Post by Dave Homewood on Sept 28, 2017 0:00:42 GMT 12
Any idea what the aircraft is?
This is from the National Library's collection, and they state: "Date: 1917-1918
Interior view of an aircraft hangar at the New Zealand Flying School, Kohimarama, Auckland. Most of the view is taken up with an aircraft that may be being overhauled or under construction. The engine is uncovered and its wingspan is incomplete. Anton Berntsen is sitting in the forward cockpit. Photograph taken by Anton Berntsen between 1917-1918.:
My understanding is that the manufacturer's considered this design a bit of a failure, as did the US Navy, so the two aircraft were put up for sale (possibly advertised in trade magazines and perhaps through US embassies of Consulates, or any other means) and eventually the NZFS got to hear of it, and thought they sounded like a bargain! Apparently there were some differences between the two aircraft, and "F" was considered the better machine in NZ (possibly after mods), the other aircraft was subsequently barely used at all. All just off the top on my head! I too was always rather curious why this unlikely pair ended up at the farthest ends of the earth! David D
Post by errolmartyn on May 21, 2019 12:47:16 GMT 12
The following account from Robert Casari’s 2014 magnum opus, American Military Aircraft 1908 – 1919 provides this interesting account of the floatplanes:
Boeing B & W
To make more airplanes available after the country entered the war, the Navy ordered two used machines offered by Boeing which were to be reconditioned before delivery as primary trainers to the station at Squantum, Massachusetts, with serials A-298 and A-299. They were powered by a 125-hp Hall-Scott A-5 engine.
The company had built its first two machines as floatplanes in mid-1916, designating them the B & W for Boeing and Westervelt. They had not been sold and were the company’s only early model powered by the Hall-Scott motor, so there is no doubt that these were the two furnished on the Navy order.
On arrival unassembled at Squantum in late May 1917, the seating arrangement was found not suitable for instruction and they were in poor condition, not having been repaired, with broken and missing parts.
One airplane was assembled from the two incomplete sets,after which examination showed it was too lightly constructed to be acceptable, even if new. Request for bids from other manufacturers to rebuild them led to the conclusion they were not worth the cost and the Navy refused to pay Boeing for them.
To avoid problems, