Flight, October 9, 1919.
THE CATO SPORTING MONOPLANE
This single-seater machine was designed by Mr Joseph L. Cato, of New York, primarily as a sporting monoplane, the objects in view being a very slow landing speed, quick getaway, and ease of control, together with inherent stability and good manoeuvrability both in the air and on the ground. With these objects in view, a wing of wide chord was adopted, and a special wing-section was laid out as existing sections were found to be unsuitable for the required performance.
This wing-section - known as Cato No. 4 - which is shown with dimensions in one of the accompanying illustrations, was designed to give good climb and low landing speed rather than a very high speed, and recent tests have proved that it can accomplish all that was required of it. A climb of 4,600 ft. in 10 minutes was obtained with this section, whilst the speed range obtained was 22 to 70 m.p.h.
Constructionally the Cato monoplane has received much thought and consideration for detail, and throughout the general design is the keynote of simplicity - by far the best method of attaining light weight, which is so desirable in a small, sporting machine of this kind. Simplicity also makes for low cost of manufacture, which in turn brings the selling price within the reach of the average sportsman. The controllability of the Cato monoplane at low flying speed is exceptionally good, and on landing the machine comes to a dead stop within 45 ft., whilst to get away a run of no more than 50 ft. is necessary. The longest run made at highest landing speed was 120 ft. to a dead stop.
As will be seen from our illustrations, this machine is a monoplane of the parasol type. The fuselage is of good streamline shape, comparatively deep in section. It is of monocoque construction, built up of three layers of cedar, and weighs, as it comes off the mould, 58 lbs. A portion of the fuselage, on the port side of the cockpit, is cut away to give access to the latter, thus avoiding the necessity of the pilot climbing over the top of the fuselage, a considerable improvement on the hitherto awkward method of "embarkation." The bottom of the fuselage being 22 ins. from the ground, it is possible for the pilot to step into the cockpit as easily as one would step into a car. The pilot's seat is mounted 16 ins. from the floor of the fuselage. A wind screen is rendered unnecessary owing to the shape of the top of the fuselage at the rear of the engine.
A neat stick control is installed, and the rudder bar has three adjustments - short, medium and long. The throttle control is located on the starboard side of the cockpit.
The construction of the wings follows more or less standard practice. The wing spars are of I-section, and the wing-bracing strut attachments are held on by four bolts clamping the spar through maple blocks. The wings are built in two halves, and are braced by four main struts anchored at their lower ends to the sides of the fuselage. These main struts are interchangeable from right to left and from front to rear. The wings are mounted some 14 ins. above the fuselage on central cabanes, and are given a backsweep of 5# and a dihedral angle of 2#; the angle of incidence is 4#. The inner ends of the ailerons are set back at an angle of 4# in order to render them more effective at very low speeds. These ailerons are interchangeable.
The tail plane is of the divided type, of symmetrical section, and is permanently mounted some 6 ins. below the line of thrust. Each half of the tail plane is interchangeable. The elevators are also interchangeable from right to left, and are further interchangeable with the rudder. The triangular fin is slightly offset to overcome the torque.
The landing chassis is of the V type, the Vs being of steel tube and interchangeable, whilst large-diameter wheels are fitted to provide easy rolling. The axle is sprung by means of the usual elastic cord. The tail skid consists of a three-leaf spring.
The power plant is a two-cylinder horizontally opposed air-cooled Cato aircraft engine, developing 72 h.p. at 1,825 r.p.m. It is mounted on a steel plate riveted to the front end of the fuselage. It is well protected by an aluminium hood, the only part exposed being the two air-cooled cylinder heads, and the carburettor intake. The engine drives direct a tractor screw of 7 ft. 2 ins. diameter by 4.38 ft. pitch.
The petrol tank is located on the root of the right wing, and has a capacity of 12 gallons, which is sufficient fuel for about three hours' endurance. The oil tank is also situated in this position. Both petrol and oil are supplied to the engine by gravity.
The general specifications of the Cato sporting monoplane are as follows :-
Overall span 28 ft. 11 1/2 ins.
Overall length 20 ft. 10 ins.
Chord 7 ft.
Angle of incidence 4°
Total area of main plane 186 sq. ft.
Area of ailerons 23.8 sq. ft.
Area of tail plane 15.5 sq.ft.
Area of fin 6.9 sq. ft.
Area of elevators 13.8 sq.ft.
Area of rudder 6.9 sq. ft.
Weight, empty 474.26 lbs.
Useful load 253 lbs.
Weight fully loaded 727.26 lbs.
Loading per sq. ft. 3.9
Loading per horse-power 10.1
Speed range 25-68 m.p.h.
Climb in 10 minutes 4,500 ft.
Ceiling 12,000 ft.
Endurance at high speed 3 hours.