Oct 3:—The Gauldrie made a trip to Big Baddeck to-day bringing out radiator which was repaired at the factory. Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin, Miss Darling and Mr. McCurdy returned to Beinn Bhreagh in the Gauldrie this afternoon. (Int.) CRC.
Bulletin, 1909, Oct. 27, Beinn Bhreagh Recorder CANADIAN AERODROME COMPANY McCurdy’s Account of Flights Oct. 6, 7 & 8.
Oct. 8:— Wednesday evening (Oct. 6) flew down with McCurdy. Thursday morning (Oct. 7) flew down with McCurdy reaching far end of meadow. Rear chord broke as usual before machine took air but it was un-noticed by the aviator. Too windy for further trial. After this flight the wind came up to about 15–20 miles per hour, so we attempted to test engine, using wind as draught on radiator. The breeze was insufficient for absolute cooling. Thursday evening (Oct. 7) McCurdy flew down, started back and flew up to the shed intending to go to other end of meadow but overheating prevented this. Too dark for further trials. Friday morning (Oct. 8) McCurdy flew down and started back intending to fly across meadow. Just off shed machine gradually came down. Three visitors from Sydney were here to witness the attempt. Were very much pleased as machine rose to altitude of about 15 feet. After breakfast Baldwin made short flight across meadow from shed towards vegetable garden. Machine came down and ran into bad bunker breaking front control. Ingraham gone into town this morning to hustle up new radiator and also to send out automobile radiator. Machine has made 20 flights so far. (Int.) McC.
Notes by Alexander Graham Bell and J.A.D. McCurdy, from October 12 to October 13, Notes by Mr. Bell, Oct. 12:— Measured distance from the starting point of Baddeck No. II to the Ugly Duckling Houseboat. Total 665 paces. Casey and Douglas took advantage of interval between rainstorms to try the machine. Casey was aviator throughout. Ran over the field not attempting to get into the air, or at least not trying to do more than lighten machine. Much impressed with the disadvantage of trying to get speed on rough ground. Surely the engine and propeller must be very powerful to move her at all. After Casey came to a stop the second time I noticed that the propeller gave one or two kicks after he had shut off power. Does this indicate that the engine was hot? They have sent their radiator in to the factory on account of insufficient circulation, and are using the square automobile radiator. The aviator’s seat has been moved forward about a foot in front of the radiator and have shortened the connecting rod of the front control. (Int.) AGB.
Flights of Baddeck No. II, Oct. 13:— John has just had a grand flight after taking the machine down the meadow along the river bank about 500 yards, rising at intervals a few feet, he brought her back leaving the ground about 250 yards from the Houseboat. He turned and made a half circle over towards the farm house. He was up forty-two seconds and was from six to ten feet in the air. We are all very much elated and think it is the 2 beginning of great things. (Int.) KSB.
Oct. 13:— Experiments to-day were witnessed by A.G. Bell, F.W. Baldwin, Willie McDonald, Willie McRae (Big Farm), John McDermid, Miss Darling of Toronto and Mrs. F.W. Baldwin, Dan McRae and sister (Big Farm) and lady, McPherson Jr. of Baddeck. McC.
- Oct. 13:— Started machine up river course. Did not feel like staying in air so I advanced throttle a little and away she went after travelling over about 250 yards of ground. Flew up to a height of about what I judged 20 feet and came past shed and houseboat. Circled by the river, crossed the meadow and, when heading for Nyanza, shut off and glided to ground, covering a distance of 792 yards (paced); time 42 seconds. This gives a speed of 39.6 miles per hour. Balance seemed good and controls worked well. Throttle was about ¾ ways open. (Int.) McC.
Notes by J.A.D. McCurdy, October 1909 CANADIAN AERODROME COMPANY. Oct 16:— The aluminum edge underneath the cloth has never been satisfactory because it tends to get out of shape, and once bent it is almost impossible to straighten it. While Baddeck No 1 is was being put together (after its return from Petawawa) we had the aluminum back edge replaced by a comparatively heavy wooden member about three inches wide and ¼ inch thick, thinning off at the rear in the usual manner. The cloth is at this date all stretched on the machine, and the appearance thereof is much improved, there being no scallops A new radiator has been made and is just finished. It is on the same design as the old horizontal tube type, but has twice the surface and twice the capacity of the one originally used on Baddeck No 2. This radiator has 32 tubes, 16 on each side, and will be tried out in Baddeck No 2 as soon as finished. At present we are using the old “Silver-Dart” automobile radiator having taken the first C.A.C. design out on account of insufficient capacity and cooling su surface. In first changes in Baddeck No. II trials of Baddeck No 2 she seemed to be too heavy at the rear and so we moved the seat for the operator a foot forward. In trials with this arrangement the balance seemed better and the old tendency to shut short up at the instant of shutting off the power is rectified. These items together with the elevating of the front edge of the skids, changed the launching angle to about 6° instead of 4° constitute about all the changes made in machine so far. About 30 flights have been made up to date. (Int.) McC.
