The London-Malta-London Flight.
ALTHOUGH it has been accorded very little notice by the lay press, and therefore the general public, it must be agreed that Captain C. D. Barnard’s flight to Malta and back in a Puss-Moth at the beginning of last month was one of the finest aviation achievements of recent times. The machine was perfectly standard with the exception of an extra petrol tank and the installation of Arens controls, and Barnard did the outward journey in 13 hours. Having landed he snatched a few hours sleep, and then took off again, returning to Croydon in 141. hours. His average speed, therefore, for the total distance of 2,800 miles was 101/ m.p.h. The economical running of the ” Gipsy ” engine is shown by the fact that only 140 gallons of petrol were used—which works out at 20 miles to the gallon. And the oil consumption was 2 gallons. Truly, flying is no longer an expensive form of travel.
By now, Barnard must be one of the most widely travelled of our commercial pilots, for during his postWar career he has flown to and from nearly every European country. And then, of course there are his flights in the “Spider ” to India and South Africa. He learnt to fly in 1916 (I have a letter still in which he describes his first solo flight on an old Maurice Farman). Just after the War he had a very bad accident on a Sopwith “Gnu,” when it caught fire in the air over Southport, and in spite of the fact that he was severely burned, Barnard rescued a passenger he had with him from the machine when he got it to the ground. After many months in hospital he was told that he would most certainly never be fit to fly again—which only goes to prove that doctors can sometimes be wrong in the prophesies and pronouncements.
Flying and Commerce.
Judging from what one hears, the aeroplane has long been recognised as an important and valuable adjunct for commercial enterprises in the U.S.A. Big cabin machines, rigged up as showrooms to display all manner a goods, travel over wide areas and now play a large part in advertising campaigns and sales “drives.” It is not done on such an elaborate scale over here, but quite a number of firms now have their own aircraft for business purposes. S. Smith and Sons, the accessory manufacturers have lately set an excellent example to other British concerns by using a ‘plane to secure trade abroad. They have a “Hermes Moth” equipped with a super instrument board, fitted with their many aero instruments, and with this machine Captain Neville Stack has been making a wide business tour of the Continent. He has already visited Italy, France, Germany, Poland and Denmark, and Smith’s are well satisfied with the results of this trading expedition. Another firm which uses aircraft quite considerably is the Anglo-American Oil Co. At most important aviation meetings their machine is a familiar sight, as is the Shell concern’s Golden “Moth.” The Anglo
American people, by the way, have just taken delivery of their third machine, the latest type “Avian Sports ” with” Hermes “engine. They not only use their ‘planes to enable their aviation sales representatives to travel about quickly, but also for making tests of their fuels and oils at regular intervals.
A member of the staff of MOTOR SPORT who visited Ireland on occasion of the recent T.T. car races, tells me that he saw very little signs of aviation activity over there.
He took the trouble to make inquiries about private flying, and learned that while there are plenty of people who are interested and keen, the position as a whole is a poor one. There is, however, some possibility of a gliding club coming into being in the near future in the Dublin area and an aero club is in process of formation in Belfast. There already exists, of course, the Irish Aero Club, which operates at Baldonnel aerodrome, but it is handicapped by having only one machine—an Avro—available for its 200 odd members. It is interesting to note that the I.F.S. does .not issue official pilot’s licences so that people who wish to acquire them have to come to England to undergo the necessary tests before obtaining a certificate.
Rolls Royce, Ltd., will always be associated with the crossing of the Atlantic by air because it was with two ” Eagle ” engines of this make that the late Sir John Alcock and Sir Arthur Whitten-Brown made the first crossing—from Newfoundland to Ireland in 1919; incidentally their time of sixteen hours still stands as a record, and is likely to stand for some time.
The Condor III B. of which five are fitted in the airship R.100, is a heavy duty engine. It is fitted as standard in several Service aircraft, notably the Hawker ” Horsley ” torpedo-carrying ‘plane and the Blackburn “Iris ” triple-engined flying boat. Several of the former (i.e., Horsleys) are in use by the Greek Air-Force.
It is a twelve-cylinder V-type water-cooled engine with a bore stroke of 5/ x 7/ ins., and a compression ratio of 6/ to 1. It develops 665 b.h.p. at its normal revs. of 1900 per minute, the propeller being geared down to rotate at 907 r.p.m. Each cylinder head, which is spherical in shape, carries two inlet and two exhaust valves, and the operation from the overhead camshaft incorporates cylindrical tappets running in vertical guides so as to obviate imposing any lateral load on the rocker arms. A feature of the Condor IIIB. is its exceptionally low fuel consumption. Although its flight to Canada took far longer than was anticipated—owing to adverse head winds, storms, and the damaged fin, R.100 was in the air seventy nine hours in covering 3,415 miles—a large quantity of petrol was still in reserve at the finish. The actual crossing of the Atlantic took 46 hours, which is a new
airship record. ” RUDDERBAR.”