ITEMS OF INTEREST
r HE popularity of the single ir seater Comper Swift has had
its sequel in the announcement that a two-seater model is shortly to be placed on the market to supplement the single seater. Lack of accommodation was naturally a great drawback to the first type, but this disadvantage will no longer apply.
Incidentally, in order to meet the greatly increased demand for Swifts in the South of England, a site has been purchased at Heston where an up-to-date works and service station will be opened.
The Oxford Air Squadron.
Oxford University flying enthusiasts will welcome the news of the removal of the University Air Squadrons’ activities from Manston to Abingdon, a locality which will enable students to put in a good many more hours than they could when the aerodrome was at Manston.
A Remarkable Effort.
The word ” Terraplane ” which is used to describe the new Essex model for 1933 has been literally vindicated in a remarkable demonstration recently given at Detroit. A Vee-8 aero engine was replaced by a normal Essex 17 h.p. Terraplane engine in a Curtiss Robin aeroplane.
The engine proved fully up to its work, and propelled the aeroplane over hundreds of miles on non-stop flights from city to city, on one occasion flying from Detroit to Toronto, a distance of 225 miles, at an average speed of 90 m.p.h., using Only 10i gallons of petrol.
This feat suggests an interesting hint of what lines the f ature of transport will take. Combining an Autogiro (with folding rotors) with a light streamline automobile, it is Possible that the vehicle of the future will be an aero-car, being equally adaptable for use on roads or in the air.
Whether time and practise proves this forecast to be correct or not, a more direct development can easily be prophesied. If car and aero engines can be turned out from one factory, identical in design and proportions, similar mass-production methods applied to the construction of the rest of the aeroplane may very well result in the really cheap aeroplane at last.
Christmas at Maidstone.
Anyone who wants a really festive time at Christmas could not do better than go down to the Maidstone Air Port at West Mailing. A full programme of festivities has been arranged, and everything points to a thoroughly good party.
Incidentally there is always something ” on ” at West Mailing every week end. A monthly” At Home” on December 4th, the Club Dance on December 10th, Clay Pigeon Shooting on December 11th, and a Landing Competition on December 18th. There is dancing, of course, every week-end.
In spite of the weather conditions, which have been far from encouraging, the month has been more than usually active. Several new pupils have joined—attracted no doubt by the, winter reduction of fees, which is proving a great incentive to those who are ambitious to become good pilots without too much expense.
One who has been putting in some good time in the air is Mr. Shuttleworth, the racing driver, who has a workshop at Brooklands. He has another workshop and a private landing ground at his home, and travels between the two almost entirely by air, piloting himself in his own machine.
Mr. Danson and Mr. Tyzack, of Northampton, have commenced courses of Blind Flying instruction. A familiar figure at the aerodrome
will shortly be leaving, Mr. Henry Vaughan—a former pupil of the School who suddenly returned in the early part of the summer on a holiday from his ranch in Colombia. He has acquired a new Gipsy III Moth while in this country, and this he is taking back to Colombia with him. As he has been constantly at the aerodrome throughout the summer, on a flying holiday, he and his machine will both be missed when he returns to South America.
The Prince’s New ‘Plane.
The amount of interest in flying taken by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales is well known, and he himself uses this form of travel a great deal in the course of his tours throughout the country. Now he has ordered a new aeroplane for his own use, in addition to the Puss Moth he normally uses. The new craft is a Vickers Viastra monoplane, with accommodation for 12 passengers and two pilots. The equipment is extraordinarily complete, including a powerful wireless set.
The machine is being constructed at Brooklands aerodrome, and will be powered by two of the Bristol ” Pegasus ” engines of the type used by Flight.-Lt. Cyril Uwins recently when he broke the world’s altitude record.
Bravo, Mrs. Mollison !
Probably the finest feat ever accomplished by a woman pilot was recorded last month when Miss Amy Johnson (Mrs. J. A. Mollison) beat the existing record from England to Cape Town. Her time for the journey of 6,220 miles was four days, six hours, and 54 minutes, and she beat the previous record, which was held by her husband, by 10 hours, 28 minutes.
In Mrs. Mollison, Britain has a pilot of whom we cannot be too proud, and whose achievements have considerably enhanced our flying prestige abroad.