Airspeed AS.5 Courier
Первым серийным самолетом фирмы "Airspeed" стал AS.5 Courier, разработанный одним из директоров компании А. Хесселем Тилтманом. Он был сделан на основе проекта, представленного еще в 1931 году, но из-за нехватки средств у новой компании к постройке прототипа
приступили только в сентябре 1932 года.
Самолет смешанной конструкции, выполненный по схеме свободнонесущего моноплана с низкорасположенным крылом, отличался важной новинкой - убирающимися стойками шасси. Первый прототип, на котором был установлен незакапотированный мотор воздушного охлаждения Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IVC мощностью 240 л. с. (179 кВт), поднялся в воздух 11 апреля 1933 года. Силовую установку позднее доработали, закрыв головки цилиндров кольцом Тауненда. Серийный "британский" вариант самолета получил обозначение AS.5A. Альтернативный "колониальный" вариант был оснащен мотором воздушного охлаждения Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah V мощностью 305 л. с. и получил обозначение AS.5B.
В феврале 1934 года британские ВВС (RAF) приобрели один пяти-/шестиместный AS.5A, для использования в качестве связного самолета. В 1935 году его вернули на фирму для установки устройств, уменьшающих подъемную силу крыла, так как Courier оказался чересчур "летучим" - поднявшись в воздух, он приземлялся крайне неохотно.
Всего построили 16 экземпляров Courier, 10 из которых в годы Второй мировой войны использовались в качестве связных и транспортных машин. В их число входил и экземпляр, купленный ранее военными, а остальные машины были мобилизованы у гражданских владельцев. Лишь один служивший в RAF Courier пережил войну и был возвращен на гражданскую службу 18 января 1946 года.
Airspeed AS.5B Courier
Тип: пяти-/шестиместный легкий транспортный самолет.
Силовая установка: поршневой мотор воздушного охлаждения Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah V, взлетной мощностью 305 л. с. (227 кВт)
Летные характеристики: максимальная скорость на уровне моря 226 км/ч; крейсерская скорость 233 км/ч на высоте 305 м; максимальная скороподъемность на уровне моря 286 м/мин; потолок 5180 м; дальность полета 1030 км
Масса: пустого 1056 кг; максимальная взлетная 1814 кг; максимальная полезная нагрузка 408 кг
Размеры: размах крыла 14,33 м; длина 8,69 м; площадь крыла 23,23 м2
Flight, October 1932
AIRSPEED A.S. 5
DESIGNED by N. S. Norway and A. H. Tiltman, of Airspeed, Ltd., Piccadilly, York, and now in course of construction at the York works of that company, the machine illustrated here is the first British low-wing civil monoplane to incorporate in its design a retractable undercarriage. For this reason the design is of more than ordinary interest, and we have thought that our readers will appreciate a little advance information about the machine, which is not yet ready, and therefore scarcely on the, market, although as soon as the first example has been finished and flown, it will probably not be long before others follow, as the machine has many attractive features and is of a size and seating capacity which should make it popular.
The A.S.5, which will be marketed as the Airspeed "Courier," is a four-six-seater single-engined low-wing cantilever monoplane, fitted with Armstrong-Siddeley Lynx engine of 240 h.p. Other makes of engine of comparable power and weight can be fitted instead if desired, but the reputation of the Lynx for reliability is such that it would be difficult to suggest a more suitable power plant.
As the outline drawings show, the "Courier" is of very clean design, apart from its retractable undercarriage. The cantilever wings have a pronounced taper in thickness as well as plan form, and where they join the fuselage the trailing edge is raised considerably, resulting in a decreased angle of incidence. Extensive researches in Germany, especially on Junkers monoplanes, have shown that the phenomenon now known as "buffeting," which is an oscillation of the tail at large angles, and to which low-wing monoplanes appear prone, is likely to be less pronounced, or may even be avoided altogether if interference at wing-fuselage junction is reduced by raising the trailing edge.
The wing is built with a centre section of 10 ft. 2 in. span permanently attached to the fuselage. When the outer wing pieces are removed, this is therefore the "folded" width of the machine. Only four bolts have to be undone to remove the wings.
