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AIR FORCE EXPANSION British Planes for Foreign Powers
LONDON, Oct. 1.— A new model of the Airspeed Courier, which will compete in the Melbourne centenary air race, has comDleted its trials, and represents a
pronounced advance in speed for a Bri tish commercial machine. This is the Airspeed A.S.8, a low-wing monoplane powered with two supercharged Siddeley Cheetah 300 h.p. engines. It has a re tractile undercarriage, the wheels and struts lifting within the engine nacelles when the craft is in flight. Most of the fuselage, which is beautifully streamlined, Is occupied for the purposes of the race by extra fuel tanks and a radio receiving apparatus. An automatic pilot is included in the navigational equipment. A bed is provided for the pilot off duty, a detail of equipment which may prove important in maintaining the fitness of the crew. Maximum speed attained is in the neighbourhood of 200 miles an hour, and its still-air range should be at least 2,000 miles. During the trial flights it has maintained level flight, with full load on board, on the power of either engine alone up to a height of 4,000 feet. Mr. T. Neville Stack and Mr. S. L. Tur ner will fly the machine, which is en tered for both the speed and handicap races. The craft is not a purely racing vehicle. Suitably fitted and with slight modifications, it becomes the Viceroy air liner, with accommodation for a crew of two and up. to 10 passengers. Warplanes for Irak. A formation of five Hawker Audax bi planes, flown by Iraki pilots and intended for equipment of the Iraki Air Force, arrived at Bagdad two days ago after an uneventful journey in leisurely stages from England. . Seven similar machines will be crated and shipped within the next 10 days, completing a squadron of modern aircraft, .specially equipped' for desert patrol and for policing duties in the remoter regions of Irak. Each machine has a Bristol 'Pegasus 700 h.p. air-cooled radial engine, and carries a big load, including machine guns, bombs, navigational equipment for flying by night and day, emergency ra tions, drinking water, and fuel for many hundreds of miles' flying. Their maxi mum speed is 180 miles an hour, and
they can climb to a height of 10.000 feet, with full load on board, in 1\ minutes. Aircraft of similar type are used in large numbers by the Royal Air Force and in the air forces of several foreign coun tries. The Hawker company, among many important overseas contracts, is also engaged on the building of Osprey ship fighter reconnaissance biplanes which will form part of the complement of the new Swedish aircraft carrier Gott land. Four of these machines are ready for delivery, and will be flown over to Sweden. Among the trials to which they will be submitted in Swedish waters will be test ascents from the eatapult launch ing gear installed in the Gottland. The Osprey ; represents one of the several metamorphoses of the famous Hart day bomber biplane which set new world stan dards of performance when it was in troduced to the British service squadrons more than five years ago. It was the first bomber to attain a level speed of three miles a minute, and obliged instant improvement of fighter design because it was so fast that the standard single seater fighters of that day could not catch it nor outclimb it. Since then it has been adopted for British' service use in many forms, each modified from the original Hart design and all of them admirable military aeroplanes. Thus the Audax as used in the Royal Air Force is designed, for army co-operation flying, the Demon is a two-seater fighter, and the Osprey is a fleet reconnaissance fighter. Latest of the Hart series to be adopted in this country is the Hind, Tflhich, is a day bomber fitted with a supercharged engine and capable of a maximum speed of more than 200 miles an hour. Schoolboy Pilots. All of the boys who attended the first Public Schools Aviation- Camp,' held in August and September at . Mousehold aerodrome, Norwich, have how quali fied as pilots. The last two passed then tests a-- few days ago. The experiment has been . a complete success, justifying the optimism of Mr. H. Bifchall, master at Taunton, who originated the scheme, and reflects great credit on the instruc tors and the Norfolk Aero Club. Four of the lQboys.who attended- the camp— . there would have been more than 30 but for the Air Ministry regulation for bidding solo flying by people less than 17 years of age — are going into the Royal Air Force. One of these is return ing to the club for a further 50 hours' experience and advanced instruction. Some of the boys are going oack to school for another year, others are taking positions in civil life, but each of them is fired with the desire to help in the de velopment of aviation and each has ar ranged to continue his own flying. That is the kind of 'air-mindedness' which la needed to establish the future of aerial transport. No doubt this first camp will have many imitators in future years. Evolution of the Air-liner. British progress in the design and con struction of passenger air-liners is strik ingly illustrated by a comparison which i3 now possible between the latest craft of the Diana type and a machine such as the D.H. 18, one of tlie first aircraft to be built for regular air transport on the routes between London and the
The first batch of Hawker Audax biplanes for the Iraki air force leaving Brooklands, England.
