M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)
SEDDON biplane (Lt. J.W. Seddon RN, and A.G. Hackett, Wolverhampton)
This tandem biplane, jointly designed by Seddon and Hackett, was possibly the world's largest at the time of its appearance in the late summer of 1910, at Dunstall Park flying ground, Wolverhampton. It was built by Accles and Pollock Ltd., tube manufacturers of Oldbury, Worcestershire and employed mainly circular members rolled from tube in its construction. About 2.000 feet of tubing was used.
The machine was a twin-engined tractor with a front biplane elevator, with two rudders between each pair of main wings, and a fin aft of the front wings. Separate fuel tanks and radiators were provided for each engine, these being mounted on either side of the crew enclosure, intended to carry six people amidships.
Seddon carried out an initial run on 7 November 1910, but testing was halted when a wheel collapsed. The machine was extremely heavy and did not fly, and was later scrapped.
Power: Two 65hp NEC four-cylinder inline water-cooled two-stroke engines driving Beedle propellers by chains.
Area 1,000 sq. ft
Weight 2,600 lb.
P.Lewis British Aircraft 1809-1914 (Putnam)
The Seddon Biplane, nicknamed "Mayfly", was a design by Lt. J. W. Seddon, R.N., and A. G. Hackett, built by Accles and Pollock at Oldbury, Worcs., in 1910. A six-seat tandem biplane, it was a fantastic structure of 2,000 ft. of steel tubing arranged as intersecting hoops or geodetics, and was powered by two 65 h.p. N.E.C. engines which drove a pair of Beedle tractor propellers. Frontal biplane elevators conferred longitudinal control, a pair of rudders being mounted between both fore and aft sets of wings.
The machine, at that time the world's largest aeroplane, was tested late in 1910 at the Dunstall Park Wolverhampton, flying-ground of the Midland Aero Club, but was not a success and was broken up without flying. Wing area, 1,000 sq. ft. Weight empty, about 2,600 lb.
Flight, November 19, 1910
FROM THE BRITISH FLYING GROUNDS.
On Monday, the 7th, Mr. Seddon brought out his huge tandem biplane for the first time for a run along the ground. The weight of the machine, however (which is somewhere between 20 and 30 cwts.), proved too much for the axle of the right wheel, which gave way under the load. This machine, which, it will be remembered, is fitted with two N.E.C. engines of 50-60 h.p. each and Beedle propellers, showed good acceleration powers in the short run before the collapse, but a speed sufficient to lift the machine was not attained. The stationary pull of the two propellers is something over 600 lbs. These are not in any way connected together, and both engines have to be run up to a certain speed and kept in unison. The machine in its short run turned considerably from, the straight path, presumably from this reason. It is, however, we believe, Mr. Seddon's intention to connect both engines by a chain.