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)
The Star Monoplane was designed by Granville E. Bradshaw and built at the beginning of 1910 by the Star Engineering Company of Wolverhampton, and was among the exhibits at the Olympia Aero Show of the same year. The single-seat tractor monoplane's design was based generally upon that of the Antoinette, but embodied modifications, particularly in the tail unit.
A fuselage of triangular section was used, to which were attached non-warping, parallel-chord wings which were wire-braced to a single, tall pylon mounted in the centre section. In the nose was fitted a Star engine of 30 h.p., coupled to a Clarke propeller of 6 ft. 8 ins. diameter. The tail unit was unusual in that it incorporated all of the flying controls within its surfaces of four planes, which operated with a helicoidal movement, each turning at once in an opposite direction to the other to impart a twisting action. Twin skids and wheels formed the main undercarriage, which, combined with the very long tailskid, poised the machine nearly horizontally on the ground.
The Star Monoplane was tested at Dunstall Park, Wolverhampton, in October, 1910, but the radical control system was found to be impractical.
Description: Single-seat tractor monoplane. Wooden structure, fabric covered.
Manufacturers: Star Engineering Co., Wolverhampton, Staffs.
Power Plant: 30 h.p. Star.
Dimensions: Span, 42 ft. Length, 32 ft. 6 ins. Wing area, 290 sq. ft.
Weights: Empty, 876 lb. Loaded, 950 lb.
Performance: Cruising speed, 36 m.p.h.
The Star Biplane of 1910 was constructed by the Star Engineering Company of Wolverhampton, Staffs., and was a pusher machine on the lines of the Farman type. It was ready for testing in November, 1910.
Flight, February 19, 1910
THE STAR MONOPLANE.
YET another British aeroplane is illustrated by the accompanying photograph, the machine in question being a monoplane built by the Star Engineering Co. at their Wolverhampton Works.
This monoplane has a span of 38 ft. and an overall length of 30 ft. The framework is built of ash braced with steel wires, while the body is divisible into two parts for convenience in transport, the division point of the frame occurring just behind the pilot's seat. The wings are double surfaced and are set at a dihedral angle; they are braced to a central mast by radiating wires. The tail consists of a horizontal plane and a vertical plane; and both these members are extended by hinged planes, thus forming a rudder and elevator, of which the exact details of control are the subject of patents taken out by the manufacturers. All movements of the machine are controlled by the steering wheel, which operates both sets of steering planes.
Beneath the machine in front is a light wood chassis, having a pair of skids that also carry a pair of aluminium wheels for use when running along the ground. These wheels are suspended by light leaf springs that allow them to rise sufficiently far for the runners to take the entire weight of the machine in the event of sudden shocks, and the tail end of the machine is protected by a light skid. After preliminary trials in Dunstall Park it was found advisable to replace the aluminium wheels with larger pneumatic-shod wheels, the metal wheels being too liable to sink into the ground in its present heavy state in consequence of the recent bad weather.
As will be seen from the photograph, the engine is situated right in front and drives a two-bladed tractor-screw that exerts a pull of 180 lbs. at 1,200 r.p.m. The blades of the screw are made of aluminium, stiffened by a strip of steel riveted along the back, while the entire surface is highly polished. Arranged alongside the body somewhat on the lines of the "Antoinette," the radiator consists of a large number of thin brass tubes, and the circulation of the cooling water is effected by a pump.
Without the pilot, the total weight of the machine is 876 lbs., and it is expected that a speed of 30 miles per hour will be necessary for ascent. It is fitted with an exact replica of the 15-h.p. Star engine that made such good running on the Brooklands Track recently, and from which as much as 30-h.p. has been obtained.
This engine is only fitted temporarily pending the completion of a special 50-h.p. motor that is being constructed at the Star works, and is expected to weigh about 100 lbs. less than the motor now being used.
Up to the present no attempts at actual flight have been made, the pilot merely running the machine round the track, minus the wings, so that he might become thoroughly familiar with the working of the controlling gear.
Flight, March 12, 1910
THE SECOND OLYMPIA AERO SHOW.
BRITISH-BUILT monoplane of the "Antoinette" type, the span being 42 ft., while the wings have a cord bearing from 8 ft. 6 ins. at the junction with the body to 6 ft. at the tips. It is driven by a 6-ft. tractor screw connected to a 40-h.p. engine. The tail is formed of 4 planes which steer and elevate in the usual way, but also can be warped for maintaining lateral stability, and the whole of these movements are carried out from the one steering-wheel.
Flight, April 23, 1910
FLYER SILHOUETTES FROM OLYMPIA.
THE STAR MONOPLANE
Leading Particulars of the Star Monoplane.
General Dimensions.-Areas-Main planes, 290 sq. ft.; fixed tail, 28 sq. ft.; elevator, 20 sq. ft.; rudder, 20 sq. ft.
Lengths.-Span, 42 ft.; chord, 8 ft. to 6 ft. 6 ins; camber, 4 ins., situated about 24 ins. from leading edge; skid track, 5 ft.; overall length, 32 ft.
Angles.-Incidence, 6 degrees; dihedral, 1 in 13.
Materials.-Timber, ash throughout; fabric, Dunlop.
Propeller.-Star; diameter, 6 ft. 6 ins.; pitch, 4 ft.; material, aluminium.
Weight.-Machine, 395 lbs.; engine, 155 lbs.; driver, oil, petrol and water, 200 lbs.; total flying weight, 750 lbs.; loading (all weight supported on main planes), 2.5 lbs. per sq. ft.
Speed of Flight.-36 m.p.h.
System of Control.-Entirely by helicoidal movement of rudder and elevator.
THE most important and interesting feature of this machine is the method by which it is controlled by movements of the tail planes. There are four movable tail planes, all of them identical in shape and area, two of them normally horizontal and two vertical. The vertical pair when moved together act as a rudder, and the horizontal pair similarly perform the purpose of an elevator when moved together. Provision is, however, made for moving the tail planes in different directions, the pilot being able to move all four simultaneously and equally so that they are arranged in the form of a helix. That is to say, suppose the upper rudder plane has its trailing edge moved over to the right, then the trailing edge of the lower rudder plane will be moved over to the left; the right hand elevating plane will have its trailing edge depressed, and the left hand elevating plane will have its trailing edge raised. The air pressure acting upon each plane separately has the resultant that forms a torque or twisting action upon the body of the machine, the direction of which will be anti-clockwise, or left-handed, for the case stated above, when looking at the machine from behind. That is to say, the effect of arranging the planes as above will tend to lower the wing situated on the pilot's left.
The relatively low price of this machine is also a feature. It has been designed by Granville E. Bradshaw. Another interesting detail of the Star monoplane is the chassis, which represents a very simple form of "A" frame, the sloping members being carried to an apex to which the main wings are trussed. The machine is mounted upon a pair of wheels, but there is a central skid that takes the load in the event of a severe shock. The method of suspending the wheels somewhat resembles the Bleriot system, but has been carried out on an altogether different scale. With the exception of the struts between the wheel hubs and the spring buffers, almost the entire chassis is made of timber. The main frame of the machine forms a triangular box-girder, as on the Antoinette monoplane, and the arrangement of the tubular radiator at the side of the body is also similar. Altogether this machine gave evidence of being one of the most carefully thought out designs in the Show.