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)
Cody Military Trials Biplane
After the crash of his monoplane, Cody removed its 120 h.p. Austro-Daimler engine and installed it in a biplane which was then entered as No. 31 in the Military Trials held on Salisbury Plain during August, 1912.
The machine differed little in appearance from previous Cody biplanes, but featured tapered rudders with small, fixed pairs of horizontal tail surfaces on each side of them. The large six-cylinder engine occupied most of the lower wings' centre-section and drove a propeller 10 ft. 8 ins. in diameter. Four seats were fitted, the pilot occupying the front one with one passenger behind him, the two remaining seats being placed on the lower wings, one on each side of the engine. No ailerons were employed, and wing-warping was used for lateral control. The twin front elevators were carried on bamboo outriggers, with bamboo push-rods controlling them from the enclosed pilot's position. All flying controls were on the single-wheeled column, a foot pedal being used for acceleration of the engine.
After the numerous tests had been carried out, the Cody biplane was declared the winner of the 1912 Military Trials and was awarded ?5,000 prize money. Its next success was in the contest for the 1912 British Empire Michelin Cup No. 2 and ?600, for which the Austro-Daimler engine was removed and replaced by a 100 h.p. Green to bring the machine into the all-British category to comply with the regulations of the competition. There were no other comers, and Cody won the event for the third year in succession by covering about 220 miles of the cross-country circuit in 3 hrs. 26 mins.
Dihedral was incorporated later in the wings, and Lt. L. C. Rogers-Harrison, R.F.C., was trained specially to be able to handle the difficult machines, of which two had been ordered for the Royal Flying Corps. On 28th April, 1913, he crashed at Farnborough in the second of them and was killed. The machine differed in having a slight increase in the dihedral, elevators which were mounted slightly higher and rudders which were moved closer together so as to be in the slipstream of the propeller. Both of the R.F.C. aircraft were fitted with 120 h.p. Austro-Daimler engines, and one was shown at the 1913 Olympia Aero Show which had flown for 7,000 miles, afterwards being handed over to the R.F.C. to be used first by No. 2 Squadron and then by No. 4 Squadron.
Description: Two/four-seat pusher biplane. Wooden structure, fabric covered.
Manufacturer: S. F. Cody, Laffan's Plain, Farnborough, Hants.
Power Plant: 120 h.p. Austro-Daimler, 100 h.p. Green.
Dimensions: Span, 43 ft. Length, 37 ft. 9 ins. Wing area, 430 sq. ft.
Weights: Empty, 1,850 lb. Loaded, 2,850 lb.
(120 h.p. Austro-Daimler) Maximum speed, 72.5 m.p.h. Climb, 288 ft. in 1 min., 1,000 ft. in 3.5 mins. Ceiling, 6,00 ft. Range, 336 miles.
(100 h.p. Green) Maximum speed, 70 m.p.h. Range, 500 miles.
Flight, September 7, 1912.
CODY AND HIS "CATHEDRAL".
RECOGNITION has come to Cody at last, after many years of hard, up-hill work; seldom has success been better earned than his. In spite of apparently insurmountable obstacles, but with the enthusiasm of the true pioneer, he has persistently toiled to overcome an endless succession of difficulties. Cody's success is all the more creditable because his work is so entirely original; original, yet not freakish. What he does is his own thought, and mostly his own handiwork too. From the first he determined to build a big machine; a natural impulse, for there is nothing small about Cody, even his compass looks twice the size of what one generally imagines to be suitable for aeroplane work, and when, incidentally, I asked him the time, I was not in the least surprised to see him pull out a watch reminiscent of the days of our grandfathers.
As in his earlier machine, there is a free simplicity about the constructive detail that appeals mightily to the common sense, though it may at times offend the susceptibilities of the standardized engineering mind. Similarly too, there remains that great, perhaps the greatest, feature of Cody design, to wit, the divided elevator, which is worked in unison with the warping of the main planes for the maintenance of lateral balance. Steering is accomplished by twin rudders, independently mounted on twin outriggers of bamboo. There is no rear elevator, but fixed transversely to each rudder is a very small horizontal damper plane. The control differs from that of most other machines in that the steering is effected by a horizontal wheel arranged as in a motor car, except that the steering column itself has a universally pivoted support for the purpose of warping and elevating. In the Cody machine the feet are, therefore, left free from the control, and very naturally Cody has of late adopted the pedal accelerator, which makes the driving of the Cody "bus" still more like the driving of a car.
In the construction of the machine silver spruce is used for the spars and struts, American hickory for the landing chassis and engine bearers, and stout bamboo poles bound with tape for the outriggers that carry the elevator and rudders. Pegamoid is used for covering the planes, and I understand that the fabric has withstood three years' wear and tear.
