Luton Major
Страна: Великобритания
Год: 1939

Two-seat cabin monoplane
Flight, August 1938
Flight, October 1938
British Sport and Training types
Flight, April 1939
Flight, September 1939
To-day's Light Aeroplanes


Luton L.A.1 Buzzard, L.A.2, L.A.4 Minor и L.A.5 Major

   Фирма "Luton Aircraft Ltd" была основана в начале 1930-х годов. Все ее самолеты были разработаны С.Х. Латимер-Нидхемом. Его самый известный самолет Minor был создан в 1930-х годах (L.A.3 и L.A.4 впервые взлетели в 1936 году), в послевоенной Британии эта машина открыла новую эру самолетов самостоятельной сборки и ультралегких машин. Самолеты Luton Minor продолжают летать и сегодня, доставляя удовольствие пилотам, располагающимся в открытой кабине этого моноплана с крылом типа парасоль.
   В 1937 году Латимер-Нидхем разработал еще один проект. Это был маленький двухместный самолет, оснащенный 62-сильным (46 кВт) двигателем Walter Mikron II. Прототип с регистрацией G-AFMU, получивший обозначение L.A.5 Major, совершил первый полет 12 марта 1939 года.
   Хотя компания "Luton" прекратила свое существование, в послевоенные годы возник значительный интерес к ее самолетам Minor и Major. После того, как любители собрали четыре машины Minor, Латимер-Нидхем и В. Г. Ор-Юм организовали новую компанию "Phoenix Aircraft" для продажи чертежей Minor и Major. Самолеты Major не пользовались особой популярностью, но зато было разослано около 100 комплектов чертежей Minor, что позволяет нам сегодня видеть многие из этих самолетов в небе.

Flight, August 1938


   FOR some considerable time Luton Aircraft have been at work on the development of a two-seater machine which will be known as the Luton Major and may be considered in a general way as being a development of the Minor. The prototype machine is now very nearly finished and will presently be ready for its first test flights. Some slight stress is laid on the period during which the Major has been in process of development because the makers want it to be understood that the machine has not been hurriedly designed simply to meet C.A.G. requirements. However, in the new circumstances, arrangements are now being made for quantity manufacture at Gerrard's Cross.
   The Major is a high-wing tandem-seater cabin mono­plane, this arrangement having been chosen to provide stability and good general flying qualities as well as a good field of view from the pilot's seat. A normal range of instruments, following Air Ministry requirements, is arranged in a detachable shock-insulated panel.
   The wings are foldable by a simple system in which there are no flapped parts to deal with, and no controls to disconnect - each wing being released by the removal of a single pin, and is automatically self-locking in the folded position. Although the machine is to be produced in cabin form, the top part of the sides may be removed or partially opened for fine-weather flying. Full normal dual is provided and fore and aft trimming is done by means of a tab on the elevator.
   The split-axle type of undercarriage may, as an alternative, be replaced by some form of tricycle gear. The wheels are fitted with brakes, which are differentially operated from the rudder bar for manoeuvring on the ground.
   For the moment at least, the production Majors will be fitted with Walter Mikron engines, but alternative British units are at present being developed, and the machine has been designed to take any engine of similar power.
   Ease of construction and, consequently, of maintenance, has been chiefly considered in the design of the airframe, which is built up mainly of spruce and plywood with the engine mount­ing, undercarriage, lift struts and main stress-carrying members in the fuselage of steel tube.

