Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

1910 Bournemouth International Flying Week

From Graces Guide

Persons Mentioned in this Article

  • Stewards. —
    • Earl of Malmesbury,
    • Lord Abinger,
    • Lord Montagu of Beaulieu,
    • Hon. Arthur Stanley,
    • Sir George Meyrick, Bart.,
    • Sir Charles Day Rose, Bart.,
    • Lieut.-Col. F. G. Lefroy,
    • Councillor G. E. Bridge, J. P. (Mayor of Bournemouth),
    • Councillor F. J. Bell (Chairman Centenary Fetes),

Sunday, July 10th

"Welcome" is the greeting extended everywhere to the visitor, and it is written in letters of gold on a score of bannerets, which shimmer in the sunshine; that is itself far from the least of the gifts that Bournemouth offers to its guests on this the auspicious occasion of its Centenary Fetes.

Bournemouth is naturally a pretty place, but it fancies itself mightily in its gala dress of flags and bunting wherewith it is decorated in honour of this its hundredth anniversary. On Sundays Bournemouth takes on the outward signs of ultra repose so dear to the heart of the churchman. The trams do not run, and those who would take the air must walk, an enforced health restorer which has many great points in its favour.

Somewhere about 2,000 people thought the aerodrome would be a good venue on this Sabbath morning, and they were rewarded for their exertions by many an interesting sight, with one very fine one in particular, Mr. McArdle arriving with his luggage on Mr. Armstrong Drexel's Bleriot-monoplane. The luggage may not have represented a great part of the load, but it was there, and in any case the flight from the flying school in the New Forest round the Needles was a splendid effort in itself.

Much interest was taken in the machine by the sightseers, who were able to approach the sheds and were not even charged for the privilege.

Observance of the Sunday therefore has its advantages. The authorities in Bournemouth despised to take advantage of the day, and the crowd had a fine time, perfectly oblivious of the fact that it is not the safest thing in the world to hustle about an aeroplane that is out for practice.

Monday, July 11th

Quite the most satisfactory aspect of the opening day of the Bournemouth flying meeting is the readiness of the majority of the competitors. Spectators who come at 10 o'clock for a performance that is timed to commence at eleven cannot complain if they hear as they arrive the now familiar buzz of an aeroplane in flight.

It is, at any rate, only a few minutes past the hour when the Hon. C. S. Rolls takes out his Wright biplane, and after a short run rises in flight before the grand stands that are already peopled with a sparse gathering. It is, of course, only a trial flight; but these preliminary circuits make an auspicious beginning and help to dispel the gloom that prevails still earlier in the morning when it was known that Cecil Grace had wrecked his Short biplane during a daybreak spin. This was about the most unfortunate thing that could have occurred, for Grace is one of the best of our British aviators, and everyone was most anxious to see him compete successfully in the various events. Moreover, it was a case of exceptionally hard luck. A cracked cylinder-head had just been rectified and then a piston seized during the first subsequent trial flight. The accident occurred over a spot that was certain to damage the machine in the event of a forced descent, so that nothing the pilot could do would serve to avert disaster. He was unable to clear the dyke and equally unable to stop in advance of it. He tried to turn, but he only succeeded in making an oblique dive into the ditch. This smashed the machine, but Grace himself was unhurt, and will fly his second machine so soon as it can be got in readiness.

No sooner had Rolls landed after four successful circuits than Grahame-White ascends with his Farman biplane and subsequently takes a passenger for a short flight.

Rolls' machine is the modified Wright with the hinged tail plane interconnected with the elevator. It has also small wheels fastened to the skids, and as there is no spring or elastic suspension, landing has to be accomplished with much delicacy and discretion. "You have to behave as if you were trying to land on a billiard-table without spoiling the cloth," is the way Rolls himself expresses it.

A few minutes past eleven Christiaens brings out his Farman with the short span lower deck and Gnome engine. Without delay he starts off for the long distance prize in ideal weather conditions, or although the signal mast credits the wind with an official speed of between 5 and 8 miles an hour the breeze is scarcely perceptible. Christiaens flying for this event is not spectacular; he flies low and steadily, somewhat after the manner of Farman himself, but faster. Lap succeeds lap, and the machine in the air holds the spectators' attention only so long as silence in the paddock continues to indicate that no one else is going up.

When Christiaens has totted up thirteen laps Rolls brings out his tailed Wright biplane for an attempt on the slowest circuit. Very quickly he ascends to an altitude of two or three hundred feet — it is difficult to judge actual values — and slows down the engine until the power developed is only just sufficient to sustain horizontal motion. Slowly and rather majestically the biplane circles the course, and while he is still aloft Radley starts off on his Bleriot monoplane for the speed prize.

Three machines are now in the air, and all are progressing at different velocities. Christiaens, still flying low and piling up miles, overtakes Rolls, while Radley, at about the same altitude as Christiaens, gains a little in speed on the biplane. After a few laps Radley planes rapidly to earth, vaults off his machine in the approved manner of monoplanists, and runs alongside. His fastest lap was 2m. 51.6s. = 37.4 m.p.h.

Rolls also descends after a really fine demonstration of slow speed flying, and the notice board credits him with a slowest lap (3,140 yds.) of 4m. 13s., which is equivalent to about 25.5 miles an hour.

Boyle then takes out his Avis, but the wings not being properly adjusted, he descends between the first and second mark-posts before getting on to the bad ground at the far end, which is generally regarded by the aviators as certain to break up the chassis of any machine that is so unfortunate as to have to come down on it.

With but a few minutes' delay after his descent from the slow speed test Rolls remounts his machine for the speed prize and gives a fine demonstration of turning at the corners that is in marked contrast to the drifting of Christiaens, who is still solemnly adding to his mileage.

Armstrong Drexel on his Bleriot monoplane is the next out, and as his effort is for the altitude prize there are now four machines in the air each competing for one of the four prizes that are alone open for competition in to-day's programme. Drexel is speedily aloft and flies wide of the course; very soon he is high up in the grey sky, lost to view by some of the spectators who have tried to follow all the machines at once.

The spectacle now presented is unique in British flying, and even before Drexel descends to earth by a steep glide, Dickson gets up on his Farman and is followed by Grahame-White. Both these latter attempts are short-lived although successful in kind, and after a spell of comparative excitement the scene once more resolves itself into the inevitable Christiaens stolidly circling round like some great bird patiently waiting for its prey. At last even he sinks to earth at the end of 47 laps that have lasted 2h. 20m. 52.2s., and have totalled to his credit a distance of 83 miles 1,500 yards.

His intermediate official times are as follow:—

  • 10 laps in 30m. 20.8s.
  • 20 laps in 59m. 46.4m.
  • 30 laps in 1h. 29m 0.2s.
  • 40 laps in 1h. 59m 6.6s.
  • 47 laps in 2h. 20m 52.2s.

His descent was due to failing engine power; the Gnome rotary engine having begun to show signs of stickiness about the atmospheric valves in the pistons, which were subsequently taken out and cleaned.

Other official figures at this period are:—

  • Altitude
    • Drexel, ... 1,950 ft.
  • Speed
    • Grahame-White 5 laps ... 14m. 48.8s.; Fastest lap ... 2m. 53.8s.
    • Rolls 5 laps ... 14m. 50.8s.; Fastest lap ... 2m. 52.6s.

Thus Rolls is exactly one second slower than Radley in the record for the lap speed, and is a little slower than Grahame-White on the five laps.

The lap speeds of the Farman and Wright biplanes are sensibly equal, and about 37.5 m.p.h., which compared with Rolls' slow test of 25.5 m.p.h. would seem to show a useful range of speed for the Wright machine of approximately 1 to 1.5 under exactly similar weather conditions.

From the scientific point of view the flights of Rolls are the best product of the morning's proceedings, although it is possible that their real significance may escape general observation. The Wright biplane has an engine that, although the bore and stroke are 110 mm., is said to be incapable of developing more than 25h.p. at 1,400 r.p.m. for any length of time. A test in Germany of one of the earlier engines showed that the power fell to 18-h.p. after 10 mins. run, and if the present Bariquand and Marre motors are a better job, as seems to be the case, the design itself would appear to suffer from great limitations. If we allow that the power is that stated, the Wright biplane may claim to rank as the most efficient flying machine among those present. In flight the total weight is probably about 1,200 lbs., and the effective surface of support such that the lift required is about 2.25 lbs. per sq. ft., which, as we have seen, is available at 25.5 m.p.h.

So far as the fuel economy of the engine is concerned the results are far from satisfactory. It consumes a gallon of petrol in about 14 mins., or over 4 gallons an hour, which for 25h.p. is at the rate of 1.6 pints per h.p. hour. A fair value for a well-designed internal combustion engine would be about 0.8 pint per h.p. hour.

