C.Jerzy Polish Aircraft 1893-1939 (Putnam)
Autobiplan Warchalowski System Type VI to Type X. In the middle of August 1911, a new Warchalowski System biplane, the Type VI, emerged from the Autoplan factory, its debut marking the birth of a new generation of Warchalowski aircraft. The basic change from the previous practice was that in the new model the C.G. was moved forward and the tail surfaces no longer contributed to the lift.
It appears that the Autoplan-Werke undertook quantity production of this new basic airframe, and contemporary press reports indicate that at least nine or ten (and presumably more) examples, differing mainly in the various powerplants installed, were delivered in the last five months of 1911. At least three Type VIs, all powered by a 60 hp Daimler four-cylinder inline water-cooled engine, were completed, two in the middle of August and one in September. The first two Type Vis were followed about a week later by the single Type VII biplane, which featured a modified nacelle equipped with more flight instruments together with some minor refinements and was fitted with a more powerful 80 hp Anzani six-cylinder radial air-cooled engine. In September and October at least three Type VIIIs, an improved edition of the Type VII adapted for a 70 hp Gnome seven-cylinder rotary engine, left the factory. At the beginning of October a new development, the Type IX, with a slightly revised nacelle, a new 85 hp Werner & Pfleiderer Hieronimus four-cylinder inline water-cooled engine and increased load-carrying capabilities, made its public appearance.
The Type X, a further development of the previous model, designed to make the maximum use of the potentialities of the new Hieronimus engine and lift even heavier loads, began trials in the latter half of December 1911. On the 21st of that month this machine, with Josef Sablatnig in the cockpit, made six flights, one of them with a passenger and an additional ballast load (bags of sand) of 280 kg (617 lb) on board. Later, the same pilot accomplished a few short flights with five passengers on board, one sitting behind him and two on each side of the nacelle on the wings. The longest flight with five passengers lasted about 15 min. The empty and maximum loaded weights of the Type X were in the region of 500 kg (1,102 lb) and 950 kg (2,094 lb) respectively.
The new Warchalowski System Autobiplans figured prominently in all major Austrian aviation events of the latter part of 1911 and enhanced the reputation of their designer. One Type VI was used by Josef Sablatnig for his attempt to win the Niederosterreichische Rundflug (Tour of Lower Austria). On 17 August, flying with Hutter in the passenger seat, Sablatnig made a test and training flight from Wiener-Neustadt to Neunkirchen, achieving an average speed of 106 km/h (65.8 mph). Two days later the same crew took-off at dawn on the real prize flight. However, a strong wind caused a shortage of fuel and a forced landing between stages which ended in a crash and very serious damage to the machine. Undeterred, Sablatnig renewed his attempt at dawn on 24 August on the brand-new and not yet properly tested Type VII biplane equipped with an Anzani radial. This time luck was on his side. Following the specified 345 km (214 mile) route in stages in accordance with the contest rules, he landed at Wiener-Neustadt 36 hr 41 min after take-off, the shortest time achieved by any competitor, and won the close-fought and highest-ever Austrian money prize of 20,000 Korons. The average flying speed was over 110 km/h (68.3 mph).
While Sablatnig was fighting for victory in the Rundflug, Adolf Warchalowski was in the news because of his exploits as a reconnaissance pilot during large-scale Austrian army manoeuvres. On 16 August his new Type VI made its proving flights and three days later the machine and its field hangar arrived at Virovitica and were established at a base close to the HQ of a cavalry group with which Warchalowski was to co-operate. The morning of 22 August marked the first use of an aeroplane for operational purposes in Austria. Warchalowski spotted the 'hostile' cavalry formations and returned with a complete report of their dispositions and plans. Two more reconnaissance flights on the same day brought further important information and permitted his own force to take counter-action. Two reconnaissance missions were flown the next day with similar results. Two other aircraft took part in the same exercise, but none of the crews matched the skill of Warchalowski, whose convincing demonstration of the military potential of air reconnaissance made a great impression. Flying as a civil pilot, Adolf was engaged on two more series of military manoeuvres, one at the beginning of September in the Komorn area and another in November.
