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IT is now nearly seven years since the light aeroplane movement was first established, and during this period the development of machines, and the advancement of flying as a sport has been steadily maintained. To-day not only has the would-be pilot ample facilities to learn and practice the art of aviation, but those who aspire to own machines have now a quite surprising variety of craft from which to choose.

All these standard-produced ‘planes have been evolved after lengthy experience, experiment and trial, and makers may be said to have succeeded in their endeavours to produce machines which have safety and efficiency as salient and essential characteristics. And it now follows in natural sequence that attention is being given to other features of only slightly-less importance, and detail refinements are to be found in the present-day aircraft which make them extraordinarily comfortable, easy to maintain and simple to house.

In this article are included all those machines which are now marketed in this country and which are especially suitable for the private-owner ; and it will be seen that in addition to British-built aircraft, foreign makes are also represented. * * •

• The Autogiro.

The Autogiro is undoubtedly the most unconventional and striking aeroplane which has ever been evolved in the history of aeronautics. First experimented with in 1920 by the well-known designer, Don de la Cierva, it has gone through various stages of development until today, the manufacturers being fully satisfied with its practicability, it has been placed on the market. An article appeared in MOTOR SPORT

in January of this year which dealt with the whole history of this machine and the aerodynamic principles of its design, and it will therefore suffice to say that in place of the orthodox aerofoil it has a rotor comprising articulated blades, which are in effect aerofoils of small chord. These rotate by aerodynamic action, and in doing so induce lift. This arrangement endows the machine with extraordinary qualities of control and safety at low speeds, so that it can be brought down when required in vertical descent, and manoeuvred at a speed of only about 25 m.p.h.

SPSCIFICATION. (Model C.19 Mark IV.)

Puselage : Welded steel structure. Rotor : Three blade assembly, entirely cantilever. Solid Balsa wood cross section with spruce core. (The blades can be folded back to facilitate housing.)

Fixed wing : Wooden spars with fabric covering, aileron spar of steel tube.

Tail unit : Fin, rudder and elevator of wooden construction all fabric covered.

Rotor mast and hub : Quadruped steel tube structure with conical platform, positively fixed. Steel forged hub with radial and thrust ball bearings and. braking system.

Rotor starter : Mechanical starting gear is incorporated as standard. Drive is. taken from the rear end of the engine’s crankshaft, and a single plate clutch and dog clutch are used. The starter imparts to the blades 180 r.p.m. initial speed in 30 seconds.

Undercarriage : Wide track, split axle type with Oleo legs and I3en.dix wheels and brakes.

Fuel capacity : Petrol, 16 gallons, 2i gallons oil.

Engine : Armstrong-Siddeley Genet Major 100 h.p. air-cooled radial.


Rotor diameter, 34 feet ; fixed wing span, 21 feet ; height, 10 feet ; span (with. blades folded), 21 feet ; length (with blades folded), 22 feet ; tare weight, 975 lbs. ; normal load, 1,350 lbs. ; full load, 1,450 lbs. ; top speed, 102 m.p.h. ; minimum horizontal speed, 25 m.p.h. ; cruising speed, 90 m.p.h.; climb (sea level), 630 f.p.m. ; angle of climb, 11 degs.; vertical speed of descent at 40 degs. (no wind), 13 ft. per Sec.; take off run, average conditions, sea level, 30 yards ; landing run, nil ; range, 230 miles.

Price : £1,050.

Manufacturers’ address : The Cierva Autogiro Co., Ltd., Bush House, Aidvvych, London, W.C.2.

Avro “Avian.”

The Avro “Avian was first introduced in 1926, when it was entered and flown in. the Light Aeroplane Trials at Lympne in that year by Mr. Bert Hinkler. Since then a large number of remarkable flights have been achieved with this craft, among these being Hinkler’s flight to Australia. It will be recalled that this was done in 1928, and that it took 16/ days. This record flight was later beaten by WingCommander Kingsford Smith, who also used an “Avian.” The ” Avian ” is a single-bay biplane

of the conventional type, and is now made in two models—the Standard type and the Sports.


Fuselage: Single unit of welded steel tube, covered with fabric.

Main planes : Normal construction with wooden spars, fabric covered. Ailerons are fitted to the lower planes only and are balanced to give positive and easy control throughout the machine’s speed range.

