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Author Topic: Short Brothers on Sheppey  (Read 5483 times)

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Offline conan

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Re: Short Brothers on Sheppey
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2017, 23:11:22 »
Here's the deleted photographs







To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Short Brothers on Sheppey
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2017, 22:27:52 »
The ballooning enthusiasts had already set up the Aero Club at Muswell Manor on the Isle of Sheppey and Eustace and Oswald were invited to become the official Aeronautical Engineers of the club. Charlie Rolls invited them to accompany him over to France to see the demonstrations of these heavier than air craft by the Wright brothers. They were immediately convinced that this was the future of flying and as there were no plans of the plane available they set to and took measurements etc. In the meantime Charles Rolls used his considerable charm and eventually secured a franchise from the Wrights for the building of six Wright designed planes by the Short brothers.


The drawings and 'measurements etc' made by Horace Short are in the collection of the Royal Aeronautical Society and are available to view online @ http://aerosocietyheritage.com/collections/horace-shorts-notebook/

Based on these drawings Short Brothers built six Wright Model A Flyers under licence. The contract was signed in March 1909 with all six aircraft going to Aero Club members at a cost of 1,000 each.

Short-Wright Model A.
No.
1 - Built for the Hon Charles Rolls. Made short hops in October 1909 with first real flight on 1st November. Prior to making these flights Rolls had trained on a Short-Wright glider, making his first such flight 2nd August 1909.

2 - Built for Alec Ogilvie.

3 - Built for Frank McClean. First flight 2nd November 1909. By mid December McClean had gained enough experience, via a few minor crashes, to make a three mile flight.

4 - Ordered by J T C Moore-Brabazon but sold before delivery to the Hon Maurice Egerton.

5 - Built for Cecil Grace.

6 - Built for the Hon Charles Rolls.

Link to short clip of a Wright Model A flying in France. The clip shows the gravity driven catapult and rail used to launch the Model A.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=cKDepNYlbRA

Offline conan

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Re: Short Brothers on Sheppey
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2011, 13:00:37 »
A couple more from the archive

1


2


To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline conan

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Re: Short Brothers on Sheppey
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2011, 12:52:02 »
Another photo from dads archive

To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline Sylvaticus

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Re: Short Brothers on Sheppey
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 22:38:47 »
My mother told me they were launched from Crundall's wharf (seawall at the end of North Rd). She worked for Cox & Danks, shipbreakers, at Flushing Pier in the early 1920s.

darrenh

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Re: Short Brothers on Sheppey
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2011, 20:05:54 »
after merely a year at leysdown where the brothers had built their no.2 powered biplane, they moved to a new eastchurch works in 1910.  at the time they were still maintaining and servicing their balloon works in battersea and clapham where the fledgling company was founded.

aerial shot of eastchurch works in 1912



the eastchurch workshops were producing a variety of shorts type sea planes which had to be dissassembled and taken 6 miles by road to be launched at queenborough.

both pictures and words care of mike hooks, chalford publishing.

darrenh

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Re: Short Brothers on Sheppey
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 22:39:59 »
interesting picture here outside muswell manor aero club at leysdown.

noteworthy men oswald, horace and eustace short standing up on the left.  two balding fellows seated front and centre are wilbur and orville wright.  seated bottom right with arms folded is charles stewrt rolls (of rolls royce fame)

its my understanding that short brothers originally manufactured planes licensing wright brothers designs.


rogercarol

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Short Brothers on Sheppey
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2008, 20:47:05 »
Another piece in the story of the Founding Fathers of Aviation