Flight, October 1938

British Sport and Training types


   DURING the past few years Luton Aircraft have concentrated on the development of different lightweight machines for economical flying, and now that the C.A.G. scheme is in full swing there should be a market for the firm's latest project. This is a two-seater high-wing cabin monoplane in which the occupants sit in tandem. The first Luton Major, as the machine is known, is now nearly ready and should very shortly be making its initial test flights.
   A strut-braced high-wing layout was chosen to provide stability and good flying qualities as well as a good field of view from the pilot's seat. The wings are arranged to fold by the removal in each case of a single pin and without the necessity ror disconnecting the controls. Although the Major will be a cabin machine, the transparent sides are capable of removal for fine-weather flying.
   The airframe is built up in spruce and plywood, with the lift struts and main stress carrying members of steel tube. The undercarriage will be of the split axle type, but this may, if required, be replaced by a form of tricycle gear. The first machine will be powered with a Walter Mikron engine, though suitable British units are likely to be fitted to later machines.
   Provisional Luton Major data: - All-up weight, 1,030 lb.; weight empty, 600 lb.; maximum speed, 100 m.p.h.; cruising speed, 85 m.p.h.; stalling speed, 30 m.p.h.; cruising range, 320 miles; and price, £525.
   Makers: Luton Aircraft, Ltd., Phoenix Works, Gerrards Cross, Bucks. (Gerrards Cross 2545.)

Flight, April 1939

A Conventional British Cabin Lightweight with Innocuous Flying Qualities

   FOR some time the Americans have rather had a virtual monopoly in the cabin lightweight market and it must be admitted that the present available types, including one which is now being built in this country, have a good many points in their favour. The strut-braced, high-wing cabin layout, whether in tandem or side-by-side-seater form, has certain very definite advantages, and this is the formula chosen by Capt. Latimer-Needham in his new Luton Major.
   In this case, however, the wings are arranged to fold, and the roots are attached to the top fuselage members, leaving the roof more or less clear so that the view in upward and rearward directions is reasonably good. For various reasons the pilot and passenger are seated in tandem, but the machine can be flown from either seat and is, in fact, normally flown from that in front.
   Dealing briefly with the structural features, the Major is mainly of spruce and plywood, though the engine mounting, undercarriage and main stress-carrying members of the fuselage are, as usual, of steel tubing. The two wing-halves are of conventional design and only one pin must be removed for folding; there are no flaps to lift and no controls to disconnect. When folded the wings are automatically self-locking. The undercarriage is of a straightforward split-axle type.
   The cabin is entered from one side only, with the two horizontally hinged doors opening upwards and downwards, and locked at the centre line of the fuselage. If and when summer weather is experienced, the top flap can be removed altogether. There is a small window on the left of the pilot which can be opened when flying in rain or bad visibility. The controls are quite conventional, with, however, an elevator tab.
   Until a suitable British engine is available, lhe machine is being fitted with a Waiter Mikron and the prototype actually has a Mikron 1 with slightly lower power than that of the standard unit.
   The maker’s object in providing good flying qualities rather than sheer performance has certainly been achieved. With a somewhat limited elevator control, at least, the behaviour at the stall is completely without vice, and, unless the Major is pulled up sharply from a reasonable speed, it is not quite possible to stall it fully. At an indicated airspeed between 40 and 45 m.p.h. there is still some lateral control and there is absolutely no tendency for a wing to drop. The machine simply sits square in the sky and does not even drop its nose to any marked extent.
   When flying one-up, at least, the take-off is remarkably good and, remembering the good stalling characteristics, the machine can be made to fly just as soon as the elevators can be used to force it into the air. As might be expected in a high-wing layout with ample cabin window area, the all-round view is good and the only blind spots are those made by one or other wing, particularly during a gliding turn, and by the nose when the machine is in the tail-down position. There is plenty of head room and a slightly higher seat would be an advantage in giving better forward visibility.
   At the moment the aileron operation is being adjusted to give rather more control. When I flew the machine this control, though pleasantly light, was somewhat inadequate for really safe manoeuvring near the ground. Now that the ailerons have been geared up this criticism should no longer apply. They are differentially operated and, consequently, very little rudder correction is necessary even when using full lateral control. With ample rudder area a sideslip can be held quite steeply at a reasonably low speed.
   It is difficult to design the seating accommodation in any machine so that the crew can go aboard without gymnastics, and in its prototype form the Major is fitted with jury-rigged seats and the back of that used by the pilot forms a considerable obstruction when entering. In order that it may not be possible for the novice to get into difficulties, the elevator control has been limited to a degree which just permits a full three-point landing. Actually, I found that such a landing was not possible, but, at that time, additional limitations to the elevator control had been accidentally provided by the seat position, and by stretch in the operating cable. In any case, another five degrees of elevator movement has now been arranged. The fact that the forward anchorage of the seat gave way while I was in the air may also have tended to reduce the elevator control and my landings were made with the tail apparently still a foot or thereabouts from the ground. Even so there was no tendency for the tail to lift after the touchdown, and with two people on board all such difficulties should disappear.
   So far as can be roughly estimated, the maximum speed of the prototype Major is in the region of 100 m.p.h. and the cruising speed about 90 m.p.h. No accurate timing tests have yet been made and these figures must be taken as being conservative.
   In the initial tests, which were carried out by Sqn. Ldr. E. R. Mole, the rate of climb from the ground level was a little over 600 ft./min. - a height of 1,000ft., in fact, was reached in 1 min. 35 sec. at a full throttle climbing speed of 60 m.p.h. Other preliminary figures are - all-up weight, 1,030 lb.; weight empty, 600 lb.: range (9 gall, capacity), 320 miles; and provisional price, Z525. The makers are Luton Aircraft. Ltd., Phoenix Works, Gerrard’s Cross, Bucks.