It is of course well known that the practice of injecting the fuel without the aid of a carburettor does not make for economy. Throughout both flights the engine ran most regularly, and especially was this noticeable during the slow test, when it was possible to observe more accurately its working.

The propellers on this machine are driven by chains, the sprockets for which have 10 and 34 teeth on the crank-shaft and propeller-shaft respectively.

During the luncheon interval Barnes takes out the Humber monoplane, but a forced descent in the bad ground terminates a short flight. A signal is speedily hoisted stating that the pilot is unhurt, and motor cars are despatched forthwith to his assistance. In a few minutes the wingless frame is towed back to the shed. Boyle then makes another attempt for the speed prize, but this time the engine fails to pull properly, and he descends after a scrape round.

The commencement of the afternoon's flying is about four o'clock, when Grahame-White makes an attempt for the altitude prize, resulting in an ascent to 1,660 ft., followed by a quick glide to earth.

Radley follows for the speed prize, and makes one lap in 3m. 4.6s., after which there is another pause, until at 5 o'clock Rolls ascends for the altitude prize in a wind officially recorded as 8-11 m.p.h., the change having occurred just prior to the start. At an altitude of about 973 ft. he flies into a faint whirlwind which alters the course of his machine, and causes him to think the control is at fault, for which reason he at once descends.

About this time the crowd breaks through the barrier on one side of the ground, and delays the proceedings until a force of mounted police clear the course. Then Rolls restarts, but decides this time to go for speed, as he is behind Grahame-White on the five-lap test. In this attempt he not only betters his best lap, but improves on Grahame-White's time for five laps.

Rolls' times are as follow:—

  • 5 laps in 14m. 39.4s. Fastest lap in 2m. 39.4s.

The lap time gives a speed of 40.3 m.p.h., so that up to date Rolls holds both speed records. This seems an excellent performance for the Wright biplane, but the wind conditions are not quite identical with those of the slow speed test, and may have affected the result.

Gibbs also tries for the speed prize, but his times of 15m. 21.2s. for the five laps, and 3m. 2.6s, for the fastest lap, fail to place him in the zone of success at that attempt.

Two machines then ascend, Grahame-White for distance, and Drexel for another attempt on altitude, the record for which he already holds. These are followed by signals announcing Radley and Boyle for the speed prize.

Meanwhile Drexel is making a wonderful flight up in the sky, climbing up to 2,490 ft. He took about 12 mins. going up, and about 8 mins. coming down, including the landing. If his flight speed was in the order of 40 miles an hour, his glide took place at an angle of about 1 in 5.

Radley's attempt on speed results in a best lap in 2m. 49.2s., but a forced descent due to failure of the pressure feed, owing to forgetting to pump up, curtails the trial. On his third attempt he succeeds in leading Rolls' time by exactly one second, so that his time of 2m. 38.2s. now stands at the head of the list.

Christiaens, again flying very low but apparently faster, also makes an attempt on speed with a fastest lap in 2m. 38.2s., thus tieing with Radley, and five laps in 13m. 32.2s., which places him first with a lead of 1m. 7.2., on Rolls.

Dickson goes up next for a trial flight, and concludes a short spin with an admirably executed steep glide. The wind has now dropped to its lowest recorded value of under three miles an hour, and all the flags hang limp. Again Dickson takes up his Farman, and in a short time goes out of bounds towards Wimborne, and turns seawards. The signal-board, however, shows that this fine flight is not officially observed. Presently Dickson returns and descends so that Grahame-White is left in the air to finish off alone the best day of flying that has yet been seen in Britain.

Before Starting on his long-distance flight, Grahame-White asked the Committee to grant an extension of time in his favour under a clause in the rules which gives the officials this power, and as the result of their consent he was able to fly on until 9 p.m., although sunset occurred at 8.13 p.m. Under these circumstances he is credited with 50 laps = 89 miles 360 yds. for the long-distance contest. His time for this distance was 2h. 31m. 49.6s., which is equivalent to a speed of 35.4 m.p.h., or a shade slower than Christiaens. Grahame - White was nearly 2 mins. slower on Christiaens' time for the 47 laps.

Tuesday, July 12th

Greater evidence of sunshine brought an increased velocity or wind, the flags waving energetically in the breeze, and the signal mast carrying the white sphere and black cone, to signify "wind between 11 and 14 miles an hour."

Until noon, there is not so much as the sound of an engine, and when Grahame-White ascends in his shirt-sleeves, it is only to make a short circuit for the benefit of his engine, in preparation for the landing prize, that is to be held between the hours of 11 and 1 p.m.

A few minutes later he makes the attempt, by crossing a white line in flight, circling a mark tower once, and returning to a white circle that has been described to a radius of 50 yds. on the starting line as its diameter. In the centre of the circle is a white "bull's-eye," 12 ft. in diameter, and driving low across the wind, Grahame-White touches ground within the circle, and pulls up 43 ft. 2.75 ins. from the centre. But for the fact that Grahame-White had difficulty in getting his engine to stop, he would have come to rest practically on the spot, indeed, everyone in the vicinity expected this to be the result.

Next in the field is Audemars on the little Clement-Bayard Santos Dumont type monoplane. He and his machine arrived overnight and his first intention is to take a look at the ground, but he comes down in rather bad ground without hurting either his machine or himself.

Rolls then attempts for the landing test with much the same tactics as Grahame-White, but runs 78 ft. 10 ins. past the bull.

Dickson tries to come up in the teeth of the wind, but his landing is too much of a drop and the chassis struts are broken. The propeller also catches in the cross-ties of the chassis and pulls one of the wires under the valve rock-lever on one of the cylinders of his Gnome engine. The mishap suggests that attention should be paid in design to the placing of the wires so that they are not likely to foul a moving part when they sag. One fact that Dickson's descent demonstrated very clearly is the splendid buffer action of the Farman chassis. Hardly anything that could not be replaced without trouble was broken, yet the machine certainly landed very heavily, and at first sight the apparent crumpling up of the members suggested that the chassis would be a wreck.

Each of these attempts pointed to one conclusion, that the position of the circle in respect to the wind made this particular competition extremely difficult and not a little hazardous. The wind was in the worst possible quarter for the pilots, for it was blowing obliquely towards the grandstands, and this precluded the possibility of alighting head on to the wind, except by flying over the grand stands first. This both Rolls and Grahame-White were disinclined to do, and both very skilfully brought off the alternative by finishing broadside on in a low flight, which just carried them skimming over the ground into the circle.

Evidently the disadvantages of this method impressed themselves on Rolls' mind, for he discussed the problem as his mechanics prepared the machine for another attempt before one o'clock, and ultimately decided to make an unofficial flight of investigation before launching on a second attempt for the prize.

By the time Rolls was aloft again the breeze had stiffened somewhat, and his preliminary short circuit of the course called for a fair amount of skill merely to maintain a straightforward flight. Having reached the fourth mark tower, Rolls turned out towards the grand stands and flew above them, so that he could approach the circle in the teeth of the wind. Evidently it was his intention to make a trial descent, for he executed a sharp dive towards the ring. His angle of descent was extremely steep, and necessarily so, for the circle had been drawn only about 50 yds. from the barrier, and it must have seemed to Rolls, at that altitude, immediately beneath him almost as soon as he had cleared the grand stands. Realising that his angle of descent was too exaggerated for safety, or possibly because he was struck by a wind-gust, Rolls suddenly put the elevator up to the end of its range in an attempt to bring the machine into a more reasonable attitude. But, just as he had apparently succeeded, something happened, and it fell vertically head-first to the ground.

And poor Charlie Rolls breathed his last as he lay there on the green grass by the debris of his machine surrounded by a cordon of saddened friends, who, joining hands, had formed a human wall to give him refuge from the blinking eye of the ubiquitous press camera, to the operator of which no scene is sacred. He neither spoke nor moved before the end, and the secret of his fall was undisclosed.

With the passing of the Hon. C. S. Rolls there has been removed from the actual field of flight one of its most brilliant supporters. Not only was Rolls an accomplished pilot, he was a man of scientific thought, and his interest in the problems of aviation extended to the minutest details of the art he was doing so much to encourage. Careful, with the forethought born of experience, he carried innumerable events to a successful issue, and he died as he lived, a sportsman. Motoring, ballooning, aviation, all owe much indeed to the pioneer work of Charlie Rolls.

Although the wrecked machine afforded little enough evidence of the exact cause of the disaster, the member which failed was probably one of the outrigger spars that carried the tail, and the fracture was evidently caused by excessive stress, incidental to the sudden nature of the attempt to forcibly pull the machine on to an even keel.

