In aerodynamics, wing loading is the total weight of an aircraft divided by the area of its wing. The stalling speed of an aircraft in straight, level flight is determined by its wing loading. An aircraft with a low wing loading has a larger wing area relative to its mass, as compared to an aircraft with a high wing loading; the faster an aircraft flies, the more lift can be produced by each unit of wing area, so a smaller wing can carry the same mass in level flight. Faster aircraft have higher wing loadings than slower aircraft; this increased wing loading increases takeoff and landing distances. A higher wing loading decreases maneuverability; the same constraints apply to winged biological organisms. Wing loading is a useful measure of the stalling speed of an aircraft. Wings generate lift owing to the motion of air around the wing. Larger wings move more air, so an aircraft with a large wing area relative to its mass will have a lower stalling speed. Therefore, an aircraft with lower wing loading will be able to land at a lower speed.
It will be able to turn at a greater rate. The lift force L on a wing of area A, traveling at true airspeed v is given by L = 1 2 ρ v 2 A C L, where ρ is the density of air and CL is the lift coefficient; the lift coefficient is a dimensionless number which depends on the wing cross-sectional profile and the angle of attack. At take-off or in steady flight, neither climbing nor diving, the lift force and the weight are equal. With L/A = Mg/A =WSg, where M is the aircraft mass, WS = M/A the wing loading and g the acceleration due to gravity, that equation gives the speed v through v 2 = 2 g W S ρ C L; as a consequence, aircraft with the same CL at takeoff under the same atmospheric conditions will have takeoff speeds proportional to W S. So if an aircraft's wing area is increased by 10% and nothing else is changed, the takeoff speed will fall by about 5%. If an aircraft designed to take off at 150 mph grows in weight during development by 40%, its takeoff speed increases to 150 1.4 = 177 mph. Some flyers rely on their muscle power to gain speed for takeoff over water.
Ground nesting and water birds have to be able to run or paddle at their takeoff speed before they can take off. The same is true for a hang glider pilot. For all these, a low WS is critical, whereas passerines and cliff dwelling birds can get airborne with higher wing loadings. To turn, an aircraft must roll in the direction of the turn. Turning flight hence causes a descent. To compensate, the lift force must be increased by increasing the angle of attack by use of up elevator deflection which increases drag. Turning can be described as'climbing around a circle' so the increase in wing angle of attack creates more drag; the tighter the turn radius attempted, the more drag induced, this requires that power be added to overcome the drag. The maximum rate of turn possible for a given aircraft design is limited by its wing size and available engine power: the maximum turn the aircraft can achieve and hold is its sustained turn performance; as the bank angle increases so does the g-force applied to the aircraft, this having the effect of increasing the wing loading and the stalling speed.
This effect is experienced during level pitching maneuvers. As stalling is due to wing loading and maximum lift coefficient at a given altitude and speed, this limits the turning radius due to maximum load factor. At Mach 0.85 and 0.7 lift coefficient, a wing loading of 50 lb/sq ft can reach a structural limit of 7.33 g up to 15,000 feet and decreases to 2.3 g at 40,000 feet while with a wing loading of 100 lb/sq ft the load factor is twice smaller and reach 1g at 40,000 feet. Aircraft with low wing loadings tend to have superior sustained turn performance because they can generate more lift for a given quantity of engine thrust; the immediate bank angle an aircraft can achieve before drag bleeds off airspeed is known as its instantaneous turn performance. An aircraft with a small loaded wing may have superior instantaneous turn performance, but poor sustained turn performance: it reacts to control input, but its ability to sustain a tight turn is limited. A classic example is the F-104 Starfighter, which has a small wing and high 723 kg/m2 wing loading.
