|The activity at
Brooklands shows no sign of decreasing, and there is much of
interest to be seen there. At the present moment there are two
of the Vickers gun -carrying biplanes, 9-cylinder, 100 h.p. Gnomes,
awaiting the completion of their tests, and a new arrival at the
Vickers' School is a biplane of new the ordinary box-kite type
fitted with a 50.h.p. Vickers radial engine, which apparently gives
considerably more than its rated horse-power, for, though its
cylinder capacity smaller than that of the various French rotary
engines rated at the same power, the speed of the machine is
something like 50 mph, in spite of its having a very large closed-in
body in which the pilot and pupil sit side by side.
The closed body is of course, intended to protect the inmates and
facilitate tuition during the cold weather, and owing to the
peculiar rounded shape of this body work, the machine is locally
known as "the pumpkin." It flies exceedingly well, and the
streamlining of the body into the engine shows how it is possible to
keep a stationary radial engine cool.
The Bleriot works are ready for occupation, and provide fine floor
space for aeroplane work. The block of five sheds form three sides
of a square, in the centre of which is a brick building for the
smith's shop and welding. It is understood that should the extension
of the firm's business in this oountry warrant it a proper brick
factory will be erected in due course. In the meantime British
Blériots will be built at Brooklands, and one gathers that probably
some Military pupils will be trained there. but the firm's ordinary
school work will continue at Hendon as hitherto. Probably one or
more of the new Ellie-Mt biplanes will be at work before long.
Mr. Merriam is to bring to Brooklands this week one of the new
Bristol biplanes with staggered planes and 80 h.p. Gnomes, which
already have put up such fine climbing records.
On Saturday last Mr. Pixton passed the eighth of the Sop with 80 h.p.
biplanes through its military tests at Farnborough, its maximum
speed being 74 m.p.h.
On Sunday at Brooklands he was flying the ninth and last of this
order. One gathers that the next batch of Army machines at the
Sopwith sheds will he of the ."stoat" or "tabloid" type, nine
of these having been ordered.
Mr. Jack Alcock has been flying the Maurice Farman. 100 h.p.
Sunbeam, regularly, and on Sunday was climbing well on it with two
passenger, but one still has doubts about the wisdom of putting so
much power and weight on to machines of this type.
Mr. Raynham has been performing with his usual excellence on the
Ayro 80 Gnome. and on Sunday was doing extraordinarily slow glides
from great heights. On one occasion he went up to 3,000. feet in a
hurry, shut off his engine, and took just twice as long to come
down. It would really be worth while to have official tests of
various machines made in this may so to demonstrate the ratio
between maximum climbing speed and slowness in descending with
engine stopped. On Sunday morning Mr. Llan Davies, who recently
distinguished himself by landing a Valkyrie monoplane on the top of
a tree near Hendon, demolished fairly completely the 50 h.p. Avro
which he bought some two or three weeks ago. He shut off his engine
at two or three hundred feet, made a good glide-down, but
unfortunately omitted to flatten out as he approached the ground.
Happily he escaped with a few bruises.
Me. Gaskell Blackburn, whose tractor biplane, 45 h.p. A.B.C. that is
now taking definite shape, assures me that it is not the Tong May,
although there are a few Tong May parts in it. However, inspecting
it on Saturday it seemed that all the weak parts have now been
Mr. Waterfall, an ex-pupil of the Vickers School, has been flying
the Martin-Handasyde monoplane during the week and gives promise of
being one of our best pilots.
The de Bolotoff seems to have followed the example of the late J.
Caesar and to have retired into winter quarters.