S.Ransom, R.Fairclough English Electric Aircraft and their Predecessors (Putnam)
The Barber and Aeronautical Syndicate Monoplanes
Horatio Claude Barber returned to England from Paris, where he had been leading a somewhat leisurely life, early in 1908 fired with enthusiasm to design and build his own aeroplane, as a result of his visit to an exhibition of flying machines held at the Grand Palais. On his return according to his own reminiscences, he found a suitable workshop in some disused railway arches at Battersea and there began construction but, lacking engineering knowledge, entrusted the work to a consulting engineer. This engineer was Howard Wright.
The resultant two-seat monoplane was powered by a 50 h.p. Antoinette water-cooled engine driving contra-rotating propellers, the last feature possibly giving the rise to or being derived from that incorporated in Seton-Karr biplane which was under construction at about the same time. The monoplane's fuselage had a welded steel-tube structure, its only covering being provided by the Antoinette's radiators which occupied the full depth and almost the entire length of each of its sides. The wings were moderately cambered and were tapered over the majority of their span, the intermost portions being of parallel chord. They were hinged at the fuselage sides and interconnected by a system of bracing wires passing through the apexes of kingposts so that their dihedral would be self-adjusting according to flight conditions. This idea on automatic lateral stability was incorporated in patent No. 1999 filed by Barber in January 1909. Wing-warping control was apparently superimposed on dihedral movement, although it seems that the original intention was to fit full-chord wingtip ailerons. Longitudinal and directional controls were provided, respectively, by lever-operated elevators fitted to the ends of the tailplane, and a triangular rudder. The pilot sat in line with the wing's trailing edge and the passenger was placed ahead of him. The undercarriage consisted of two mainwheels attached to a transverse, leaf-sprung axle fitted to a system of V-struts, and a sprung tailwheel. It seems that wingtip wheels also were initially fitted but that these were discarded before or during the first tests. The monoplane was completed and delivered in the first week of June 1909 to Larkhill on Durrington Downs, where Barber had erected a shed to house it.
Meanwhile, the Aeronautical Syndicate Ltd had been formed in the preceding April. The directors and only shareholders at that time were Charles Worsley Battersby and Herman Rudolph Schmettau. The former was a stockbroker of the partnership of R.C. May and Battersby and the latter a solicitor of the firm of Hays, Schmettau and Dunn, who appear to have acted for Barber and provided him with a poste restante address at that time. Barber was the Syndicate's general manager but he never became a shareholder. At the formation of the company Barber sold it his patents, monoplane and hangar, by which it might be inferred that the Syndicate provided him with the finance necessary for him to continue his experiments.
During the course of the monoplane's trials several modifications were incorporated: the fuselage was completely covered; a triangular fin and rectangular rudder were added; a different form of elevator was fitted and a second tailplane was included above the fuselage immediately behind the pilot. The trials were unsuccessful, however, and the monoplane was subsequently dismantled.
Span 32 ft; length 27 ft; wing area 200 sq ft.
Weight loaded 1,000 lb.
M.Goodall, A.Tagg British Aircraft before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing