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)
Martin-Handasyde Transatlantic Monoplane
One of the most promising of the contenders for the ?10,000 Daily Mail transatlantic prize was the Martin-Handasyde design. A side-by-side two-seater, it followed the general lines of previous designs by the same firm. A four-bladed propeller, 12 ft. in diameter, was fitted to its twelve-cylinder 225 h.p. Sunbeam engine. To enable the machine to float, should it be forced to descend on to the sea, the fuselage was provided with a waterproof compartment which extended rearwards for 14 ft. from the engine bulkhead. Another aid to survival was provided by a telescopic signalling mast which was stowed in the fuselage.
Load-carrying requirements necessitated the use of a wing of broad span and large area, and this was mounted at shoulder level on the upper longerons. Surprisingly, in such an advanced design, wing-warping was preferred to the use of ailerons, the wing panels being braced with kingposts and wire. Upon take-off the two-wheeled undercarriage was to be released, landing being effected on the long, fixed skid.
The machine was being constructed at Brooklands during May, 1914, and it was intended that Gustav Hamel should pilot it for the projected West-to-East crossing from Newfoundland to Ireland. These plans received a tragic and abrupt setback when Hamel disappeared while flying the English Channel on 23rd May, 1914. The Martin-Handasyde Transatlantic was one of the most advanced, largest and most powerful designs to have been attempted in its time; financial backing for it was obtained from the Scottish-Canadian financier and sportsman, MacKay Edgar.
Description: Two-seat tractor monoplane. Wooden structure, fabric covered.
Manufacturers: Martin and Handasyde Ltd., Hendon, London, N.W.9.
Power Plant: 225 h.p. Sunbeam.
Dimensions: Span, 66 ft. Length, 45 ft. Wing area, 770 sq. ft.
Flight, June 5, 1914.
The Martinsyde trans-Atlantic "liner" is growing apace. The wings are ready to be covered, in fact, by the time these lines appear they should be nearly finished; and last week the fuselage was nearing completion. A faint idea of the size of the wings can be obtained from the accompanying photograph. Each wing is built up in two sections, of which the inner section is rigid whilst the outer one can be warped. The workmanship is, as one expects from a firm enjoying such a reputation as Messrs. Martin and Handasyde, of the very highest quality. In its general shape the fuselage resembles those of previous Martinsydes, but constructionally it differs in that cross-wiring is employed instead of the three-ply panels which have always formed one of the characteristics of these machines. I saw the empennage marked out on the floor, and it gave one the impression of having nearly as large area as the wings of some small monoplanes. In addition to the two extra hangars which they have taken in view of all the parts being duplicated, the Martinsyde firm are building a large shed a short distance beyond the Bleriot works in which to erect the new machine.
Flight, August 7, 1914.
Following on the great monoplane which was built by Martin and Handasyde for the trans-Atlantic flight, and the small scouting biplane now in course of construction at this firm's Brooklands works, I learn that the drawings are being got out for a huge new monoplane. In its general arrangement the latest Martinsyde will follow the lines of its predecessors, but it is understood that the occupants' seats will be differently arranged. The pilot will sit very far back in order to get a good view in all directions, while the passenger's seat will be placed sufficiently far forward to enable him to look beyond the leading edge of the wings.