Brooklands Aerial View

   Snapshots In Time Index

Doings at Brooklands. January 17 & 18th 1914

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 New Vickers School 50 HP Biplane at Brooklands 1914

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 adequately strengthened.

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.

Vickers Flying School Brooklands 1914


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