By Colin Hilton

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Sample text

So far as my immediate analysis was concerned however, it was clear to me why the addition of wings had on the face of it reduced many of the key performance factors: it was ‘induced’ drag. Anything that flies in air suffers the same sort of drag as a car, which relates to both its shape and surface friction. In addition however, the wings of aircraft have to redirect great volumes of air in order to derive lift from the reaction, and unfortunately this adds a further element of drag. What it meant was that although the twenty-foot wings in this case added some lift, they did so at the expense of both more weight and more drag.

28 eNGLANd, MAY 2003 ~ the WrONG BrOthers Much water had now passed under the bridge, if not under my skimmer. During January of 2003 I fell out with my employer, and left them in February to spend six weeks publishing a retrospective, Final Call, timed to coincide with the centenary of flight. Living without money required inventiveness itself, and I negotiated another contract to work as an airline captain that summer in Manchester. A factor in choosing where to work at the time was easy access to a beach for test flights.

In this, the central fuselage of the flying boat was effectively re-configured as a catamaran, so that the fenders of the vehicle that supported the wheels would also act as buoyant pontoons that made the car amphibious. The panel wings between these pontoons had now been beefed up so that they formed a chassis that besides bridging the two sides also supported a driver (on the forward aerofoil) and the engine (suspended from the rear). The slot that appears behind the canopy was to accommodate the propeller of an aero-engine, which would propel the vehicle along the road, through the water and in skimming flight just above it.

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