LIGHT PLANES

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LIGHT ‘PLANES

Sir, The Editor’s review of early light planes in the November issue of MoTou SPORT Was US prOVOVi i VC aS it Was i

tk rcsting. The caption beneath tire photo of the Avro Avis Oates that it was fitted with a Illackburne Thrush engine. It is clear from the picture that the engine is of the twin-cylinder horizontallyopposed type, whilst the Thrush was a three-cylinder radial.

I was at Hatable when the Avis was built and first flown. The engine was a Bristol Cherub. Together with Bert Milder, I made a number of test flights On the Avis prior to the Lympne trials. It was an astounding link machine, and could be taken off and landed in a very small space, with two up. In fact, I cart think of no two-seater aircraft which ever had anything like the performance of the Avis on so SERRA a power.

The magnitude of the noise when flying iii the front coekpit was pltenomeital, due to the fact that the two exhaust snouts were turned back approximately in line with the occupant’s ears, and itwas rather like having two .45 Webleys lined in rapid succession at eAcit side of one’s head. The exhausts were about one arm’s length front the ears. Only one of these aeroplanes was built, and I have no idea what. happened to it, for it seemed to disappear without leaving any trace. Incidentally, the Vagabond was also built at Hamitic, on behalf of Vickers.

A Blackbarne Thrush was fitted to the A.N.E.C. IV, which I acquired on behalf of ray friend Guy Warwick, when the A.N.E.C. organisation went into liquidation. It was laingItt less engine and we modified the aircraft to accommodate a 1914 45-hp. Anzani, with which it flew quite Nveil. Warwick tail-rowed ant Armstrong Siddeley Genet engine with a view to competing in the King’s Cup in 1927, and we again modified the aim-craft Op acerimmodate this unit. In the race, whilst traversing the most northerly leg of the circuit in Scotland, Warwick struck the top of a hill whilst flying blind in thick eloud, and lost his life. The aircraft was completely written off.

Hinkler’s remarkable flight just after the kaiser war, front London to Turin on the Avro Baby started, if I remember rightly, from Hounslow, and not from Croydon.

Finally, I submit. that it would have been apposite to have mentioned the Avro Triplane which A. V. Roe himself succeeded in flying from the Hackney Marshes in 1909. This was fitted with it 9-ft.p. twin-cylinder .I.A.P. inotor-eyele engine, which Itad a reduction gear consisting of a belt drive from the engine pulley running over a bicycle wheel, to the hub of which was attached the propeller shaft. And it flew ! I am, Yours, it(‘., Gurnard. PRA i4CIS KAPPIv,

A.P.ILAe.S.