At the opposite end of the spectrum was the large Convair B-36: its large wings resulted in a low 269 kg/m2 wing loading that could make it sustain tighter turns at high altitude than contemporary jet fighters, while the later Hawker Hunter had a similar wing loading of 344 kg/m2. The Boeing 367-80 airliner prototype could be rolled at low altitudes with a wing loading of 387 kg/m2 at maximum weight. Like any body in circular motion, an aircraft, fast and strong enough to maintain level flight at speed v in a circle of radius R accelerates towards the center
Royal Naval Air Service
The Royal Naval Air Service was the air arm of the Royal Navy, under the direction of the Admiralty's Air Department, existed formally from 1 July 1914 to 1 April 1918, when it was merged with the British Army's Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force, the world's first independent air force. In 1908, the British Government recognised the military potential of aircraft; the Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith, approved the formation of an "Advisory Committee for Aeronautics" and an "Aerial Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence". Both committees were composed of army officers and Royal Navy officers. On 21 July 1908 Captain Reginald Bacon, a member of the Aerial Navigation sub-committee, submitted to the First Sea Lord Sir John Fisher that a rigid airship based on the German Zeppelin be designed and constructed by the firm of Vickers. After much discussion on the Committee of Imperial Defence the suggestion was approved on 7 May 1909; the airship, named Mayfly, never flew and broke in half on 24 September 1911.
The First Sea Lord, Sir Arthur Wilson, recommended that rigid airship construction be abandoned. On 21 June 1910, Lt. George Cyril Colmore became the first qualified pilot in the Royal Navy. After completing training, which Colmore paid for out of his own pocket, he was issued with Royal Aero Club Certificate Number 15. In November 1910, the Royal Aero Club, thanks to one of its members, Francis McClean, offered the Royal Navy two aircraft with which to train its first pilots; the Club offered its members as instructors and the use of its airfield at Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey. The Admiralty accepted and on 6 December the Commander-in-Chief, The Nore promulgated the scheme to the officers under his jurisdiction and requested that applicants be unmarried and able to pay the membership fees of the Royal Aero Club; the airfield became Eastchurch. Two hundred applications were received, four were accepted: Lieutenant C. R. Samson, Lieutenant A. M. Longmore, Lieutenant A. Gregory and Captain E. L. Gerrard, RMLI.
After prolonged discussion on the Committee of Imperial Defence, the Royal Flying Corps was constituted by Royal Warrant on 13 April 1912. It absorbed the nascent naval air detachment and the Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers, it consisted of two wings with the Military Wing making up the Army element and Naval Wing, under Commander C. R. Samson. A Central Flying School staffed by officers and men of both the navy and the army was created at Upavon for the pilot training of both wings, opened on 19 June 1912 under the command of Captain Godfrey Paine, a naval officer; the Naval Wing, by the terms of its inception was permitted to carry out experimentation at its flying school at Eastchurch. The Royal Flying Corps, although formed of two separate branches, allowed for direct entry to either branch through a joint Special Reserve of Officers, although soon the Navy inducted new entries into the Royal Naval Reserve. In the summer of 1912, in recognition of the air branch's expansion, Captain Murray Sueter was appointed Director of the newly formed Air Department at the Admiralty.
Sueter's remit as outlined in September 1912 stated that he was responsible to the Admiralty for "all matters connected with the Naval Air Service."In the same month as the Air Department was set up, four naval seaplanes participated in Army Manoeuvres. In 1913 a seaplane base on the Isle of Grain and an airship base at Kingsnorth were approved for construction; the same year provision was made in the naval estimates for eight airfields to be constructed, for the first time aircraft participated in manoeuvres with the Royal Navy, using the converted cruiser Hermes as a seaplane carrier. On 16 April ten officers of the Navy Service graduated from the Central Flying School; as of 7 June 44 officers and 105 other ranks had been trained at the Central Flying School and at Eastchurch, 35 officers and men had been trained in airship work. Three non-rigid airships built for the army, the Willows, Astra-Torres and the Parseval were taken over by the navy. On 1 July 1914, the Admiralty made the Royal Naval Air Service, forming the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps, part of the Military Branch of the Royal Navy.
By the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the RNAS had 93 aircraft, six airships, two balloons and 727 personnel. The Navy maintained twelve airship stations around the coast of Britain from Longside, Aberdeenshire in the northeast to Anglesey in the west. On 1 August 1915 the Royal Naval Air Service came under the control of the Royal Navy. In addition to seaplanes, carrier-borne aircraft, other aircraft with a legitimate "naval" application the RNAS maintained several crack fighter squadrons on the Western Front, as well as allocating scarce resources to an independent strategic bombing force at a time when such operations were speculative. Inter-service rivalry affected aircraft procurement. Urgently required Sopwith 1½ Strutter two-seaters had to be transferred from the planned RNAS strategic bombing force to RFC squadrons on the Western Front because the Sopwith firm were contracted to supply the RNAS exclusively; this situation continued, although most of Sopwith's post-1915 products were not designed as naval aircraft.