To an observer who was closely watching the machine in side-view, the phenomena consisted of a sharp crack, followed by the canting of the tail plane. It was, of course, impossible to notice if the outrigger framework was out of truth, for, of course, the whole unfortunate incident occupied but the space of a moment. Apparently the action of the tail exerted a sudden lifting effect on the back of the machine, at any rate it up-ended with such appalling suddenness that it seems necessary to suppose that it was lifted from behind.

The propellers and most of the struts were intact, the latter owing to the flexible joints, also the tail plane itself seemed uninjured, although every outrigger spar that supported the tail was broken. The engine remained fast in the frame, but every cylinder was broken off by its flange and drawn almost clear of the pistons.

The outstanding lessons of the accident are twofold: one, which affects constructors, being that sudden actions of the control mechanism are capable of throwing very severe stresses on the outrigger framework, that does not ordinarily have to carry much weight; and the other, which affects officials and competitors, being that the present comparative ignorance of the art on all hands makes it difficult for anyone to judge what is fair and unfair hazard in a trick competition.

Everyone saw that the wind was in a difficult quarter, and every competitor naturally wished to pull up head to wind in the ring if he could, but probably no one fully realised quite what sort of manoeuvre would be necessary to accomplish this until Rolls made the attempt. It is quite possible that Rolls tried to accomplish a dive in a head wind of a kind that not even future experience will bring within the realm of fair chance.

In natural sympathy with the disaster flying was at once stopped for the day.

Wednesday, July 13th

Grahame-White was again first in the air on Wednesday morning at 11.15, and after a short trial flight, he took up Mr. Arnold White as a passenger, who expressed himself as very pleased with the sensation, which he described as a bit jumpy at times.

As a matter of fact, the wind, as Grahame-White himself said, was not nice, and the machine had a periodic undulating motion that might be expected to make a first experience less peaceful than a dead calm.

Cody brought out his new biplane at 12.15, which gives some idea of the intervals that the crowd have to be prepared to enjoy at flying meetings. The engine moreover proved to be anything but in good tune, and he returned to his shed.

Rawlinson had his signal up for a while, but it was replaced by the luncheon interval sign at one o'clock.

Shortly after 1.30, however, Morane suddenly brought out his racing Bleriot and flew two fast rounds of the course.

At 3 o'clock Dickson took his machine out also, and was up for a couple of circuits, while Grahame-White followed with a similar performance.

One of the visitors to the Aerodrome this afternoon was Mr. Horace Short, the well-known constructor of aeroplanes, who made an exhaustive examination of the debris of Rolls' French built Wright biplane. His theory is that the tail outrigger buckled sideways under the excessive vertical pressure and was struck by the propellers. This accounts for a small dent in each propeller blade, and in a piece of spar that was picked up some distance from the wreck; the tail outrigger was of very light construction and weak laterally, so it might well have bent sideways under an upward pressure. The clearance for the propellers was only a few inches, and it is well known that a sudden blow on a long bar of wood will often knock out a piece about 1 or 2 ft. in length.

Some eyewitnesses have said that the rudder came unshipped in mid-air, but it was practically intact after the fall, and it seems fairly certain that up to the final drop the machine was under control.

Towards four o'clock the proceedings were enlivened by a series of passenger flights by Grahame-White, and an attempt by Audemars on the Santos-Dumont, who failed to get round.

Dickson then made a trial flight, and Morane, on the racing Bleriot, made a brief but splendid couple of circuits, commencing with a rapid ascent and terminating with a steep but graceful glide.

This was followed by another ascent and another vol plane. Until ten minutes to six there had not been a single attempt for the prize events, but after Cecil Grace had brought out his Short-Sommer and flown two lengths, Morane ascended for altitude, and climbed in wide sweeping circles into the cloudless sky to a height of 4,100 ft., followed by a magnificent corkscrew glide.

Barnes took out the Humber monoplane for a trial, and Dickson flew for slowest circuit, for which his best time was 3m. 1.4s.

Morane then flew for speed, and finished five laps in 9 mins. 34.4s., with a fastest lap of 1m. 53.4s., equal to a speed of 56.64 miles per hour.

Audemars follows, with a fastest lap of 2m. 24.4s., which concluded the official flying for the day.

Thursday, July 14th

Attempts for the Starting Prize opened Thursday's proceedings, and by dint of limiting the time for this event to the period between eleven and one o'clock the officials managed to create the first real signs of genuine and continuous activity that had up to that time prevailed in the camp.

Even so, many competitors did not think it worth while to compete before half past twelve, and the last available fifteen minutes were relatively crowded. Indirectly this led to trouble, for there was insufficient time in which to allow all competitors even two of the three attempts to which they were entitled, and by an error in one of the marshal's watches Grahame- White's second effort was included and at first ranked victorious. Protest followed, and the foreigners, as a sign of disapproval, promptly struck the flags that fly above their sheds.

In Committee, however, the officials straightened things out and peace reigned once more. It was all very unfortunate and equally unnecessary.

In the Judges' box were three of the best timekeepers in England — Ebblewhite, Dutton, and Reynolds — who might properly have been entrusted with signalling the duration of the event by means of a flag on the official mast.

The result of the dispute placed the prize in the hands of Dickson, who well deserved it, more as some recognition of the general merit of his performances than on account of any particular brilliancy about his victory in this particular event. He won by an inch — and the measurement depended on the ocular observation of a coterie of Judges whose duty it was to determine the exact spot at which the wheels left the ground!

For our own part we could not say to a foot where any one wheel left the ground, and it is not always that both wheels rise together; so that to have awarded the prize on the difference of one inch was scarcely in the best interests of sport, notwithstanding the desirability of accepting judgment in such matters as being without appeal.

The real trouble seems to lie in the system of organisation which gives one official a multitude of duties. Apparently on that occasion Major Lloyd had to act as marshal, timekeeper, measurer, judge, and clerk of the course. It was, at any rate, something to have got one event finished off, for the general attitude of the competitors has been to leave everything to the last, and it seemed very much as if the whole meeting would be rushed through on Saturday evening.

What the spectators think of the long intervals it is difficult to say, but if they are very bored they are at least very patient and they applaud loyally whenever they are entertained by a flight. All the same it is inconceivable that they can frequently be attracted to a flying meeting once they are familiar with the sight of an aeroplane in the air. Flying is, of course, the wonder of the age, and is something everyone should see; moreover a good flight is a fine spectacle, but when it is no longer a novelty to the spectator, only the enthusiastic, we should imagine, would be found willing to wait all day on the chance or seeing a machine aloft.

The crux of the situation is that the organisation is entirely under the thumb of the competitors, who fly or not as they please. That is as it should be; flying is at present a hazardous game, and the pilots have a right to say when and how they will take their chance. A man who has been brave enough to learn to fly has no need to be called a coward because he won't go up when somebody wants him to. On the contrary, sound judgment is the greatest asset of a good pilot. On the other hand there is very little doubt that some of the competitors, at any rate, could have flown far more often than they did without incurring greater risks than they had already shown themselves willing to meet, and it would seem desirable that the organisation of a flying meeting should result as far as possible in a continuous series of flights, not only because that would be more interesting to the spectators, but because it would afford far better evidence of the real progress that has been made in flying.

With the Starling Prize on Thursday, the Alighting Prize was also decided, competitors being allowed to try for both with the same flight. The necessity for making a turn in the wind, however,, deterred some competitors from attempting the latter feat, although the wind itself was in a favourable quarter. Grahame-White, Christiaens, and Dickson flew for the double event, and the prize was won by Grahame-White, who pulled up 7 ft. from the centre. This seems an excellent result, but it is really very difficult to say that it is worth much. If alighting in a very restricted area were ordinarily necessary, an aeroplane designed for such purpose would presumably be equipped with landing skids, or at any rate with some device that would assist the pilot in bringing his machine to rest. Nowadays about half-a-dozen assistants commonly seize a. machine as it comes to earth, and exert their efforts against its momentum, while the monoplanist has a pretty habit of vaulting out of his seat, and similarly helping to stop the machine himself. Under such circumstances it would seem obvious that the stopping of a machine on a given spot is very much of a trick that anyone with a simple and entirely legitimate piece of apparatus could easily surpass.

Ogilvie, whose Short-Wright biplane is of the original type, was debarred from this contest unless he chose to fit wheels to his skids. This he did, but having started during the rush that took place within the last 15 mins. of the available time, he found the circle occupied by another machine when he wanted to alight there, and consequently the opportunity was lost.

