Lee-Richards Annular Monoplane

Although never mainstream, the notion of making an aeroplane with a circular wing has merit and has intermittently attracted serious flight innovators. British experimenters, Cedric Lee and George Tilghman Richards, designed their first powered annular-winged aeroplane in 1913.
The aircraft was built amid great secrecy at Shoreham Aerodrome in Sussex, by Gordon England. Based on two concentric steel-tube hoops, the wing was braced to pylons above and below the fuselage. At the- wing’s trailing edge, hinged surfaces served as elevators when operated in unison, providing lateral control when used differentially. The engine, completely enclosed in the fuselage, had an extension shaft to the propeller.
During its maiden flight the aircraft stalled and was wrecked in the resulting crash. Undeterred, Lee and Richards produced a second annular monoplane in February-March 1914. Sporting biplane elevators, it proved “delightful” to fly, despite displaying a tendency to yaw, but crashed on 26 April. A third machine was built and flown
successfully up to World War I. Lee then tried to fly it himself and plunged into a river, bringing the story to a watery end.

Comments

comments