Flight, December 1919
THE PARIS AERO SHOW 1919
PRELIMINARY REPORT ON BRITISH SECTION
The British and Colonial Aeroplane Co., Ltd.
The Bristol "Babe"
In some respects, perhaps, the small single-seater sporting machine, which will be known
as the Bristol "Babe," will have a wider appeal than any of the other Bristols exhibited, as it is a serious attempt to provide the small, compact, handy and inexpensive sporting aeroplane of the future. It is of quite diminutive dimensions, the overall length being 15 ft. and the wing span 19 ft. 8 ins. The machine does not, therefore, require a large shed for its housing, while its light weight enables it to be handled on the ground with ease by one man.
Ease of maintenance has been aimed at in the design by doing away with as much bracing as possible. Thus the fuselage is covered with three-ply wood, without bracing wires, and the tail is of the cantilever type, also without external bracing. The wings are of the usual type with lift and landing wires, running to the upper and lower ends of one set of Vee inter-plane struts on each side. The ailerons which are fitted to the top plane only, are of large area, running in fact right from the tip to the centre section. The power plant is a 40 h.p. two-cylindered Siddeley aircooled engine, which consumes about three gallons of petrol per hour at full throttle, when the speed of the machine is 80 m.p.h. At maximum speed, therefore, the machine does about 27 miles to the gallon, while at the economical cruising speed of 65 m.p.h. even greater economy is attained. The landing speed is as low as 40 m.p.h., which enables the machine to alight in and start from quite a small field.
Flight, January 1920
The Paris Aero Show 1919
The Bristol Machines.
Last, but by no means least, though smallest, there is the new Bristol Babe, a small single-seater sporting machine fitted with a two-cylinder opposed air-cooled Siddeley engine. The Bristol Babe is of very pleasing appearance, with its small bottom plane and Vee inter-plane struts, and its three-ply covered fuselage. We are told that the machine flies very nicely, its longitudinal sensitiveness being by no means so great as one might expect in a machine of this small size.
The fuselage is built up of a light framework covered with three-ply wood, which is in turn covered by fabric. In this manner the ply-wood is well protected, especially as it is painted with two or three coats of red lead on the inside. The bracing, in addition to that formed by the three-ply covering itself, is in the form of a series of crosses of thin wood laths, the sides of the body being divided horizontally by an auxiliary longeron, and the cross bracing being both above and below this. The pilot’s cockpit is very comfortable and quite roomy, considering the small size of the machine. The view obtained is very good on account of the low position of the top plane and the narrow chord of the bottom wing.
Ailerons are fitted to the top wing only, and are operated by cables passing over pulleys in the bottom plane, the aileron crank levers being horizontal, somewhat after the manner of German aeroplanes. The lower plane has practically three spars, as the leading edge is very strongly built, thus forming really a third spar. The Vee interplane struts, of which there is only one pair on each side, are reinforced by blocks at the bottom, where they spread out so as to form a rigid attachment for the bottom wing.
The undercarriage is of the simple Vee type, with very narrow track, as the undercarriage struts are vertical in front view. It is a question whether it would not be advisable to fit wing tip skids, but this is a small matter which could easily be attended to if it is found necessary. The tail skid is very simple, consisting of a small steel leaf spring. We understand that it is contemplated to place the Babe on the market at a price in the neighbourhood of ?400, at which figure the machine should, we think, find ready purchasers.