C.A.C., Baldwin & McCurdy:— Wednesday evening flew down with McCurdy. Thursday morning flew down with McCurdy reached for rear chord broke as usual before machine took air. It was unnoticed by the aviator. Too windy for further trial. After this flight the wind came up to about 15–20 miles per hour, so we attempted to test engine using wind as draught on radiator. The breeze was insufficient for absolute cooling. Thursday evening McCurdy flew down, started back and flew up to the shed intending to go to other end of meadow but overheating prevented this. Too dark for further trials. Friday morning, McCurdy flew down and started back intending to fly across meadow. Just off shed machine gradually came down. Three visitors from Sydney were here to witness the attempt. Were very much pleased as machine rose to altitude of about 15 feet. After breakfast Baldwin made short flight across meadow from shed towards vegetable garden. Machine came down and run into bad bunker breaking front control. Ingraham gone into town this morning to buckle hustle up new radiator and also to send out automobile radiator. Machine has made 20 flights so far. (Int.) McC.
Oct. 15:— Douglas McCurdy returned to camp at Big Baddeck. (Int.) AGB.
Aluminum edge Oct. 16:— The aluminum edge underneath the cloth has 2 never been satisfactory because it tends to get out of shape, and once bent it is almost impossible to straighten it. While Baddeck No. 1 was being put together (after its return from Petawawa) we had the aluminum back edge replaced by a comparatively heavy wooden member about three inches wide and ¼ inch thick, thinning off at the rear in the usual manner. The cloth is at this date all stretched on the machine, and the appearance thereof is much improved, there being no scallops. (Int.) McC.
The new radiator Oct. 16:— A new radiator has been made and is just finished. It is on the same design as the old horizontal tube type, but has twice the surface and twice the capacity of the one originally used on Baddeck No. 2. This radiator has 32 tubes, 16 on each side, and will be tried out in Baddeck No. 2 as soon as finished. At present we are using the old “Silver–Dart” automobile radiator, having taken the first C.A.C. design out on account of insufficient capacity and cooling surface. (Int.) McC.
Changes on Baddeck No. II Oct. 16:— In first trials of Baddeck No. II she seemed to be too heavy at the rear and so we moved the seat for the operator a foot forward. In trials with this arrangement the balance seemed better and the old tendency to shoot up at the instant of shutting off the power is rectified. These items, together with the elevating of the front edge of the skids, 3 changing the launching angle to about 6° instead of 4°, constitute about all the changes made in machine so far. About thirty flights have been made up to date. (Int.) McC.
McCurdy’s Account of flight Oct. 21:— Made good flight early this morning. Just took preliminary jump down the usual course to be in good position for starting on longer flight. Ground was awfully soft, but machine left ground O.K. and first turn to left was negotiated with ease. I was surprised to find out that the machine would turn with a comparatively short radius. Flew along the river bank past Bentick’s and then across marshy part of meadow to starting course. Machine seemed so good that a second turn was attempted and was successfully negotiated. Casey kept the time and his watch showed 2.55. We reckoned the distance at about two miles, which gives a speed of 40 miles an hour. The descent at landing was made by shutting down the engine and machine touched ground about where she took the air first. The shoulder arm was discovered to be twisted and one sliding arm was loosened so we thought it best to have that repaired before attempting any further trials. We all drove into Baddeck to have this repair effected. (Int.) McC.
Baldwin‘s account Oct. 21:— John made a splendid flight twice around 4 field this morning, landing near the shed. The distance seemed like a good two miles and the time was 2#55#. It was by far the prettiest flight yet made being perfectly steady and finishing up with a perfect landing. The engine gave no signs of heating up and altogether it was most encouraging. A propeller test a few days ago gave a thrust of 240 lbs. with engine turning 1400 rpm, propeller 840 rpm. FWB.
Account by Mrs. Baldwin and Miss Darling Oct. 21:— We were wakened this morning by hearing Willie McDonald’s voice saying, “Boys it’s a fine morning for a flight.” We fell asleep and were next aroused by the buzz of the engine. We donned our dressing gowns and rubber boots, rushed out to the field in time to see John slowly rising into the air till he attained a height of what we thought to be 15 feet. Passing us he flew round over the Bentick Farm, completing a circle. On the second round the machine rose higher until we imagined it to be perhaps thirty feet in the air, apparently responding perfectly to the will of the operator, who brought her down slowly and accurately to the spot by the river bank from where she started. (Int.) KSB, MWD.
