In 1908 Lieutenant John W. Seddon of the Royal Navy was inspired by a
flying paper model to design a giant tandem biplane, with which he hoped
to win a GBP10,000 prize for the first Manchester to London flight. Convinced
that hoops of high-tensile steel tube were much more efficient than
conventional wood and wire bracing, he persuaded the Navy to give him
leave to work on his project and his mother largely to pay for it. The aircraft,
named optimistically (and prophetically) the 'Mayfly', was built in a bicycle
factory and used up 610m of steel tubing. On its only high-speed
run, a wheel collapsed and the aircraft was damaged. Repairs and
modifications were hampered by Seddon's return to duty and the Mayfly
never did fly, eventually being dismantled by souvenir hunters.
| ENGINE||2 x 65hp NEC six-cylinder water-cooled piston engines|
| Take-off weight||1180 kg||2601 lb|
| Wingspan||15.20 m||50 ft 10 in|
| Length||15.20 m||50 ft 10 in|
|Terrence I. Murphy, 11.02.2012|
I can't tell from the wild mass of steel tubes. Was this pusher engine aircraft?
Seddon Mayfly 1910,In 1908 Lieutenant John W. Seddon of the Royal Navy
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?
FACTS AND FIGURES
© The Mayfly was said to be
intended to carry five passengers,
but it is not clear where they were
supposed to be accommodated.
© Two piston engines in the same
nacelle were connected by chains to
two-bladed Beedle aluminium
propellers, which look horribly
inefficient, although Seddon wrote
glowing letters in praise of their 'more
than satisfactory pull' to the maker.
© Control surfaces were a biplane elevator
mounted forward and four small rudders.
The outer wings pivoted forward and aft
for lateral control, although their
effectiveness seems unlikely.