C.Barnes Handley Page Aircraft since 1907 (Putnam)
Early Single-Seat Monoplanes A, C and D (H.P.1, 3 and 4)
Type D was designed specifically for the 1911 Olympia Aero Show and work on it began at Barking in October 1910. Robert Fenwick assisted Handley Page with it, and probably designed the fuselage, which was a mahogany semi-monocoque, planked like a carvel boat. Type D resembled Type C, but had a lengthened skid to support the tail, also a divided rudder and single elevator hinged to an integral tailplane. The pilot’s controls comprised a handwheel for warping, mounted on a fore-and-aft lever for the elevator and a foot tiller-bar for the rudder; his instruments comprised fuel and oil tank pressure gauges, an aneroid altimeter and, optimistically, a compass, but no airspeed indicator. For the show, Handley Page had borrowed a 35 hp Green four-cylinder vertical water-cooled engine, installed in the nose with tubular radiators below on each flank; the aeroplane was offered for sale at ?450 with free flying lessons for the buyer, and was extremely well-finished, but there were no takers. Having to return the Green engine when the show ended, Handley Page had only the 50 hp Isaacson from Type C available, and found it impossible to mount this on the monocoque fuselage, so he had to build a new fabric-covered fuselage; in fact he built a second complete Type D airframe, but kept the wings and tail unit in reserve as spares. On completion, Type D was entered in the Daily Mail Circuit of Britain race to be held on 22 July, 1911, with Fenwick as pilot; but he crashed it in landing after its first flight at Fairlop on 15 July and Handley Page, incensed, sacked him on the spot. Type D was quite easily repaired, using the spare components, though not in time for the race, and in due course re-emerged from Barking works with its wings and tail varnished yellow and all its metal fittings coated with anti-rust paint; Handley Page’s new pilot, Edward Petre, named it The Antiseptic, although it was also known in the works as the Yellow Peril, after the current nickname for Gold Flake cigarettes. Petre flew it several times at Fairlop, but by this time Handley Page had received the results of further wind-tunnel work by Rupert Turnbull on reflexed aerofoils, and had improved on the original Weiss wing shape sufficiently to attempt a passenger-carrying monoplane, which was more likely to appeal than a single-seater.
Monoplane D (35 hp Green)
Span 32 ft (9-76 m); length 22 ft (6-71 m); wing area 156 sq ft (14-5 m2). Empty weight 420 lb (190 kg); loaded weight 600 lb (272 kg). Speed 40 mph (64 km/h).
Monoplane D (50 hp Isaacson)
Empty weight 440 lb (199 kg); loaded weight 620 lb (281 kg). Speed 50 mph (80 km/h). Pilot only.
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)
Handley Page D H.P.4
Wings of crescent form with upturned washed-out tips combined with reverse camber for automatic stability were a feature of the H.P.4 Monoplane of 1911. The machine was a single-seat tractor, the first version exhibited at the 1911 Olympia Aero Show having a monocoque rear fuselage made up of thin, highly-varnished mahogany panels. It was fitted with a borrowed 40 h.p. Green engine and was priced at ?450, with free flying tuition to purchasers, but remained unsold. The H.P.4 was then re-engined with a 60 h.p. Isaacson and was due to be flown in the 1911 Daily Mail Circuit of Britain race by R. C. Fenwick, but was crashed by him at Fairlop on the Saturday before the contest.
A second example was built with an Isaacson engine and with a plain fabric-covered rear fuselage, but was not ready in time to take part in the 1911 Circuit of Britain. The H.P.4 was nicknamed Antiseptic or Yellow Peril because of the bilious colour of the special dope coaling used on it. Span, 32 ft. Length, 22 ft. Wing area, 156 sq. ft. Weight empty, 420 lb.
Flight, March 25, 1911
Handley Page, Ltd. - Handley Page monoplane with automatic stability, due to the shape of plan, form and cross section of the wings.
The main dimensions of the machine exhibited are :-
Span, 32 ft. Chord, 6 ft. Area, 150 sq. ft. Overall length, 22 ft. Wheel base, 7 ft. Engine, 35-40-h.p. Green, H.P. propeller, direct-coupled to engine. Weight without pilot, 420 lbs.
Control. - Upright steering wheel on top of lever. Movement left and right warps wings. Movement backwards and forwards elevates or depresses. Rotation of wheel steers.
Remarks. - Shock-absorbing device consists of spring axle with central skid. For transport purposes the wings fit on side of body, tail fits inside the body. Price, L450. Tuition free to purchasers.