The landing chassis is practically the same as that of the earlier machine, and includes a central skid that carries a pair of small buffer wheels in front and a kangaroo-like tail of laminated wood behind. An ingenious dodge on this tail, which gave Cody much pleasure and some profit in the trials, is a length of chain (rather like a Parson's non-skid for a motor car tyre) that could be drawn up out of the way by a string. On landing, the string was released so that the vibration of the tail could shake the chain rings that encircled it down into contact with the ground, where they acted as very effective brakes. Two wheels, mounted on vertical telescopic tubes with powerful coil spring shock absorbers, support the weight of the machine at starting, while in the air these same springs pull upon the main lift wires under the lower planes. The wheel track is only 3 ft. 6 in., and small wheels are, therefore, fitted as fenders to the wing tips. Indeed, these latter may be regarded as part and parcel of the chassis arrangement, as they come frequently into use.
The pilot's seat is now partly covered in, and immediately behind it is one passenger seat, from which a beginner first obtains tuition by handling an extension of the control lever over the pilot's shoulder. Subsequently the positions are reversed. On either side of the pilot's seat, but outside the nacelle, are two other seats, the position of which gives an absolutely unrivalled opportunity for observation, but is not everybody's choice in a "joy ride" all the same. From the purely patriotic view one cannot but lament the fact that Cody was unable to secure a British engine to meet his requirements, not that there is anything but praise for the Austro-Daimler, which is unique of its kind and behaved splendidly, but I hope to see the Cody absolutely all British-built yet.
Flight, February 8, 1913.
WHAT THERE WILL BE TO SEE AT OLYMPIA.
The War Office Exhibit.
The Cody biplane shown will be the identical machine on which, fitted with a 120-h.p. Austro-Daimler motor, Mr. S. F. Cody won the British Military Aeroplane trials on Salisbury Plain in August, 1912. A machine of unusual interest, for it was with the self-same biplane that Mr. S. F. Cody won the two Michelin competitions of 1911, completed the Daily Mail circuit of Britain, did command flights before the King, and won the speed Michelin of 1912. Altogether, this historic biplane has covered more than 7,000 miles in the air.
Flight, February 22, 1913.
SOME MORE AEROPLANES AT OLYMPIA.
THE 120-H.P. CODY BIPLANE.
A very great deal of interest attaches to this Cody machine, for it must be remembered that its constructor was the first to supply the British Army with war kites, built for the British Army their first dirigible balloon, built their first heavier-than-air machine, and won the first prize in their first international aeroplane competition. A duplicate of the biplane that is exhibited not only won the competition to which we have just referred, but, fitted with a 60-h.p. Green engine, it carried off the two Michelin competitions in 1911 and also completed the Daily Mail Circuit of Great Britain, while in 1912, with a 100-h.p. Green engine installed, it won the Michelin cross-country competition. Since it was constructed this biplane has flown upwards of 7,000 miles, which, if it is not a world's record, must be approaching very near to one.
Planes. - The most noticeable feature regarding the Cody plane construction, one of the features to which Mr. S. F. Cody attributes the machine's remarkable speed range, is that the under surface is a great deal more cambered than is the top surface. On most other machines the greater camber is usually noticeable on the upper surface. Behind the rear spars, there is a considerable amount of rib overhang, and, at high speeds, the wind pressure on this overhang is such that it has the effect of reducing the camber of the wing between the two spars. For the spars, they are cut from solid silver spruce, the front spar being rounded off in front, as it forms the leading edge of the plane. Solid spruce struts, 6 ft. 6 in. high, separate the two planes. In cross section they are of the original streamline that Mr. Cody arrived at as the result of experiments five years ago.
The landing gear consists of a hickory skid 16 ft. long, connected to the main planes by struts of the same wood. The rolling wheels form a unit independent of the skid. They have a track of 3 ft. 10 ins., and are sprung by steel compression springs. Regarding the strength of this chassis, it may be interesting to mention that the landing-gear fitted to the Cody monoplane is almost an identical structure to that of the biplane, and that when, flying his monoplane, Mr. Cody inadvertently landed on a cow, he neither felt the shock nor damaged his chassis in the least.
Changes in the attitude of the machine are brought about by two elevators of large area, supported in front of the main plane on bamboo outriggers. They are so connected to the controlling lever that they may be made to move in unison or in opposition, in which latter condition they assist the main plane warping in maintaining lateral equilibrium. Fitted behind the main planes is the propeller, 10 ft. 8 ins. in diameter, of Cody design and manufacture. It is driven by chain transmission, and the sprockets are so designed that the ratio of engine revolutions to propeller revolutions is as 1 3/4 is to 1. This biplane, which can seat three passengers in addition to the pilot, has a speed range of from 47 to 75 miles per hour.