Thus RNAS fighter squadrons obtained Sopwith Pup fighters months before the RFC, replaced these first with Sopwith Triplanes and Camels while the hard-pressed RFC squadrons soldiered on with their obsolescent Pups. On 23 June 1917, after the Second Battle of Gaza, RNAS aircraft attacked Tulkarm in the Judean Hills. On 1 April 1918, the RNAS was merged with the RFC to form the Royal Air Force. At the time of the merger, the Navy's air service had 55,066 officers and men, 2,949 aircraft, 103
Western Front (World War I)
The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium gaining military control of important industrial regions in France; the tide of the advance was turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918. Between 1915 and 1917 there were several offensives along this front; the attacks employed massive artillery massed infantry advances. Entrenchments, machine gun emplacements, barbed wire and artillery inflicted severe casualties during attacks and counter-attacks and no significant advances were made. Among the most costly of these offensives were the Battle of Verdun, in 1916, with a combined 700,000 casualties, the Battle of the Somme in 1916, with more than a million casualties, the Battle of Passchendaele, in 1917, with 487,000 casualties.
To break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front, both sides tried new military technology, including poison gas and tanks. The adoption of better tactics and the cumulative weakening of the armies in the west led to the return of mobility in 1918; the German Spring Offensive of 1918 was made possible by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that ended the war of the Central Powers against Russia and Romania on the Eastern Front. Using short, intense "hurricane" bombardments and infiltration tactics, the German armies moved nearly 100 kilometres to the west, the deepest advance by either side since 1914, but the result was indecisive; the inexorable advance of the Allied armies during the second half of 1918 caused a sudden collapse of the German armies and persuaded the German commanders that defeat was inevitable. The German government surrendered in the Armistice of 11 November 1918, the terms of peace were settled by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. At the outbreak of the First World War, the German Army, with seven field armies in the west and one in the east, executed a modified version of the Schlieffen Plan, moving through neutral Belgium to attack France, turning southwards to encircle the French Army and trap it on the German border.
The Western Front was the place where the most powerful military forces in Europe, the German and French armies and where the war was decided. Belgian neutrality had been guaranteed by Britain under the Treaty of London, 1839. Armies under German generals Alexander von Kluck and Karl von Bülow attacked Belgium on 4 August 1914. Luxembourg had been occupied without opposition on 2 August; the first battle in Belgium was the Siege of Liège. Liège was well surprised the German Army under Bülow with its level of resistance. German heavy artillery was able to demolish the main forts within a few days. Following the fall of Liège, most of the Belgian field army retreated to Antwerp, leaving the garrison of Namur isolated, with the Belgian capital, falling to the Germans on 20 August. Although the German army bypassed Antwerp, it remained a threat to their flank. Another siege followed at Namur; the French deployed five armies on the frontier. The French Plan XVII was intended to bring about the capture of Alsace-Lorraine.
On 7 August, the VII Corps attacked Alsace to capture Colmar. The main offensive was launched on 14 August with the First and Second Armies attacking toward Sarrebourg-Morhange in Lorraine. In keeping with the Schlieffen Plan, the Germans withdrew while inflicting severe losses upon the French; the French Third and Fourth Armies advanced toward the Saar River and attempted to capture Saarburg, attacking Briey and Neufchateau but were repulsed. The French VII Corps captured Mulhouse after a brief engagement on 7 August but German reserve forces engaged them in the Battle of Mulhouse and forced a French retreat; the German Army swept through Belgium, razing villages. The application of "collective responsibility" against a civilian population further galvanised the allies. Newspapers condemned the German invasion, violence against civilians and destruction of property, which became known as the "Rape of Belgium". After marching through Belgium and the Ardennes, the Germans advanced into northern France in late August, where they met the French Army, under Joseph Joffre, the divisions of the British Expeditionary Force under Field Marshal Sir John French.