Flight of Baddeck No. II, Oct. 27:— Saturday afternoon (Oct. 23) we all drove out to Bentick Farm to be there incase the wind should go down with the Sun. Earlier in the day, as also on Friday, it had been blowing far too hard to attempt a flight so we had remained in at the Point. We arrived about 4:30 P. m. and by the time the shoulder brace, which had needed some brazing after Thursday’s flight, had been adjusted, the wind seemed to have entirely disappeared and everything looked propitious for a good flight. The machine was taken out of the shed about 5:30. John ran her down about 200 yards past the Houseboat and, instead of continuing to the end of the meadow, turned her around and John started off again. She didn’t take the air till just opposite the shed when she struck a bump which seemed to give her the impetus necessary to put her into the air. as before this she appeared not to have enough speed. Once in the air, however, my impression was that she could have stayed up forever, she seemed so absolutely steady. She was under perfect control and the engine worked magnificently never skipping once.
Recent Freshen on Flying ground Oct. 27:— The weather moderating yesterday afternoon (Oct. 26) we decided to go out to Bentick Farm to be all ready for a flight the following morning in case the weather should be propitious. Left here about five o’clock by boat and arranged to have John McDermid meet us in town with the Hubbard wagon. When we got to McKay’s store we learned that, owing to the rain the Big Baddeck River had over-flowed its banks till the meadow was completely flooded and in some respects endangering the machine. We took supper at the Bras d’Or House before going out and upon arriving at McRae’s Big Farm our information proved to be correct. Willie McDonald informed us that the night before they were up until two o’clock collecting the various things that were floating around in the shed, and in keeping the House-boat from floating well in on the meadow; for when they arrived there it was completely out of the river. Willie McDonald also stated that he had rowed in a small boat clean across the meadow. It was evident that there would be no flying for some days so we decided to return that evening. The party consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin, Miss Darling and myself. (Int.) McC.
Article, November 2: CANADIAN AERODROME COMPANY. — First long flight of Baddeck No 2. Nov 2:— Although Dame fortune has not smiled upon us for the last two weeks, as to weather conditions, she nevertheless scattered her clouds long enough yesterday (Nov 1) to see the to let us get a glimpse of the sun, and even allow one’s thoughts to drift towards the possibility of sojourning going to the Bentick Farm with the idea of having a flight with Baddeck No 2. Invariably good achievements often result from an idea that is put into practice on the spur of the moment, the truth of which was proven yesterday, when Baldwin and McCurdy entertained thoughts of going to the Bentick Farm with the hope of being able to nurse the wind, and finally pull off a flight with Baddeck No 2 at about dusk.
Off to the Bentick Farm:— An early lunch was ordered and about 12:30, Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Baldwin, Miss Darling, Mr. Douglas McCurdy, and Mr. Cox left Beinn Bhreagh in the Gauldrie for Baddeck, where they were met by John McDermid who drove them out to the Bentick Farm. It was noticed on the way out, that the roads were in very bad condition owing to the heavy rains of late, and it was thought by some that perhaps the field would be too wet to have a trial. Upon arriving at the farm the meadow was found to be in a very bad condition, although one corner, at a distance, gave promise of standing inspection. The wind velocity at this time was found to be about eight miles an hour, and of a very squally nature, and it was therefore decided to utilize the time in oiling and getting Baddeck No 2 in a condition to be hauled at a minute’s notice from the aerodrome shed should the wind moderate to any great extent. ¶ It also became necessary, selecting a suitable starting point owing to the numerous puddles on the field, to inspect the grounds with the idea of picking out a suitable spot from which to start the machine, from, and Baldwin and McCurdy, after promenading the field in all directions, chose a spot about 400 yards west of the aerodrome shed along the bank of the river. This spot although very soggy and wet was perhaps one hundred per cent better than any other spot on the field, the remainder of the meadow being filled with ponds. ¶ Another very important question came up, as to whether the machine, would in this distance, be able to gain headway enough to get into the air, before she reached reaching the aerodrome shed. Mr. Baldwin stated that he thought the machine would not take the air in that distance, even though the angle of flight had been changed a little, for on previous occasions he found that the machine is had much difficulty in getting into the air in that distance. Doing this: It was therefore decided to take the machine is to nearly to the extreme western corner of the meadow in a direct line with the aerodrome shed, which would allow the machine much more ground to run along, thereby doing away with all possible chances of striking the aerodrome shed should the machine is fail to take the air. The wind by this time had moderated to about 6 miles an hour, but yet at times was quite squally, and the party went back to the aerodrome shed to talk over arrangements should the machine be taken out for a flight.