Tail unit : Normal construaion of wood with fabric covering.

Span. of main planes, 30 ft. o ins. ; width folded, 9 ft. 6 ins. ; height, 8 ft. 6 ins. ; length, 24 ft. 3 ins. ; tare weight, 1,019 lbs. ; pilot and passenger, 320 lbs. ; petrol, 24 gallons, 183 lbs. ; oil, 2 gallons, 20 lbs. ; maximum speed at sea level, 108 m.p.h. ; maximum speed at 5,000 feet, 105 m.p.h.; cruising speed, 90-95 m.p.h. ; range with 24 gallons at cruising speed, 360 miles ; stalling speed, 40 m.p.h. Prices : Standard model with Hermes II. engine £795, with Gipsy II. 120 h.p. engine £845. Sports model with Hermes II. engine £825, with Gipsy II. 120 h.p. engine £875.

Manufacturers’ address : A. V. Roe & Co., Ltd., 166, Piccadilly, London, W.1, and Newton Heath, Manchester, and Hamble, Southampton. Sole concessionaires for England : Henlys Ltd., Heston Air Park, near Hounslow, Middlesex.

Blackburn “Bluebird”

The product of one of the oldest firms in the aircraft industry, the “Bluebird “


first appeared in 1925, and at that time it was something of a novelty in having the pilot’s and passenger’s seats arranged side-by-side—a feature which is retained in the latest type. There are obvious advantages in a seating arrangement of this kind ; conversation can be carried on without the use of headphones, varying weights of pilot and passenger make no difference to the trim of the machine, and it is more comfortable to fly on the centre of gravity. The 1932 ” Bluebird ” is of all metal-construction, the fuselage being built up with four steel tube longerons and steel tie rods. It is constructed in three sections, which makes repair and replacement a simple matter. The wings have spars of steel strip, and the form ribs and compression ribs are of duralumin. Fabric covering is used. As is the case with the majority of light aircraft, the wings are designed to fold, the width being 9 feet 10 inches. The ” Bluebird” is obtained with. either D.H. Gipsy or Cirrus Hermes engines.


Fuselage : Steel tube structure of straightforward and clean design.

Wings : Biplane, single-bay with Raf wire bracing and ailerons on bottom planes only.

Tail unit : Adjustable tail plane, interconnected elevators, balanced rudder, no fin..

Undercarriage : Divided type, with metal springs and oil dashpot shock absorbing gear.

Controls : Dual control sticks and rudder bars, operating through pull-and-push rods and straight lengths of cable without pulleys. The engine controls are placed centrally, as is the tail incidence lever.


Span : 30 feet (folded 9 feet 10 inches) ; length : 23 feet 11 inches ; height : 9 feet. Normal gross weight : With Gipsy Mark I. engine, 1,655 lbs. ; with Gipsy II. engine, 1,680 lbs. ; with Gipsy III. engine, 1,705 lbs. ; with Hermes II. engine, 1,7(A) lbs. ; with Hermes 11B. engine, 1,705 lbs.

Prices : Gipsy I., £595 ; Gipsy II., £675; Gipsy III., £695; Hermes II., £650; Hermes JIB., £695. Slots extra.

Manufacturers’ address : The Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Co., Ltd., Brough, Yorks. Distributors : Auto Auctions Ltd., Horseferry Road, Westminster, London, S.W.1.

The Breda 33 is a light ‘plane of Italian manufacture of high performance and very modern design. As can be seen from the photograph (opposite page), it is a low-wing monoplane, and. has enclosed cockpits, inverted engine, and ” booted ” undercarriage wheels. The main plane is braced by struts and streamline wires, and the lines of the machine as a whole are pleasing and clean. Wheel-brakes are fitted.


