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Hamilton biplane

Страна: Канада

Год: 1916

Gibson - Multi-plane - 1911 - Канада<– –>Hoffar - H-1 - 1917 - Канада

K.Molson, H.Taylor Canadian Aircraft since 1909 (Putnam)

Hamilton Biplane

   In the early summer of 1915 twelve young men in Vancouver formed the Aero Club of British Columbia and put up $200 each. The $2,400 collected was given to William M. Stark (W. M. Stark learned to fly at the Curtiss School at North Island, San Diego, and received Aero Club of America Certificate No. 110 on 10 April, 1912. He bought a Curtiss pusher and returned to Canada with it), who in return agreed to give his Curtiss pusher to the Club, to provide fuel and oil and to teach the twelve to fly. Later, some money was raised by public subscription for the Club. Flight training started in July at the Minoru Race Track on Lulu Island and was then transferred to a field at Terra Nova on Sea Island.
   By November the ground was too wet to be used and the Curtiss pusher was put on a single float. The float was waterlogged and the aircraft sank with Sidney Mowat, the lightest student, on board. The group was then out of funds, and J. R. Seymour, father of one of the students, M. A. Seymour, arranged that they should be attached to the 158th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, for pay and allowances but not for discipline - an unusual arrangement.
   Thomas Foster Hamilton had been born in Seattle in 1894. He built and flew a glider of his own design in 1908 and on 28 May, 1910, flew a powered aircraft of his own construction, the first flight in the State of Washington. In June 1910 Hamilton formed the Hamilton Aero Manufacturing Co at Seattle as an aeronautical supply house, and was agent for Elbridge and, later, Maximotor engines. He constructed and built aircraft of his own design and in 1913 built a Maximotor-powered biplane for export to New Zealand and in 1915 a flying-boat was built and sold.
   Aerial Age Weekly of 12 July, 1915, reported the company as having ‘A large force at work rushing out a speedy tractor biplane - it is believed it will see service in Canada'.
   The aircraft, however, did not come to Canada. It is thought that Hamilton built the machine with that idea, but may have decided to make the machine at Vancouver when he realized the duty that would have to be paid. He established the Hamilton Aero Manufacturing Co Ltd on Fourth Avenue, Vancouver, in late 1915 with an authorized capital of $50,000 divided into 50,000 shares of $1-00 each. It would seem probable that the machine Hamilton built at Vancouver (The aircraft has been reported as a ‘Curtiss-type’ built from Curtiss plans but it can be seen from inspection that this was not so) was very similar, if not identical, to the one he was reported building in Seattle during the summer of 1915.
   The young men, mentioned earlier, went every day from the Armouries on Cambie Street to the shop on Fourth Avenue where they assisted in the construction throughout the winter, and they also did some army drill there with wooden rifles made on the premises.
   The Hamilton Biplane was completed in late April or early May 1916. It was a single-seat two-bay biplane powered by a four-cylinder Maximotor, believed to have been the Model B rated at 60/70 hp (Several four-cylinder Maximotor engines were identical in appearance but differed in bore and stroke and, consequently, power), but quite probably delivering somewhat less. The wheels of the undercarriage were located almost directly beneath the centre of gravity and two skids projected forward to prevent overturning.
   Hamilton formed the British Columbia Aviation School to operate the aircraft, and he tested it at the Minoru Race Track on Lulu Island, probably in May 1916.
   The aircraft was found unsatisfactory for the School’s purposes and was modified to a two-seat machine. A second cockpit was added under the centre section, an extra bay was added to the wings, two small wheels were fitted at the front of the undercarriage skids, and the 75 hp Curtiss O engine from Stark’s Curtiss pusher was installed.
   Instruction on the modified aircraft was done at Coquitlam, about 25 miles (40 km) east of Vancouver. Incidentally, the Union Flag on the fuselage and the roundels on the wings of the modified machine were the first national insignia to appear in Canadian skies although the School was not a national organization. Later in the year the aircraft crashed after an engine failure while being flown by C. O. Rayner, and the operation of the School stopped.
   Hamilton returned to the United States and joined the Aircraft Department of Matthews Bros Manufacturing Ltd at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as General Manager. It established a good reputation for fine propellers and Hamilton took over the business in 1919 and formed the Hamilton Aero Manufacturing Co at Milwaukee to continue the business. This was the third company of the same name that he had formed. It was later joined with the Standard Steel Propeller Co and became the Hamilton Standard Propeller Corporation which became the largest and best known propeller company. Hamilton also formed the Hamilton Metalplane Co at Milwaukee in 1927.

   Dimensions, weights and performance not known.

K.Molson, H.Taylor - Canadian Aircraft since 1909 /Putnam/
The Hamilton Biplane in its final form as a three-bay, two-seat biplane with Curtiss O engine.
K.Molson, H.Taylor - Canadian Aircraft since 1909 /Putnam/
The Hamilton Biplane in its original form as a single-seat, two-bay machine with a Maximotor engine. The Canadian Ensign on the lower wing is an actual flag placed there, apparently for the photograph. Stark’s Curtiss pusher is in the background.
K.Molson, H.Taylor - Canadian Aircraft since 1909 /Putnam/
The Hamilton Biplane and the entire staff of the Hamilton Aero Manufacturing Co consisting of T. F. Hamilton and the students. Left to right, Frank Smith. M. B. Wright, J. P. Crawford, C. O. Raynor, Lt M. A. Seymour, T. F. Hamilton, Lt Philip Smith, W.E. Damer, W. G. McRae, J. S. Height, A. C. Hodgson, C. E. Perkins. The photograph was taken in early May 1916 and M. A. Seymour and Philip Smith who had been accepted by the RFC left soon after to go overseas without ever flying the machine they had helped to make.