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 Petre Monoplane was built at the end of 1909 by the brothers Edward and Henry A. Petre, known to the flying fraternity of that time as Peter the Painter and Peter the Monk, respectively. It was at the 1910 Olympia Aero Show in its uncovered state, but was completed later at Brooklands. The machine was a single-seater, with the pilot's cockpit in front of the wing and with the four-cylinder 35 h.p. N.E.C. engine buried in the fuselage at the trailing-edge. A 16 ft. long, hollow, 2 ins. diameter steel extension shaft drove the 7 ft. propeller, which was at the extreme end of the fuselage behind the tail unit. Radiators for cooling the engine were mounted on each side of the nose, and the incidence of the wings was adjustable in flight. The fuselage, including its diagonal tie-pieces, was entirely of wood, with longerons of L-section and with spacers ofT-section, the whole being screwed together. Lateral control was by means of ailerons.
The Petre Monoplane was damaged on 23rd July, 1910, after taking-off at Brooklands and crashing with Henry Petre piloting. Span, 30 ft. Length, 29 ft. Wing area, 195 sq. ft. Weight empty, 540 lb. Weight loaded, 740 lb. Maximum speed, 30 m.p.h. Price, ?800.
Flight, March 12, 1910
THE SECOND OLYMPIA AERO SHOW.
MONOPLANE exhibited by Messrs. Leo Ripault and Co., and fitted with an N.E.C. engine.
Flight, April 16, 1910
FLYER SILHOUETTES FROM OLYMPIA.
THE PETRE MONOPLANE.
Leading Particulars of the Petre Monoplane.
General Dimensions.-Areas-Main planes, 195 sq. ft.; elevator, 35 sq. ft.; rudder, 6 sq. ft.
Lengths.-Span, 30 ft.; chord, 7 ft.; camber, 3 1/2 ins. situated about 28 ins. from leading edge; skid track, 5 ft.; overall length, 29 ft.
Angles.-Incidence, 10 degrees; dihedral, nil.
Materials.-Timber, ash; fabric, Dunlop.
Propeller.-Handley Page; diameter, 7 ft.; pitch, 3 ft. 4 ins.; material, pine.
Weight.-Machine, 385 lbs.; engine, 155 lbs.; driver, oil, petrol and water, 200 lbs.; total flying weight, 720 lbs.; loading (all weight supported on main planes), 3.7 lbs. per sq. ft.
Speed of Flight.-30 m.p.h.
System of control.-Hinged balancing flaps; rear elevator and rudder.
THE Petre monoplane is unique in having the propeller situated at the rear, behind the tail, where it is driven by a long hollow shaft from the engine. The engine is situated just behind the trailing edges of the main wings. The pilot's seat is in front of the leading edges of the main wings, being placed right up in the bows of the frame. The frame construction is also uncommon, being entirely of timber, even to the diagonal ties. The longitudinal spars are of L section and the struts of T section, both members being built up of strip wood. Another important characteristic of this machine is the pivoting of the main wings so that the angle of incidence can be altered in flight. Control is effected by a pair of hinged balancing flaps mounted diagonally on the trailing corners of the main wings by an elevating plane pivoted to a V frame at the rear of the machine and by a rudder mounted under the elevator. Experiments with a machine having the propeller at the rear ought to be extremely instructive. Although at first sight the position is one that looks impracticable, owing to the well-known difficulty of pushing any long object from behind, yet it does not necessarily follow that this arrangement of the propeller is out of the question on aeroplanes any more than it is on ships. It must be remembered that the propeller, being fixed relatively to the frame, is always thrusting through the centre of gravity. If, however, the thrust is applied from without - as, for instance, by a man pushing at the tail of the machine - such a force, although it would be of constant direction, would be variable in respect to the centre of gravity of the machine if the machine swerved from its original path.