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
ANOTHER C.A.G. RECRUIT
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.)
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
A little-known ultra light which appeared before the last war was the Luton Major.
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.