MOTORING SPORTSMEN. Mr. Frank B. Taylor. By THE EDITOR.
DURING a recent visit to Birmingham, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Frank Bradley Taylor, of whom we had often caught fleeting glances as he sped by on his speedy Bugatti in various Midland Trials and Speed events. For the past ten years, Mr. Taylor has been a very prominent figure in sporting events both on different makes of motorcycles or at the wheel of one of his numerous Bugatti cars, so that our readers will doubtless be interested to learn something of his career.
Educated at the famous public school Rugby, Mr. Taylor began his engineering training as an articled pupil in the works of Messrs. Tangyes, Limited, of Birmingham, and there went through a full course of theoretical and practical work. On completion of his term, he furthered his experience in the shops of Messrs. Charles Taylor, Ltd., also of Birmingham, and spent a very useful period in acquiring an intimate knowledge of the intricacies of tool-room work. There in the heart of the engineering industry, he learned something of the accuracy required for working to very close limits, which stood him in good stead when, later on, he started in business on his own account in handling the sales, service and tuning of sporting cars and also in developing modern improvements connected with high efficiency automobile and aeroplane engines.
Technical Service with the R.F.C.
At the outbreak of the War, Mr. Taylor was scarcely sixteen years of age, but this did not deter him from taking up aeroplane work and consequently he became a pupil of Hall’s Flying School at Hendon, and in December, 1914, gained his certificate as pilot. He
learned to fly on a Caudron machine and since then has flown practically every make of aeroplane that has been used for British military aviation.
After receiving his commission in the Royal Air Force, he saw active service with the 28th Squadron and was shot down by an enemy ‘plane off the Belgian coast, being subsequently rescued by a French destroyer. He was then transferred, with the rank of Captain, to an R.P.C. test squadron at home and had to travel by air from depot to depot on technical duties of a very responsible character, which is particularly meritorious, considering his comparative youth.
After the War, Mr. Taylor realised the possibilities for the light aeroplane and therefore set to work to design and construct a machine intended specially for private owners. Though the machine he produced performed quite satisfactorily, its development was hindered by the enormous expenses incurred in experimental and production work and after carrying on for some time, without any outside financial support, Mr. Taylor came to the conclusion that the project did not show sufficient commercial promise to warrant its continuance. His next activities were found in engaging in practically all the Midland Trials as an amateur rider and was particularly successful with motor cycles and cars. Those of our readers who have participated in Midland