The first batch of Hawker Audax biplanes for the Iraki air force leaving Brooklands, England.
continent. Machines of the Diana type are to be used by Qantas Empire Air ways, an associate company of Imperial Airways, on the new Malaya-Australia extension of the eastern Empire route, which is to be inaugurated in December, while the D.H. 18, which was put into ser vice between London and Paris in 1922, was driven^ by a single 450 h.p. engine, and carried a paying load of 1,1001b. at a maximum speed of 115 miles an hour, and at a cruising speed of 95 miles an hour. In contrast to this, the modern Diana machine, which is driven by four en gines developing a total of 800 h.p., car ries a pay-load of 3,1471b. at a maximum speed of 170 miles an hour, and a cruis ing speed of 145 miles an hour. Actually the increased reliability of the four engines in the Diana, any two of them maintaining the machine in flight when carrying a full load, together with the increase in cruising speed of 50 miles an hour, have been accompanied by an improved commercial performance which is represented by tthe fact that, whereas the pay-load per horse-power of the D H. 18 was 2.41b., that of the Diana is 3.91b. Constructional progress, in the 12 years from 1922 to 1934, is demonstrated by the fact that whereas the DJL 18, built to carry six passengers uid a crew of two, weighed 7,2001b., a machine of the Diana class, designed to carry 10 passen gers and a crew of two, does not wei«»h more than 6,3511b., even when incorpor ating all the factors of structural secu rity, which are an essential feature of British air design. This means that the factor of weight per horse-power has been reduced from 161b. to 7.91b. These improvements in commercial performance nave been accompanied by a remarkable all-round increase in the comfort of pas sengers, as is evidenced by modern luxurv air saloons with their sumptuous fittings, lull catering service, and noise reduction, even when flying at high speeds. More Planes for Egypt. A squadron of ten Avro Type 626 miutary biplanes left Lympne aerodrome, Kent, to formation yesterday afternoon on the first stage of a flight to Egypt, wfhe« it will be added to the strength of the Egyptian Army Air Force. A first squadron of similar aircraft flew from England to Egypt towards the end of last year. They have since been engaged in important patrol and reconnaissance duties directed to preserve the integrity or the frontier against the efforts ot contraband smugglers, and in aerial survey work. The Avro 626, powered with a Siddeley Cheetah 277 h.p. radial air-cooled en gine, is an admirable vehicle for the building up of a young air force. It is economical, yet efficient. Each machine in the Egyptian service is equipped for performance of a variety of duties, including aerial photography reconnaissance, light bombing and ma chine-gunning. Similar aircraft are at present used by the air forces of China Argentina and Belgium, and in Scandin avia. Orders are pending from other countries. Two Royal Air Force officers who have been seconded for duty with the Egyptian government are in charge of the new force. Both are with the squadron now on its way to Cairo The- ^°,_Kaimakam Tait Bev and Bimbashi Webster, the latter famous as the win ner of the Schneider Trophy contest at Venice in 1927 With them is a party of Egyptian officer pilots and British and Egyptian non-commissioned officers. Some of the Egyptian pilots have already done more than 700 hours' flying, all of it at Roy a! Air Force flying schools or with the Egyptian air force; that they have reached a remarkably high standard of skill was evident in the. fine formation flying which formed part of the pro gramme of the official inspection of the squadron last week by Hakki Bey, act ing Egyptian Minister in London. The work done by the first '626' squadron in the past 10 months has un doubtedly made for more efficient gov ernment. Much survey work has been done. Anti-smuggling measures especi ally directed against the illicit intro duction into Egypt of the drug hashish have been given full aerial support; daily reconnaissance flights over the Si nai peninsula, the favourite path of the drug smugglers, have made then task extremely difficult. Along the coast the air patrols watch for feluccas which may also be carrying the drug. Once a suspicious caravan or ship is sighted, warning is given by aeroplane and an armoured car section, camel corps party, or sloop moves out to in vestigate.