Short Biplane No 2


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Short Biplane No 2

The Short Biplane No. 2 flew for the first time around Britain in 1909.

Neil Kirkpatrick, e-mail, 08.05.2015 17:10

My maternal grandfather, Ermest Edward (Dan) Copper was in the Royal Engineers, then RFC, then RAF. He retired after WWII at the rank of Wing Commander.
I have a photo, dated May 13, 1912, of my grandfather, one day short of his 19th birthday, standing in front of a Short Biplane. He had sent the photo to my dad, his son-in-law, and included the following notes on the back of the photo:
"Short Biplane 70 HP Gnome. Flying speed = 55 mph. Stalling speed = 50 mph. Central Dlying School, Upavon, Wiltshire, England. On formation of Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing). May 13, 1912. Let me know if you would like the photo and notes in his hand.
Neil Kirkpatrick
Edmonton, Alberta


Captain Nimal, e-mail, 13.11.2021 Neil Kirkpatrick

Dear Neil,
Please may I have a copy of the picture?
I m from Srilanka a Captain with Srilankan Airlines.
Thank you,
Nimal Rambukwelle.


Terrence I. Murphy, e-mail, 11.02.2012 19:14

Check out "Their Flying Machines" for other great pictures.

Horace Short designed his second machine, the S2, for a machine on which to attempt to win the Daily Mail Prize for a circuit of one mile on a British aircraft flown by a British pilot. The aircraft was built at Shellbeach and was ready to receive the engine in September. For the initial trials a Belgian Vivinus engine was fitted, until the British-made Green became available in early October. However two flights were made with the heavy Vivinus, including one of nearly a mile on 27 September 1909. After repair of damage and fitment of the Green, Moore-Brabazon flew for a mile to win the prize on 30 October 1909.
Short S2 was a twin pusher biplane with three-bay wings outboard of the twin girder chassis. The wings were mainly parallel in chord, of higher aspect ratio than on S1 and with tips curving to a point, where a strut was provided to mount the 'balancers' for lateral control. These each consisted of two surfaces of different areas on an arm with a central pivot and these worked differentially controlled by foot pedals.
The main girder structure was carried upwards at the front to mount the biplane elevator with rudder mounted behind. A fixed tail was carried on wire braced top and bottom booms. In the early part of 1910 the tail was modified; twin booms tapering in side elevation, were fitted with a much extended fin and fixed tail surfaces.

Power: 32-l /2hp Vivinus four-cylinder inline water-cooled reported 'to weigh 200 lb. more and give 15hp less than the Green engine'.
50 /60hp Green four-cylinder inline water-cooled driving twin pusher propellers by uncrossed chains and shafts.
Span: 48ft 4in
Length: 32ft
Area: 450 sq. ft
Weight: 1,485 1b.
Speed: 45mph


Jim Rait, e-mail, 11.04.2009 14:33

Only just found you... I am researching a version of No 2 that Maurice Egerton flew in april 1910... I know Science Museum has a tenth scale model... How did your researches go?


Sharon Munns, e-mail, 07.10.2008 01:23

Information on the first aerodrome and worlds first factory, and where the Wright Brothers had their picture taken outside of Muswell Manor and where Brabazon flew. Please visit


pete, e-mail, 11.01.2008 12:41

We are building a 1 /2 scale model of the Short Mk2 for the 100 year of flight in Britain. If you have any pics or details of this plane we would be very greatfull.



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