A series of engagements known as the Battle of the Frontiers ensued, which included the Battle of Charleroi and the Battle of Mons. In the former battle the French Fifth Army was destroyed by the German 2nd and 3rd Armies and the latter delayed the German advance by a day. A general Allied retreat followed, resulting in more clashes at the Battle of Le Cateau, the Siege of Maubeuge and the Battle of St. Quentin; the German Army came within 70 km of Paris but at the First Battle of the Marne and British troops were able to force a German retreat by exploiting a gap which appeared between the 1st and 2nd Armies, ending the German advance into France. The German Army retreated north of the Aisne River and dug in there, establishing the beginnings of a static western front, to last for the next three years. Following this German retirement, the opposing forces made reciprocal outflanking manoeuvres, known as the Race for the S
A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two main wings stacked one above the other. The first powered, controlled aeroplane to fly, the Wright Flyer, used a biplane wing arrangement, as did many aircraft in the early years of aviation. While a biplane wing structure has a structural advantage over a monoplane, it produces more drag than a similar unbraced or cantilever monoplane wing. Improved structural techniques, better materials and the quest for greater speed made the biplane configuration obsolete for most purposes by the late 1930s. Biplanes offer several advantages over conventional cantilever monoplane designs: they permit lighter wing structures, low wing loading and smaller span for a given wing area. However, interference between the airflow over each wing increases drag and biplanes need extensive bracing, which causes additional drag. Biplanes are distinguished from tandem wing arrangements, where the wings are placed forward and aft, instead of above and below; the term is occasionally used in biology, to describe the wings of some flying animals.
In a biplane aircraft, two wings are placed one above the other. Each provides part of the lift, although they are not able to produce twice as much lift as a single wing of similar size and shape because the upper and the lower are working on nearly the same portion of the atmosphere and thus interfere with each other's behaviour. For example, in a wing of aspect ratio 6, a wing separation distance of one chord length, the biplane configuration will only produce about 20 percent more lift than a single wing of the same planform; the lower wing is attached to the fuselage, while the upper wing is raised above the fuselage with an arrangement of cabane struts, although other arrangements have been used. Either or both of the main wings can support ailerons, while flaps are more positioned on the lower wing. Bracing is nearly always added between the upper and lower wings, in the form of wires and/or slender interplane struts positioned symmetrically on either side of the fuselage; the primary advantage of the biplane over a monoplane is to combine great stiffness with light weight.
Stiffness requires structural depth and, where early monoplanes had to have this added with complicated extra bracing, the box kite or biplane has a deep structure and is therefore easier to make both light and strong. A braced monoplane wing must support itself while the two wings of a biplane help to stiffen each other; the biplane is therefore inherently stiffer than the monoplane. The structural forces in the spars of a biplane wing tend to be lower, so the wing can use less material to obtain the same overall strength and is therefore much lighter. A disadvantage of the biplane was the need for extra struts to space the wings apart, although the bracing required by early monoplanes reduced this disadvantage; the low power supplied by the engines available in the first years of aviation meant that aeroplanes could only fly slowly. This required an lower stalling speed, which in turn required a low wing loading, combining both large wing area with light weight. A biplane wing of a given span and chord has twice the area of a monoplane the same size and so can fly more or for a given flight speed can lift more weight.
Alternatively, a biplane wing of the same area as a monoplane has lower span and chord, reducing the structural forces and allowing it to be lighter. Biplanes suffer aerodynamic interference between the two planes; this means that a biplane does not in practice obtain twice the lift of the similarly-sized monoplane. The farther apart the wings are spaced the less the interference, but the spacing struts must be longer. Given the low speed and power of early aircraft, the drag penalty of the wires and struts and the mutual interference of airflows were minor and acceptable factors; as engine power rose after World War One, the thick-winged cantilever monoplane became practicable and, with its inherently lower drag and higher speed, from around 1918 it began to replace the biplane in most fields of aviation. The smaller biplane wing allows greater maneuverability. During World War One, this further enhanced the dominance of the biplane and, despite the need for speed, military aircraft were among the last to abandon the biplane form.
Specialist sports aerobatic biplanes are still made. Biplanes were designed with the wings positioned directly one above the other. Moving the upper wing forward relative to the lower one is called positive stagger or, more simply stagger, it can help increase lift and reduce drag by reducing the aerodynamic interference effects between the two wings, makes access to the cockpit easier. Many biplanes have staggered wings. Common examples from the 1930s include the de Havilland Tiger Moth, Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann and Travel Air 2000, it is possible to place the lower wing's leading edge ahead of the upper wing, giving negative stagger. This is done in a given design for practical engineering reasons. Examples of negative stagger include Breguet 14 and Beechcraft Staggerwing. However, positive stagger is more common; the space enclosed by a set of interplane struts is called a bay, hence a biplane or triplane with one set of such struts connecting the wings on each side of the aircraft is a single-bay biplane.
