Hendon Aerial View

Snapshots In Time Index

Flying at Hendon - Christmas 1913

The Christmas festivities at Hendon extended over no less than four consecutive days, and the weather provided a very fine variety of conditions. On Christmas Day M. Chanteloup made his British debut in his Caudron biplane (60 h.p. Le Rhone,) looping the loop and banking up vertically in his own characteristic fashion. The Boxing Day show, however, is historic. It is said to have provided the finest exhibition of flying ever seen in England. In the first place the wind ;,t times exceeded 60 m.p.h., and in the second place, both M. Chanteloup and Mr. Hamel performed feats which were, unthinkable six months ago, and that in an atmosphere which, twelve months ago would have kept all aeroplanes very securely housed. Unfortunately in landing Mr. Hamel stood his Morane-Saulnier on its nose ; he was prevented from overturning by the high cabane, and came to no bodily grief, but he broke up his propeller and damaged the engine sufficiently to put the machine out of action for some days.

M. Marty and M. Noel also went up, the latter with a passenger in the M. Farman, a very boisterous voyage to height of 3,400 ft. M. Marty's first flight terminated with a high dive, his engine switched off until he touched ground. All this in a wind whose gusts were strong enough, even on the ground, to turn over a whole row of chairs.

Saturday was a splendid all-round day. The wind was not severe, and several machines were up in the morning. M. Marty had the misfortune to overturn the Morane-Saulnier (80 HP Le Rhone) on the ground. He emerged unhurt, and as in similar cases, the machine suffered very little damage. The ideal landing-ground for a Morane is, of course, an asphalt tennis-court much magnified, and it is likely that this penchant for overturning will become a habit when the ground gets really heavy. M. Marty was neither hurt ror disturbed, but flew again in the afternoon on the 60 H.P. Morane in his usual excellent form.

Mr. Hamel also flew this machine during. the afternoon, having spent the last twenty-four hours searching vainly for a new nose plate to his Gnome.

M. Chanteloup, in the absence of wind (the breeze aloft could not have been much more than 30-33 m.p.h.), did prcisely what he liked with his little Caudron. He turned over sideways, he turned over up-ways, and he turned over downways. He did not loop the loop—as the daily Press appears to think backwards, instead of the usual forward method," he looped it backwards according to the prevailing mode, with this difference : he does not dive to it, he flies along horizontally, then suddenly up goes his nose, .and he is over. On one occasion in the upside-down position he glided for nearly the length of the aerodrome, descending steeply.

M. Chanteloup and his Caudron Biplane (60 H.P. Le Rhone) before his flight at Hendon.
M. Chanteloup and his Caudron Biplane (60 H.P. Le Rhone) before his flight at Hendon.

His " get-off " is also picturesque, for he leaves the machine entirely to itself, and ascends waving both arms, and merely directing its course with the rudder bar. The machine must be beautifully balanced. He uses only an ordinary' belt and no shoulder-straps, and the machine is a standard Caudron in every way except for a stronger upper cable to the warp.

M. Chanteloup, like M. Verrier, can stand still in the air, apparently in any wind above 20 m.p.h., but his most appalling ,and spectacular feat is the vertical dive. He cuts if his engine and descends, riot "nearly" vertically, but in an absolute plumb-line descent, his wings thrashing round under full warp (the Caudron tail warps as well as the wings) like an impossible propeller, and his struts and wires shrieking through the air like a gargantuan wind-harp. It is no sight for a nervous man.

On alighting he was mounted in Mr. Hamel's car, and bumped triumphantly past the enclosures to the waving of kerchiefs and the loud acclamations of a considerable multitude.

M. Noel flew also during the afternoon, as did Mr. Grahame-White, and Mr. Carr, the latter in a G.-W. box-kite.
On Sunday there was also a very fine attendance. The day was clear and frosty, and the flying—although M. Chanteloup had departed for France—was excellent. Mr. Hamel vvas in the air with Miss Trehawke Davies, in the latter's
Bleriot. Mr. Grahame-White took several passengers in his M. Farman biplane. Messrs. Carr, Noel, and Marty also were out, and M. Baumann in his Caudron (60 H.P. Anzani), went to a height of 6,000 feet.


Mr. E. L. Gunston writes :—"Since boucling the boucle is a feat which has come to stay, and which apparently is as common as sane flying, these feats performed by Pegoud,.Chevillard, and certain other scientific gentlemen, will have to called he a distinguishing name. Why not 'aerobatics'?"