Author Topic: Cody V biplane, fatal crash, Farnborough, 28 April 1913  (Read 84 times)

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Offline pomme homme

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Cody V biplane, fatal crash, Farnborough, 28 April 1913
« on: October 24, 2022, 12:13:28 pm »
On 28 April 1913 Lt. L. C. Rogers-Harrison RFC was flying a Cody V biplane (an adaptation of the original 'Cathedral' machine and apparently something of a 'bitsa') at Farnborough. After a flight of some twenty minutes, he switched off the engine and commenced a landing glide (this was standard practice at the time). He had descended from about 1200 feet to about 500 feet when the aeroplane's forward elevator, and then its wings, collapsed and the whole thing broke up in the air. Both Lt. Rogers-Harrison and the remnants of the aeroplane fell to earth. Lt. Rogers-Harrison was killed on impact.

Investigations into the cause of the crash noted that, a few weeks earlier, the angle of attack of the wings had been altered from the 'Cathedral' setting to a more standard dihedral angle. However it was thought that this improved its flying capabilities and did not contribute to its aerial disintegration. Instead it was thought that the cause of this was the failure to maintain the fabric of the aeroplane in good repair. It was noted that the fabric covering the forward elevator and the wings was old and threadbare. It was also concluded that the Austro-Daimler engine was too powerful for the airframe, such that it was not capable of surving intact the airspeed of 70 mph which the engine produced.

One has to mention that the aeroplane had, as recently as August 1912, won first prize in the British Military Aeroplane Trials on Salisbury Plain, which resulted in it, and another example of the type, being purchased by the War Office for the RFC. When one analyses the results of the Trials, in the context of the other machines entered in them, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Cody machine won first prize because this is the result that the War Office desired rather than it being the most appropriate machine for the rôle that the RFC wanted it to perform. The poor quality of the judgement of the Trials' judges was demonstrated not only by the aerial disintegration and fatal crash of the Cody machine but also the fact that every other prize winner subsequently had done the same, namely breaking up in the air and killing its pilot.   

Offline alkhamhills

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Re: Cody V biplane, fatal crash, Farnborough, 28 April 1913
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2022, 19:18:44 pm »
Lancelot Charles Rogers-Harrison
Born 1889 Madras

In 1911 he was a 2nd Lieut Royal Warwickshire Regt, at Whittington Barracks.

Probate: Of Tumbledown Dick Hotel, South Farnborough Lieut HM Army, died 28.4.1913. Admin to Augustus Napoleon Rogers-Harrison, Colonel H M Army, retired. Effects 370.7.09

Soldiers Effects:- Of 2 Royal Warwickshire Regt & RFC. £75.0.09 to father & administrator Lt Col Augustus Napoleon Rogers-Harrison

His father died 1.1.1917 in a Nursing Home, Cheltenham