Structurally the "Courier" is quite straightforward, with a plywood-covered fuselage and wooden wing with fabric covering. The front portion of the fuselage is of welded steel tube construction, the engine mounting being bolted directly to it. A choice of seating accommodation in the cabin is provided. Either the machine can be used as a six-seater, when little or no luggage can be carried, or it can be arranged as a four-seater, and a generous quantity of. luggage can then be accommodated.
The retractable undercarriage is hydraulically operated, and is so arranged that when the wheels are fully retracted, they still project sufficiently below the level of the wing to be usable as wheels, so that in the unlikely event of the mechanism sticking, it should still be possible to land the machine safely, except possibly for a broken propeller. Oleo-pneumatic shock absorber legs are used, and give a travel of 9 in.
Two alternative tank schemes will be arranged, the one giving a range of 450 miles (724 km.) and the other a range of 780 miles (1 255 km.), the useful load being adjusted correspondingly.
The permissible gross weight of the "Courier" will be 3,200 lb. (1 452 kg.), and the disposable load 1,350 lb. (612 kg.). The wing area is 250 sq. ft. (23.2m.2), and it is expected that the maximum speed will be more than 150 m.p.h. (241 km./hr.), while the estimated cruising speed is about 130 m.p.h. (209 km./hr.) at 1,000 ft.
Flight, December 1933
DEMONSTRATING THE “COURIER"
High-Speed Flying with Low Power
AIRCRAFT Exchange and Mart and R. K. Dundas, Ltd., British and Indian agents respectively for the machines designed and built by Airspeed, Ltd., of Portsmouth, had invited representatives of the press and others to lunch and a demonstration at Hanworth on Saturday last, with the object of introducing to a wider circle that rather extraordinary aeroplane, the Airspeed "Courier." It may be recollected that the first of these machines was designed and built at York, before Airspeed moved to Portsmouth, and that one of them was fitted up with very large petrol tanks for Sir Alan Cobham and Sqd. Ldr. Helmore to fly non-stop from England to Australia, refuelling en route. That project has been delayed, but work on construction has proceeded at Portsmouth, and when fitted up as a normal passenger-carrying aeroplane, the "Courier" is an extremely efficient aeroplane.
At Hanworth on Saturday two models of the Airspeed "Courier" were demonstrated, the "English" model, which is fitted with the Armstrong-Siddeley "Lynx," one of the most reliable aero engines ever produced in any country, and the "Colonial" model, which has the Armstrong-Siddeley "Cheetah" engine, a slightly more powerful version (300 h.p.) than the "Lynx."
The machines are very comfortably equipped for carrying five passengers in addition to the pilot. We had the opportunity to go up in the "English" model with Capt. Neville Stack, and the machine is undoubtedly both comfortable and quiet. Naturally, one has to raise one's voice slightly in order to carry out a conversation, but there was none of that deafness after landing which is so often experienced after a flight in a relatively small single-engined machine. In spite of the fact that the wing is placed low under the fuselage, the view from the seats is quite good, thanks to ample window area sensibly placed.
The day was rather a "bumpy" one, but the behaviour of the "Courier" was not such as to cause any qualms. After gaining height, Capt. Stack began to draw in the retractable undercarriage. This is done by working a sort of pump handle, and one of the passengers jokingly remarked that he thought that for a moment Capt. Stack must have tried to fly the machine with the pump handle and wind in the undercarriage with the joy stick. However, the undulatory movement soon ceased, and except for the bumps the machine was remarkably steady, and with a marked increase in speed. The day was not well suited to a demonstration, as the visibility was very poor, but the machine seemed to cruise at 135-140 m.p.h. We are informed that the "Colonial" model cruises at 152 m.p.h., and has a top speed of 170-172 m.p.h. In view of the fact that the engine is of 300 h.p. only, and the machine carries six people, this must be regarded as extremely good for a power expenditure of less than 50 h.p. per occupant at cruising speed.
The wing loading is fairly high, and so the machine lands fast, but not unduly so, and it pulls up quite quickly after touching the ground.
We are informed that the "Colonial" model is leaving this week for a flight to India, where it will be demonstrated to interested people. It will carry Lord Ronaldshay as passenger.
