K.Molson, H.Taylor Canadian Aircraft since 1909 (Putnam)
Canadian Aerodrome Baddeck No.1 and 2
After the Aerial Experiment Association was disbanded at the end of March 1909 the Association’s Canadian patent rights were assigned to F. W. (Casey) Baldwin and J. A. D. McCurdy. Dr Alexander Graham Bell then suggested that the two engineers should form a company to design and build aircraft and try to interest the Canadian Government in aviation. Also, Dr Bell offered them his Kite House to make their aircraft in and the use of his laboratory at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, as well as financial help.
Baldwin and McCurdy then formed the Canadian Aerodrome Co, Canada’s first aviation company, and proceeded to design and build the first powered aircraft in Canada, the Baddeck No.1. They adopted the same general layout developed by the A.E.A., tapered wings with dihedral on the lower plane and anhedral on the top plane, and tip ailerons enlarged from those on the A.E.A. Silver Dart. However, they used trussed ribs and covered the wing on both sides, enclosing the spars. They also made a slim fuel tank to fit within the wing structure, an innovation which has since become standard practice and pioneered in the Baddeck No.1. A biplane front elevator was fitted but was cambered, unlike the flat elevator of the Silver Dart. A rudder was mounted at the rear. These control surfaces were carried on steel tubes which replaced the bamboo of the Silver Dart. A six-cylinder 40 hp Kirkham engine was selected as the powerplant.
The completed machine, less engine, was displayed to Baddeck residents on 9 July, 1909. Meanwhile, Baldwin and McCurdy had accepted the Department of Militia & Defense’s offer of the use of the facilities at Petawawa, Ontario, for their experiments and both the A.E.A. Silver Dart and the Baddeck No.1 were shipped there.
The Silver Dart was assembled and four familiarization flights were made in it by J. A. D. McCurdy on 2 August but the aircraft crashed on 4 August and was written off. The Baddeck No.1 was then assembled and the Kirkham engine installed. A taxi-ing trial was made by McCurdy on the evening of 11 August, and on the following day a flight of over 100 yd (91-4 m) was made at a height of about 12ft (3-66m), the first flight by a Canadian-made, powered aircraft. Another flight of about 70 yd (64m) was made the next day.
However McCurdy had experienced trouble controlling the machine and it was returned to Baddeck. The cambered front elevators were thought to cause the difficulty and flat-surfaced elevators were substituted and a fixed biplane horizontal tail added at the rear. Tip ailerons were replaced by between-the-wings ailerons, and some other smaller changes were made.
The modified Baddeck No.1 was shipped to Montreal in June 1910 to take part in the Montreal Air Meet planned for 25 June to 5 July. McCurdy made unsuccessful flight attempts on 26, 27 and 28 June and then crashed and damaged the Baddeck No.1 the following day.
The Baddeck No.2 was constructed in the late summer of 1909 and benefited from the Petawawa trials of the Baddeck No.1, and from the beginning had flat biplane front elevators and a fixed rear biplane tail; otherwise it was the same as the Baddeck No.1. After earlier taxi-ing tests the first short flights of about 200 yd (183m) were made by J. A. D. McCurdy on 25 September, 1909, at Baddeck. Fifty-nine flights were made in Baddeck No.2 between then and 12 March, 1910, all at Baddeck, and all, except for three by Baldwin, flown by McCurdy. The best of these was one of 16 miles (25-7 km) around a one mile (1-6 km) course.
Following this, the Baddeck No.2 was mounted on a single float with outer stabilizing floats under the inner interplane struts. A trial was made on 1 June, 1910, by taking off on turf at the water’s edge and alighting immediately on the water, apparently successfully, although no subsequent flights were made.
The original wingtip ailerons of the Baddeck No. 1 are now in the Bell Museum at Baddeck, probably the oldest ailerons extant.
One 40 hp Kirkham. Span 40ft (12-19 m); length 33 ft 9 in (10-29 m); height 9 ft 7 in (2-92m); wing area 600 sqft (182-87 sqm). Loaded weight 1,200lb (544-8kg). Performance not known.
Flight, January 8, 1910
Flying in Canada.
MR. MCCURDY has again commenced active practice on the "Baddeck No. 2" at Baddeck, and a few days ago flew for about eight miles at an altitude varying between 30 and 250 feet. The weather was extremely cold, and it was this which eventually caused the termination of the flight. Further experiments are to be made over the frozen lakes. Prof. Graham Bell has stated that the machine is now fitted with a motor which should enable it to be run for a whole day, and Messrs. McCurdy and Baldwin are now endeavouring to bring their flying machine to a stage at which it would be of commercial use.
Flight, March 19, 1910
Flying in Canada.
MR. D. C. FRASER, Governor of Nova Scotia, and Major Maunsell, of the Canadian Militia, witnessed flights with the Baldwin-McCurdy biplane at Baddeck, on the 13th inst. In all, eight flights were made, the total distance covered being about 20 miles, while the average altitude was between 50 and 100 ft.
Flight, April 9, 1910
BADDECK NO.2 BIPLANE.
FROM two photographs which we reproduce herewith a very good idea can be obtained of the "Baddeck No. 2" biplane, with which Messrs. Baldwin and McCurdy have been experimenting (or some time at Dr. Graham Bell's laboratory at Baddeck, Nova Scotia. It will be seen that wing tips are still used for correcting lateral stability and steering, although they are somewhat different in shape to those used on the "Silver Dart" machine, which, it will be remembered, was the forerunner of " Baddeck No. 2." They are about 5 ft. by 5 ft. in size, and hinged near their front edges, and are controlled by means of a fork fitting around the aviator's shoulders. The main planes are of 40 ft. span, and have a chord of 7 ft. at the centre, gradually diminishing to 5 ft. at the tips. Fifteen feet in advance of the leading edge is fitted the biplane elevator, the surfaces of which are 12 ft. by 28 ins., placed 30 ins. apart, and the tail, mounted 11 ft. behind the main plane, is of exactly similar size. Steering is effected on a somewhat similar system to the Curtiss machine, a fore and aft movement of the steering-wheel adjusting the elevator, while twisting the wheel operates the vertical rudder.
A single propeller of 7 ft. 8 ins. diam. and 6 ft. pitch is fitted, and is chain-driven in the ratio of 3 to 5 from a 6-cyl. Water-cooled Kirkham motor of 40-h.p. The radiator consists of thirty flattened tubes 7 1/2 ft. long by 3 ins. wide and 3/32 in. thick, and they are curved and arranged in a similar way to the main planes, so that they are practically self-supporting when travelling through the air. The photos were taken while the machine was flying over the Bras d'Or Lake, and are reproduced from our contemporary, the Scientific American.