Wing span, 30 ft. 10 ins. ; total length, 22 ft. 31 ins. ; total height, 6 ft. 61 ins. ; wing area, 166.84 sq. ft. ; weight empty, 946 lbs. ; useful load with standard petrol tanks, 660 lbs. ; useful load with auxiliary

petrol tanks, 880 lbs. ; total weight with standard petrol tanks, 1,606 lbs. ; total weight with auxiliary petrol tanks, 1,826 lbs. ; weight per sq. ft. of wing area, 9.62 to 10.93; weight per H.P., 13.86 to 15.84 ; maximum speed, 144 m.p.h.; cruising speed, 125 m.p.h. ; minimum speed, 53 m.p.h. ; factor of safety, 9; normal range, 750 miles ; range with auxiliary petrol tanks, 1,125 miles ; absolute celing, 23,(.,00 ft. ; take off in 98 yds. ; landing distance without brakes, 110 yds. ; landing distance with brakes, 75 yds.

The price of the Breda has been provisionally fixed at £1,090.

Concessionaires’ address : Henlys Ltd., Heston Air Park, near Hounslow, Middlesex.

Camper ” Swift.”

The Comper “Swift,” though a comparative newcomer, has already become quite well known, not only on account of its high performance, but also for the flight achieved some little time ago by Mr. Butler when he flew a ” Swift ” to Australia in record time.

Behind the” Swift “is the experience of many years, for its designer, Mr. Nicholas Cotnper, in addition to being a pilot of repute, has been engaged in the design and construction of aircraft for a great many years. The ” Swift ” is a high-wing strutbraced single-seater monoplane, built specially for the sportsman who requires

a machine of really high performance. That it is also a thoroughly practical aircraft for serious long-distance work has been abundantly proved by Mr. Butler’s achievement. Economy is another salient feature of this little craft.


Wings : Normal wooden construction, fabric covered and designed to fold for ease in housing. The ailerons are operated from the control stick through pull-and-push rods and straight lengths. of cable.

Fuselage : Built in, three portions, each section being covered with its own independent fabric. Longerons and intermediate struts are of spindled spruce with three-ply gussets. Top decking covered with plywood and shaped to give a good streamline form.

Tail unit : Normal monoplane type, with fin and rudder built up on steel tube frames. The spars and ribs are of spruce and the covering is fabric.

Undercarriage : Split type with shockabsorbing units placed within the fuselage.

Power unit : 75 h.p. 7-cylinder Pobjoy radial engine with geared airscrew. Gravity feed to carburettor from tank. placed in front section of fuselage.


Span, 24 feet ; length, 18 feet 4 inches ; height, 5 feet, 7 inches ; wing area, 90 square feet : total weight, 850 lbs. ; maximum speed, 145 m.p.h. ; cruising speed, 120 m.p.h. ; landing speed, 35 m.p.h. ; take-off, 60 yards ; petrol consumption, 5 gallons per hour ; duration, 3U) miles.

The price of the ” Swift ” is 2550.

Manufacturers’ address : The Comper Aircraft Co., Ltd., Hooton Park Aerodrome, Wirral, Cheshire. Distributors Brian Lewis & Co., Ltd., 30, Conduit Street, London, W.1.

D.H. “Moth.” ” “

The D.H. ” Moth ” was in the first instance produced in 1925, and since that time so much has been achieved with it by numerous pilots, and so many have been sold at home and abroad, that it is now world-famous. It therefore requires scarcely any introduction to. readers of MOTOR SPORT. The latest ” Moth ” is now offered in two models

the Standard and the Special. As the :name implies, the former is built in quantity, with the aid of special plant and machinery which has been laid down with -the object of making one article to the most meticulously accurate standards. The Standard model has a wooden fuselage, and the Special model, one of steel tube, but in other respects the two types are similar. The option of either 100 h.p. D. H. Gipsy I. or the 120 h.p. Gipsy II. .engines exists in both models. The higher-powered unit gives an increase of 6 to 7 m.p.h. in speed, and allows of a quicker take-off and an improved rate of climb.

The wings of the” Moth “are of normal wooden construction, with ailerons on the lower planes and fabric covering. The two seats are arranged in tandem in separate cockpits and dual control is incorporated.


Wings : Single-bay biplane with Rafwire bracing and metal interplane struts and centre-section. By simple arrangement they may be folded back to allow the machine to be passed through a 10 feet doorway.

‘Tail unit : Fabric covered wooden structure, rudder partially-balanced.

Fuselage : Standard model—built up of wood on well-known D.H. principle, with spruce longerons and web members the whole covered with plywood.

:Special model : Welded steel tube, giving exceptional strength and rigidity with light weight ; fabric covered.

