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Short S.33 / S.38 seaplane

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1912

Short - Tandem Twin / S.39 Triple Twin - 1911 - Великобритания<– –>Short - S.36 / S.45 tractor biplane - 1912 - Великобритания

C.Barnes Short Aircraft since 1900 (Putnam)

Short Pusher Biplanes (1910-14)

   After the Territorial scheme ended, Frank McClean converted S.33 into a twin-float seaplane, which he began flying from the Swale at Harty Ferry on 31 May, 1912, mainly to obtain data for Horace Short on the design and rigging of floats to get the best take-off performance. The floats were flat-bottomed pontoons without steps, having wooden frames covered with waterproofed canvas and internally braced with piano wire; at first they were reluctant to unstick from smooth water, but soon the correct setting was discovered, and by 9 June McClean had learned the knack of taking off even with a passenger aboard. On 10 August the Daily Mail had widely advertised their arrangements for the arrival on a French seaplane of the famous Lieut de Conneau, who was to have become the first aviator to fly up the course of the Thames through the City of London, to a reception at Carmelite House; special permission had been obtained by Lord Northcliffe, and reporters and photographers were posted at all vantage points to record the event. Unfortunately Conneau was delayed at Boulogne with a recalcitrant engine, but at 6.30 am McClean slipped quietly away from Harty Ferry in S.33 and touched down between Charing Cross and Westminster bridges just after 8 am. Following the river closely, he found himself unable to climb above the top of Tower Bridge, and took the only possible course by flying through the opening between the footbridge and the road span, to the astonishment and delight of the photographers on the spot. He skimmed through all the other bridges just above water level, but the police forbade him to repeat the performance on the return journey next day and insisted on his taxying all the way to Shadwell Basin. There he attempted a take-off, but the wind was across the fairway, and in attempting a sharp avoiding turn, he side-slipped and damaged one float, so the machine was brought ashore and dismantled for return to Eastchurch by road. This bold flight was quite a feather in the cap of the British flying fraternity, who had become somewhat annoyed latterly by the championship by the Press of foreign pilots, while their own abilities were either overlooked or disparaged. S.33 hit the headlines only briefly, however, and it fell to S.38 to make history in a parallel direction - as a Naval deck-flyer.
   When the agreement between the Royal Aero Club and the Admiralty expired in August 1911 it was not to be expected that Their Lordships would have created a dangerous precedent by being ready with a permanent scheme for the continuance of Naval aviation, but in the event the hiatus was not as long as it might have been. After some pressure by Samson and Longmore, the Admiralty agreed in October to set up a Naval Flying School at Eastchurch on ten acres of land leased from the Royal Aero Club, to purchase S.34 and S.38 and to appoint four more officers for training in succession to the first four; the School was to be borne on the books of H.M.S. Actaeon at Sheerness, which meant that the officers could live at Eastchurch. McClean generously offered several more of his own aircraft on loan on the same terms as before, and Samson and Longmore were permitted to collaborate with Horace and Oswald Short in various experiments. They began by fitting three streamlined air-bags to the chassis and tail of S.38; these had been designed by Oswald for the de Forest competitors as a safety precaution, but were now fitted lower down so as to prevent the aeroplane from becoming waterlogged. On 1 December, 1911, Longmore made a successful descent on the Medway off the Isle of Grain, and was towed ashore by a Naval picket boat; after a short drying-out period he took off from the beach and flew back to Eastchurch. Phase 2 of the experiment began on 10 January, 1912, when Samson flew S.38 from Eastchurch to the Isle of Grain, landing just inside the sea-wall at Cockleshell Hard. It was then man-handled over planks across the sea-wall and on to a coal lighter, from which it was hoisted by topping lift on to a wooden runway built out over the fore gun turret of H.M.S. Africa. Half an hour later Samson gave the signal to let go and roared down the platform, just clearing the bows, then climbed slowly to 300 ft and flew back to Eastchurch. This made a great impression at Sheerness, and next day the Naval Flying School was visited by Admiral Sir Richard Poore, C.-in-C. The Nore, who was taken up in S.38 and expressed great satisfaction with all he saw. Fortunately he was well out of the way when Seddon flew into the hangar doors two days later.
   After a further spell of school work, S.38 was again made amphibious and a 70 hp Gnome was installed to improve take-off. On 1 May it was taken to Sheerness by lighter and hoisted aboard H.M.S. Hibernia, to which Africa’s runway had been transferred, en route for the Naval Review at Weymouth the following week. It was put ashore by lighter on 3 May and flown by Gregory on the day of the Royal Review, 8 May, when he dropped a dummy bomb of 300 lb from 500 ft and also spotted a submarine while submerged to periscope depth. The next day was foggy, but S.38 was put aboard Hibernia once more, and late in the afternoon, when the fog cleared, Samson took off from the platform while Hibernia was making 15 kt, and landed back at the flying field at Lodmoor; after this it was shipped back to Eastchurch, but reappeared in the same role on 3 July, when Samson flew it from Eastchurch on to the water alongside H.M.S. London at Sheerness, which had been equipped with a flying-off platform; she hoisted S.38 aboard and proceeded to the Portsmouth Naval Review and manoeuvres, and next day, still 19 miles from land, Lieut C. J. L’Estrange Malone took off into a 20-kt wind while the ship was steaming at 12 kt; apparently S.38 lifted off without any forward run and in spite of a bumpy trip Malone landed at Eastney Barracks without difficulty. In view of events some 50 years later, 4 July, 1912, should be remembered as the date on which the first vertical take-off was made (though not by design) by a Short Brothers aeroplane. Malone made one more flight from H.M.S. London on 9 July, but later that day S.38 was wrecked while being hoisted aboard from its lighter in a choppy sea.