Thursday's performances included a few more attempts on the fastest lap. Morane (Bleriot monoplane) failed to improve on his previous speed of 56.64 m.p.h., but he gave a wonderful exhibition of flying during the early evening. His control of the Bleriot is magnificent, and his corner work at the mark towers is superb; he is almost the only pilot who is able to make a straight run on the short side of the course at the hangar end. Everyone else makes a wide turn that carries them out towards the grand stands and enables them to round both mark towers at one sweep.

Audemars, on his little "Demoiselle," improved his speed to 45.62 m.p.h., but on the whole entertained the crowd less than on Wednesday. He does many amusing tricks with his tiny machine, such as pirouetting round on one wheel and bowing to the applause of the spectators by elevating the tail. And he flies well, remarkably well considering that such a machine cannot be easy to handle. It is never steady, but pitches along with a curious hurried sort of motion and with its tail in the air as if it were always running down hill. It is fast, and it gives an impression of speed, which cannot be said of the graceful Bleriots that glide in an effortless sort of way through the air. This makes it very difficult to appreciate that they are travelling so fast, especially if they are flying at any considerable altitude. The only striking evidence of their speed is the distance that they cover in a very short space of time.

One sees Morane or Drexel far away in the sky, and having perhaps turned aside for a moment to pass a remark to one's neighbour, one turns again to find the machine just about to alight on the ground.

Wagner (Hanriot monoplane) and Grace (Short biplane) also flew for speed, while Dickson and Grahame-White each made two attempts at the slow prize without improving on the record that poor Rolls put up on Monday.

The concluding incident of Thursday's proceeding was unhappily an accident to Rawlinson, who sustained severe injuries as the result of the chassis of his Farman biplane collapsing when he landed on rough ground. It was very hard lines that such a mishap should have been penalised so severely, and Rawlinson showed great pluck that day, for he must have suffered as much as any man could and still keep conscious. We wish him a speedy recovery, which, by the way, he is well on the way to already.

Friday, July 15th

The officials decided that the weight carrying competition should be finished by 3.30 this afternoon, but until 3 o'clock not a soul stirred from his shed except Morane, and he only ran the engine of his new passenger-carrying Bleriot monoplane prior to putting it back in the shed again. In this aeroplane — which, like his other model, appears to be a much better job than the earlier type — the passenger and the pilot sit side by side, and the seat is in the same position as it occupies on the one-man machine. The engine is a Gnome seven-cylinder rotary, and has an intermediate bearing between the cylinders and the propeller. The propeller itself is an exceptionally large Chauviere, and it is noticeable that for about one third of the radius from the boss the blade has an elliptic section. For the rest of the radius the face is, of course, concave.

About 3 o'clock Morane made a practice passenger flight, followed by Christiaens, who broke up his machine on the rough ground, and sustained such injuries that necessitated his removal to hospital. He was wearing a special helmet at the time, which probably saved his life, for he fell on his head, and the helmet itself was battered.

Grahame-White followed Christiaens, but failed to carry his weight with a misfiring engine, and Capt. Dickson, being the only competitor to complete the course with a passenger inside the time limit, was thus declared the winner. Apart from the fact that Dickson thoroughly deserved any prize he won for his good flying, the result of this competition could hardly be considered satisfactory from any other point of view. The proceedings themselves scarcely suggested an event at all, far less anything in the nature of a sporting contest. Nor were they even instructive, for the load carried by Dickson, which amounted altogether to 407.5 lbs., represented by a passenger and a little lead ballast, is by no means extraordinary.

Morane, who had prepared to carry two passengers in his Bleriot, discovered at the last moment that the wing warping connections were broken, and the time limit elapsed before they could be repaired.

After five laps for speed by Wagner a start was made for the sea flight by Morane, who was followed by Drexel.

Morane reached the Needles and returned in 25m. 12.4s., having accomplished a journey of 21 miles, of which 18 miles are over the water, at an average speed of 50 miles an hour. It is probable that the actual velocity was considerably higher than this, for it is not altogether easy to steer the shortest course even in a calm, and there was a fair wind blowing during the flight.

Drexel, during such time as he was within sight, appeared to be carried far too much to the west, and he was ten minutes longer on the trip than Morane. Both flights were splendid achievements, and must have forced home on the public mind the possibilities of aviation in the future. Watching a machine fly round and round an aerodrome is impressive while it is a novelty, but the actual accomplishment of a cross-country journey or a sea flight never fails to emphasise the fact that flying is a means of locomotion that is already so far advanced as to enable a human being to be transported safely through the air from one place on land to another.

A sporting attempt was made for altitude by Grace during the afternoon in his Short biplane, his tactics being to make long diagonal flights across the aerodrome from the sea shore towards Bournemouth. It was an attempt that is particularly deserving of mention not only because it was a good flight but because in many ways it was a very plucky one. Grace has had the worst of luck with his engines and there is not the least shadow of doubt that he had lost confidence. Nevertheless he worked away steadily and directly he got the motor running satisfactorily once more he immediately entered for the competition although he had very little chance of winning.

A slow flight by Dickson concluded Friday's proceedings.

Saturday, July 16th

A fair breeze and a cold morning had the exhilarating effect of producing a fine flight by "Jones" on his racing Farman, but the wind was too much 20 permit of the plucky aviator putting up a good record for the speed prize. Indeed, it was often as much as the pilot could do to keep the course at all, and he said afterwards that the control frequently called for the exercise of considerable muscular effort.

All the morning the weather was cold and grey, so that no one was surprised when a shower of rain immediately followed the luncheon interval. At three o'clock there was a slight improvement, and "Jones" — who is well known in another sphere of life as the actor, Robert Loraine — decided to fly for the sea prize, and promptly made a start under weather conditions that would have deterred, we should have thought, a far more experienced pilot from making the attempt. However, the competition was open, and it was no business of the officials to interfere with the start of a competitor who had decided to take the risks, for, as we have already said, sound judgment is one of the most valuable assets of a pilot, and the man who thinks he can succeed where others feel sure they would fail is the man who is going to do most for the progress of aviation — if he succeeds.

Jones flew out to sea, and in a very short time the expected rain descended in torrents, which caused those on the ground to take refuge in Jones' vacant shed, where they discussed with no little anxiety the probable effects of the drenching on Jones and his machine. Time passed, and he did not return, so that it became certain that he had either landed on the Isle of Wight or alighted in the sea. If the latter had happened, he would be dependent entirely on the assistance of various boats whose owners had volunteered to patrol the course, and it was with no little relief that a telegram was ultimately received from the Isle of Wight stating that an aeroplane had been observed on the cliffs.

One good effect of the rain was to beat down the wind, and the rest of the afternoon was excellent flying weather. This brought the competitors out with a rush, and until the finish of the day and the meeting there was continuous activity, as many as four machines being frequently aloft together.

Morane flew several times for speed, and Drexel was also out with his monoplane practising the Frenchman's method of taking corners.

Wagner, who had not done very much flying up to that time, also began to show more evidence of his skill in the air, but unfortunately he placed his machine hors-de-combat by breaking the chassis when landing. His Hanriot monoplane is characterised with a boat-like hull, a type of construction that we rather expect to see copied in monoplane design, for if well made it is very light for its strength — as witness the sculling boat — and it has the advantage of eliminating a great deal of the wire bracing that seems to constitute the major part of the modern aeroplane. Wire bracing is all very well in its way, but we believe that a change would be welcomed by a good many people. Hanriot, it will be remembered, was responsible for the introduction of the "A" type chassis-frame, which has been adopted in various modified forms on several monoplanes.

Another accident unfortunately marred the afternoon's proceedings when the Hon. Alan Boyle was thrown out of his machine after a very short flight. He landed on rough ground and the machine turned over, throwing the pilot on to his head. Once again the special aviator's cap avoided more serious injuries, although Boyle sustained severe concussion, and was unconscious for an hour or more after the accident.

Some of the best flying of the afternoon was accomplished by Audemars on his Demoiselle.

Dickson made an altitude flight of 1,340 feet, and also an attempt for the longest flight, from which, however, he descended after 12 miles on account of something going wrong with the control.

Radley also made an attempt on the longest flight, but he did not have very good luck, for he had to come down after the first lap.

Two prizes being still unwon in the weight carrying competition the officials decided to re-open the contest for second and third places, which resulted in Grahame-White and Morane making passenger flights for this event. Grahame-White lifted 425 lbs. while Morane carried 412 lbs., both loads being in excess of that carried by Dickson, who had already won the first prize.

