In 1935, Sir John Carden and L. E. Baynes designed a
single-seat powered sailplane, known as the Scud, one
example of which was built by Abbots-Baynes
Aircraft Ltd at Farnham, Surrey. When the two
designers founded the Carden-Baynes Aircraft Ltd at
Heston, Middlesex in 1936, they embarked on another
project, the ultralight Bee, flown on 3 April 1937.
This was a side-by-side two-seater, powered by two
40hp Carden Ford SPI converted car engines driving
pusher propellers. All activities ceased in the 1930s
when Heston was requisitioned by the Air Ministry.
In December 1935 Sir John Carden was killed in an airliner crash. Leslie Baynes continued with development of the aircraft which took to the air on the 3rd April 1937 piloted by no less a figure than Hubert Broad. It was not an unqualified success and problems were experienced with over heating engines and instability on the ground due to a narrow track undercarriage and sluggish handling in the air. Whilst awaiting better engines amongst other things the business went into receivership and the Bee along with plans for a larger craft were purchased by the newly formed Scottish Aircraft Construction Company but that was that and the Bee was probably scrapped at Heston in 1939.
Span 29'10" Length 23'0" Wing area 141 square feet
Empty weight 880 lb Gross weight 1,350 lb
Max speed 110 mph Cruise speed 100 mph Range 300 miles
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?