Компания "Heston Aircraft Company" образована в 1934 году на основе "Comper Aircraft Company". Первым изделием новой фирмы стал пятиместный подкосный высокоплан Heston Phoenix I с мотором de Havilland Gipsy Six Series I мощностью 200 л. с. Прототип G-AEAD
выполнил первый полет 18 августа 1935 года. Было построено еще два самолета Phoenix I, затем - три доработанных машины варианта Phoenix II с моторами Gipsy VI Series II мощностью 205 л. с. Эти три самолета Phoenix II великолепно показали себя в годы Второй мировой войны в британских ВВС.
Heston Phoenix II
Тип: туристский моноплан
Силовая установка: один 6-цилиндровый рядный ПД de Havilland Gipsy VI Series II мощностью 205 л. с. (153 кВт)
Летные характеристики: максимальная скорость 241 км/ч; крейсерская скорость 217 км/ч; практический потолок 6095 м; дальность 805 км
Масса: пустого 975 кг; максимальная взлетная 1497 кг
Размеры: размах крыла 12,29 м; длина 9,19 м; высота 2,62 м; площадь крыла 24,15 м2
Flight, October 1935
THE HESTON PHOENIX
A New Five-seater With an Unusually Roomy Cabin Layout and Pleasant Flying Qualities
THERE are two distinct ways of setting about designing a civil aeroplane: One may evolve a very attractive-looking outline design, of good lines, high aerodynamic efficiency and generally pleasing appearance, afterwards trying how the desired accommodation may be worked into that outline; or one may start with a cabin of certain dimensions and accommodation, and steadfastly refuse to depart from that cabin ideal for any reason whatever, structural, aerodynamic or financial.
In producing the Phoenix, recently completed by the Heston Aircraft Co., Ltd., the latter method was followed by Messrs. Cornwall and Evans, and it is to their very great credit that without sacrificing one cubic inch, so to speak, of the cabin ideal which they had set themselves, they have succeeded in producing an aeroplane which is remarkably pleasing to the eye (as the illustrations show) and which is at the same time easy to fly, having no vices and giving a performance which must be considered quite satisfactory in view of the relatively low power expenditure of rather less than 40 h.p. per occupant.
Comfort having been the chief consideration in the design, we were naturally inclined to be critical during a trip in the new Phoenix, but in truth there is almost nothing on which to pin any criticism. The five seats, at present arranged two abreast in front, two more abreast behind them, and a single seat at the back, were very comfortable indeed, the only one not having quite as much leg room as one would like being the single seat at the back. But as there is the whole cabin width available, the position of this seat can easily be altered as to provide all the comfort any one could ask for. In any case, seating accommodation is likely to be subject to the wishes of individual purchasers and to corresponding changes.
The view from the two front seats is remarkably good, and the roof windows make it possible for the pilot to look back and ensure that no other machine is coming in to land just as he is about to take off. The placing of the wing on top of the fuselage gives the passengers a very good view of the country over which the machine is flying, and Mr. Rumbold, apart from the comfort of his chairs and the general attractiveness of his cabin upholstery, has managed to get the average noise level in the cabin down to just over 70 decibels, a figure which one associates with the type of aircraft which the lay Press is fond of calling a “giant airliner.” Conversation can be carried on without difficulty, and the size and placing of the windows are such that one has none of that “cooped-up” feeling which is likely to assert itself in a less well-lighted cabin.
Dual controls are provided, the wheel being mounted on a "swing-over" type of arm. The instruments are placed in front of the port front seat and include the usual Smith equipment, plus a Smith turn indicator, a "Husun" compass and a very neat undercarriage indicator in which a small image of a wheel and strut swings across an illuminated screen, a red light showing until the undercarriage is in the "fully down" position. The hydraulically operated undercarriage, incidentally, can be retracted in about twenty seconds and lowered in about sixteen seconds. The pump handle is placed between the two front seats, so that it can be operated from either.
Although the Phoenix is by no means a large machine, the cabin space is no less than 140 cu. ft., measuring 9ft. 6in. in length and having an average width of 45in. and a mean height of 52in. Behind the cabin and separated from it, with a door on the port side, is a luggage compartment of no less than 22 cu. ft. capacity, measuring 25in. in length, 30in. in mean width, and 39in. in average height. Should it be desired to use the machine as a mail carrier, leaving the two front seats in the cabin and a reasonable space around the doors, the total mail space available is 92 cu. ft., which is more than ample for the load the machine can carry.
In general design the Phoenix is a high-wing strut-braced monoplane, the most unusual feature of which is the use of short wing stubs at the bottom of the fuselage. These stubs serve as an anchorage for the wing struts and undercarriage struts, and they form the housings for the wheels when the undercarriage is retracted.