One of the features of Saturday's flying was a fine performance by McArdle on Drexel's Bleriot monoplane. It will be remembered that McArdle on the preceding Sunday flew the machine to Bournemouth from the flying school in the New Forest that he and Drexel control, but the flying during the week was made by Drexel, who was the entrant of that machine. McArdle ascended to a great altitude and flew off in the direction of Bournemouth, from whence he subsequently returned and made a safe descent. Although there was little enough opportunity of judging his skill, the time was sufficient to impress one with his ability and calm confidence; moreover, he has a manner of referring to matters relating to flight in a way that suggests he will make an admirable master of the art that it is his object to teach.

The Results

The official results of the Bournemouth Meeting are shown in detail in the accompanying table, which gives all the recorded attempts for the different events.

It will be observed that Morane (Bleriot monoplane), Drexel (Bleriot monoplane), Grahame-White (Henry Farman biplane), and Dickson (Henry Farman biplane), were awarded the prizes for general merit, and it is certain that these are the names that would naturally have impressed themselves most on the mind of a spectator who had followed the meeting from start to finish.

Morane's flying was superb at all times, and if Drexel stands second in the list to Morane, he at least has the consolation of knowing that he is second to one of the finest, if not the finest, pilot in the world.

Grahame-White well deserved to share the second place with Drexel, indeed in point of consistency and regularity Grahame-White's flying during the meeting was unequalled. There were many who thought that his series of passenger flights on Wednesday constituted one of the best feats of the meeting.

Dickson's efforts have been praiseworthy throughout; everyone who knew of his determined and successful attempts to uphold British prestige abroad, wanted to see him fly in England, and he did not disappoint them. If he flies his Farman with less nonchalance than Grahame-White, his mastery of his machine is equally sure, and impresses those who see him with confidence in his quiet skill.

The flying by Audemars with his Demoiselle, which figures among the other prizes, and would conceivably have entitled him to a fifth prize in general merit had there been one to award, is something of a speciality. Audemars firmly believed his machine to be the safest on the field, but not everyone would like to take the tosses that Audemars so cheerfully endures. Sitting below the planes, with nothing between the ground and his anatomy, he, nevertheless, seems to come uppermost in the event of a bad landing, and he declared that the only reason he wore a pilot's helmet was because he found that his head had an annoying habit of hitting the carburettor.

The Demoiselle is a fascinating little machine, but it looks difficult to manage; if it were otherwise, we can imagine it would be exceedingly popular with all light-weight pilots. Needless to say, it is not suited to carrying a big man.

Christiaens, who, like Audemars, would have been in the running for a fifth general merit prize, mainly figures for his performance on the first day, when he practically opened the proceedings with a long-distance flight of over 83 miles. He just missed a prize for speed, but won second prize for alighting. His flying in general is not especially sensational, and of course his principal effort, which was for the long flight, calls for stolid endurance rather than anything else. On the other hand his corner work in the attempt for the speed prize was in marked contrast to the same aspect of his longdistance flight, There is no doubt that he is a reliable pilot of the Henry Farman machine.

What there was of Wagner's flying with his Hanriot monoplane was of a high order, but he did not compete very much, and it is doubtful if he succeeded in impressing his name on the spectators to a greater extent than is represented by his third place in the speed prize that alone bears his name.

Next to Grahame-White and Dickson among the English competitors, the performance of Grace stands out most prominently. He had, as we have mentioned elsewhere, persistent misfortune with his engines, which is about the most disheartening thing that can happen to a pilot. Whenever he did fly he flew well, and it is a pity that his performances for altitude and speed should have placed him just below the last prize, for certainly no one tried harder to play the game.

Jones' flight to the Needles was, of course, about as sensational as anything that took place, and his previous efforts show him to be a fearless pilot. It is a pity, however, that so much repair work had to be done to his machine, as the result of a former accident, that he was unable to appear until towards the end of the meeting.

Radley, who made many determined attempts to win one or other of the prizes, was not fortunate in the running of his machine, while Boyle and Barnes, who also fly monoplanes, had even worse luck.

Gibbs was unable to get the planes of his Farman biplane satisfactorily adjusted, so that he, too, fails to figure very prominently among the official results.

Although there was not very much of it, Ogilvie's flying with the Short-Wright biplane is worthy of praise. Whenever he flew he handled his machine successfully and well, but he had the merit of knowing when the weather conditions were beyond his experience, and he had the good sense to stop flying when he was doubtful of success. Like some of the others, he had engine troubles, and once a cylinder head blew off during a flight, which is a sufficiently discomposing mishap for anyone to experience in mid-air.

Colmore was unable to do very much flying with his Short biplane, but he appears in the official prize list and was timed for a fast lap, which he accomplished at 35 miles an hour.

Rawlinson's flight with his Farman biplane unfortunately ended disastrously for himself.

Cody, who had a very large and apparently very well-built biplane housed in one of the sheds, only made one attempt at flight, and that was a failure, owing to the fact that the machine was equipped with but one engine, whereas it is designed to fly with two motors, set side by side, and driving by chains the same propeller-shaft.

Moore-Brabazon was the only entrant who made no appearance on the ground whatever. His machine was not ready on Monday, and on Tuesday, after the fatal accident to Rolls, and as the result of persuasion from his wife and other intimate friends, he decided to give up flying altogether. He was one of the first Englishmen to interest himself in the sport, for he made his first flight in France at a time when to fly for 100 yards or so was considered something of a feat. His greatest achievement was the winning of the Daily Mail £1,000 prize for the first circular mile flight on a British machine.

What Rolls himself might have contributed to the meeting, had he been spared, it is, of course, impossible to say; but this much is certain, that it would have been the best he and his machine were capable of offering. Even as it is, his slow speed test — perhaps the most dangerous and difficult that anyone could undertake — stands unsurpassed, so that his name is associated with the only prize in that event. In speed he was second to Grace, but this performance borrows additional interest from the fact that it was carried out under precisely similar weather conditions to that of the slow speed test, and thus establishes useful evidence of the range of speed of the particular machine that he was flying. There is some satisfaction in reflecting that Rolls' last contribution to the progress of flight had this element of instructive interest associated with it, for, above all else, Rolls' work has ever been imbued with scientific thought.

In the individual contests the performances of Morane stand far ahead of all others. In speed his machine was nearly 10 miles an hour faster than any other, and he almost doubled the altitude attained by any other pilot. He did not compete for the longest flight nor for the slow circuit, but in starting he was practically equal to Dickson, and in weight carrying not much below Grahame-White. His sea flight was only surpassed by his altitude as a sensational performance. The fact that Audemars stands second for speed shows how fast the little Demoiselle can travel in the hands of a skillful pilot.

Wagner on the Hanriot and Drexel on a Bleriot both achieved speeds of over 40 miles an hour, the nearest approach to which velocity on a biplane was accomplished by Christiaens.

Of the British built machines the Short biplane flown by Grace was the fastest; that of the same make flown by Colmore won The Car all British prize.

Three biplanes ascended to over 1,000 ft. in altitude, but the performances of Morane and Drexel with their Bleriots far surpass all others, although not even the 4,107 ft. accomplished by Morane approaches the world's record of 6,175 ft put up by Brookins on his Wright biplane at Atlantic City, in America.

The Bournemouth long-distance flights are relatively indifferent performances compared with the best achievements elsewhere. Grahame-White, who won the prize, flew overtime by special permission, but had to come down when he had gone 90 miles. Christiaens descended as the result of a failing engine after he had covered 83 miles.

The carrying out of the meeting was in charge of the following officials, unrestricted praise being due to the hard and untiring work of the Clerks of the Course, the Timekeepers, and the Organising Secretary:—

  • Stewards. — Earl of Malmesbury, Lord Abinger, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Hon. Arthur Stanley, Sir George Meyrick, Bart., Sir Charles Day Rose, Bart., Lieut.-Col. F. G. Lefroy,

Councillor G. E. Bridge, J. P. (Mayor of Bournemouth), Councillor F. J. Bell (Chairman Centenary Fetes), A. Mortimer Singer, Esq., Roger W. Wallace, K.C. (Chairman Royal Aero Club).

  • Clerks of the Course. — Mr. Ernest C. Bucknall, Mr. John Dunville, Major F. Lindsay Lloyd.
  • Timekeepers. — Mr. T. D. Dutton, Mr. A. V. Ebblewhite, Mr. A. G. Reynolds.
  • Secretary of the Meeting. — Mr. V. Ker-Seymer.

Official Results

General Merit.

  • 1. L. F. Morane, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... £500
  • 2. J . A. Drexel, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... £225
  • 2. C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... £225
  • 4. Capt. B. Dickson, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... £50

"Daily Telegraph" Cup and Aerial League Medal for British Pilot.

  • C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7.cyl. Gnome).

