H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
The uncompleted Sage Type I of 1916 was a twin-engined bomber with nose, upper and floor guns.
Flight, July 24, 1919.
THE SAGE MACHINES
THE entry of Messrs. Fredk. Sage and Co., Ltd., into the world of aircraft manufacture dates back to 1915, in which year a contract for building Short seaplanes of the 184 type was received. The manager of the aviation department was Mr. E. C. Gordon England, who is well known both as a designer and pilot, having at various times during his long career been associated with, among others, the British and Colonial Aeroplane Co., of Bristol, with Mr. James Radley, of Huntingdon, and with J. Samuel White and Co., Ltd., of Cowes. Isle of Wight. In January, 1916, Mr. Clifford W. Tinson - who for three years previous to the War was Capt. F. S. Barnwell's assistant - left the Air Department of the Admiralty with the sanction of Commodore Sueter, who was then Director of Air Services, and joined the firm as designer. The design of the first Sage machine was at this time already in hand under the direction of Mr. Gordon England and Mr. L. Bonnard.
The Sage Bomber, Type 1 (1916)
For some reason unknown to us this machine was never finished, and the figures of performance, etc., in the accompanying table must, therefore, be taken as estimates, and not as accomplished facts, although they are probably not far wrong one way or the other. As the machine was not finished no photographs of her are in existence. The plan and elevations of our general arrangement diagrams, however, give a very good idea of the lines of the machine. It will be seen that Type 1 was a twin-engine tractor, with the engines placed between the wings. The two Rolls-Royce engines - of 190 h.p. each - are placed very high in the gap between the wings, the thrust line being approximately half-way between top and bottom planes. This disposition arises from the fact that, although the fuselage is placed very low, the top plane is of much greater span than is the bottom one, the centre of resistance being, therefore, raised to a certain extent. Apart from their high position the engine mountings are of interest in that there is no part of the landing carriage placed under the engines. The weight is taken, when the machine is on the ground, by the antilift wires going from the foot of the engine-struts to the top of the centre section body struts. Whether this arrangement is advisable is, perhaps, open to doubt.
As regards the undercarriage of Type I, this is, it will be seen, arranged along rather unconventional lines. The two main wheels are mounted direct on the body, through the bottom of which they project. The consequence of this arrangement, which obviously has for its object the reduction to a minimum of under carriage resistance, is that the wheel track is very narrow indeed, and as the lower wing is very close to the ground it has been protected by wing tip wheels of smaller diameter. In order to protect the fuselage, should the machine tend to turn over on her nose, another pair of wheels are mounted near the nose of the body, projecting through the floor in the same manner as do the two main wheels. The tail it will be seen, is chiefly remarkable as being of the biplane type. The armament of the Type 1 was to consist of three machine guns, one placed in the nose and one between the trailing edges of the planes, while a third was to be mounted immediately below the upper rear gun, and was to be fired through an opening in the floor of the fuselage. For its time, therefore, the Sage Bomber, Type 1, was very well armed, but as it was never finished its merits as a fighter were never ascertained. The estimated performance was quite good for the power and loading.