J.Wegg General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecessors Since 1912 (Putnam)
D-2, HS, D-5
A two-seat, two-bay equal-span biplane of fabric-covered wooden construction similar to the T -2 was first flown in spring 1915 by Frank Burnside. Powered by a 135hp Sturtivant engine, the D-2 achieved an unofficial world record of 97.4mph and a rate of climb of 4,500ft in ten minutes. Two D-2s with twin main floats and a pontoon skid fitted directly underneath the rear fuselage were ordered by the Navy in July 1915 with the designation HS (AH-20/21, later A-57/58). A prototype HS was first flown from Renwick Park, Cayuga Lake, in late summer 1915 but the extra drag of the floats demanded higher power settings for which the radiator was inadequate. A heavy alighting was suffered early in the flight-test programme, following radiator problems, which necessitated repairs and subsequently the aircraft was destroyed, without fatal injuries to the pilot, when it crashed into the lake in early winter.
The two Navy aircraft were modified after the crash of the first HS to incorporate side mounted radiators for improved engine cooling, an upper wing with 11ft 6in increased span and larger ailerons, instead of upper and lower ets previously. The rear pontoon underneath the tail was lowered by mounting it on struts that lifted the rear fuselage out of the water. The first (AH-20) was shipped to Pensacola, Florida, with a 135hp Sturtevant engine in late February 1916, and accepted after flight tests on 30 March. The second, with a 135hp Thomas 8 engine, almost a duplicate of the Sturtivant, was handed over on 18 June. Both were used for training flights until November, when they were reassigned for experiments with 'wireless', and both were struck from Navy records the following June.
The D-5 was similar to the D-2 but had unequal span wings, the upper wing with a considerable over-hang. Two D-5 observation models were built for the Army for evaluation in 1915 (114/115) with 135hp Thomas engines.
HS (revised version)
Span 48ft 6in; length 29ft 9in; height 10ft 3in; wing area 441sq ft.
Weight empty 2,600 lb.
Maximum speed 82mph.
G.Swanborough, P.Bowers United States Military Aircraft Since 1909 (Putnam)
The two-seat Thomas D-5 observation design, powered by a 135-h.p. Thomas engine, was designed for the Thomas Brothers Aeroplane Company of Bath, N.Y., by B. Douglas Thomas, (no relation) who had designed the Model J for Curtiss while still in England after leaving the employ of Avro. His first Thomas Bros, design, the T-2, was an attempt to improve on the Curtiss J. Work was started at Bath in 1914, but was completed following a move to Ithaca, N.Y. The British Thomas became chief designer for Thomas Brothers, and retained the position after the aeroplane and engine manufacturer merged with the Morse Chain Company of Ithaca. Two D-5s (serials 114/115) were bought by the Army for evaluation. Span, 52 ft. 9 in.; length, 29 ft. 9 in.; empty weight, 1,300 lb.; gross weight, 2,500 lb.; high speed, 86 m.p.h.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919
THOMAS MILITARY RECONNAISSANCE TRACTOR, Type D2. 150-180 horse power.
1. Great power and speed, in addition to all the advantages of Type T2. Also has the most simple and rugged type of landing gear.
2. Carries pilot and observer, fuel for four and a half hours, and 250 lbs. (114 kgs.) additional (total useful load is 1082 lbs. (490 kgs.) Speed range is 40 to 91 m.p.h. 25-145 km.) Weight loaded is 2,250 lbs. (1,020 kg.) Climb is 4,000 feet (1220 m.) in nine minutes
3. Overall length, 29 feet (8.85 m.),span, 37 feet (11.30 m.),chord, 5 feet 3 ins (1.50 m.), gap, 5 feet (1.50 m.), total lifting area, 401 sq. feet (37.5 m2.), loading, 5.6 lbs sq. feet.
4. Changed conditions of warfare have shown the need of very powerful, fast, two passenger machines, capable of carrying extra load.
THE THOMAS-MORSE D5
The "D 5" Thomas Tractor has the following characteristics:
Span 52' 9" upper plane.
34' lower plane.
Chord 5' 6"
Length 29' 9"
Dihedral 4 degrees.
Area 465 sq. ft.
Ailerons Upper wings only.
Landing Gear Two wheels.
Engine Thomas 135 h.p., 8-cylinder V
Weight 2500 lbs. (1 hour's fuel).
Useful load 1100 lbs.
Flight, February 24, 1916.
THE new Thomas military tractor which has been undergoing tests at Ithaca, is, I hear, developing an excellent turn of speed. Not long ago Frank Burnside, one of the Thomas pilots, conducted a series of tests over a measured course of half a mile. The machine covered that distance in 17 4/5 seconds with the wind, and in 29 1/5 seconds against it. The average speed of the tests was one mile in 38 seconds. On one occasion a speed of 103 m.p.h. was attained. The test flights were officially observed by Mr. J. J. Frawley, who is a representative of the Aero Club of America, which body has been notified of the performance. It is claimed that the Thomas has broken all American records for speed. The engine with which this machine is fitted is one of the new Thomas aeromotors of 135 h.p. that have done so well in their preliminary trials.