|Terrence I. Murphy, e-mail, 09.02.2012 18:48|
De Havilland Biplane No. 1 is a name applied retrospectively to the first aircraft constructed by Geoffrey De Havilland, who built and flew it (briefly) in England in 1909. The resulting design was a three-bay biplane with an open-truss fuselage, equal-span unstaggered wings, and a four-wheeled undercarriage.
Power was provided by a 45 hp (30 kW) de Havilland Iris flat-four engine (custom-built by the Iris Car Company for ₤220) driving two pusher propellers mounted behind the wings. A fin and stabiliser was carried to the rear, with a large elevator at the front of the aircraft. Lateral control was provided by ailerons attached to the upper wing. De Havilland's wife, Louise, sewed the linen surfaces of the wings.
After ground tests, they sent the aircraft rolling down a hill with de Havilland at the controls. It became airborne briefly, covering some 100 ft (35 m) before the lef wing failed, and the aircraft crashed. De Havilland's most serious injury was a blow to the wrist from one of the still-spinning propellers, received after extricating himself from the wreckage. The engine was salvaged and powered the team's next aircraft, De Havilland Biplane No. 2, the following year.
• Crew: One pilot
• Length: 29 ft 0 in (8.84 m)
• Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
• Wing area: 408 ft2 (38.0 m2)
• Gross weight: 850 lb (385 kg)
• Powerplant: 1 × de Havilland Iris flat-4, 45 hp (30 kW)