Samuel Short worked in the coal mining industry in County Durham as an engineer and later at Stanton Ironworks in Derbyshire as chief engineer. He had three sons, the eldest was Horace (Leonard) born 1872, then (Albert) Eustace 1875 and lastly (Hugh) Oswald born 1883.
At some stage in his early life Horace suffered some sort of accident that is said to have developed into meningitis. This would have been an extremely bad situation but Horace managed to overcome this possibly fatal problem but not without some life changing side effects.  Whatever happened to Horace caused his head to swell to almost twice-normal size. With this swelling of the head came abnormal brain development and an amazing ability to retain knowledge. He went to school and left when he was 13 years of age going to work with his father. Whether this caused  family strife is not known but at the age of 18 Horace decided to leave these shores and see the world. This must have been a brave decision considering his young age and physical disability. His plan was to make for Australia and find work on the way.
Apparently the ship he was on got as far as Samoa and something occurred to cause Horace to be shipwrecked. During this adventure it's said that he was captured by a tribe of cannibals who perhaps responding to the size of his head worshipped him as a God. He eventually escaped their clutches and managed to get to Australia and from there to Mexico where he took over the management of a silver mine. Whether this section of Horace's life was ever recorded in detail I don't know but if it was I would love to read it.
Meanwhile, back in England, Horace's father had died and money was very short. The brothers had obviously kept in touch because Eustace managed to get enough money together to join his older brother in Mexico. They worked together at the silver mine for a while and then decided to return home to England. It's recorded that Eustace had managed to get together 500 and on his return invested the money in a coal merchants business in which younger brother Oswald joined him. The coal business must have been reasonably successful and the two brothers decided to try their luck at a sport, which was becoming very popular amongst the gentry, that sport was hot air ballooning.
They bought their first balloon, the 'Queen of the West', and took to the air, not always successfully. On one occasion the valve on the balloon let them down and Eustace using the family engineering skills designed and made a new and better one.
After looking at the balloons available they reckoned they could do better and so looked around for premises suitable for them to start their own balloon manufacturing company.
In the meantime, Horace, on his return to England had met an American engineer who was attempting to refine an idea of Thomas Edison for sound amplification. The device was called an 'Auxetophone'. Horace applied himself to some of the problems that were arising with the system and, being a very astute businessman took out various patents on his work. The basic idea was to amplify sound by using a compressed air device. By today's standard it was very cumbersome but to some degree it worked and was demonstrated by playing operatic arias from the top of the Eiffel Tower and also Blackpool Tower. There were also smaller versions fitted to gramophones, one of, which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/user/ReneRondeau and clicking on the Victor Auxetophone video. Horace was by this time in partnership with a Charles Parsons who wanted to take the idea much further but Horace seems to have been tiring of the project and was turning his ever-fertile mind to other things.
Eventually Horace sold his patents to Mr Parsons for a reputed deposit of 700 plus 400 per annum for four years.
Horace's two brothers, Eustace and Oswald had been establishing themselves in the balloon making industry and their not inconsiderable skills were being recognised by the gentry for the sport and by the government for military use. And they were receiving orders from both sources. Charles Rolls, Claude Brabazon, Frank Hedges Butler, Frank McClean and a variety of other balloonists of the day were becoming frequent visitors to the factory. The ballooning enthusiasts had already set up the Aero Club at Muswell Manor on the Isle of Sheppey and Eustace and Oswald were invited to become the official Aeronautical Engineers of the club. Charlie Rolls invited them to accompany him over to France to see the demonstrations of these heavier than air craft by the Wright brothers. They were immediately convinced that this was the future of flying and as there were no plans of the plane available they set to and took measurements etc. In the meantime Charles Rolls used his considerable charm and eventually secured a franchise from the Wrights for the building of six Wright designed planes by the Short brothers.
Eustace and Oswald realised that they could do with a little extra help in their venture and so contacted Horace with the proposal that he should join them in the project. Horace seems to have realised that this was something he could set his considerable mind to and his reply contained the line, 'If you are not ready to start this project within three days then I will start without you!'
Short Brothers Aircraft Manufacturers was born, started with a stake of 200 per brother. The six Wright designed planes were sold for 200 each
Horace loved his time on the Island, so much so that when it was decided, for geographical reasons, to move the firm to Rochester on the bank of the Medway, Horace decided to stay at his workshop in Eastchurch and it was there he died, at his bench, in 1917.


 

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