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19 Dec 1913. Friday.


Today Frank completed the tail surfaces by designing the rudder. (It’s possible he did it yesterday, but he forgot to put dates on, so I’ve made an assumption here.) Construction is similar to the horizontal tail surfaces, with the same wood ribs, lever and hinge, all of which seems reasonably logical.

514 Rudder 515 Rudder woodwork -- XII 13

After its first flight, the size of the rudder was increased and the ribs were changed to steel (hence the reference to SK596), and on the Scout C the hinge design was changed. You might have expected the modified hinge to have been used on rudder and elevator, but no. The only similarity is that both of them are very difficult to manufacture and align!

There’s no fixed fin on the Bristol Scout in common with the majority of aircraft of that period. A fin improves the aircraft handling, but I guess that was a refinement too far in 1913.

516 Strainer Details 19 XII 13

In the afternoon, Frank drew up the fork end for a turnbuckle. A turnbuckle or strainer was used on each cable ( there are about 100 on the Scout), and it’s interesting that even by 1910 – only 2 years after powered flying became possible in Europe – there were any number of manufacturers making and selling them. It’s not clear why these 20 specials were needed. Clearly they fitted a standard strainer made by Bleriot, but apparently only for some locations, not all. By late 1914 when they were doing the redesign for the Scout C, a standard (AGS142) had been drawn up, and this was used.

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