Undercarriage : Wide track, with lowpressure tyres and patented D.H. rubber shock-absorbing units.

Fuel feed : By gravity from centre-section tank of 19-gallon capacity.

_Engine: Both the 100 h.p. and 120 h.p. Gipsy are 4-cylinder in-line air-cooled units with overhead valves (two per cylinder), single carburettor and dual ignition. One magneto is fitted with an impulse starter. The Gipsy, which is, of course, the product of the De Havilland Co., is designed to run on No. 1 petrol and ordinary mineral oil.

The accommodation and equipment of the ” Moth” is very complete, and includes inter-cockpit ‘phone system, compass, clock, two air-speed indicators, altimeter, tachometer, oil pressure gauge, petrol gauge, and level indicator.


Span, 30 feet (folded, 9 feet 10 inches) ; length, 23 feet 11 inches ; height, 8 feet .9i inches.

Weights : Standard model, 1,750 lbs. ; Special model, 1,750 lbs.


Speed at ground level : Gipsy I., 100 -m.p.h.; Gipsy IL, 107 m.p.h. Cruising speed : Gipsy I., .85 m.p.h. ; Gipsy II., .91 m.p.h. Stalling speed : 42 m.p.h. Petrol consumption : Gipsy I., 5.2 gallons per hour ; Gipsy II., 5.8 gallons per hour. Range at cruising speed : 300-310 miles. Prices : Standard model—Gipsy I., £695; Standard model—Gipsy II., £775. ‘Special model—Gipsy I., £750; Special

model—Gipsy II., £825. The machine is also offered as a seaplane, the prices ranging from £980 for the Gipsy I. Standard model to 21,115 for the Special model with Gipsy II. power unit. Slots are also obtainable as an extra.

D.H. “Puss Moth.”.

The “Puss Moth” is one of the more recent additions to the D.H. range of light aircraft, and, like the “Moth,” it is designed expressly for the private owner. Its layout embodies a great number of advanced features, and it is equipped and fitted out in such a way that it may be justly described as a luxury aeroplane. The “Puss Moth” is a high-wing strutbraced monoplane, and owing to its very clean lines, it has, for a machine of comparatively low power, a very high all round performance, its climb and ability to cruise at high speed in particular being most marked. Pilot and passengers (the machine is a 2-3 seater) are accommodated in a comfortable cabin, the view from which is exceptionally good. This is due to the use of an inverted engine, which leaves the view ahead completely unobstructed, and the large windows at the sides and in the roof.

Other notable features are the air and wheel brakes, which greatly lessen the landing run—a matter of importance when the machine is being operated from a landing ground of small area. The air brakes consist of simple streamline sleeves which are attached to the undercarriage compression struts, and by moving a lever these can be swivelled round broadside on to wind, thus resulting in an effective braking action. The wheel brakes are of the well known Beudix type.

The” Puss Moth “conforms to presentday tendencies of design, having a metal fuselage and folding wings, while tl”re is plenty of room for carrying luggage.


Wings : Strong wooden construction, f abric covered, with ailerons embodying the patent D.H. differential control system.

Fuselage : Steel tube structure, welded and made in sections to facilitate overhaul and repair.

Tail unit : Wooden construction, fabric covered, adjustable tail plane.

Undercarriage : Wide track “split “type, with Bendix brakes and air-wheels. A tail wheel in place of the more usual tail skid may be fitted if desired.

Fuel system : Petrol tanks are fitted in the wings with simple gravity feed to the carburettor. Tank capacities may be had in three sizzs-22, 28f and 35 gallons.


Span : 36 feet 9 inches (folded 13 feet) ; length with wings extended, 25 feet ; length with wings folded, 26 feet 3 inches ; height, 6 feet 10 inches ; weight, fully loaded, 2,050 lbs.


Speed at ground level : 128 m.p.h. ; speed at 5,000 feet, 125 m.p.h.; rate of climb at ground level, 800 feet per minute ; stalling speed, 42 m.p.h.

The price of the” Puss Moth ” as a land plane is 21,180. Handley Page slots can be fitted at extra cost.

D.H. ” Tiger Moth.”

