A.D. Type 1000
F.Manson British Bomber Since 1914 (Putnam)
Air Department Type 1000
The brainchild of the eccentric engineer, Harris Booth, the massive A.D. 1000 possessed a wing span only marginally less than that of the Wight Twin, but was certainly much heavier. The Admiralty's Air Department was, in 1914, headed by Capt Murray Fraser Sueter, who had been an influential advocate of the aerial bomb and torpedo, and who gave his authority for the design of a large seaplane capable of carrying a single 810 lb 14in naval torpedo or an equivalent weight of bombs.
Booth's design, like Howard Wright's Wight Twin, was of the twin-fuselage configuration, but in other respects differed radically. Unlike the Twin the A.D. 1000 was conceived as a seaplane from the outset, and therein lay the likely reason for its manufacture being undertaken by J Samuel White, whose boat-building factory was equipped to handle large craft and possessed slipways to a sheltered anchorage. Moreover, if nothing else, Booth recognised the importance of providing engines of sufficient power for his huge aeroplane (where others had failed), and selected three 310hp Sunbeam twelve-cylinder water-cooled engines - then the most powerful under development. Thus the A.D. 1000 theoretically possessed more than twice the power of the Wight Twin.
The A.D. 1000 was an all-wooden, four-bay biplane with unequal-span wings, kingposts being used for wire-bracing the upper wing extensions which carried single-acting ailerons; the choice of this layout clearly demanded a very heavy internal wing structure. The big engines were located at the forward ends of the twin fuselages and at the rear of the central nacelle. The latter structure also accommodated the five-man crew, its nose resembling a domestic conservatory with upwards of forty panes of glass, and no concession to drag limitation. The torpedo or bomb load was to be suspended from the lower wing which passed beneath both the fuselages and the central nacelle. The twin main floats were attached by struts to the lower longerons of the fuselages, as were the twin tail floats. There was little to suggest that this float gear would have been adequate to support the enormous machine on any but the calmest water.
The A.D. 1000 was completed at Cowes in the spring of 1915, but was never flown. The Sunbeam engines (later to become the Cossack) were installed with their four-blade propellers. At that time, however, the engines had never flown, and doubt must have been expressed about the efficiency of the cooling system and its extraordinarily cumbersome radiator installation, to say nothing of the float structure's strength. The aircraft was transported to Felixstowe and was almost certainly broken up there in 1916.
Type: Four-bay, five-crew bomber/torpedo-bomber biplane seaplane with one pusher and two tractor engines, central crew nacelle, twin main floats and twin tail floats.
Manufacturer: J. Samuel White & Co. Ltd., Cowes, Isle of Wight, to the design of Harris Booth of the Air Department, Admiralty.
Powerplant: Three 310hp Sunbeam (later named Cossack) 12-cylinder water-cooled inline engines driving four-blade propellers, two driving tractor propellers at the front of the twin fuselages, and one driving a pusher propeller at the rear of the central crew nacelle.
Dimensions: Span, 115ft.
Armament: Designed to carry a bomb load of approximately 800 lb, or one 810 lb 14in Admiralty torpedo.
Prototype: Seven examples ordered, but only one. No 1358, completed and delivered to Felixstowe, but not flown. No production.
H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
A.D. Type 1000. Although this very large three-engined floatplane of 1915-16 was intended to carry one or more torpedoes or a load of bombs it appears never to have been armed, and as a flying machine it was not successful. Armament must have influenced the design greatly, leading to the adoption of twin fuselages and twin independent floats beneath them. This arrangement would allow the projectiles, especially the torpedo or torpedoes, to fall freely. In terms of pilot view for sighting a torpedo, the type was probably never rivalled by any subsequent aircraft, for the frontal portion of the central structure housing the crew was glazed.
It has been stated that one intended weapon was a 12-pounder gun, for use against airships. The Navy did indeed have such a gun in their armoury, known as the '12 pdr 12 cwt'. If, then, a 12-pounder was indeed intended, it must be hoped for the crew's sake that this was to be of the Davis recoilless type.