A Measured Course:— Willie McDonald stated that he had measured a fairly staked off a fairly accurate course on the meadow which he considered to be a little over a mile, and had staked it off. He explained the course to Mr. Baldwin and McCurdy, stating that a circle made round the stake in front of the aerodrome shed, taking in a point in a direct line with the Bentick Farm house, back to the starting point was a little over a mile. This gave Messrs. Baldwin and McCurdy some fair idea as to what one complete circle round the meadow meant. ¶ Mr. Baldwin thought he would like to know, or get a fair idea as to what speed the machine would make, and therefore made arrangements to have Willie McDonald and Mr. Cox stand at one end of the field, while John McDermid and himself would stand at the other end of the field, the distance between both parties to be afterwards measured. Cox and Baldwin were to keep the time, while McDonald and McDermid were to notice when the front control passed these points. Mr. Baldwin has figured out these observations, together unto the time and I shall leave it to him to have them recorded. The machine towed to starting point All this time the wind had been falling, and at about quarter to five the machine was ordered from the shed and hauled to the starting point described above. As the writer was one of the horses used in towing this machine is to the starting point, he can truly state, that had he not known beforehand that the machine he was hauling had already left the ground under its own motive power and gone into the air, no one present could have convinced him of the possibility of ever accomplishing this achievement.
The Start:— The wheels of the machine actually stuck at times in the soft soil, and it was very doubtful to Baldwin and McCurdy as to whether the machine under these conditions it would take the air or not. The machine finally reached the starting point and was placed in a position with the wind, or what little wind was blowing (I should judge about two or three miles and hour). At a given signal from McCurdy, Willie McDonald turned over propeller, which failed to revolve; second attempt was bad; third attempt machine slowly started along the soft soil towards the aerodrome shed. After she had travelled about 60 yards she it rapidly picked up speed, and took the air about 150 yards from the aerodrome shed. McCurdy at this time was preparing for his first turn, and the machine soared down the northern side of the meadow at an elevation of about 40 feet from the ground. As the machine Baddeck No 2 took her second turn the front control was seen to raise and immediately the machine shot up to a higher elevation, perhaps fifty feet, and was travelling at this height, when she it flew Mr. Cox and McDonald’s heads made her its turn at the place she is first started from.
The flight:— It is to be noticed how easily one may be deceived in judging the actual distance of a machine from the ground, for when McCurdy had passed the starting point of his on completing his first circle of the field, and was flying directly away from us, making for the aerodrome shed, one would almost wager that the machine as she gradually drew away from was dropping all the time, when in reality she was at the same elevation and perhaps even higher. There seems to be a difference of opinion as to how high the machine was flying, some say 60 feet, while others say 90 to 100. It was evident to all present that the machine on her the third lap round the field it was traveling very high, for as it crossed the river, it appeared to be some 20 feet above the tallest tree on the northern bank of the river. I am sure McCurdy on this turn must have been at least eighty feet in the air, soaring like an eagle. The men at the McRae farm, some eight in number, who had been in the barn bundling up hay, were at once attracted by the buzz of the engine, and witnessed the flight. They stated last night as we were leaving that they thought the machine at one time (on the third lap of the field), was flying at least 100 feet inthe air, over the river, and I think they had a good chance to judge, as they were in a direct position to see, being stationed on a hill some distance away. On the second lap just as McCurdy was about to negotiate his turn, a snapping sound was heard, and McDonald and I were in doubt as to whether the propeller was gone, or a guy wire had snapped. The noise was very loud and could be heard from any point of the meadow. It was also heard by Mr. Baldwin and John McDermid who were at the other end of the field. Baddeck No 2 kept soaring through the air, and we were then satisfied that it was a guy wire. On the sixth lap McCurdy again crossed the river in negotiating both turns, and flew directly over the aerodrome shed, the machine having perfect equilibrium. McCurdy kept this up for fourteen times round the meadow manoeuvring at all different elevations, and decided to make a landing, as he heard the engine skipping, which on the impulse of the moment he thought was caused from overheating. He made a good landing, although the front wheel caught in a bed of mud, and buckled, smashing all the spokes. A new wheel was immediately put on, and the machine was hauled again to the shed to be housed for the night.
Remarks:— I have witnessed nearly all of McCurdy’s long flights in the Silver-Dart, but never have I seen him give so satisfactory a demonstration as to the possibility of being able to produce a machine capable of being put on the market as an up to-date flying machine. There is no doubt in my mind that Baldwin and McCurdy now have a machine
- That is remarkably steady in the air (much more noticeable than in the Silver-Dart)
- That they are now in the possession of a good reliable motor, & (3)
- And that they are both now experienced enough to give satisfactory demonstrations to the public of their ability to cope with other manufacturers along these lines.
I consider Baddeck No 2 to be about the neatest looking flying machine I have ever seen in the air, to say nothing of the excellent workmanship found on her when inspected on the ground. The machine could easily win first prize in the biplane class, all the crude experimental arrangements found in other well known machines being done away.Baddecks No 2 contains no scale materials her fastenings and joints are all strong. She is very heavy and trust to stand a great strain.