Four Autobiplans, two Daimler-powered Type VIs and two Gnome-powered Type VIIIs, with three pilots, Adolf and Karol Warchalowski and Josef Sablatnig, were entered for the First Austrian Aviation Week championships held in the first week of October 1911. In the opening phase of this event Sablatnig's Type VI caught fire in flight, but, although the machine was completely burned out after a forced landing, the pilot and his passenger escaped unharmed.
In the contest the Warchalowski biplanes proved once again their superiority over most other competitors, winning an impressive number of prizes and several leading places. Adolf, on the Type VI, won the first race from Wiener-Neustadt to Neunkirchen and back (32 km = 19.9 miles in 24 min 36 sec) and was placed second in the final race classification. Karol, on the Type VIII, received two days' flight prizes and gained the third and fourth places in the height competition. Sablatnig, on another Type VIII, took three days' prizes (for the opening flight, endurance and height) and second place in the overall height classification (933 m = 3,061 ft absolute height).
On 7 October, in the closing stages of the championships, the new Type IX, powered by the equally new and untried Hieronimus engine, joined the Autobiplan team. Taken by Sablatnig for a race, the aeroplane suffered engine trouble and the flight had to be interrupted. Early the next morning, Sunday, 8 October. Adolf Warchalowski took-off on the Type IX for an attempt on the world endurance record established by Fourny some five weeks earlier, but he was forced to land after 3 hr 17 min 20 sec because of mechanical trouble, his consolation being the day's endurance prize.
On 30 October, 1911, Adolf Warchalowski flying the Hieronimus-powered Type IX made a record-breaking flight from Wiener-Neustadt, with three passengers on board, which lasted 45 min 46 sec, exceeding by a handsome margin the previous achievement by Busson (31 min 23 sec), and this was soon homologated as the new world endurance record with three passengers. During the flight Hutter sat behind the pilot in the passenger seat and two mechanics lay on the wings, one on each side of the nacelle, the total load carried (people and fuel) amounting to 310 kg (683 lb) and the total loaded weight of the aircraft being some 800 kg (1,764 lb).
Earlier, on 21 October, on the occasion of the marriage of Archduke Karl Franz Josef to Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, Adolf flew from Wiener-Neustadt to Schwarzau Castle, where the wedding took place, with a silver sculpture representing a figure carrying a Warchalowski Autobiplan in flight, which he presented to the bride as a wedding gift. By the end of 1911 Adolf Warchalowski was counted among the most outstanding and experienced pilots in Austria, having to his credit a combined total (for 1910 and 1911) of 550 flights, including 196 with passengers, in over 125 flying hours.
At least two Type IXs were completed, and these aeroplanes and one of two earlier Warchalowski models competed in some aviation events in 1912, including the great International Aviation Week championships in the last week of June, in which 43 contestants from ten countries took part, but they did not achieve major successes. Several of the Warchalowski second-generation types were used for a considerable time for the training of military and civil pilots.
Construction: The Autobiplan Warchalowski System Type VI to Type X were two-seat open-frame unstaggered single-bay biplanes, which basically followed structural methods similar to those employed on the previously described Warchalowski types. Although these aeroplanes retained a generally similar layout, their powerplants, fuel and oil tanks and other heavy parts and installations were moved forward to bring the C.G. within the wings, and a number of aerodynamic and structural improvements were introduced. The wings, featuring the characteristic Warchalowski tips, were single-bay structures of unequal span (with the lower wing spanning 8.8 m = 28 ft 10 1/2 in) and their gross area was 42 sq m (452.1 sq ft). The tail unit, which fulfilled the normal function of a stabilizing and control device (no longer contributing to the lift), was of monoplane type, with the tailplane attached to the rear ends of the fuselage upper longerons, and a central single rudder below the tailplane. The overall span quoted for the Type IX was 12 m (39 ft 4 3/4 in) and the length, estimated from photographs, was about 13 m (42 ft 7 3/4 in). It appears that all the Warchalowski aircraft of the new series (Type VI to X) had very similar overall dimensions. Empty and loaded weights of the Type VI, VII and VIII were 400-450 kg (882-992 lb) and 650-700 kg (1,433-1,543 lb). Performance included a maximum speed of 110-120 km/h (68.3-74.5 mph) and maximum normal endurance of 3 hr (for aircraft flown with one passenger).