This provided sufficient strength for smaller aircraft such as the First World War-era Fokker D. VII fighter and the Second World War de Havilland Tiger Moth basic trainer; the larger two-seat Curtiss JN-4 Jenny is a two bay biplane, the extra bay being necessary as overlong bays are prone to flexing and can fail. The SPAD S. XIII fighter, while appearing to be a two bay bip
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain; the RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence, which are to "provide the capabilities needed to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom and overseas territories, including against terrorism. The RAF describes its mission statement as "... an agile and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission". The mission statement is supported by the RAF's definition of air power.
Air power is defined as "the ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events". Today the Royal Air Force maintains an operational fleet of various types of aircraft, described by the RAF as being "leading-edge" in terms of technology; this consists of fixed-wing aircraft, including: fighter and strike aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, ISTAR and SIGINT aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and strategic and tactical transport aircraft. The majority of the RAF's rotary-wing aircraft form part of the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command in support of ground forces. Most of the RAF's aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving on operations or at long-established overseas bases. Although the RAF is the principal British air power arm, the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and the British Army's Army Air Corps deliver air power, integrated into the maritime and land environments. While the British were not the first to make use of heavier-than-air military aircraft, the RAF is the world's oldest independent air force: that is, the first air force to become independent of army or navy control.
Following publication of the "Smuts report" prepared by Jan Smuts the RAF was founded on 1 April 1918, with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. At that time it was the largest air force in the world. After the war, the service was drastically cut and its inter-war years were quiet, with the RAF taking responsibility for the control of Iraq and executing a number of minor actions in other parts of the British Empire; the RAF's naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924 but handed over to Admiralty control on 24 May 1939. The RAF developed the doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became its main bombing strategy in the Second World War; the RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War. Under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of December 1939, the air forces of British Commonwealth countries trained and formed "Article XV squadrons" for service with RAF formations.
Many individual personnel from these countries, exiles from occupied Europe served with RAF squadrons. By the end of the war the Royal Canadian Air Force had contributed more than 30 squadrons to serve in RAF formations approximately a quarter of Bomber Command's personnel were Canadian. Additionally, the Royal Australian Air Force represented around nine percent of all RAF personnel who served in the European and Mediterranean theatres. In the Battle of Britain in 1940, the RAF defended the skies over Britain against the numerically superior German Luftwaffe. In what is the most prolonged and complicated air campaign in history, the Battle of Britain contributed to the delay and subsequent indefinite postponement of Hitler's plans for an invasion of the United Kingdom. In the House of Commons on 20 August, prompted by the ongoing efforts of the RAF, Prime Minister Winston Churchill eloquently made a speech to the nation, where he said "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".
The largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command. While RAF bombing of Germany began immediately upon the outbreak of war, under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Harris, these attacks became devastating from 1942 onward as new technology and greater numbers of superior aircraft became available; the RAF adopted night-time area bombing on German cities such as Hamburg and Dresden, developed precision bombing techniques for specific operations, such as the "Dambusters" raid by No. 617 Squadron, or the Amiens prison raid known as Operation Jericho. Following victory in the Second World War, the RAF underwent significant re-organisation, as technological advances in air warfare saw the arrival of jet fighters and bombers. During the early stages of the Cold War, one of the first major operations undertaken by the Royal Air Force was in 1948 and the Berlin Airlift, codenamed Operation Plainfire. Between 26 June and the lifting of the Russian blockade of the city on 2 May, the RAF provided 17% of the total supplies delivered du
James Thomas Byford McCudden, was an English flying ace of the First World War and among the most decorated airmen in British military history. Born in 1895 to a middle class family with military traditions, McCudden joined the Royal Engineers in 1910. Having an interest in mechanics he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1913 at which time he first came into regular contact with aircraft. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he flew as an observer before training as a fighter pilot in 1916. McCudden claimed his first victory in September 1916, he claimed his fifth victory—making him an ace—on 15 February 1917. For the next six months he flew defensive patrols over London, he returned to the frontline in summer 1917. That same year he dispatched a further 31 enemy aircraft while claiming multiple victories in one day on 11 occasions. With his six British medals and one French, McCudden received more awards for gallantry than any other airman of British nationality serving in the First World War.
