barber and Wright, which led to the Syndicate's severing connections with Wright's business. Subsequently, the Syndicate put into production the fairly successful Valkyrie monoplane, on which Barber gained his aviator's certificate No. 30 issued on 22 November, 1910.
Span 42 ft; length 31 ft; foreplane span 12 ft; wing root chord 10 ft; wingtip chord 6 ft; wing root thickness 8 m; wing dihedral. 2° 18'; foreplane chord 3 ft; elevator span each 3 ft; propeller diameter 8 ft; propeller pitch 2 ft; wing area 310 sq ft; foreplane area including elevators 36 sq ft; total elevator area 18 sq ft.
Weight empty 802 lb.
Cruising speed 35 mph.
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)
Aeronautical Syndicate Ltd. Valkyrie Monoplanes
The Valkyrie canard pusher monoplanes originated during early 1909 on Salisbury Plain, where Horatio Barber formed his Aeronautical Syndicate Ltd. during June to promote his designs. The very first A.S.L. Monoplane was an unsuccessful tractor type powered by a 50 h.p. Antoinette engine, and possessed the unorthodox feature of reciprocating wings mounted on an all-steel fuselage.
The tractor monoplane was soon followed by the first of the pusher series. This was built by Howard T. Wright and was fitted with a 60 h.p. Green driving an 8 ft. 2 ins. diameter propeller. The 42 ft. span wings tapered from a root chord of 10 ft. to 6 ft. at the tips; the noseplane was 12 ft. in span, the outer 3 ft. on each side being pivoted for use as elevators. The 31 ft. long machine seated two in tandem and flew several hundred yards in tests by B. Woodrow over Salisbury Plain at the beginning of 1910. This design, also, was known as the A.S.L. Monoplane, the appellation Valkyrie first coming into use with the next of Barber's products.
Flight, March 12, 1910
A NEW ALL-BRITISH AEROPLANE.
THE "A.S.L." MONOPLANE.
VERY quietly, but with much determination to succeed, the "Aeronautical Syndicate " have, during the past year, been carrying out experiments in Wiltshire with a monoplane of their own design, and finally, after many trials, they recently achieved their first flight of several hundred yards.
Their machine, as the accompanying illustrations show, is peculiar in flying "tail first," in which respect it may be said to resemble the famous Santos-Dumont aeroplane that won the first flight prize in history. The A.S.L. machine, however, is a monoplane, whereas that used by Santos-Dumont was a biplane. Unlike the majority of modern monoplanes this machine has a propeller behind the main planes, which arrangement possesses the advantage of leaving the pilot with an unobstructed view, and free from the annoyance of the exhaust. The pilot's seat is approximately in line with the leading edge of the wings.
The wings have a span of 42 ft. and form a slight dihedral angle, the upward slope being 1 in 25. From the accompanying photograph it might be supposed that they were very similar to those employed on the Antoinette monoplane, but, as a matter of fact, they have quite a different camber, the maximum versine in the wings of the A.S.L. machine being much closer to the leading edge than in the Antoinette flyer. In plan, the wings taper towards the extremities, the chord being 10 ft. at the shoulder and 6 ft. at the tips. The fabric, which is Pegamoid aerocloth, is stretched on to a series of shaped ribs that are fastened to a pair of main spars. The spars are trussed by centre posts and diagonal wires. The rear spar is pivoted to the frame in order to facilitate the warping of the wings.
The overall length of the machine is 31 ft., and in front is fixed a small aeroplane having an area of 18 sq. ft. (6 ft. by 3 ft.). On either side of this fixed plane is a pivoted elevating plane measuring 9 sq. ft. in area (3 ft. by 3 ft.). Immediately above the fixed central plane is a vertical rudder. The horizontal planes are, it will be noticed, mounted below the framework of the machine, the rudder being above.
The machine as a whole is supported on a chassis of "A" formation, the lower members of which consist of a pair of skis provided with wheels attached thereto by an elastic suspension, on the Farman principle. The fore part of the machine is also independently supported by a light wheeled chassis.
The machine is driven by a two-bladed propeller that is direct coupled to the crank-shaft of a 60-h.p. Green engine. The propeller has a diameter of 8 ft. 2 in., and an actual pitch of 2 ft. Including the engine, the machine weighs 802 lbs., or less than 2 1/2 lbs. per sq. ft. of supporting surface, the wings being 310 sq. ft. in area.
On the ground the angle of incidence made by the chord of the wings to the horizontal is 90. The angle of incidence of the leading plane is greater than this by an amount that is determined by practical experiment. The designers look forward to extended trials of this type of machine to demonstrate that it possesses a very considerable amount of longitudinal stability, there being much evidence already to show that the principle of the leading plane is associated with this quality.