Flight, April 10, 1919.
THE TRANSATLANTIC RACE
THE preparations for the great race to be first to cross the Atlantic by air are progressing apace. By way of summary, the Sopwith machine, to be piloted by Mr. H. Hawker, who will have with him as navigator and assistant pilot Capt. Grieve, is already at the starting point in Newfoundland, and is only awaiting favourable weather conditions before making a start. The Martinsyde biplane, with its pilot, Mr. F. P. Raynham, and his navigator, Capt. Morgan, is on its way across, and may, by the time these lines appear in print, have arrived at St. John's. The Fairey machine, up till now the only seaplane entered from this side, is rapidly nearing completion, being, in fact, a standard Fairey 3C type especially adapted for the race. The pilot, as already announced, will be Mr. Sydney Pickles, so well knows to all readers of FLIGHT. The name of the navigator who will accompany him has not yet been disclosed, but will, we understand, be announced shortly. The Short machine entered, and which will be piloted by Major Wood, who will have with him as navigator Capt. Wyllie, has the distinction of being the only entrant which, so far, it is proposed to start from this side, the starting point chosen being Bawnmore, near Limerick, in Ireland. This machine, which has been undergoing severe tests during the last couple of weeks, is to be flown first to Ireland, whence the final start will be made.
As to the probability of one or all of the competitors succeeding in getting across, there is of course, a certain element of luck involved, but arrangements, as announced elsewhere, are being made., by the Air Ministry and Admiralty, to take all possible precautions, and to ensure that, even in cases of engine failure, the occupants should have a very good chance of being picked up by passing vessels.
As interest centres more and more in this race, a few words dealing with the British machines entered will, we feel sure be welcomed by readers of FLIGHT.
The Martinsyde Machine
The machine entered by Messrs. Martinsyde, Ltd., is more or less of standard Martinsyde type, with the occupants placed very far aft to allow of mounting a large petrol tank in the middle of the fuselage, in the neighbourhood of the centre of lift where the decrease in fuel weight as the fuel is used up will not alter the trim of the machine. Unfortunately we have not been able to obtain any illustrations of the Martinsyde machine, but in outward appearance it does not present any radical departures from the standard. It has the distinction of being the lowest powered machine in the race, the engine being a Rolls-Royce "Falcon" of 285 h.p. As the Martinsyde machines have always been known for their great efficiency, this is an advantage inasmuch as less fuel will have to be carried, and in spite of the lower power the speed is over 100 m.p.h. A military Martinsyde machine with the same engine is the holder of speed records for machines of this type, and it may safely be assumed that the trans-Atlantic type is not inferior in any way to the standard type.
Flight, May 15, 1919.
THE TRANSATLANTIC CONTEST
IN our issue of April 10 we published scale drawings of the Sopwith and Short Transatlantic machines. At the time no further drawings were available, and other machines have been entered since then. This week we are able, through the courtesy of the various constructors who have given us facilities for obtaining particulars of their machines, to place before our readers scale drawings of three other entrants and a photograph of a fourth, as well as scale drawings of one of the American flying-boats which will attempt the crossing hors de concours.
The Vickers "Vimy-Rolls"
A BRIEF description and two photographs of this machine were published in last week's issue of FLIGHT. The "Vimy-Rolls," as the Transatlantic type is called, is very similar in general arrangement to the standard "Vimy." Minor changes have naturally been made, but the general appearance is the same. Among the changes made the most important is the substitution of larger tanks, which now have a capacity of 850 gallons of petrol and 50 gallons of oil. A further alteration which has been made is the addition of a turtle back to the fore part of the fuselage, resulting in a cleaner outline with, presumably, smaller resistance. Two standard Rolls-Royce "Eagle" engines are fitted, which at full throttle give the machine a speed of over 100 m.p.h. The cruising speed is, however, in the neighbourhood of 90 m.p.h., and at this speed the machine has been estimated to have a range of 2,440 miles. Of other alterations reference may be made to the substitution, in the "Vimy-Rolls," of a front wheel mounted on a pyramid of steel tubes, instead of the front skid fitted on the standard "Vimy." The general arrangement drawings of the machine published herewith will give a good idea of the lines of the "Vimy-Rolls." As announced last week, the pilot is Capt. J. Alcock, D.S.C., who will be remembered by our readers from the days before the War, when he did a great amount of flying on a Maurice Farman biplane with Sunbeam engine. The navigator, Lieut. A. W. Brown, recently wrote a very interesting article for FLIGHT, dealing with elementary navigation for aircraft pilots.
Flight, November 6, 1919.
THE FLIGHT TO AUSTRALIA
In addition to the Sopwith "Wallaby" three other machines are now all but ready for the attempt, and are mainly waiting for an improvement in the weather before making a start. These are: A Martinsyde, an Alliance, and a Vickers-Vimy. As all the machines must start from Hounslow it would appear that the arrival of better weather will mean the start of all three machines more or less together, and an exciting race may therefore be looked to.
The Martinsyde Machine
With the exception of a few alterations in the seating arrangement, the machine entered by Messrs. Martinsyde, Ltd., of Woking, is similar to the standard Martinsyde Commercial Type "AI." It is fitted with a Rolls-Royce Falcon III engine, of 275 h.p. Like all Martinsyde aeroplanes this machine is of extremely pleasing outline, as will be seen from the accompanying illustrations.
On the present venture, in addition to Capt. Howell and his mechanic, the machine will carry fuel for 10 hours - giving it a range of about 1,000 miles - spare parts for engine and machine, tool kits, etc.; a total weight of about 1,000 lbs. With this load the machine's most economical cruising speed is 100 m.p.h. Capt. Howell will use the land route so far as Calcutta, where he will fit floats and use the sea route from there onwards. These floats are interchangeable with the standard land under carriage, and do not entail any alteration or adjustment to the machine, the same fittings being used for both types of undercarriage.
On test these floats behaved exceedingly well, the machine rising off the water quickly and showing no tendency to porpoise; nor did the floats affect the handling of the machine in the air. The floats add about 400 lbs. to the weight of the machine, but no difficulty is experienced in carrying the full load.
Capt. Howell thinks the sea route from Calcutta onwards solves the difficulties of bad flying country and the complete lack of landing grounds, prepared or otherwise.