He was one of the longest serving. By 1918, in part due to a campaign by the Daily Mail newspaper, McCudden became one of the most famous airmen in the British Isles. At his death he had achieved 57 aerial victories, placing him seventh on the list of the war's most successful aces. Just under two-thirds of his victims can be identified by name; this is possible since, unlike other Allied aces, a substantial proportion of McCudden's claims were made over Allied-held territory. The majority of his successes were achieved with 56 Squadron RFC and all but five fell while McCudden was flying the S. E.5a. On 9 July 1918 McCudden was killed in a flying accident when his aircraft crashed following an engine fault, his rank at the time of his death was major, a significant achievement for a man who had begun his career in the RFC as an air mechanic. McCudden is buried at the British war cemetery at Beauvoir-Wavans. James McCudden was born in Kent to Sergeant-Major William H. McCudden and Amelia Byford, his father had been in the military for most of his life.
He served in No. 24 Company. He fought in the Anglo-Egyptian War at the Battle of Tel el-Kebir in 1882. During combat he was recommended for an award. However, when it emerged he was acting against orders he was denied any honours, his father had a long career in the Engineers and became an instructor at the School of Military Engineering as a non-commissioned officer. His mother's family had a military background. In 1890 William H. McCudden and Amelia Byford married, they had six children. John and William McCudden became fighter pilots but both were killed whilst flying—John would be killed in action during the war, his father William H. McCudden took a post at the Air Ministry at the rank of warrant officer after the Great War, but would die tragically at Clapham Junction railway station on 7 July 1920; when he stood up to offer a woman his seat the compartment door flew open, knocking him into the path of an oncoming train. Maurice Vincent became a pilot and served in the Royal Air Force until he retired through illness in 1933.
He died of colitis the following year, leaving small daughter. The McCuddens moved to Sheerness in 1909 and James transferred to the garrison school, he learned to shoot at the rifle range and was a reasonably intelligent student. His father's retirement soon placed a heavy strain on the family finances and as a consequence McCudden felt obliged to find a job before he could enlist in 1915, he filled the time from the age of 14 to the age of enlistment by working as a Post Office messenger boy. It was at this time McCudden's interest in flying began. In nearby Leysdown, on the Isle of Sheppey, one of the first aviation centres was built, it was here John Moore-Brabazon. McCudden and his brothers went to see the pioneer aviators gather. McCudden expressed a desire to become a pilot after spending hours watching these early flying machines, his desire to be a pilot was postponed. The family required further income after his father retired. Unable to wait for that opportunity to arise he joined the Royal Engineers on 26 April 1910, as No. 20083.
On 24 February 1911 he set sail for Gibraltar on the southern tip of Spain. McCudden spent eighteen months in Gibraltar before returning to England in September 1912. While in Gibraltar he read Flight manual magazine habitually, which explained the theory of flight, aircraft construction and aero engines, he excelled in his service and by 26 April 1913 he had become a qualified Sapper. He held the grade Air Mechanic 2nd Class, No. 892, awarded to him on 28 April 1913. Soon afterwards he became a member of the Royal Flying Corps. On 9 May he was posted to Farnborough depot as a mechanic. McCudden's tenure at the aerodrome began ominously; the same day he was granted a request to travel as an observer in a Royal Aircraft Factory B. E. 2, disaster struck. Instructed to familiarise himself with the aircraft around the airfield he examined a Caudron Type A, proceeded to turn over the engine; the aircraft was listed as unserviceable and McCudden saw no danger in leaving the throttle open. The engine started and it accelerated out of the hangar and into a Farman MF.11
Standard Motor Company
The Standard Motor Company Limited was a motor vehicle manufacturer, founded in Coventry, England, in 1903 by Reginald Walter Maudslay. It purchased Triumph in 1945 and in 1959 changed its name to Standard-Triumph International and began to put the Triumph brandname on all its products. For many years, it manufactured. All Standard's tractor assets were sold to Massey Ferguson in 1959. In September 1959, Standard Motor Company was renamed Standard-Triumph International Limited. A new subsidiary took the name The Standard Motor Company Limited and took over the manufacture of the group's products; the Standard name was last used in Britain in 1963, in India in 1988. Maudslay, great grandson of the eminent engineer Henry Maudslay, had trained under Sir John Wolfe-Barry as a civil engineer. In 1902 he joined his cousin Cyril Charles Maudslay at his Maudslay Motor Company to make marine internal combustion engines; the marine engines did not sell well, still in 1902 they made their first engine intended for a car.