"The Car" Prize for "All British" Machine.

  • G. C. Colmore, Short biplane (50-h.p. 4-cyl. Green) £100

Assistants' Prize for Machines Covering the Greatest Number of Laps.

  • 1. C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 61 Laps. ... £60
  • 2. — Christiaens, Farman biplane (65-h.p. 8-cyl. E.N.V.) ... 52 Laps. ... £40

Speed (5 Laps = 8 Miles 1,620 Yards).

  • 1. L. F. Morane, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 55.9 m.p.h. ... £1,000
  • 2. E. Audemars, Bayard-Clement monoplane (35-h.p.4-cyl. Bayard-Clement) ... 46.54 m.p.h. ... £400
  • 3. L. Wagner, Hanriot monoplane (40-h.p. 4-cyl. Clerget) ... 43.87 m.p.h. ... £100
  • 4. J. A. Drexel, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 40.52 m.p.h. ... £50
  • 4. — Christiaens, Farman biplane (65-h.p. 8-cyl. E.N.V.) ... 39.54 m.p.h.
  • 4. C. Grace, Short biplane (65-h.p. 8-cyl. E.N.V.) ... 37.38 m.p.h.
  • 4. Hon. C. S.Rolls, French Wright biplane (30-h.p. 4-cyl. Wright) ... 36.51 m.p.h.
  • 4. C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane 60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 36.12 m.p.h.
  • 4. L. D. L. Gibbs, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 34.87 m.p.h.
  • 4. R. Jones, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 32.87 m.p.h.

Fastest Lap Prize (1 Mile 1,380 Yards).

  • 1. L. F. Morane, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 56.64 m.p.h. ... £100
  • E. Audemars, Bayard-Clement monoplane (35-h.p. 4-cyl. Bayard-Clement) ... 46.95 m.p.h.
  • Louis Wagner, Hanriot monoplane (40-h.p. 4-cyl. Clerget) ... 44.54 m.p.h.
  • J. A. Drexel, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 41.76 m.p.h.
  • James Radley, Bleriot monoplane (25-h.p. 3-cyl. Anzani) ... 40.60 m.p.h.
  • — Christiaens, Farman biplane (65-h.p. 8-cyl. E.N.V.) ... 40.60 m.p.h.
  • Cecil Grace, Short biplane (65-h.p. 8-cyl. E.N.V.) ... 38.51 m.p.h.
  • Hon. C. S. Rolls, French Wright biplane (30-h.p. 4-cyl. Wright) ... 37.82 m.p.h.
  • C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 36.95 m.p.h.
  • L. D. L. Gibbs, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 35.21 m.p.h.
  • G. C. Colmore, Short biplane (50-h.p. 4-cyl. Green) ... 35.06 m.p.h.
  • Robert Jones, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 33.21 m.p.h.
  • N.B. Jones was timed in a wind officially recorded at 11 to 12 m.p.h. In the other cases the recorded wind does not exceed 7 m.p.h.

Slow Speed Test.

  • 1. Hon. C. S. Rolls, French Wright biplane £ (30-h.p. 4-cyl. Wright) ... 25.33 m.p.h. ... £100
  • C. Grahame - White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 28.07 m.p.h.
  • Capt.B. Dickson, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 30.61 m.p.h.


  • 1. L. F. Morane, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. £ Gnome) 4,107 ft. ... £1,000
  • 2. J. A. Drexel, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl Gnome) 2,490 ft. ... £400
  • 3. C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) 1,660 ft. ... £100
  • 4. Capt. B. Dickson, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) 1,340 ft. ... £50
  • 5. Cecil Grace, Short biplane (65-h.p. 8-cyl. E.N.V.) 1,161 ft.
  • 6. Hon. C. S. Rolls, French Wright biplane (30-h.p. 4-cyl. Wright) 900 ft.
  • 7. L. Wagner, Hanriot monoplane (40-h.p. 4-cyl. Clerget) 694 ft.

Daily Prizes for Altitude.

  • Monday. J. A. Drexel, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 2,490 ft. ... £25
  • Wednesday. L. F. Morane, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 4,107 ft. ... £25
  • Friday. Cecil Grace, Short biplane (65-h.p. 8-cyl. E.N.V.) ... 1,161 ft. ... £25
  • Saturday. Capt. B. Dickson, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 1,340 ft. ... £25

Royal Aero Club Prize for British Competitor Ascending to 1,000 ft. in Shortest Time.

  • C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) 6m. 38.6s. for 1,000 ft. = 2.52 = 4.6

Other Speeds of Ascent.

  • J. A. Drexel, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 6m. 12.2s for 1,000 ft. = 2.7 = 4.9.
  • J. A. Drexel, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 11m. 45.2s. for 2,490 ft. = 3.55 = 6.5
  • L. F. Morane, Bieriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 16m. 57.2s. for 4,107 ft. = 4.0 = 7.25

Motor Union Prize for British Competitor making Highest Ascent.

  • C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 1,660 ft. ... £200


  • 1. C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome). 90 miles 1,740 yards ... 35.2 mph ... £300
  • 2. — Christiaens, Farman biplane (65-h.p. 8-cyl. E.N.V.). 83 miles 1,500 yards ... 35.6 mph ... £150
  • 3. E. Audemars, Bayard-Clement monoplane (35-h.p. 4-cyl. Bayard-Clement). 17 miles 1,480 yards ... £60
  • 4. Capt. B. Dickson, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome). 12 miles 860 yards ... 33.8 mph ... £40
  • 5. James Radley, Bleriot monoplane (25-h.p. 3-cyl. Anzani). 1 mile 1,380 yards ... 36.49 mph

Monoplane Prize.

  • E. Audemars, Bayard-Clement monoplane (35-h.p. 4-cyl. Bayard-Clement) ... 17 miles 1,480 yards ... £100

Sea Flight (to the Needles and Return, Approximate Distance 21 Miles, of which 18 Miles are over the Water).

  • 1. L. F . Morane, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 25m. 12.4s. ... 50 mph ... £800
  • 2. J. A. Drexel, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 35m. 28s. ... 35.5 mph ... £400
  • 3. C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 45m. 47s. ... 27.44 mph ... £100

Weight Carrying. (Load including pilot)

  • 1. Capt. B. Dickson, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 407.5lbs ... 3m. 23s. ... £350
  • 2. C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 425lbs ... 3m. 23.8s. ... £150
  • 3. L. F. Morane, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 412lbs ... 2m 37.8s. ... £50

Starting. (Distance from spot)

  • 1. Capt. B. Dickson, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 35yds 0ft 7ins ... £250
  • 2. L. F. Morane, Bleriot monoplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 35yds 0ft 8ins ... £50
  • 3. C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 37yds 0ft 9.5ins ... £25
  • 4. Hon. Alan Boyle, Avis monoplane (40-h.p. 8-cyl. E.N.V.) ... 42yds 0ft 10ins ... £25
  • James Radley, Bleriot monoplane (25-h.p. 3-cyl. Anzani) ... 43yds 0ft 9ins
  • L. D. L. Gibbs, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 48yds 2ft. 4.5ins
  • — Christiaens, Farman biplane (65-h.p. 8-cyl. E.N.V.) ... 50yds 2ft 8.5ins
  • E. Audemars, Bayard - Clement monoplane (35-h.p. 4-cyl. Bayard-Clement) ... 51yds 0ft 9ins


  • 1. C. Grahame-White, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 2yds 1ft 0ins ... £250
  • 2. — Christiaens, Farman biplane (65-h.p. 8-cyl. E.N.V.) ... 9yds 2ft 3ins ... £50
  • 3. Hon. C. S. Rolls, French Wright biplane (30-h.p. 4-cyl. Wright) ... 26yds 0ft 10ins ... £25
  • 4. Capt. B. Dickson, Farman biplane (60-h.p. 7-cyl. Gnome) ... 27yds 2ft 1in ... £25

Afterthoughts on Bournemouth and suggestions for other meetings

Anyone who has spent a full week on the Bournemouth Aerodrome watching the flights must necessarily have come away filled with reflections upon the many outstanding features of that important meeting, and it is not without reason that we now deal editorially with our own afterthoughts, seeing that the aspects of the situation are so various, and the principal conclusions that may be drawn therefrom so important.

There are two distinctly different aspects of a flying meeting such as this — one is its value as a spectacle for the interest of the general public, and the other is its importance as a test to demonstrate the progress of the art. Each aspect again must be regarded from two different points of view: that of the organisers and that of the competitors.

