Flight, May 21, 1915.
THE SLOANE TRACTOR BIPLANE.
ANOTHER American firm which has produced a tractor biplane on more or less standard lines for military purposes is the Aircraft Company, of New York, U.S.A., the manufacturers of the Sloane aeroplanes. The main planes, both in design and construction, are similar to those obtaining in monoplanes, and have the popular Morane-Saulnier plan form. The front spar, which measures 2 3/8 ins. by 1 3/8 ins., is situated some 10 ins. from the leading edge, whilst the rear spar is 1 ft. 8 ins. from the trailing edge, so that there is a fair amount of flexibility. Ash and spruce are employed in the building up of the frame, all joints being securely mortised. The frame is internally braced with heavy wire and covered with unbleached linen doped with Naiad aero varnish. The upper plane, which is staggered forward 10 ins., has an overall span of 36 ft. 6 ins., and overhangs the lower plane by 2 ft. on either side. Six pairs of stream-lined struts separate upper and lower planes, the two innermost pairs being mounted on the body. The lower plane is in two parts, and is attached to the lower longitudinals of the body. A pair of balancing flaps, each 10 ft. span, and of greater chord at the tips, where they are slightly upturned, are hinged to the rear spar of the upper plane only. The gap is 6 ft, and the supporting surface is 400 sq. ft. A divided elevator of the Morane-Saulnier type and a balanced rudder make up the tail.
The body is of rectangular section tapering to a horizontal knife-edge at the rear. It is built up of four ash longitudinals, 1 1/4 ins. square in front tapering to 1 in. square at the rear, and braced by eight sets of struts joined by clamps which have been specially designed to obviate any weakening of the longitudinals; it is further cross-braced with wire and wooden diagonals at points of greatest stress. At about mid-length the body is divided, at a point just behind the pilot's cockpit, which is immediately at the rear of the trailing edge of the upper plane. In front of the pilot's cockpit, is one for the passenger; at this portion of the body it measures 2 ft. 6 ins. by 2 ft. 11 ins., and is provided with a turtle deck. The whole of the body is fabric covered, and the nose, in which the engine is mounted, is almost totally enclosed by a round aluminium cowl, thus presenting a good streamline form. The engine is an 80 h.p. rotary Gyro, supported by special ball-bearing brackets.
The landing carriage is of the four-wheeled type, consisting of two skids connected to the body at their rear extremities, and by a vertical strut at each axle mounting. The larger pair of disc wheels are situated under the front spar of the lower plane, and the smaller pair come under the engine. Both axles are attached to the skids by rubber shock absorbers. We believe a modified chassis consisting of two pairs of V struts carrying a pair of disc wheels with axle, and a small wheel mounted well forward, will be fitted. The tail is supported by a "hockey-stick" ash skid sprung by means of rubber shock absorbers.
A Deperdussin type of control is fitted consisting of a wheel, operating the balancing flaps, mounted, on a column, a fore-and-aft movement of which actuates the elevators, and a foot bar operating the rudder. The control wires for the rudder and elevator are taken through the body. If required dual control can be fitted.
The speed range of this machine, which is known as type E-2, is said to be 40 to 70 m.p.h., whilst a climbing speed of 4,000 ft. in 10 mins., with full load, is guaranteed. It can also be readily adapted for use as a seaplane.