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8 Mar 1914. Sunday.

07/03/2014

There was clearly a great deal of hurry about the modifications required on the newly-christened Scout. Frank was in on a Sunday, producing three or four sketches (one is undated, so it might have been produced a day or two earlier).

Why all the hurry? To be honest, I’m not too sure, though it’s possible they were trying to complete the modifications in time for the major Olympia Aero show in ten days’ time, in which the Scout was intended to be one of only two aircraft on the Bristol stand.

The undated one (586) is for a clip intended to fit over a small diameter elliptical tube. The only ones on the production aircraft are the tailplane struts, but these don’t appear to be related to them, and I can’t tell where (if at all) they were used. It doesn’t specify which job it’s for either, so it might have been for the Burney-Bristol X3, for which he’d produced sketches 581-587 on the 2 & 3 Feb a month before.

586 Clip

586 Clip

587 wasn’t used, and 588 is for the revised aileron spars for the larger wing. there’s an interesting discrepancy here. You’ll see that the front spar has been drawn at 2124mm long, with the rear spar only 1500mm. There’s clearly a discrepancy between the two – they should be more or less the same length, and the front spar has been superceded by a later drawing which matches the rear spar. The initial length was simply scaled up in proportion with the increase in wingspan from 1744 to 2124, but halfway through this drawing someone (I assume it would have been Harry Busteed) suggested that the ailerons were quite big enough, thank you, and they’ve decided to reduce them to match the next available wing rib. Frank has drawn up the rear spar according to this new scheme, and only got round to the front spar a couple of days later.  This aileron size was retained for the early production Scouts, and was still capable of being flick rolled – a manoeuvre that’s only possible with the most aerobatic of modern aircraft, and I wasn’t aware they’d even heard of such a thing in 1915 until I read the article. Later production Scouts had the ailerons reduced in size even further, though Granddad always reckoned he preferred the earlier,  more manoeuvrable version!

588 Aileron Spars for Larger Wings 8 III 1914

588 Aileron Spars for Larger Wings 8 III 1914

The next two drawings are interesting, because they are for a model intended for wind tunnel testing. 589 and 590 are sketches for a model of the fuselage, but since that’s more or less the only bit of the aircraft that wasn’t changed, one wonders why they only got round to testing it after the real thing had flown.

589 Model of Fuselage for Air Tunnel Tests 8 III 1914

589 Model of Fuselage for Air Tunnel Tests 8 III 1914

590 Model of Fuselage for Air Tunnel Tests - Sections 8 III 14

590 Model of Fuselage for Air Tunnel Tests – Sections 8 III 14

I suspect the answer is in the next drawing, but he didn’t draw that until the Monday, and you’ll have to wait until then to find out!

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