Landowners and Pilots.
IN the early days of aviation, landowners and pilots seldom saw eye to eye in the matter of flying. Our gallant pioneers, in addition to grappling with the many practical difficulties in the course of their experiments, more often than not, were chivvied and chased from one site to another by hostile bailiffs, agents, stewards and squires, and peremtorily told to take their crazy, death-dealing, destructive, futile and new-f angled contraptions elsewhere. One . would have thought that progress and the passing of years by this time would have engendered a different attitude of mind. But the experience of Mr. L. van Oppen, demonstration pilot to Messrs. Auto Auctions, shows that the antiflying individual is still in our midst.
Some time ago van Oppen was detailed to fly a machine to Berkshire to show it to a prospective customer. Accordingly, after making arrangements with the latter, he set off, and choosing a large unoccupied field near his destination, put the ‘plane down. Scarcely had he left the cockpit before an. irate and gaitered gentleman approached him, and, at the top of his voice, told him to take himself and his machine off. Apologies and explanations on the part of van Oppen merely increased the man’s fury, to such an extent that he ended the interview by clouting van Oppen an almighty whack on the side of the head with a riding crop, and taking himself off.
As a contrast, and in fairness to all the hundreds of good folk who are always ready to help the aerial wayfarer on his way, I must mention an experience of my own. Having a machine in one field, out of which it was impossible to fly, I required to get it into an adjoining and more suitable one, but a narrow gap in the dividing hedge presented difficulties. With some diffidence I approached the owner to see what could be done about it. Without more ado he ordered sickles, and axes to be fetched and within a very few minutes he had calmly hacked down some thirty feet of perfectly good Hawthorn hedge, his hedge, through which the machine was• pushed with the greatest of ease.
A New Book.
Writers of handbooks dealing with modern aeronautics, or in fact any subject in which development is rapid, are nearly always faced with a difficulty. Their works are no sooner published than they are partially out-of-date. The author of a new book entitled Light riero Engines (published by Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd.). has been singularly skilful or fortunate, however, for having read it, I have failed to find any current or recently produced type of engine or unit which is omitted in this volume. The book is essentially practical ; it does not go into the first principles of internal combustion engines, but deals with facts of actual power units rather than the theories of hypothetical ones. The opening
chapter deals with the early types, such as the Darracq, flat-twin of 1909, the ” Y “-type Anzani, the inverted Gregoire “Gyp,” and contemporary efforts, and the whole with tabulated details forms an excellent introduction to the chapters which follow. For the student of aero engine design, Light Aero Engines is definitely informative and interesting, especially the data and illustrations of foreign productions, which would be difficult to procure from other sources,
The author is Mr. C. F. Caunter, late of the R.A.F., and designer of the new two-stroke unit described on adjoining pages in. this issue of MOTOR SPORT.
Club’s Successful Year.
The Hampshire Aeroplane Club has good cause for satisfaction in the results of their activities during 1930, by which they have earned the full amount of the subsidy.
During this period, their flying hours totalled 2,362 which represents an increase of 600 hours over the previous year. The fact that they acquired the services of Mr. H. A. Marsh, as assistant instructor to Mr. Dudley no doubt accounts for this, and also that forty-one members of the Club qualified for their” A ” licences, against 37 in 1929.
A recent visit to Hamble revealed that the comforts and amenities there have been improved in many ways— including the installation of electric light in the clubhouse.
People who experienced and can remember the “fly or bust” methods in training squadrons during the War days, when an unfortunate ” hun ” was likely to be launched solo after the briefest and most sketchy spell of instruction, are not easily impressed by the so-called wonderful performances of present-day pupils. And, after all why should they be ? 1/ to 3i hours dual and then solo in an anything but safe machine was the usual thing then, and there were no speaking-tubes, no instruments and no slots.
But the performance of Mr. A. L. Patterson of North Wales deserves mention. On a recent Tuesday he called at Reading Aerodrome where Messrs. Phillips & Powis Aircraft Ltd. operate a flying school. He enrolled for training and took his first lesson on a Moth the same day with Captain R. L. Bateman, the instructor. In spite of very bad weather, Mr. Patterson was judged to be read x for solo flying on the following Friday, after 7 hours 15 Anutes dual instruction. There was no visible horizon, however, until Saturday morning, when Mr. Patterson made an. excellent solo flight. On Sunday he successfully completed his flying tests and passed his oral examination the following day, thus receiving his ” A ” Licence inside a week.