M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
P.Lewis British Aircraft 1809-1914 (Putnam)
L. G. Ryley built himself a canard biplane glider with which he made a number of short hops during the autumn of 1914.
Flight, November 6, 1914.
THE RYLEY BIPLANE GLIDER.
MR. L. G. RYLEY, of Coventry, sends us the following description and sketches of a biplane glider which he has built, and with which he hopes to make some interesting experiments shortly. Mr. Ryley informs us that although he is a member of the Coventry Aero Club, the glider is not built by the Club, but that he will be quite willing to allow members to indulge in flights on the machine:
"Gliding is a side of flight that is a little apt to be neglected at the present time, but it is a useful side nevertheless, and for the advanced model builder and others similarly interested it should be very attractive. There are a great many individuals who cannot afford to run a motor-driven machine, and to whom the flying of models lacks that co-operation between man and machine which is really what they require; to such therefore does the glider appeal. Just consider for a moment the points in its favour - practically most of the fascination of the motor-driven flight with all the charm of controlling a man-carrying aeroplane, and there is also that sense of mastery over the element which has so long defied conquest, added to the joyous exhilaration of the rush through the air, the delight of which has been compared to that of tobogganning. No doubt the chief problem in gliding is, to the town dweller especially, that of portability, and it was with a view to overcoming (to some extent) this obstacle that the writer constructed the machine shown in the accompanying scale drawings. The majority of model builders know how successful the 'canard ' type of machine is, and as the Wright glider was also successful, it was decided to adopt something similar (for the first machine, at any rate), rather than run the risk of constructing something which might prove a failure. Bamboo is used for the main spars, outrigger, and ribs, whilst for the skids ash is employed. The stanchions between the planes as well as the compression struts connecting the front and rear spars, are of selected red deal, and to all appearances seem quite strong enough for the job. The strut lug was described in FLIGHT, January 24th, 1914, whilst the remainder of the chief joints are shown in the diagrammatic sketches below. No doubt some readers will criticise the 'string and glue' joints, but it is really the only practical method of joining bamboo, and, if properly carried out, is quite strong enough; moreover, it enables several parts to 'give' slightly under certain circumstances, which otherwise might end in a broken spar. In the scale drawings a seat is shown, but after a few flights on the latter, I intend fitting a board and trying the prone position similar to the famous Wright Bros, early machines.
"This position will certainly cut down the resistance considerably, and the author would be glad to hear from readers who have tried it."
Flight, December 11, 1914.
THE RYLEY GLIDER.
By LESLIE G. RYLEY (Coventry Aero Club).
"DRAGON-FLY I" made its debut on Saturday, August 21st. Before describing the gliding capabilities of the machine the method of transport will perhaps be of interest to town readers who contemplate building a portable biplane glider in a "microscopic hangar." Rising at 6 a.m. we found the weather was very misty but by the time the various parts had been collected on to the writer's lawn - which had previously been cut and rolled to facilitate erection - the fog cleared sufficiently to enable us to start work. By 8.30 the various extensions were held in position by temporary wires, then came an interval. Three hours afterwards, the whole of the main planes were braced up, which, considering the number of struts and the fact that all the wires had to be cut off to length, as well as making some extra clips, was not a bad start. The elevator and its outrigger were then clipped along the planes as shown in the photograph. The next item on the programme was to get the glider out of the garden, which obstacle was surmounted by lifting the machine bodily over a 6-foot hedge. Four cycles were commandeered, and with the skids resting on the saddles we pushed the whole arrangement "end-on" up to the ground, where it was only necessary to push the outrigger into its sockets and connect up the elevator together with its wires. With regard to the flying some excellent towed flights were made both with and without a pilot, the wind being about 10 m.p.h., but owing to the field being rather small we were almost into the hedge before the machine lifted the writer, whose weight is over 10 stone. The latter's brother, a youngster of 7 years, had three excellent "joy rides" of about 80 yards in length, much to his enjoyment. Mr. Shorter, who, it will be remembered, recently constructed a cycloplane, made a good glide while lying down on the bottom plane. The only smash occurred when the above pilot was running in the plane, i.e., between the front and rear spars. This method was suggest by Mr. T. W. K. Clarke some years ago. Mr. Shorter not having much "leg-room" was hardly fast enough for the towers, and consequently when the machine lifted he jumped on to the trailing instead of the leading edge. The machine rose and landed "edge-on" with its elevator vertical. The pilot being unable to get out owing to the rear spar and diagonal wires dropped on a stanchion and broke it. This was the only damage sustained, although the machine landed rather heavily on several occasions - the low-built chassis holding up to the strain in an excellent manner, while the bottom plane and elevator had a good "cushioning" effect on the machine by compressing the air between themselves and the ground.