H. A. T.

Flight, September 1939

To-day's Light Aeroplanes


   FOLLOWING the Luton Buzzard and Minor, Luton Aircraft’s latest type is the Major, which is a conventional tandem-seater cabin monoplane of mixed construction, designed for training or touring. The fabric-covered wing is strut-braced and the machine is flown from the front seat either as a partially open or closed machine. A Sports Major, with a slightly reduced span, is in process of development. The engine is a Walter Mikron.

Span 35ft. 2in.
Length 23ft. 9in.
Weight empty 600 lb.
All-up weight 1,030 lb.
Max. speed 100 m.p.h.
Cruising speed 90m.p.h.
Initial rate of climb 600 ft./min.
Range 320 miles.
Price £525.
Makers: Luton Aircraft, Ltd., Phoenix Works, Gerrards Cross, Bucks.
По иронии судьбы название завода, где выпускались самолеты Major, было "Phoenix Works" (Феникс), и он сгорел в 1943 году. Впоследствии обозначение L.A.5 Major сменили на L.A.5A, приспособив конструкцию для постройки в домашних условиях.
Phoenix Luton Major (62 hp Walter Mikron II engine) built by S. G. and T. G. Stott
Prototype of the Luton L,A.5a Major
MINOR TO MAJOR: The new Luton Major two-seater flying at its home aerodrome at Denham. With a Walter Mikron engine, the machine has a top speed of about 105 m.p.h. and a landing speed of 30 m.p.h. From the club point of view one of the machine’s advantages is that the wings fold. The test flying has been largely carried out by Sq. Ldr. E. R. Mole, of gliding fame
Normally flown from the front, the Luton Major has a tandem-seater cabin.
A little-known ultra light which appeared before the last war was the Luton Major.
This picture - from the “entry” side - gives an idea of the range of view provided for the occupants.
The Major might be described as a miniature Puss Moth and this flying view shows the similarities as well as the differences - notably a thick wing section.
Phoenix Luton L.A.5a Major two-seat high-wing cabin monoplane
A G.A. drawing of the Luton Major, which may be considered as being the logical development of the single-seater Minor. This cabin machine, in which the occupants sit in tandem, should be flying within a few weeks.
The preliminary specification and performance figures are: - All-up weight, 1,030 lb.; weight empty, 600 lb.; maximum speed, 100 m.p.h.; cruising speed, 85 m.p.h.; stalling speed, 30 m.p.h.; and cruising range, 320 miles. The provisional price, in fully equipped form, is £525.