M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
ASTLEY monoplanes Nos.1 and 2 (H.J.D. Astley, Chequers Court, Ellesborough, near, Tring, Buckinghamshire)
Astley's first machine was at Brooklands in December 1909, where it was photographed with a damaged undercarriage, an occurrence which took place during trials.
The aircraft had an enclosed rectangular section fuselage mounted on a rather weak-looking Bleriot-style undercarriage. The wing spars passed through the fuselage just below the top longerons, the pilot being seated behind the rear spar. The wing was braced by a tall cabane and to the undercarriage and carried small triangular ailerons, hinged at the trailing edge. The fixed fin and tail surfaces were triangular and extended well forward along the fuselage. The elevator was rectangular and in one piece, with small triangular rudders above and below. Separate wheels were provided for control of the moving surfaces, that for the elevator being mounted outside the fuselage on the top longeron.
Astley built a second monoplane in 1910, using the remains of the first, including the engine, in its construction. The undercarriage and front portion of the fuselage were much as before, but the pilot's seat was repositioned on a structure below the bottom longerons. The full length top longerons of No. 1 were shortened and joined to the bottom longerons, midway along the fuselage, where a small tail wheel was fitted on a vertical post. The lower longerons were presumably increased in strength to deal with the loads from the tail, which was of triangular cruciform shape. No fabric was applied to the fuselage. The ailerons were inset into the trailing edges of the wings, which otherwise resembled those of No.1.
No.2 was probably only capable of taxiing and Astley soon discarded these machines and learnt to fly on a Sommer biplane of the Universal Aviation Co. operating from Shed No. 17 at Brooklands, obtaining RAeC certificate No.48 on 24 January 1911. He subsequently carried out many exhibition flights and flew competitively in the UAC Birdling and Bleriot aircraft, including a cross-Channel flight to France and into Germany. He was regarded as a pilot of considerable ability, but was killed in a Bleriot, while performing aerobatics at low level at Belfast on 21 September 1912.
Power: 30-40hp NEC four-cylinder two-stroke inline watercooled
P.Lewis British Aircraft 1809-1914 (Putnam)
H.J.D. Astley's monoplane was a single-seat tractor built at Willesden in 1909. lt was powered by a four-cylinder 40 h.p. N.E.C. engine and carried small triangular ailerons at each wing-tip. Span, 24 ft. Length, 24 ft.