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SAMUEL F. CODY ENJOYED development work on his British Army Aeroplane No. 1. And I’ve enjoyed GMax/Microsoft Flight Simulator renderings of his developments. Here in Part 2, my sources expand and my modeling is back-dated to Cody’s 1908 first-to-fly-in-the-UK version.
BAA No. 1 Variations Galore. For instance, several of Cody’s variations had ailerons mounted between the wings, à la Glenn Curtiss’ Reims Racer. I fitted ailerons to my initial BAA No. 1 rendering.
A YouTube posted by Change Before Going Productions shows a 1910 variant. (I love the young gal dangling from the elevator.)
A couple of variations, including the one in the video, placed the pilot ahead of the engine. This evoked a Cody comment: “I find my new position in front of the engine has a much more sensational effect on the nerves than the old position, in fact until last night I never knew I had any nerves.” On July 21, 1909, this particular BAA No. 1 completed a circular flight of four miles, quite an achievement.
A Period Photo and Modern Reconstruction. Early in my research, I was puzzled by a period photo identified as the first U.K. flight.
Several features are noteworthy: Cody resides aft of the engine. There’s no biplane horizontal stabilizers located amidships. And note the odd six-sided rudder-like gizmo atop the upper wing.
Was this wing rudder fixed or a movable control surface? I also have a photo of a replica BAA No. 1 in the FAST Museum at England’s Farnborough Airfield.
FAST to the Rescue. Then I encountered a YouTube video posted by AirflowNZ. Docents at the Farnborough’s FAST Museum give a most illustrative walkaround of the replica BAA No. 1.
I recognized that Cody’s first-U.K.-flight BAA No. 1 had no ailerons. But the video shows that the top-wing gizmo was indeed a lateral control surface. Also, elevator actuation is by control wire, unlike the 1909 variant I modeled which used a lengthy bamboo rod linked with the pilot’s control stick.
And, actually, like many on early aeroplanes, this wasn’t a straightforward stick. The Cody’s two-axis control also has a rudder-actuating steering wheel; there’s no foot-actuated rudder bar.
I used to know how to make flags furl at rest and unfurl at speed, but it has been awhile…. Any work in progress is never truly completed. Sort of like Cody’s real BAA No. 1. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2019