Structurally, the machine is almost entirely of wood, with an orthodox two-spar wing construction, fabric covered, while the fuselage is also entirely of wood, covered with plywood, over which is placed a doped fabric for weathering purposes only. An unusual feature of the fuselage construction is that the cross-section is rectangular over the cabin portion and gradually becomes elliptical as the stern is approached, the luggage compartment forming a transition bay between the front braced truss structure and the rear monocoque shell.
The tail is of the full cantilever type, and rudder and elevator have hinges of the inset type to provide aerodynamic balance. The tailplane is of the fixed type, trimming being done by a tab on the port elevator. A fully castering tail wheel is fitted.
An interesting feature of the Phoenix is the retractable undercarriage, for which Mr. George Dowty has been responsible. The principle of the operation will be most easily understood from an examination of the sketches. When the wheels are raised they rest in recesses in the lower wing stubs, and the trenches in which the struts lie are covered by a shield so that the whole under-side is left smooth.
Power is supplied by a De Havilland Gipsy Six inverted six-cylinder engine of 200 h.p. The unit is carried on rubber vibration dampers in a welded steel tube frame. The fuel tanks are mounted on rubber trunnions in the wing, one on each side of the fuselage. The tanks have a total capacity of sixty gallons, but with a full complement of passengers this quantity of fuel would represent an overload, and normally the tanks carry forty-four gallons; this gives a range with full load of about 500 miles at a cruising speed of 120 m.p.h. or more. The tank position is such that direct gravity feed is quite satisfactory, but engine-driven petrol pumps are also fitted as a precaution against the formation of vapour locks. The oil tank is carried under the cabin floor, between the fireproof bulkhead and the wing stubs, and the bottom surface of the tank serves as an oil cooler, A long exhaust pipe runs under the fuselage, asbestos lining under the outer aluminium covering affording protection against fire risk. A wooden airscrew, made by the Airscrew Company, is fitted as standard, but metal airscrews can be fitted if desired.
The aerodynamic qualities of the Phoenix are good, as already mentioned the machine having no vices. The "N" strut wing-bracing affords great strength and rigidity, while the "washed-out" elliptical wing tips, in conjunction with the Frise-balanced ailerons, avoid any tendency to "drop a wing" at the stall. When stalled with the rudder central the machine shows no tendency to go into a spin, but merely sinks in a level attitude. By using the rudder the spin can, of course, be started as in any aeroplane. In spite of the absence of trailing edge flaps, the landing speed is quite moderate at: about 55 m.p.h. The Dunlop wheel brakes reduce the landing run to quite small proportions.
From the user's point of view the Phoenix should have much to recommend it. The modest power expenditure for the load carried should result in very economical operation. Ease of maintenance should be ensured by the number of inspection panels at vital points. The number of lubrication points has been reduced by the use of “Oilite” self-oiling bushes and ball bearings wherever possible.
The first machine has been finished in a light green, picked out with a darker green, and with wider silver lines. The wing has a silver finish. The Titanine doping scheme adopted has resulted in a very attractive finish, the fuselage being particularly good in this respect.
It is worth placing on record the fact that not a single modification of any importance was found necessary as a result of the official flying tests at Martlesham Heath. A small degree of experimentation is still to be made with such items as ventilators in order to get the best possible combination of ventilation without noise, but in all essentials the machine is ready for production, and a batch is now being laid down. The price of the Phoenix has not been definitely fixed at the moment, but will be announced shortly. The machine should be an attractive proposition with a number of possible uses.
Flight, April 1936
MODERN LIGHT AIRCRAFT REVIEWED
AN ability to carry five people at a cruising speed of more than 125 mph. on the two hundred horse-power of a Gipsy Six engine is the outstanding feature of the Heston Aircraft Company's Phoenix. All five occupants have the good view which is to be expected with the high-wing layout, and they travel in a state of peace and quiet which is certainly unusually good for a single-engined machine.
From the design point of view the Phoenix, which is of all-wood construction, is interesting by virtue of the monocoque rear portion of the fuselage and of the Dowty retractable undercarriage which is gathered up into a pair of stub wings from which the bracing struts run to the wings. The cabin space is entirely unobstructed and the business of entering or leaving the machine would have no difficulties for the most infirm. Comfort has, in fact, been the primary aim of the designers, and the unusual roominess of the cabin will please both fare-paying passengers and others.
The control wheel is of the swing-over type, and the essential controls are centrally placed so that the machine can be flown from either of the two front seats. A very large locker in the dashboard is available for maps and for all the assorted material which the pilot usually has to strew on the floor. The undercarriage, which is hydraulically operated, can be lowered in a matter of sixteen seconds.
Although the Phoenix has been designed primarily for charter, feeder-line and similar work, the machine's virtues of silence, simplicity and economy should appeal to the private owner who requires something rather larger and more luxurious than usual, yet who does not want the additional complication of twin engines. When in the raised position the wheels lie in recesses in the lower stub wings already mentioned. The trenches provided for the reception of the struts are covered by a shield so that when the wheels are up the whole underside is left smooth. This, of course, greatly facilitates emergency landings with the wheels retracted. A tail wheel of the fully castoring and spatted type is fitted.