A flying meeting is organised solely with one object in view, that of being a financial success; to attain this result the general public must be attracted in large numbers to visit the aerodrome. Those who have never seen a flight at all may reasonably be expected to wait all day in order to satisfy their curiosity about something so wonderful, but this is a blase age, and your general public needs a very lively entertainment if it is to be tempted to patronise an attraction more than once.

A few of those more specifically interested might frequent an aerodrome for the satisfaction of seeing an extraordinarily fine flight by the foremost pilot of the day, and it is said that some will even attend such places in anticipation of an accident. However true this may be in connection with other forms of sport, we can at least say this of aeroplane disasters, that they are far too cold-blooded to appeal even to the most debased among a British public.

Altogether, therefore, it comes down to this, that a flying meeting must provide good entertainment if it is to attract a crowd, and unless it does attract spectators in large numbers there will be no money wherewith to provide those large prizes that recompense the successful pilots for their performances. As an entertainment the Bournemouth meeting was oftentimes dull in the extreme. There was no incentive for the competitors to fly regularly, and a kind of apathy pervaded the proceedings to such an extent that many of the events passed off during the last half-hour that they remained open with little more than an apology for a contest.

From the organisers' point of view this must have been very disappointing. So far as the competitors were concerned, they would naturally suit themselves when they flew, so long as there was no incentive to do otherwise. The result was that the scientific aspect of the meeting as an indication of the progress of flight, suffered considerably. As there are still several flying meetings already arranged to take place, it is not, therefore, without good purpose to consider whether they might not be made more successful.

Of the individual events, those for speed, altitude, and long distance rank first in importance; speed is the chief asset of flight over other means of locomotion, high altitude is a factor inseparable from the military aspect of aviation, and a long-distance flight is the only practical method of satisfactorily demonstrating the reliability of the machine, coupled with the endurance of its pilot. These three things should, therefore, form the basis of the programme; but there is an equally important purpose that might be served by any aviation meeting that extends over several days, and that is the demonstration of the airworthiness of the modem machine in the hands of the average pilot.

The practical utility of aviation appears to us to be far more closely associated with its development into an everyday sort of achievement by a large number of men than with the spasmodic efforts of one or two exceptionally able exponents of the art, so that regular performances by all entrants might well serve as the basis of the allotment of the prize money.

It would have been a great thing to have been able to say of the Bournemouth meeting that never an hour elapsed but some machine flew round the course, and we feel sure that there were those present among the competitors who could easily have established this record had they thought it worth while to do so. It would have been splendid evidence of the progress of flying and would have afforded a continuous entertainment to the spectators who have provided the money wherewith the organisers are recompensed for the large prizes that they offer in competition. The Bournemouth prize fund amounted to £8,000. So does that for the Lanark meeting, and we should like to suggest a little scheme that seems to us to be a more satisfactory way of allotting the money than anything that has yet been adopted.

It will be observed that the suggested programme provides for the winning of £200 an hour in four events of £50 each. It would be open for a competitor to try for speed and distance simultaneously, and he could go on all day long if he chose to do so, and thereby qualify for the two special "record" prizes that would be awarded at the end of the meeting if any one lap exceeded 60 miles an hour, and the consecutive distance flown was greater than 200 miles.

There is really no particular point in awarding specially high prizes unless the feats achieved approach those that have already been established as records. Similarly with altitude, there would be a prize of £50 every hour for altitudes exceeding 1,000 ft., and a special prize of £500 at the end of the meeting for the greatest altitude exceeding 4,000 ft.

Passenger flights seem to appeal to the general public a good deal, and the hourly weight-carrying prize would conceivably be an attraction to those competitors whose machines are not equal to winning the speed. On the other hand, the special weight-carrying prize of £500 is provided in case any competitor turns up with an exceptionally large machine. Larger machines than those now built must sooner or later come into use, and weight carrying, therefore, deserves to find a place on the programme, although there is no particular reason to encourage the overloading of ordinary machines.

Suggested Prize Scheme for a Prize Fund of £8,000.
Flying to take place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

  • Speed ... Fastest lap of any consecutive 3 laps ... £50 £250 £1,500
  • Distance ... Greatest distance flown in the hour (i.e., between 2 and 3, 3 and 4 o'clock, &c.) ... £50 £250 £1,500
  • Altitude ... Maximum altitude exceeding 1,000 ft. ... £50 £250 £1,500
  • Weight ... Greatest weight carried exceeding 400 lbs. ... £50 £250 £1,500

Special Prizes for Records during the Meeting.

  • Fastest lap exceeding 60 m.p.h. of any consecutive 3 laps... £500
  • Greatest consecutive distance flown exceeding 200 miles... £500
  • Greatest altitude exceeding 4,000 ft.... £500
  • Greatest weight carried exceeding 600 lbs. ... £500

A prize scheme such as that suggested would enable a good pilot to win very nearly as much as formerly, but would call for a little more energy, and any indifference on the part of the best men would be the opportunity for the less experienced to pick up a £50 prize or so as some recompense for their appearance in the competition. If the funds available exceed the amount stated they might usefully be devoted to the doubling of all prizes for flights taking place in winds exceeding 15 miles an hour.

Very little is gained by starting in the morning; most of the competitors want a considerable time to examine their machines, and proceedings are commonly stopped for the luncheon interval.

The best time for flying is generally in the evening, which is just the reason why it is desirable to encourage more practice during the early part of the afternoon before the wind has died down. Nor is any particular purpose served by introducing trick events, as such, into a flying programme at the present time, for at the best they are useless, and at the worst they encourage a man to take an unnecessary risk.

The ordinary exigencies of flying at the present time call forth quite sufficient resource in emergency to satisfy any ordinary spectator. If the risk were desirable it would be another matter. We have no patience with the peevish alarmists who would try to stop flying altogether because some of our greatest pioneers have lost in the game of hazard that they themselves chose to play. Life is a game in which we all must lose sooner or later, if it comes to that; and, while no one regrets an accident to a brave man more than we do, nevertheless we honour him for the pluck that he has so usefully applied.

It is simply ridiculous to talk as some critics are doing about the present dangers of flying, as if there was no possible chance of minimising them in the future. The pioneer motorist who remembers the limitations of the early automobile, and has recently had occasion to tell a taxi driver that he has five minutes in which to catch a train at Waterloo from — well, never mind where — can very readily appreciate what we mean when we speak of the changes that are wrought by development.

It would have been little short of attempting wholesale massacre to have attempted to have transported the thousands of people who now daily employ motor cabs under similar conditions with the earliest kinds of cars, and it must at least be remembered that flying is after all very much in its infancy. Comparatively few of the people who now drive modern automobiles indifferently well would make much of a show with the very early cars, and it was never particularly safe to have an accident even with a motor car, although, to hear some people talk, one might think that flying was the only kind of experience attended with any sort of danger at all. Just at the present time it happens that flying is rather difficult, and calls for a special sort of temperament that makes it look as if a good pilot is born and not made.

What is true of to-day will not necessarily be true of to-morrow, however, and we see no reason why we should not at any rate confidently hope for the time when ordinary flying will be a more or less commonplace accomplishment. There is a great deal in the confidence that is born of custom, and in a very few months we shall see quite a number of pilots doing their corkscrew turns at the mark-posts with the grace and ease of which Morane alone was master at the Bournemouth Meeting. At Blackpool no one thought of such corner work.

Then we suggest that the prizes should be offered hourly, with, if possible, a premium in windy weather to advocate the encouragement of a useful risk. The practical value of flying must, after all, be ultimately gauged by its indifference to climatic conditions. What should we think of the boat as a means of transport if we could only cross the Channel in a dead calm? What we want to find out at these meetings is how much flying can be done in a week of average weather.

Bournemouth constituted an exceptionally fine week for England, and there was far less flying than there ought to have been. On the first bad morning, which was Saturday, one of the least experienced of all the pilots (Loraine) promptly flew to the Isle of Wight. It may have been somewhat of a hazardous attempt for him, but that is not the point—he got there. And if he did that then we contend that there was never an hour of the meeting that some one or other of the competitors might not have been reasonably expected to circle the track.

Technicalities from the Bournemouth Meeting

To those who have followed the Bournemouth Meeting with an interest in the technicalities of flying, the event has been a brilliant triumph for the Bleriot monoplane and the Gnome engine.

Everyone just now seems to want that particular combination, because it is the best thing in sight; but without wishing in any way to detract from the splendid performances of this machine, we would just like to remind our readers that, in similar manner, the majority of those who went to Blackpool last year came to the conclusion that it was no use trying to fly unless they possessed a Farman biplane.