The D.H. “Tiger Moth” is a development of the ordinary “Moth,” designed primarily as a high-performance training machine for Service flying. At the same time, it is entirely suitable for private use, and it is therefore included in this article. It differs from its prototype in that it is fitted with an inverted Gipsy III. engine, and has staggered wings and modified cockpits. The centre section has also been moved further forward and altered somewhat in design, and a new wings section is used. The wings do not fold.

In official trials the “Tiger Moth” was shown to have a speed at ground level of 109 m.p.h., at 5,000 feet 107 m.p.h., an initial rate of climb of 700 feet per minute and a stalling speed of 46i m.p.h. The price of this aircraft has been fixed at £1,045.

Manufacturers’ address : The De Havilland Aircraft Co., Ltd. Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgware, Middlesex.

Of those foreign-built light ‘planes introduced in recent years into this country, the Klemm is the one which has secured the greatest popularity, and to date there are between 30 and 40 in use. Originally fitted with a flat-twin engine of only 20 h.p., it is now obtainable with a variety of power units, the most popular of which is the 40-50 h.p. Salmson,

The Klemm is of German design and construction, and the first machine was produced after extensive experiments with soarers, and it is generally admitted that it is one of the most efficient of really light aeroplanes now produced. Even with so small a power as 20 h.p., quite a number of outstanding flights have been made with it in the past, the most striking ‘example of which was, perhaps, that made in 1926, when an L.20 type was flown (with a passenger) from Stuttgart to Vienna and Budapest and back ; during this trip the Gross-Glockner Alps were crossed in very bad weather at a height of 12,000 feet.

The Klemm is a low-wing monoplane of the full-cantilever type. With the exception of the ailerons, elevators, rudder and a section of the main planes, the covering is of plywood. The machine is noted for its low landing speed, which is in the neighbourhood of 25 m.p.h., and its anti-spinning characteristics.


Wings : Full-cantilever of wooden construction, high-lift section, plywood covering with fabric from rear spar to trailing edge.

Fuselage : Wooden structure, devoid of wire bracing, plywood covering. Cockpits arranged in tandem with dual C011trol. Tail unit : Pull cantilever wooden struc ture, with adjustable tailplane. Ply

wood covering as on main planes. Undercarriage : Split axle type.

Fuel system : Main tank in front fuselage, with reserve tanks in wing roots. Gravity feed to carburettor.

Engine : 40-50 h.p. nine-cylinder aircooled Salmson radial. DIMENSIONS AND PERFORMANCE


Span, 42 feet 8 inches (the wings do not fold, but are quickly detachable) ; length, 23 feet 8 inches ; height, 7 feet inches.

Speed at ground level, 90 m.p.h. ; cruising speed, 75 m.p.h. ; landing speed, 26-30 ; ceiling, 1,600 feet ; range, 630 miles ; fuel consumption, 21 gallons per hour.

The Klemm is offered with the following alternative engines : —70-80 h.p. Siemens, 85-95 h.p. Cirrus, 80-100 h.p. Argus.

Owing to fluctuations in the rate of exchange, prices cannot be stated.

Concessionaires : S. T. Lea Ltd., 141, New Bond Street, London, W.1 I.


The Redwing is another English light ‘plane, which, though a relatively new make, has “caught on” in the private flying movement. The company responsible for its production was only formed in 1930, yet they have made such good progress that already four flying clubs are using Redwings for instructional purposes. The machine is a side-by-side twoseater biplane, and is powered with an Armstrong-Siddeley Genet engine. Its construction follows orthodox practice, with wooden fuselage and wings. Owing to its low wing loading and the wing section used, the Redwing can be tsicen off and landed at a speed as low as 30 m.p.h. ; yet it has a top speed of 96 m.p.h. The arrangement of the cockpit has been well thought out, and with the seats arranged side-by-side, conversation between pilot and passenger can be made without effort or the aid of telephones. Dual control is fitted, and all the usual instruments are incorporated in the standard equipment. The layout as a whole has been very well conceived, and it is obvious that the designer has aimed at producing a machine which is easy to fly and simple to maintain.


Wings : Normal wooden construction, fabric covered and braced with Raf wire. Ailerons are fitted to lower planes only. Metal interplane struts.

Fuselage : Wooden structure with plywood covering, with large detachable panels on the underside.

