J.Wegg General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecessors Since 1912 (Putnam)
The second Thomas design was a refinement of the first and initially flew at Bath with a 50hp Kirkham six-cylinder aero-engine that permitted up to three persons, including the pilot, to be carried. During 1911, it was converted into a successful hydroplane by substituting pontoons for the wheels, and was still able to carry one passenger.
In 1912, a further improved model TA was built with a 65hp Kirkham engine and on 31 October, was flown by Walter E Johnson at Bath with a passenger for 3hr 51min, an American endurance record. The improved TA also won a series of races including the 25-mile $1,000 prize event at the Syracuse State Fair in 1912
In 1912, an unsuccessful tractor version of the TA biplane was built (or converted from an existing TA) with a 50/65hp Kirkham engine, fitted with a single pontoon and outrigger floats for water-based operations. Performance was not as good as the original TA and further work was abandoned in favour of pusher designs.
Span 37ft; weight empty 900lb; maximum speed 58mph; endurance 2hr.
Developed from the TA, twelve aircraft were reportedly built from 1913 with 65hp Kirkham engines. The specifications were similar to those of the TA but at least one, known as the Special Biplane, had 33ft span wings and a gross weight of 850 lb. Fitted with an 80hp Curtiss engine, one was flown by Frank H Burnside, an early graduate of the Thomas School of Flying and subsequently chief pilot of the company, to 13,000ft in 1913 to claim a new US altitude record. One aircraft survives with Cole Palen's collection at Old Rhinebeck, New York.