Certainly the Gnome engine showed up very well at both meetings, but it is not necessarily the only type in the world that is capable of giving satisfactory results, and we think it a pity if unsuccessful pilots allow themselves to be too despondent about the motors and the biplanes that have failed to stand up to the Bleriot and Gnome combination at Bournemouth. Probably Grahame-White, Dickson, and Grace got about as much out of their respective machines as the biplanes of those types are capable of giving, but it remains to be seen whether a biplane cannot be constructed in the future to compete with a monoplane even in speed.

In many ways the monoplane is a nicer sort of type. It looks well in the air, not that that has much to do with it, and the pilot is less boxed up in it, which is an advantage in the event of alighting on water. Seeing Morane or Drexel on their Bleriots is naturally to want a machine of the same kind, but it is ill advised to suppose that the constructive genius of our best builders, including Bleriot himself, may not soon improve on that machine, excellent as it is to-day. After all, the Wright type biplane has not yet been surpassed for efficiency, and by the time we come to the end of our possibilities of speed from increased engine power we shall necessarily have to look to increased efficiency as the next high road to further advance.

Of the Gnome engine itself there are some useful lessons to be learned, not the least of which is the value of cleanliness and good workmanship in the operation of mechanical appliances. First and last the Gnome engine works at all because it is well made; it continues to work because it is kept clean. When it gets dirty it gets hot, and being an air cooled engine it has a practically unlimited capacity for getting very hot indeed. It does not ordinarily get more than warm, in fact the cooling of the Gnome engine is very remarkable. Its rotation in the air has doubtless much to do with it, but we imagine that a still more important factor is its comparatively low efficiency as expressed by the ratio of horse-power to cylinder capacity.

The cylinder capacity of the Gnome engine is very nearly twice as much per horse-power as the best motor car engine of the present day, and it would be instructive to know how far this efficiency could be increased without danger. It is, comparatively speaking, a slow-speed engine, which adapts it to the direct driving of large propellers, and the radial arrangement of the cylinders effects a considerable saving of space and weight that does much to compensate for the extent of their cubic capacity.

The fuel consumption of these engines is somewhere about 4.5 gallons of petrol an hour, which works out at about 0.9 pint per horse-power-hour for a continuous development of 40-h.p., which is about their useful capacity in the estimation of some of the pilots who use them.

In addition to the fuel the cylinders also consume about 2 gallons of castor oil per hour as lubricant, so that it is not altogether difficult to appreciate that they should have a tendency to gum up a little after long use. With castor oil at 4s. 6d. per gallon and petrol at 1s. 3d., the cost per mile at 35 miles an hour is about 50d. If the cost is proportional to the useful load this is equivalent to 5s. 5d. per ton-mile for a machine of equal efficiency, which affords some indication of why it is that efficiency is a factor that should not be overlooked, and why it is also that speed, being the chief factor wherein flight surpasses all other modes of transport, must necessarily be encouraged.

In order to clean the Gnome engine it is always taken down from the machine and placed horizontally on a stool that suggests one of those Turkish coffee tables turned upside down. In this position all the cylinders are accessible, and the inlet-valves and pistons are taken out through the cylinder-heads and thoroughly washed in paraffin, so that every trace of oil is removed from the working parts of the valves. It seems to be a good plan to have the inside and outside of the Gnome engine not only clean but bright, in order that the change in colour may serve as a ready index to the temperature.

An important lesson that it seems to us Bournemouth has taught is the desirability of developing something in the nature of the disappearing wheeled chassis introduced by Short Brothers at the last Olympia Show. This machine was designed to start on wheels and land on skids, and it seems to us that the latter quality is the only reasonably safe way of all-round landing at present in sight.

The Wright Brothers recognised the value of skids for landing from the very first, and there is no doubt that these pioneers knew what they were about in everything they undertook.

The Farman combination that has become so popular is nothing but a modified form of wheeled chassis, principally remarkable for its strength and the manner in which it frequently saves the machine in the event of a bad landing on good ground. The skids themselves do not come into contact with the earth except at their trailing edges, unless the wheels carry away by the breaking of the elastic springs with which they are secured. If the landing takes place on rough ground the wheels of the size used at present are almost certain to catch, and, as often as not, capsize the machine or tear away the chassis altogether.

This in our opinion constitutes a totally undesirable risk. We contend that the pilot who has flown well and alighted well ought not to be penalised to the extent that he is at the present time, merely because unforeseen circumstances have compelled him to descend on rough ground.

With the exception of the accident to Rolls, which took place in mid-air, all the accidents at Bournemouth resulted from descents on bad ground, and we most emphatically consider that skill in design and construction must ever bear the stigma of being behind the art of flying itself so long as the machines of the day fail to afford the pilot proper security when his manoeuvres have not been at fault. In every country there is any quantity of open space whereon a machine might land in emergency without damaging even the property to any considerable extent, but it will be a poor thing indeed if the pilot is expected to search about for a few square yards of really smooth surface if he wants to alight without the risk of breaking his neck.

The relationship of high speed and descent appears to be solving itself in the development of the pilot's art. Everyone has, of course, wondered how a flying machine is to be brought safely to earth at the very high speeds that must obtain in the future, but those who saw Morane terminate flights in which the speed was within 50 and 60 miles an hour will already have an inkling of how it is likely to be done. The pilot glides at a sharp angle to within a few feet of the earth, and then with infinite precision and skill suddenly readjusts his elevator precisely so much as is required to suddenly alter the course into a horizontal line. It is common practice to simultaneously restart the engine in order to prevent the machine from losing way too quickly.

Properly executed, this manoeuvre results in the total abolition of the gliding angle, so that the machine makes contact with the ground almost tangentially, and the occupants scarcely know when they are in the air and when on earth. There is, of course, a very small margin between perfection and safety and clumsiness and disaster, but much the same might be said of many other accomplishments that are practised by men.

Starting, like alighting, is also solving its own equation, for instead of the long and oftentimes futile runs that used to be necessary such a short time ago, machines now get into the air in 35 or 40 yds., and Morane's Bleriot seems almost to jump aloft, so quickly does it ascend. The speed of rising possessed by this machine is in the order of 4 ft. per second, which, for a total load of 900 lbs., represents a net expenditure of 6.5-h.p. on ascent alone.

Turning corners is another special department of flying that has developed very much; the modern method, as practised by Morane, being to fly high in approaching the mark tower, and to dive downwards while banking at the curve. This manoeuvre avoids loss of speed while making the turn, but of course it calls for the exercise of proper skill, and necessitates bringing the machine on to an even keel again when the corner is passed.

High flying is now generally practised by most pilots, who recognise the safety of getting well up into the air. The advisability of this method is not alone due to the range of ground available in the event of a forced descent; it affords almost the only chance of recovery in the event of a mishap.

Speed is one of the greatest factors in stability, and the simplest way of obtaining high velocity in emergency is to execute a dive. This sounds a very dangerous sort of manoeuvre, but there is no danger while there is no collision, providing the machine is well built, and if only the angle is properly abolished at the last moment the most dangerous looking descent terminates in safety, in spite of the fact that the landing may take place at a very high speed.

Of the planes used on the machines at Bournemouth, those employed on the new Bleriot monoplanes are the most interesting. Morane and Drexel each had two pairs of wings for alternate use, one pair being the lifting wings and the other pair the speed wings. In neither case, however, were the speed wings used. The lifting wings were flatter than the ordinary type, while the speed wings were flatter still, and very much shorter in span.

So far as the question of general construction is concerned, the one fatal accident to Rolls has condemned once and for all the sacrifice of strength for lightness; there is absolutely no excuse whatever for a machine failing in mid-air under any stress that the pilot may be called upon to apply. Whether a man flies well or indifferently, whether he handles his machine gently or racks it in his efforts at control is no matter—nothing should ever give way.

The severity of a strain may be an excuse for breaking, but it is no justification for collapse. It is quite certain that the tail outriggers on the French built machine used by Rolls buckled laterally under vertical stress, and were broken by fouling the propellers; this is a lesson that every constructor must take to heart. We are very glad that it did not happen with a British built machine, and it is only fair to Short Brothers who build the Wright machines in England, to emphasise this fact. Short Bros, have at least always recognised the importance of strength, even to the extent of being accused of clumsiness in some details.

It should be mentioned also that the tail, as such, is an innovation on the Wright biplane, and that employed by Rolls had never before been used in England; it was an adjustable tail and worked in unison with the elevator. Some critics have thought that this fact may have contributed to the cause of the accident, but we can see no reason why it should. If anything the manipulation of the tail ought to have reduced the stress on the outriggers under the particular circumstances of the accident. The outrigger spars were very slender, and the outrigger framework as a whole had little or no lateral rigidity.

See Also


Sources of Information

Flight magazine of 16th and 23rd July 1910