Author Topic: The Denmead Airship  (Read 142 times)

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Offline Pete

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The Denmead Airship
« on: June 19, 2023, 15:50:32 pm »
 A British inventor hopes to capture the honours for England. It will be remembered that to win the £ 4,000 the air-ship must sail a course of twelve miles, round the Eiffel Tower, in half an hour. M. Santos-Dumont. the Brazilian, has done the journey in nine minutes over the stipulated time. but Mr. Buchanan, the Hampshire inventor, whose machine is now being constructed, is confident of winning the prize by doing the journey in less than the half-hour. Mr. Buchanan has been working at his invention for twenty years, and has spent several thousand pounds on experiments. His place at Close Woods, Denmead, near Cosham, is hidden in the wilds of Hampshire. miles away from anywhere, and hitherto he has been exceedingly jealous of publicity, and has kept representatives of the Press at arm's length. The machine has been in course of construction by the inventor and Messrs. Spencer, the well-known firm of aeronauts and balloon-makers, of Aberdeen Park, Highbury, for three years, and Mr. Buchanan has almost come to the end of his financial resources in completing his air- ship. This new airship is not an aeroplane, nor a balloon with a hanging car, but a great fish- shaped balloon, with the cabin and the machinery of the propellers inside. The fish will be 80 to a 100 feet long, and in front it will have a sort of bird's head with a projecting beak. From this point it will gradu- ally swell until at its middle the creature will be nearly thirty feet deep, then gradually tapering off to a point, with a tail about eight feet high constructed to act as a rudder. Thus the whole shape will give a minimum resistance to the air. It now only remains to be seen (says the "Daily News"), whether the machine can be completed by September 15 in time for the trial. If so, Mr. Buchanan is confident of success. Mr. Percival Spencer, the manager at Highbury, thinks the machine offers the greatest probability of success of all inventions hitherto made public.

The Cambrian 30 August 1901


 AIRSHIP DESTROYED. AN AGGRAVATING MISHAP. Buchanan's airship was destroyed by fire on Sunday. It was anticipated that this machine, which was shaped like a bird, would prove a serious rival to Santos Dumont's. It was in a shed by the wayside at Denmead, Hampshire, nearly ready for trial. Early on Sunday morning  a tramp lit a fire under the shed to warm himself. The shed caught the light, and within a very short time was burned to the ground, and the airship with it. The tramp was arrested.

Cardiff Times 8 February 1902
Sussex Bonfire - a way of life, not just for Nov 5th

Offline pomme homme

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Re: The Denmead Airship
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2023, 14:38:25 pm »
Stamford Mercury, 7 February, 1902.

A tramp named William Williams was charged at Droxford on Monday with having set fire to a shed on Sunday morning at Denmead.  The shed contained the airship on which Mr. Buchanan, the inventor, had been at work for a considerable period, and which was ready for inspection by Mr. Spencer, aeronaut, on behalf of the syndicate which has acquired the patent rights.  The airship was completely destroyed.  When arrested Williams said he lighted a fire outside the shed because he was cold, and then smoked his pipe.  He was remanded.

Would the 'Mr. Spencer, aeronaut' have been Stanley Spencer (of the famous ballooning family), who himself designed and built at least two airships in 1902/03?

Is there anyone who knows their way around patents' records who might be able to locate the patent for the airship design, presumably taken out by Robert Buchanan and assigned to the purchasing syndicate?

Dundee Evening Post, 30 April 1903 [this is the given date, but I think that it must be wrong]:

Early on Sunday morning an airship, which had been built by Mr. Robert Buchanan of Denmead in Hampshire, came to an untimely end. The inventor claimed that his aerial machine, which was practically the work of a lifetime, could travel against the wind. A model had been favourably reported to the War Office and arrangements made for an expert aeronaut to inspect the airship on behalf of the Government. Unfortunately it has now been destroyed by fire, which reduced the shed in which it was stored to ashes. A tramp named Williams was brought before Droxford Magistrates on Monday on suspicion of causing the fire and remanded. He is said to have admitted lighting a fire near the shed because he was cold and hungry.