Tail unit : Orthodox construction, with fixed tail plane, braced on underside with streamline steel tubes. Rudder partially balanced.

Undercarriage : Wide track ” split ” type, incorporating Oleo shock absorbers, devoid of valves and springs.

Wherever possible, pull-and-push rode are used in the control system, and there are no pulleys and fairleads, the cables being used only in short lengths.

Fuel system : Gravity feed to carburettor from tank installed behind fireproof bulkhead in front fuselage.

Engine : Armstrong-Siddeley Genet fivecylinder air-cooled radial, 80 h.p.


Span, 30 feet 6 inches (folded 9 feet 8 inches) ; length, 22 feet 3 inches ; height, 8 feet 4 inches ; weight, fully loaded, 1,450 lbs. ; speed at ground level, 96 m.p.h.; cruising speed, 85 m.p.h.; landing speed, 30 m.p.h.; rate of climb, 800 feet per minute.

The price of the Redwing is £660.

Manufacturers’ address : The Redwing Aircraft Co., Ltd., Heston Air Park, near Hounslow, Middlesex.


Although on casual inspection the Spartan appears to be very similar to the majority of light biplanes, it has, in fact, a number of unique features in its design. These have been incorporated mainly with the object of simplifying construction and reducing maintenance and repair costs. For example, the rudder and, elevators are of the same size and form, as are the starboard and port tail plane surfaces and the fin. Similarly, the interplane struts are identical, and interchangeability is found in the undercarriage units and, other parts. The Spartan is also notable for its general robustness of build, and the manner in which it will stand a lot of rough handling and really hard work with the inin,imum of attention. Both the Household Brigade Flying Club and the Bristol and Wessex Aero Club use Spartans, and a private owner of very limited experience has successively negotiated the long and arduous route to

Australia. At home one finds a number of Spartans in operation for commercial ” joy-riding ” purposes, and several are in use abroad.

The machine is made in two types— the ” Arrow ” two-seater and. the 3seater. Both types are also obtainable as seaplanes.


Wings : Normal wooden construction, fabric covered, with ailerons on top and bottom planes. Rafwire bracing.

Fuselage : Wooden construction with plywood covering. The cockpits are arranged in tandem, and have large doors at the side to facilitate entry and egress. A large locker is placed behind the rear cockpit.

Tail unit : Normal wooden construction with fabric covering, rudder and elevators are partially balanced. Undercarriage : “Split” axle type with efficient and robust shock absorbing gear.

Engine : Gipsy I., Gipsy II. or Hermes II. (all four-in-line air-cooled units). DIMENSIONS AND PERFORMANCE


Span, 30 feet 7 inches ; length, 25 feet 1 inch ; height, 9 feet ; width with wings folded, 9 feet 9 inches ; weight (fully loaded), 1,750 lbs. Speed at ground level : With Gipsy I. 99 m.p.h., with Gipsy II. 101 m.p.h., With Hermes II. 101 m.p.h. Cruising speed : With Gipsy I. 83 m.p.h., with

Gipsy II. 90 m.p.h., with Hermes 85 m.p.h. Stalling speed : 41 m.p.h. Rate of climb : with Gipsy I. 430 feet per minute, with Gipsy II. 700 feet per minute, with Hermes IL 630 feet per minute. Range : with Gipsy I. 330 miles, with Gipsy IL 264 miles, with Hermes II. 302 miles

Prices : Gipsy I. £675, Gipsy II. £735, Hermes IL i:730.


The Three-seater Spartan is similar in general specification to the ” Arrow,” but is slightly smaller in span and length. The second passenger is accommodated

in the front cockpit, the seat being arranged so as to allow the occupant to sit either facing forward or behind.


Span, 28 feet 10 inches ; length, 24 feet 9 inches ; height, 9 feet 4 inches ; width, with wings folded, 9 feet 4 inches ; weight, fully loadcd, 1,680 lbs, Speed at ground level, 103 m.p.h. Cruising speed, 90 m.p.h. Landing speed, 44 m.p.h. Rate of climb, 600 feet per minute.

Prices : Gipsy II., £795; Hermes II., £790. Handley Page slots fitted as an extra.

Manufacturers’ address : The Spartan Aircraft Ltd., East Cowes, Isle of Wight.