Flight, April 1936
MODERN LIGHT AIRCRAFT REVIEWED
THE Airspeed Courier, though designed several years ago, is still perfectly capable of holding its own in the matter of all-round performance with the majority of the latest products. Furthermore, this was almost the first, it not actually the first, machine to be built in this country with a retractable undercarriage
Mainly of wood construction, the Courier is a single-engined low-wing cantilever monoplane carrying a pilot and five passengers, though this arrangement can, of course, be modified to suit individual requirements of accommodation and range. Two alternative power units are normally fitted - an Armstrong Siddeley Lynx of 223 h.p. or a Siddeley Cheetah V of 278 h.p. - the latter being normal for the overseas version. The maximum speeds of the two models are 153 and 165 m.p.h. respectively.
Dual control is fitted and both control columns are detachable, so that the pilot may fly from either of the two front seats. The Courier must be one of the "lightest" cabin machines on the market, since even the root windows extend well back and there is little solid matter to interfere with the pilot's view.
The twin-engined Envoy is somewhat outside the scope of these short descriptions, but it would make a very fast and luxurious air yacht and, in its new form with split trailing-edge flaps, it is extremely easy to fly and capable of being put down in the smallest of aerodromes. Incidentally, the Courier which was delivered to the Air Ministry early in 1934 has been experimentally fitted with slots and Schrenck flaps, and tests at Portsmouth have shown that it is a very remarkable machine.
The specification of the Courier with a Lynx engine is as follows: Span, 47ft.; length, 28.5ft.; all-up weight, 3,900 lb.; useful load, 1,790 lb.; maximum speed, 153 m p.h.; cruising speed, 132 m.p.h.; landing speed, 56 m.p.h.; initial climb, 730 ft./min.; range, 600 miles. Makers: Airspeed (1934), Ltd., The Airport, Portsmouth.
The first production Airspeed "Courier". The excellent view from the Courier's cabin is well shown in this flying picture, taken while the retractable undercarriage was "at the ready."
WITH WHEELS DOWN: An Airspeed "Courier" (Siddeley "Cheetah"), similar to that which will be demonstrated at Copenhagen.
Оснащенный убирающимся шасси Courier имел необычно высокую крейсерскую скорость полета. Один из таких самолетов использовался Аланом Кобхэмом при неудачной попытке совершить беспосадочный перелет из Англии в Индию с использованием дозаправки в воздухе.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Sir Alan Cobham carries out a refuelling test at Portsmouth in preparation for his forthcoming non-stop flight to India with Sqd. Ldr. Helmore in the Airspeed "Courier." The "tanker" seen above is Sir Alan's Handley Page W.10 (ex City of Pretoria of Imperial Airways).
21 сентября 1934г. сэр Алан Кобхэм предпринял попытку безостановочного перелета из Англии в Индию на самолете Airspeed AS.5 Courier C-ABXN. Над Портсмутом и Мальтой сэр Алан планировал дозаправку в воздухе от собственных самолетов Handley Page W.10, а над Абукиром и Басрой - от самолетов ВВС Великобритании. Прием топлива был благополучно выполнен над Сельси-Билл (Сассекс) и над Мальтой, но поломка тяги управления двигателем заставила летчика выполнить вынужденную посадку на Мальте. Попытка беспосадочного перелета потерпела неудачу.
FILLING UP: A unique photograph taken from the "Youth of New Zealand," showing Sqd. Ldr. Helmore holding the hose into the mouthpiece ready for refuelling while flying under the tanker, whose bottom wing comes into the picture on the left.
Two high-speed low-wing monoplanes, the Miles Falcon Six and the Airspeed Courier.
THE "COURIER" IN THE RACE: Sqd. Ldr. Stodart's Airspeed "Courier" coming up to the hangar on Sunday afternoon. This machine arrived immediately after the "Viceroy."
SPEED FOR INDIA: The "Cheetah"engined "Courier" of R. Dundas, Ltd., on the tarmac at Almaza Aerodrome, Cairo. Lord Ronaldshay, Managing Director of the Company, is flying to India in this machine, piloted by Mr. C. E. Kelly.
CHAPTER II: Loading up the two Airspeed "Couriers" at Hanworth before their journey to Manchester.
