Flight, April 1920
NEW YORK AERO SHOW
Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corporation. - The feature of the Thomas-Morse exhibit consisted of the M.B.4 mail plane.
The plane has two fuselages and a nacelle. The engines are in the nacelle, set tandem, one
driving a pusher and the other a tractor propeller. The tail services are not joined. The construction throughout is laminated wood. It gives the plane an extreme lightness. Its useful load is 2,610 lbs., or only 280 lbs. less than the weight of the craft itself.
A cross section of the wings of the Thomas-Morse plane is more nearly like the cross section of the wing of a bird than that of the other planes. The leading edge is heavy like the great wingbone of a bird, and the trailing edge is the thickness of a single strand of wire.
The pilot rides in the left fuselage nose and the pilot mechanic in the right. Each has a set of controls. The controls of the mechanic, however, are flexible after being subjected to a pull of 20 lbs. Thus, if he were to freeze the stick in any position the pilot in the left fuselage could control the plane by merely exerting first a pull of 20 lbs., to free the services from the influence of the frozen stick, and then manipulating just as if the control system were single. The operation cannot be reversed, that is, the mechanic cannot take the machine from the pilot.
Span 45 ft. 6 ins.
Overall length 25 ft. 5 ins.
Area of main plane 645 sq. ft.
Gross weight 5,564 lbs.
Loading/h.p. 8-2 lbs.
Loading/sq. ft. 8-65 lbs.
Maximum speed 112 m.p.h.
Minimum speed 53 m.p.h.
Power plant 2 His.-Suiza H/300 h.p.
The latest production of the Thomas-Morse Corp., of Ithaca, N.Y., which recently went through its trials. It is a twin-fuselage biplane, 45 ft. span and 35 ft. long, with a central nacelle carrying two 300 h.p. Hispano-Suiza engines driving tractor and pusher screws respectively
Side view of the Thomas-Morse twin-engine, twin-fuselage biplane
The Thomas-Morse twin-fuselage biplane as seen from the rear