M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)

Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing

Журнал Flight

Flight, May 11, 1912.

Naval Aeroplanes at the Review.

   THE battleship "Hibeinia," which, as we mentioned in our last issue had been fitted in the bows with a launching platform and had four aeroplanes on board, duly arrived at Portland to act as mother ship to the aquaplanes during the Naval Review. Three of the machines were landed on the 3rd inst., and Commander Samson immediately tested "H.M.S. 'Amphibian,'" officially supplied as Short No. 41, which had been fitted with three torpedo-shaped floats thus converting it into a hydro-biplane. He got away from the beat-slip in front of the hangar at Portland, circled round the Fleet at anchor, and then returned to his starting point. He made three trips on the following day on this machine, in one of which he was accompanied as passenger by Admiral Callaghan's daughter, when Capt. Gerrard and Lieuts. Grey and Longmore were also flying over Ike Fleet. Lieut. Grey was up over two hours on the Deperdussin.
   On Monday, the ships in the harbour moved out to meet the remainder of the Fleet so that they might all come in together and as a preliminary to the flight to be carried out late in the week, Commander Samson flew out on his hydroaeroplane to escort them in. The fleet was met about twelve miles out at sea, and Commander Samson then returned to Portland, circling over the harbour once or twice before alighting on the water, just by his shed. Earlier in the morning he had been flying the Short monoplane at Lodmoor, where the other naval aviators had been practising. Besides the Short machines there is also a Deperdussin and a Nieuport. In the afternoon Lieut. Gregory made a long flight over the Fleet on an ordinary Short biplane.

Flight, May 18, 1912.


