A FAST AMERICAN.
CAPTAIN Frank Hawks, who is by this time one of the most famous of American pilots not only of power ‘planes, but gliders, came to Europe last month with his Travelair monoplane, and within a very short time after his arrival, began to attract a great deal of attention both in France and in this country.
His first flight over European soil was from Cherbourg to Le Bourget, which he did in 55 minutes. The distance is something over 200 miles.
On 18th April Hawks paid a visit to Croydon where his machine caused much interest. It is a low-wing monoplane of quite small span with Rafwire bracing ; the flying wires are attached to the undercarriage at their lower terminals, after the style of the little D.H. “Tiger Moth.” The engine is a boosted Wright” Whirlwind” which develops 450 h.p.
The whole machine is beautifully finished and finely streamlined everywhere. The undercarriage wheels are encased in” spats,” and a celluloid hatch completely encloses the cockpit opening.
On 22nd April Hawks set off from Heston with the intention of flying to Rome and back in the day, but although he had two forced landings on the return trip, and so failed in his object, he created a record by doing the 900 odd miles on the outward trip in 5 hours 22 minutes, an amazing performance.
The Travelair carries about 100 gallons of petrol and weighs, fully-loaded, 2,100 lbs. Its top speed is 250 m.p.h. and it cruises easily at 200 m.p.h.
Captain Hawks, who is an Australian by birth, is aeronautical adviser to the Texas Oil Co.