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Short Biplane

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1909

Sheffield & District Aeroclub - glider - 1910 - Великобритания<– –>Short - Biplane No.2 / No.3 - 1909 - Великобритания

C.Barnes Short Aircraft since 1900 (Putnam)

Short Biplane No. 1

   Immediately after his flight with Wilbur Wright at Le Mans in November 1908, Frank McClean had to go to China to observe a solar eclipse; from his ship he wrote to Horace Short (whom he had met only once), saying, in effect, ‘Build me an aeroplane’ with no other conditions stipulated. Frank McClean was a leading light in the Aero Club, and his very generous patronage was a principal source of the Shorts’ early business. Even before the Wright brothers awarded their licence, Horace Short began designing Short No. 1 at Battersea, and after only four weeks of manufacturing effort enough progress had been made for the uncovered airframe to be exhibited in March 1909 at the first Aero and Motor Boat Show at Olympia. Although superficially similar to the Wright Flyer, it differed in principle and in detail, having a rigidly braced three-bay cellule with flexible trailing-edge extensions at the outer bays, where the chord was increased from 6 ft 6 in to 10 ft 6 in over a span of 6 ft at each wing-tip. The mainplanes were slightly staggered and double-surfaced, with sharp leading edges and pronounced camber, the profile being derived from steam-turbine experience. A similarly cambered biplane elevator was carried in front and there was no tail; instead, there was a central fixed fin between the front elevators, and four rudders were pivoted in pairs from the wing-tip extensions. Control was by two hand levers and a foot bar, the left-hand lever controlling the elevator, the right-hand the rudders and the foot control warping the flexible wing extensions. The single engine drove two 10 ft diameter laminated spruce propellers mounted aft of the wing through a chain drive; at first it was intended that the port chain should be crossed to effect counter-rotation, as in the Wright system, but this could not easily be done without infringing the Wright patents. The landing-gear comprised a pair of robust skids carried by numerous struts; the chassis had no wheels, and a starting rail was used for take-off. The uncovered airframe was inspected by the Prince of Wales (later King George V) when he visited Short Brothers’ stand at Olympia on 26 March, 1909.
   Except for the ash skids, the machine was built entirely of spruce, and the spars incorporated bolted flitch joints to enable the wing assembly to be dismantled into three sections for transport; the covering was ‘Continental’ balloon fabric, already rubberised, but difficulty arose in attaching it to the concave undersurfaces, and covering was still unfinished at Shellbeach in May. A Wright-type Bariquand & Marre engine of 30 hp was on order, but had not been delivered by July, when Frank McClean got back from China, and he was so anxious to begin flying that he bought a second-hand Nordenfelt car from which he removed the engine; this was rated at 30 hp, but weighed over 600 lb when installed, and in the first trials in September it failed to propel the biplane even as far as the end of the starting rail, after which it was transferred to Short-Wright No. 3, but with no better success. The Bariquand & Marre engine arrived in October, and with this McClean almost got No. 1 airborne during three attempts on 2, 3 and 6 November, but on the last occasion he pulled up the elevator to its limit and the machine stalled in a nose-up attitude off the end of the rail, slewed sideways, demolishing its chassis, and fell over backwards, so breaking both propellers. It has been suggested that it was repaired and successfully flown later with a 60 hp Green engine, but in later years this report was denied by both Sir Francis McClean and Lord Brabazon. Virtually nothing was recorded about Short No. 1 in the Press of the day because, to quote the editor of the first edition of the Aero Manual, published in 1909: ‘Messrs Short Bros are pursuing a policy of reticence, and up to the time when this book has gone to press have asked us not to make public any information about their aeroplanes.’

Span 40 ft (12 2 m); length 24 ft 7 in (7-5 m); area 576 sq ft (53-5 m2); loaded weight 1,200 lb (545 kg).

M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)

Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing

P.Lewis British Aircraft 1809-1914 (Putnam)

Short No. 1

   The Short No. 1 was built to the order of F. K. McClean, construction being started at Battersea in January, 1909. ]t was shown in an incomplete state at the 1909 Olympia Aero Show and was finally finished at the Short Leysdown, Isle of Sheppey, works during the summer of the same year. The original power plant was the Nordenfeld engine from McClean's car. This was unsuccessful, and the machine finally flew with a 60 h.p. Green, but is believed to have left the ground prior to this with a Bariquand and Marre engine. Twin rudders were fitted on rear extensions between the wing-tips on each side, elevator control being by means of biplane surfaces in front. Span, 41 ft.