   THE feats performed by the naval aviator, during the King's review of his ships, must have convinced the Naval authorities, if they needed any convincing, of the practical stage attained by aviation, and also that the Navy does not lack officers who are quite competent to rank with any aviators in the world. Although the conditions were far from ideal, yet the flyers were able to carry out their arrangements, even although other portions of the programme had to be abandoned. As soon as word was received on Wednesday of last week, that the Royal yacht was within a dozen miles of Admiral Callaghan's flagship, intimation was given to Commander Samson and the other aviators, and all four at once set off to find the "Victoria and Albert," Commander Samson starting from Portland on H.M.S. "Amphibian," and Lieut. Gregory on the Short biplane, Lieut. Longmore on the Deperdussin and Captain Gerrard on the Nieuport, followed one another in quick succession from Lodmore. All were quickly swallowed up in the fog, and the first to actually find the Royal Yacht was Commander Samson who, after circling above it, returned to his headquarters, having been in the air about an hour. Lieut. Gregory, Lieut. Longmore, and Capt. Gerrard also circled above the yacht, the first named during a flight which lasted 1 hr. 10 mins.
   A further display was given in the afternoon, when Commander Samson took up a naval officer tearing a letter for the King. The waterplane came down on the sea alongside the Royal Yacht, and the messenger was taken off in a dinghy. Alter the machine had been resting on the sea for some time, it was restarted and carried out several manoeuvres before returning to its shed. In the meantime, Lieut. Gregory appeared at a safe distance from the Royal Yacht and discharged a dummy bomb, weighing 300 lbs. from a height of 500 ft. While manoeuvring over H.M.S. "Neptune," Lieut. Gregory detected a submarine which was submerged to its periscope, and, by way of diversion, suddenly swooped down until he was within 20 ft of the sea, a manoeuvre which created a good deal of speculation. Lieut. Longmore and Capt. Gerrard were likewise out on their machines in the afternoon, and Mr. Grahame-White on a Nieuport, and Mr. Hucks on a Bleriot, both of whom had brought machines down specially, were also flying over the Bay. On the following day the fog made havoc of the arrangements, and the only flying accomplished was in the evening, when Commander Samson on the Short biplane, which had been piloted by Lieut. Gregory, took off from the special launching platform erected on H.M.S. "Hibernia." The machine rose easily, and flew round the bay before landing at Lodmore. On Friday the operations were concluded by Commander Samson making a trip round the fleet on a waterplane, while Lieut. Gregory flew the other Short biplane. On returning to Lodmore this machine was run down to the beach and placed on a raft, which was towed to the "Hibernia."
   Lieut. Longmore, on the other hand, forthwith set out to fly the Deperdussin back to Brooklands, while Capt. Gerratd's Nieuport had its wings taken oft and packed up to be returned to Eastchurch.
   Commander Samson had the honour of being included among the naval officers who dined with the King on the Royal Yacht in the evening.

P.Lewis - British Aircraft 1809-1914 /Putnam/
F. K. McClean's modified Short S.33 (a dual control seaplane version of the S.27 type) at the Thames Embankment after his flight up the river on 10th August, 1912. S.43-S.44 were similar but landplanes.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
Frank McClean flying through Tower Bridge in S.33 on 10 August, 1912.
M.Goodall, A.Tagg - British Aircraft before the Great War /Schiffer/
Short S.38 amphibian made the first takeoff from a British warship.
Журнал - Flight за 1912 г.
THE NAVY HYDRO-AEROPLANES. - Landing the Short monoplane and the Deperdussin machine in a lighter from the "Hibernia" at Lodmore. On the left Commander Samson after a flight on "S 38" on Lodmore ground.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
S.38 being hoisted aboard H.M.S. Hibernia at Weymouth in May 1912.
Журнал - Flight за 1912 г.
THE NAVAL HYDRO-AEROPLANES AS SEEN FROM THE "HIBERNIA." - Hoisting "S.38" on to the "Hibernia," and on the left the machine in place on the special platform.
Журнал - Flight за 1912 г.
A front view of the hydro-aeroplane mother vessel, "Hibernia," with the Fleet at Weymouth, showing the Navy aeroplanes in place on the special launching platform.
O.Thetford - British Naval Aircraft since 1912 /Putnam/
A modified Short S.27 pusher biplane on the launching ramp of HMS Hibernia in May 1912.
Журнал - Flight за 1912 г.
The NAVY HYDRO-AEROPLANES. - A side view of the "Hibernia" showing the two hydro-aeroplanes on the launching platform especially constructed for this purpose.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
S.38 and S.41 stowed on the runway of H.M.S. Hibernia at Weymouth in May 1912.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
Commander Samson flying S.38 off the forecastle of H.M.S. Hibernia at Weymouth in May 1912.
Журнал - Flight за 1912 г.
Commander Samson, on "S 38," in flight for Lodmore after launching from the deck of the "Hibernia," when travelling at 15 knots an hour. Weymouth is seen in the distance.
Журнал - Flight за 1912 г.
WITHIN SIGHT OF ST. PAUL'S. - Mr. Frank K. McClean on his Short hydro-aeroplane on Sunday last. Mr. McClean, on his machine, is seen passing the point on the Thames at St. Paul's Cathedral, he keeping to the surface of the water owing to the restrictions of the police authorities, to which special regulations must, in a measure, be attributed the mishap which Mr. McClean suffered when, lower down the Thames, he endeavoured to take to the air at the point indicated by the police authorities.