Aeroplane Monthly 1984-01
D.Middleton - One good Tern
A begoggled Major Petre about to take off in the Tern at the meeting at Balsdean on the South Downs in October 1931.
The wing of the Tern is seen under construction at York. The deep cantilever wing section with its Warren girder internal bracing and ply-covered leading edge “D”-box gave the structure exceptionally good torsional strength.
THE "TERN": A new sailplane which has been designed and built by Airspeed, Ltd., of York. It is stressed for auto and aeroplane towing, the latter at 70 m.p.h. A detachable undercarriage is fitted for auto-towing.
This view of the Tern airborne at Scarborough shows the detachable undercarriage which made auto-towing easier.
With work in progress on the fuselage, the spruce framework and birch ply bulkheads and formers are still visible. Cockpit instrumentation consisted of an air speed indicator and a cross-level.
The convincing “flying" shot of the Tern model, above, is made more so by the inclusion of a scale pilot in the cockpit. Below the builder of the model, Peter Tiltman, gives us a plan view which is reminiscent of the de Havilland D.H.88 Comet.