The specification of the Heston Phoenix is as follows: Weight empty, 2,000 lb.; disposable load, 1,300 lb.; span, 40ft. 4m.; length, 30ft. 2in.; maximum speed, 145 m.p.h.; cruising speed, 125 m.p.h.; landing speed. 55 m.p.h.; initial rate of climb, 650 ft./min.; cruising range, 500 miles; price, ?1,980. Makers: Heston Aircraft Co., Ltd., Heston Airport, Hounslow, Mddx.
The Heston "Phoenix" Five-seat Cabin Monoplane (200 h.p. D.H. "Gipsy-Six engine).
ANOTHER FLYING LABORATORY: The first of the new Heston Phoenix monoplanes with Series II Gipsy Six engine and v.p. airscrew has been ordered by Standard Radio and will be used for experimental and demonstration work.
Although showing unusual economy the Heston Phoenix (D.H. Gipsy Six) has an excellent all-round performance.
ECONOMICAL COMFORT: A new impression by a Flight photographer of the Heston Phoenix, which carries four passengers, a pilot and luggage at a cruising speed of 125 m.p.h. on 200 h.p.
The modern trend in cabin types is illustrated in this type, the Heston Phoenix
OUTSTANDING CIVIL TYPE: One of four machines which made their first appearance during 1935: (2) the Heston Phoenix five-seater with 200 h.p. Gipsy Six;
The v.p. airscrew version of the five-seater Heston Phoenix which is one of the quietest single-engined machines on the market.
Этот G-AEHJ - последний из трех монопланов Heston Type I Phoenix с моторами de Havilland Gipsy VI Series I. Его убирающееся шасси было очень необычно.
LOW DRAG: Here ts the first British strutted monoplane to have a retractable undercarriage. The machine is the Heston Aircraft Company s Phoenix, and the feature, with the careful cowling of the Gipsy Six engine, gives a very "clean" appearance.
A side view of the Phoenix. The Titanine finish is pale green, picked out in darker green, and silver.
The latest Phoenix, which carries five people on 200 h.p. and has one of the quietest cabins of any single-engined machine.
The Heston Phoenix with Gipsy Six engine is the centre of attraction.
Eminently suitable for charter operation is the Heston Phoenix with a D.H. Gipsy Six engine.
In spite of its wide fuselage, the Phoenix is very "clean." This photograph also gives a good idea of the pilot's view.
The Heston Phoenix (Gipsy Six);
Heston Phoenix Series II.
A PHOENIX FOR AUSTRALIA: Mr. C. J. Melrose with the Heston Phoenix which he is shortly flying out to Australia in easy stages. This machine is the first of the production batch and incorporates certain improvements, mainly an even better view than before from the pilot's seat and a somewhat neater Dowty retractable undercarriage. Mr. Melrose hopes to carry a few expense-sharing passengers.
HOMEWARD BOUND: C. J. Melrose, with his Heston Phoenix (Gipsy Six) photographed shortly before leaving for Australia. He had an official send-off from Heston last Saturday, Mr. C. F. G. McCann, Agent General for South Australia, and Mr. Pemberton-Billing (who is Mr. Melrose's uncle), being among the well-wishers. The fact that an extremely adverse weather report thereupon caused a postponement came as rather an anti-climax. Actually, Mr. Melrose left on Monday. He is proceeding Australiawards in easy stages, and on arrival will use the Phoenix for charter work; he will also represent the makers, the Heston Aircraft.Co. Ltd.
KEEPING ITS END UP: A small parachute is sometimes carried in the tail of a machine as a precautionary measure during spinning tests. This view shows such an installation on a Heston Phoenix.
The photograph shows the skeleton of the rear monocoque fuselage.
Heston "Phoenix" (D.H.V.) 200 h.p. Engine) Standard Equipment "Husun" Aperiodic Compass and Smith Aircraft Instruments
In the cabin: The instruments are grouped in front of the port seat. On the right is a large locker for maps. Note the "swing-over" control.
Two doors are provided in the Heston Phoenix and the seating arrangements can be modified according to the use to which the machine is to be put. The luggage compartment at the rear has a separate door and, though both are not shown in the diagram, there are two doors for the cabin.
Easy ingress and egress and an excellent view for the passengers are features of the Heston Phoenix.
This sketch of the front portion of the Phoenix shows the construction of wing, wing stump and fuselage. The petrol tanks are carried in the wing on special strengthened ribs. The front part of the fuselage has a girder structure while the rear is monocoque. Details of a wing-stub spar are shown in the smaller sketch.
Details of the Dowty retractable undercarriage of the Phoenix. The bottom of the oil tank projects and acts as a cooler.
This diagrammatic representation shows the geometry of the undercarriage operation.
The cantilever tail is of wood construction, and a metal fairing (not shown) terminates the fuselage. Note the trimming "tab" on the port elevator only.