"CHEAP SPEED": At the Airports Conference Maj. Thornton said that if he were selling aeroplanes, this would be his slogan. In the Airspeed "Courier" it is provided to a marked extent, the "Cheetah"-engined version (nearest the camera) having a maximum speed of 170-172 m.p.h. and a cruising speed of about 152 m.p.h. As the engine is of 300 h.p. only, and the machine carries six people, this must be regarded as very cheap speed indeed.
TOEING THE LINE: Another view over the heads of the crowd. The nearest machine is the "Puss Moth" flown by Mr. C. J. Melrose, next to it are the Airspeed "Courier" A.S.5. (Sqd. Ldr. Stodart and Mr. K. G. Stodart), and Fit. Lt. Shaw's British Klemm "Eagle." These machines were in the Handicap Race.
The Portsmouth, Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation Ltd. fleet at Portsmouth in 1937. Four Airspeed Couriers are lined up on the left and a Fox Moth and two Monospars stand behind them. The ST-10 G-ACTS won the 1934 King’s Cup Air Race. It was a prototype and never went into production, but served with PSIOW on the Ryde Ferry.
AN INNOVATION: The official weights allowed by the Certificate of Airworthiness on Sir Alan Cobham's Airspeed "Courier" as prepared for refuelling in the air. This is probably the first time "Max Wt In Air" has appeared on any aeropiane.
Aeroplane with the "Blanvac" silencer fitted in the exhaust system: an Airspeed "Courier" (Siddeley "Lynx");
(from left to right) A. L. Naish and B. Brady, who hold the sole selling agency for England, Ireland and Wales for this machine, N. S. Norway, A. H. Tiltman, and Lord Granthorpe (Chairman), the Directors of Airspeed, Ltd.
A LINK WITH THE SOUTH: Southern & Central Air Lines and London, Scottish & Provincial Airways are operating a connecting service between Southampton and Hull. The Mayoress of Southampton, Mrs. W. D. Buck, is here seen christening one of the Airspeed "Couriers," employed on this service, City of Southampton, at the Municipal Airport of Southampton.
FOR FAST TRAVEL: The ground view show an Airspeed "Courier" ("Lynx IV") which has just been delivered to the Royal Air Force, presumably for communications work.
Rapid inter-communication between Staff Headquarters, Divisional Headquarters and the armies in the field are more necessary in modern warfare than ever before. The Courier with its speed, manoeuvrability, flaps for slow landing, and five comfortable seats is ideal for this purpose.
FOR FAST TRAVEL: Our photographer shows what the "Courier" looks like with the undercarriage up and down. This machine is for Commercial Airways Ltd which operate from Abridge Aerodrome, Essex.
Napier Rapier engine
The only Courier A.S.5C was powered by a 325 h.p. Napier Rapier IV.
THE RAPIER "COURIER": Air Vice-Marshal A. E. Borton, Director of D. Napier & Son, Ltd., has had one of his company's "Rapier" engines fitted to this Airspeed "Courier," and has entered the combination in the King's Cup race. A high performance is expected.
Types of Machine in the King's Cup Race (1) Airspeed "Courier," Napier "Rapier" 325 h.p. engine.
NAPIERIAN LOGS: From left to right, Air Vice-Marshal Borton, Mr. Winter, Mr. Smith, Mr. Savage, and the "Rapier" in the "Courier."
COMFORT WITH SPEED: A peep into the cabin of the Airspeed "Courier" (Armstrong-Siddeley "Cheetah" engine) which is being flown out to India shortly.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT ON THE "AIRSPEED COURIER." The SMITH instrument panel including, Air Speed Indicator, Altimeter, Engine Speed Indicator, Fore and Aft Level, Oil Gauge and Oil Thermometer.
A RETRACTED LANDING: Sir Alan Cobham's Airspeed "Courier" as it landed at the Halfar Aerodrome, Malta, during his recent attempt on the non-stop flight to India. Sir Alan only just reached the aerodrome by keeping the undercarriage retracted, thus prolonging the glide.
Two views which show the Drag Bracing (left) and the Wing Joint (right). They are of the Airspeed "Courier" and differ only very slightly from the same details in the "Envoy." The Wing Joint is between the centre section and the outer wing extensions, the Drag Bracing comes between the wing spars.