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88. Confusion resolved.

15/12/2013

Back in part 63, you’ll see that we were confused about the need for a carrythrough for the front flying wires. It’s been a bit of a to and fro saga. Leo Opdyke didn’t fit one, and we were concerned about it then.

Jean Munn at the Shuttleworth Collection said that many contemporaneous designs – such as the Avro 504 – didn’t, and they seemed to work okay.

Francis Donaldson pointed out some work they’d done on the Southern Martlet, a 1920s design that didn’t have one, and that seemed to be okay.

But I re-read the drawings and the parts list, and convinced myself that indeed there should be a carrythrough, despite the evidence to the contrary as laid out in part 63, and on that basis we fitted the carrythough cable and raised the front end of the heel troughs to miss them.

Well, reader, I goofed. I’ve re-re-read the drawing and the parts list, and it’s absolutely clear there should NOT be a carrythrough cable. Removing it isn’t complicated and we can easily reset the heel troughs to the right height, which will have the added benefit that I’ll be able to work the rudder!

But it’s still an odd decision to fit a carrythrough to the rear cables and not the front, particularly since the front takes most of the load, and it’s made even odder by looking at sketch 520 for the prototype, which clearly DID have a carrythrough at the front ( you can see the clip at the bottom right of the sketch to which the wires were attached).

520 Fuselage Fitting at CB Inside Plate, Clipped Nut & Chassis Cable Link 29 XII 13

It’s clear that when they did the redesign for the Scout C, the controls and the area around them came in for some serious looking at. And as part of that redesign, it seems as though the carrythrough got left off. It can’t have been an oversight; indeed, if you were going to sell it to the military, it would seem more likely that you’d beef things up. All I can imagine is that somebody noticed that the original wires on the two Scout B models in service weren’t doing anything and they decided they weren’t needed.

But short of asking Dr. Who to pop back and ask around the drawing office in late 1914 what they had in mind, it’s hard to guess at this late stage.

I think we may be able to conduct some static tests on the completed airframe to make sure the thing looks safe before we fly it. I’ll consult with Francis Donaldson at the LAA to see what he thinks.

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