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The Curtiss Biplane

The Curtiss Biplane.jpg The Farman Biplane - top viewThumbnailsThe Curtiss Biplane making a turnThe Farman Biplane - top viewThumbnailsThe Curtiss Biplane making a turnThe Farman Biplane - top viewThumbnailsThe Curtiss Biplane making a turn

Of famous aeroplanes at Rheims, five types stood out by themselves—the Farman, the Voisin, the Wright, the Bleriot, and the Antoinette, all of which have been described. But there was one other, which few people had heard of before it appeared here. This was the Curtiss biplane, built by an American named Glenn H. Curtiss, and engined with a motor which also bore his name. Curtiss had experimented with many power-driven machines—motor-cycles, motor-cars, airships, and aeroplanes—and had won a prize in America with a small, light biplane, and it was a craft of this type—as seen in the figure —that he brought with him to Rheims, his idea being to compete for the speed prize. The machine had a front elevator and tail-planes, according to the practice in biplane construction; but an innovation was the setting of the ailerons midway between the main-planes—a position that will be noted in the sketch; another novelty was the way these ailerons operated. At the pilot’s back, as he sat in his driving seat, was an upright rod with two shoulder-pieces—by means of which, should he shift his body, he could swing the rod from side to side. Wires ran from the rod to the ailerons; and if the pilot leaned over, say, to the right, he drew down the ailerons on the left side of the machine. The merit of such a control was that it was instinctive; that is to say, should the biplane tip down on one side, it was natural for the pilot to lean away from the plane-ends that were sinking; and he operated the ailerons automatically, as he did this, and so brought the machine level again.

A. Elevating-planes
B. Pilot’s seat and control-wheel
C.C. Main-planes
D. Ailerons
E. Motor and propeller
F. Tail-plane and rudder.

The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Aeroplane, by Claude Grahame-White and Harry Harper
Published 1914