Flight, December 1928
THE WILLIAMS MONOPLANE
An American Single-Seater Light Plane
IN the spring of this year, tests were completed with the first product of the Niles Aircraft Corp., of Niles, Mich. - a small single-seater low-wing monoplane fitted with
a 30-h.p., 3-cyl. Anzani air-cooled radial engine. These tests being in every way successful, the firm decided, upon receipt of the U.S. Department of Commerce Approved Type Certificate, to put the machine into quantity production.
It is stated that during its trials this machine took off in 50 ft. and climbed at the rate of about 1,000 ft. per minute. The landing speed was 25 m.p.h., although it was designed for 30 m.p.h. Its estimated top speed is 85 m.p.h., while it has a cruising radius of 360 miles.
As regards design and construction, the Williams monoplane more or less follows conventional practice, except for the somewhat unusual feature of the employment of a small wheel in place of the usual tail skid. Here a small wire wheel, fitted with a brake band at its rim, is mounted in the bottom of the rudder. The latter is of welded steel tubing with a sheet metal cowling over the wheel. Thus the wheel is steerable with the rudder, besides being faired in.
The rectangular fuselage is constructed of welded steel tubing, and no wire bracing is employed, the entire structure being built up in the form of a Warren truss. It is of good streamline shape, the airscrew being provided with a spinner which fairs in with the lines of the fuselage, a wood turtle-deck on top of the fuselage, from cockpit to tail, completing the streamline form; in addition, there is a fairing extending along the top of the fuselage, in line with the pilot's head, from the nose and merging into the rudder, broken only by the opening for the cockpit.
The cockpit is very wide and roomy, from which excellent vision is afforded in all directions except directly below the pilot, where, of course, the wing obstructs the view. Conventional stick and rudder pedal control is fitted, and behind the engine, above the pilot's feet, is the main fuel tank of 7 1/2 gals, capacity, shaped to act as part of the fairing above the fuselage.
Of full cantilever construction, the wings are mounted at the bottom of the fuselage, and the Gottingen 387 section is employed, giving a spar depth of 8 in. The spars are built up in box form of spruce with 2-ply mahogany sides. The ribs are built-up of spruce strips into a Warren truss with birch plywood gussets at the joints. Drag bracing consists of welded steel tubes for compression members, and piano-wire diagonal bracing.
A "non-axle" type of landing gear is employed, with its members hinging about the lower longerons of the fuselage and the vertical compression, or absorber, member attached to the wing spar. The wheel track is 8 ft., and with the machine in flying position the airscrew clears the ground by 14 in.
The main characteristics of the Williams monoplane are :-
Span 26 ft. 0 in.
Overall length 18 ft. 0 in.
Overall height 6 ft. 6 in.
Chord 4 ft. 6 in.
Wing area 108 sq. ft.
Weight, empty 440 lbs.
Weight, loaded 530 lbs.
Speed range 30 - 85 m.p.h.
Climb (ground level) 925 ft./min.
Ceiling 19,000 ft.
Cruising range 360 miles.