P.Lewis The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)
Yet another of the unsuccessful single-seat scout prototypes of 1916 was the Wight Baby of J. Samuel White and Company of Cowes. This was a 100 h.p. Monosoupape Gnome-powered single-bay biplane which embodied the double-camber wing section evolved by Howard Wright, and folding wings.
F.Mason The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)
The established manufacturer of naval aircraft, J Samuel White of East Cowes in the Isle of Wight, was fortunate to possess the services of Howard Wright, a successful designer of long experience. In 1916 he produced a twin-float single-seat scout, much on the lines of the Sopwith Baby, though somewhat larger and heavier.
Of simple, if not crude, design the Wight aircraft was a single-bay biplane with single-acting ailerons on the top wing only; the wings were of unequal span and chord with double-camber, and the tail surfaces were of generous proportions with a large rectangular tailplane and elevator. Being without stagger or cutout, the upper wing obscured much of the pilot’s field of view. However, the 100hp Gnome monosoupape engine, driving a four-blade propeller, bestowed a fairly respectable top speed of about 90 mph at sea level.
The floats were much longer than those of the Sopwith Baby and therefore obviated the need for a tail float; partway through the Wight’s trials these floats were re-fitted further apart to improve stability on the water.
In 1917 one of the three Baby prototypes was flown at Felixstowe, and afterwards underwent Service trials at the Isle of Grain. By then, however, the aircraft’s performance had been thoroughly eclipsed by other in-service naval scouts and it was not developed further.
Type: Single-engine, single-seat, single-bay, twin-float biplane scout.
Manufacturer: J Samuel White & Co, East Cowes, Isle of Wight.
Powerplant: One 100hp Gnome monosoupape engine driving four-blade propeller.
Structure: Wooden box-girder fuselage with fabric and ply covering; two-spar, folding, double-camber, single-bay wings with unequal span and chord; twin three-step wooden floats.
Dimensions: Span, 30ft 8in; length, 26ft 8in; height, 9ft lin; wing area, 297 sq ft.
Weights: Tare, 1,277lb; all-up, 1,864lb.
Performance: Max speed, approx 90 mph at sea level; climb to 6,500ft, 20 min 30 sec; service ceiling, 9,300ft; endurance, 2 1/2 hr.
Armament: None fitted.
Prototypes: Three, Nos 9097, 9098 and 9100. No production.