J.Wegg General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecessors Since 1912 (Putnam)
After concentrating on trainers, attention was turned to an experimental two-seat, high-wing parasol monoplane (Mono-Biplane) fighter, powered by a 400hp Liberty 12. Faired struts offered additional lifting area and in an effort to make the airframe as light as possible, all metal parts were given holes and the plywood bulkheads had cut-out sections. Even the control column was perforated.
Two aircraft were ordered (including one for static tests only) in 1918 and built at the Center Street building. But by the time the prototype had reached the flying field, towed behind a truck, the undercarriage had already been weakened and repairs had to be made. When the aircraft sat in the hangar, the tailskid fittings failed and the skid was pushed through the tail. Taxi-ing and flight tests were begun on the ice of Cayuga Lake but the undercarriage failed on take-off on its first flight. The MB-1 was repaired and flown only once more, then abandoned.
Span 37ft; length 22ft.
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
THOMAS-MORSE MB-1 USA
The Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corporation, formed in January 1917 by a merger of the Thomas Brothers Aeroplane Company with the Morse Chain Works, established itself with the S-4, the first aircraft specifically designed for fighter pilot training. Late in 1917, the designer of the S-4, B Douglas Thomas (unrelated to the founding brothers), initiated design of a two-seat fighter, the MB-1. A parasol monoplane primarily of wooden construction and powered by a 400 hp Liberty 12 water-cooled 12-cylinder Vee-type engine, the MB-1 represented an exercise in achieving minimum structural weight in order to enhance performance. All metal parts were provided with lightening holes - even the control column being perforated - and plywood bulkheads featured large cut-outs, the result being inadequate strength. The undercarriage of the first of two MB-1s collapsed during the first attempted take-off early in 1918, and although it has been alleged that the MB-1 was never flown, repairs were performed on the first prototype and the aircraft was flown once, crashing following take-off. The two airframes were delivered to McCook Field, but all further testing was prudently abandoned in favour of the more orthodox MB-2.
Loaded weight, 2,375 lb (1077 kg).
Span, 37 ft 0 in (11,28 m).
Length, 22 ft 0 in (6,70m).