Журнал Flight

Flight, March 27, 1909


Short (SHORT BROS.).

   The biplane Messrs. Short Bros, are showing at Olympia is one they have designed and constructed to their own ideas, and must not be confused with the Wright machines, which they are also building, but are unable to show. It is not like the Wright machine, except so far as it belongs to the same "tail-less" category, but this is an important similarity in view of the popularity of the Voisin "tailed" flyer among other constructors. Not only has the Short machine no tail, but it has no outstanding rudder as there is on the Wright flyer, steering on the Short model being effected by means of four interconnected rudders arranged in pairs just behind the extremities of the main planes. Where the rudders are situated the main planes themselves have greater fore and aft dimensions, and the flexible lips thus formed ate flexed in opposite directions to control the lateral stability. Propulsion is effected by a pair of large diameter twin-bladed wooden propellers, situated immediately behind the rear edges of the main planes. The machine is mounted on a pair or skis, and arrangements have been made to use a loose-wheeled chassis for trial purposes if necessary.
   The machine exhibited at Olympia is unfinished, but it is so far forward that it is difficult to believe that there has been but a fortnight's labour spent on it. To those really interested in flying machines its present state is possibly far more interesting than its final condition would have been, in fact, it may be said to bear the same relationship to the fledged flyer as a chassis does to a complete motor car, for it gives an unimpeded view of its constructional details. The machine is built entirely of wood and the workmanship throughout is excellent; moreover, much ability has been shown in the design of details, and it is evident that those responsible are fully appreciative of the importance of accuracy in experimental work. The structure as a whole is characterized by considerable flexibility, the object being to allow the machine to accommodate itself to the inequalities of the ground when landing. On the other hand the planes are rigid fore and aft to ensure an accurate curvature under all pressures. The main transverse spars dismantle into three sections for transports the joints being effected by simple fish-plate fastening, which are relieved of the bending strain by the usual system of diagonal wires and vertical wood struts. These latter are of plain oval section and are hinged at their extremities to aluminium lugs on the main spars by the use of flush steel flitch-plates. The planes themselves when finished will be double surfaced, and the construction of the fore and aft ribs to which the Continental fabric will be attached is one of the most interesting details in the construction. The same principle of double surface construction has been adopted for the rudders. There is a small vertical plane forming a prow or "cut-water" between the two decks of the biplane elevator. Like the rest of the machines the propellers are constructed of wood and have also been made at the Short factory. Each propeller is built up from a composite block of wood made of six layers.

M.Goodall, A.Tagg - British Aircraft before the Great War /Schiffer/
Short S.l. The brothers' first aircraft was built at Battersea and shown at Olympia part finished in March 1909. The machine failed to fly when on test at Shellbeach.
P.Lewis - British Aircraft 1809-1914 /Putnam/
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
Frank McClean after an attempted flight on Short No.1 at Leysdown in September 1909.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
Frank McClean on Short No.1 at Leysdown in September 1909.
Журнал - Flight за 1909 г.
AERO SHOW AT OLYMPIA. - The Short flyer seen from one side, showing the skeleton framework. One of the four rudders has alone been covered with Continental fabric, the remainder of the machine being quite unfinished. The flexing of the righting tips is well shown on the extreme right, and in front, on the left of the photograph, the biplane elevator can be seen.
Журнал - Flight за 1909 г.
THE PRINCE OF WALES' VISIT TO THE AERO'SHOW AT OLYMPIA LAST WEEK. - His Royal Highness is seen in our photograph examining the exhibits on Messrs. Short Bros.' stand.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
Interior of Battersea works in 1909, with Short No.1 biplane under construction.
Журнал - Flight за 1910 г.
The Short propeller is constructed entirely of wood, and consists of six separate layers which are joined together to form a solid piece.
Журнал - Flight за 1909 г.
The Short biplane, like the Wright flyer, is a tailless machine, and it represents a type of its own in having no outrigger framework for carrying the rudder.
Журнал - Flight за 1909 г.
Short's flexible fastening.
Журнал - Flight за 1909 г.
Short's flexible rib.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
Short No.1