M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
DAVIDSON Air-Car monoplane 1897-1898 (George Louis Outram Davidson, Davidson Air-Car Construction Syndicate Ltd., Banchory, Grampian, Scotland)
Davidson's interest in flight began in 1883, and he intended his machine to operate in a series of lifts, followed by horizontal flights, like a bird; the airflow being regulated by flaps in the wings, as appropriate. Some of his work is covered by patent Nos. 12469/1896 and 13207/1889. Model tests took place at Banchory in 1897 and lift fans were tested by a London consultant, followed by the preparation of a design by a constructional engineer W.L. Hamilton. Finance for construction was sought into 1897, when the project lapsed.
The machine was a high wing monoplane, with a double-decker fuselage for twenty passengers and crew. The lift was obtained from 22 propellers of 6ft diameter in the wings, with their axes set vertically. These were driven by belts from the powerplant in the center section. Automatic stability in all planes, was to be provided by a pendulum arrangement, controlling the tail surfaces, and directional control by nose rudder or 'beak'.
Fuselage width 10ft
Lift generated 10 tons
DAVIDSON Air-Car monoplane 1906-1908 (Head Office, Jermyn St., London. Construction Site, Nichol's Castle, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.)
A second version of the project was revived by Davidson in 1906, working from offices in London, where he engaged A. V. Roe as a draughtsman. In April the project was moved to the U.S.A., where Davidson had mining interests. British patent No. 1960/1907 was taken out in January to protect the design.
The machine was still a monoplane with deep arched wings, but the lift and propulsion system now consisted of a single large lifter in each wing, the outer half of which protruded from the wing. The vertical axis could be tilted to control the direction of flight, and was a means of overcoming the undulating flight path of the first scheme.
The incomplete center section, with its rotary lifters, was constructed at Montclair, near Denver, but suffered a mishap when tested on 6 May 1908, with just one Stanley steam engine of only 10hp. No further progress was made with this machine and activities returned to Britain.
Power: Two 50hp Stanley steam engines driving two 110 blade, 27ft 8in diameter rotary 'lifters'.
Lift generated 7 tons
Fuselage width 8ft
Distance between 40ft
axes of lifters