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9 – 12 Mar 1914. Monday to Thursday.

14/03/2014

Frank produced another three drawings today; 591 was the final sketch for the wind tunnel model, which tells us the purpose of the tests.

591 Model of Fuselage for Air Tunnel Tests - Cowl 9 III 1914

591 Model of Fuselage for Air Tunnel Tests – Cowl 9 III 1914

He has drawn three different types of engine cowling; the first replicates the current one, cut off at the bottom, which is so inelegant. The second was a more conventional one with a flat front, but a complete circle when viewed from the front. And the third is an interesting shape, more or less hemispherical, with a large hole in the middle intended to represent the space where the propeller shaft comes through.

I like to imagine a discussion between Frank, who was not a pilot, and whose previous experience of cowling shapes was largely theoretical, and Harry Busteed, who had little formal education, but who’d flown most of the Bristol aircraft and had a great deal of practical experience, and that the tests were intended to resolve the argument. The hemispherical one may have been modelled on the contemporary GB75 two-seater designed by Coanda and  would have been likely to have produced the cleanest flow over the fuselage, but would have required a more complex spinner. At any rate, it seems to have been the middle one which won the argument, as that was what appeared on the aircraft when it appeared on the racing circuit later in the year.

592, 593 & 594 are more details of the larger wings, including the main spars which aren’t just longer, they are wider too, in order to take the greater stresses. 

592 Outer End Ribs for Wings & Ailerons 9 III 1914

592 Outer End Ribs for Wings & Ailerons 9 III 1914

593 Main Spars for Larger Wing Sections 9 III 1914

593 Main Spars for Larger Wing Sections 9 III 1914

594 Main Spars for Larger Wings 10 III 14

594 Main Spars for Larger Wings 10 III 14

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