It was fitted to a chain-drive chassis. The three-cylinder engine, designed by Alexander Craig was an advanced unit with a single overhead camshaft and pressure lubrication. Realising the enormous potential of the horseless carriage and using a gift of £3,000 from Sir John Wolfe-Barry, R. W. Maudslay left his cousin and became a motor manufacturer on his own account, his Standard Motor Company was incorporated on 2 March 1903 and he established his business in a small factory in a two-storey building in Much Park Street, Coventry. Having undertaken the examination of several proprietary engines to familiarise himself with internal combustion engine design he employed seven people to assemble the first car, powered by a single-cylinder engine with three-speed gearbox and shaft drive to the rear wheels. By the end of 1903 three cars had been built and the labour force had been increased to twenty five; the increased labour force produced a car every three weeks during 1904. The single-cylinder model was soon replaced by a two-cylinder model followed by three- and four-cylinder versions and in 1905 the first six.
The first cars boasted shaft drive as opposed to chains, the engines were not "square" but had 6" diameter pistons with a 3" stroke. As well as supplying complete chassis, the company found a good market selling engines for fitting to other cars where the owner wanted more power. Although Alex Craig, a Scottish engineer, was engaged to do much of the detail work, Maudslay himself was sufficiently confident to undertake much of the preliminary layout. One of the several derivations of the name "Standard" is said to have emanated from a discussion between Maudslay and Craig during which the latter proposed several changes to a design on the grounds of cost, which Maudslay rejected, saying that he was determined to maintain the best possible "Standard". In 1905 Maudslay himself drove the first Standard car to compete in a race; this was the RAC Tourist Trophy in which he finished 11th out of 42 starters, having had a non-stop run. In 1905 the first export order was received, from a Canadian who arrived at the factory in person.
The order was reported in the local newspaper with some emphasis, "Coventry firm makes bold bid for foreign markets". The company exhibited at the 1905 London Motor Show in Crystal Palace, at which a London dealer, Charles Friswell 1872-1926 agreed to buy the entire factory output, he joined Standard and was managing director for many years. In late 1906 production was transferred to larger premises and output was concentrated on 6-cylinder models; the 16/20 h.p. tourer with side-entrance body was priced at £450. An indication of how much this was can be gained from the fact. In 1907 Friswell became company chairman, he worked hard to raise its profile, the resulting increase in demand necessitated the acquisition of a large single-storey building in Cash's Lane, Coventry. This was inadequate after the publicity gained when a fleet of 20 cars, 16/20 tourers, were supplied for the use of Commonwealth editors attending the 1909 Imperial Press Conference in London. In 1909 the company first made use of the famous Union Flag Badge, a feature of the radiator emblem until after the Second World War.
By 1911 the range of vehicles was comprehensive, with the 8-horsepower model being produced in quantity whilst a special order for two 70 hp cars was at the same time executed for a Scottish millionaire. Friswell's influence culminated in supplying seventy 4-cylinder 16 hp cars for King George V and his entourage, including the Viceroy of India, at the 1911 Delhi Durbar. In 1912 Friswell sold his interest in Standard to C. J. Band and Siegfried Bettmann, the founder of the Triumph Motor Cycle Company. During the same year the first commercial vehicle was produced, the 4-cylinder model "S" was introduced at £195, the first to be put into large-scale production. 1,600 were produced before the outbreak of the First World War, 50 of them in the final week of car production. These cars were sold with a three-year guarantee. In 1914 Standard became a public company. During the First World War the company produced more than 1,000 aircraft, including the Royal Aircraft Factory B. E.12, Royal Aircraft Factory R.
E.8, Sopwith Pup and Bristol F.2-B in a new works at Canley that opened on 1 July 1916. Canley would subsequently become the main centre of operations. Other war materials produced included shells, mobile workshops for the Royal Engineers, trench mortars. Civilian car production was restarted in 1919 with models based on pre-war designs, for example the 9.5 model "S" was re-introduced as the model SLS although this was soon superseded by an