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)
Between 1909 and 1912 seven biplane gliders were designed and built by the three brothers Bush of Keynsham, Bristol. At the start of their experiments the eldest, Eldon, was seventeen years old, the second, named Gilbert, was sixteen, while the youngest of the trio was thirteen.
The first machine was of the Wright type, and was constructed of ash, covered with calico, which was doped with a paste made from sago. It proved to be too heavy when completed. Their second glider was the No. 1 with its ash framework shaved down, and was rigged with piano wire. It was tested both with and without a pilot and was found to lack stability longitudinally. No. 3 (illustrated) was built in 1910 and resembled the Curtiss biplane, except that the ailerons were hinged from the trailing edges of the lower wings. It had a single tailplane and was made as light as possible. The span was 30 ft., length 24 ft. and wing area was 260 sq. ft. It managed to fly for a few yards. The next machine, the No. 4, was built at Cambridge by Eldon while he was a student at university there during 1910. It was a more ambitious biplane of Farman pattern, and was fitted with a wheeled undercarriage for auto-towing. Construction was of hickory with fabric-covered wings. Nos. 5, 6 and 7 were further modifications of the No. 4, in which the fore-elevator was omitted and in which parts of previous machines were embodied. The final glider, the No. 7, was of simple but strong construction, and featured Bleriot-type elevators and single-spar wings. Named The Chocolate Soldier, it performed successfully under tow by car, but smashed its undercarriage while being flown in this way.
Flight, August 20, 1910
We have just completed a biplane glider, and enclose photographs which we hope will interest the readers of your invaluable paper. The main planes have a spread of 30 ft., and the machine an overall length of 24 ft.; the total area is 260 sq. ft. The biplane is built entirely of ash, and the interesting part of the machine is the control (see photo.). The rudder is worked by the feet, the elevator by a forward movement of the steering wheel, and the ailerons by means of rotating the wheel. The tail elevator is also adjustable by a special lever; all the struts, &c, are cut to the correct stream line form, and the whole machine can be taken in half from the middle for purposes of transit, &c. A few preliminary experiments showed that the machine is not only strong, but showed particularly great longitudinal and lateral stability. There are two or three very good hills in the neighbourhood of Keynsham, which is four miles from Bristol, and as we understand that the Bristol Aero Club have a glider but no ground, it is possible that one of these hills might meet their requirements.
Keynsham. ELDON AND GILBERT BUSH.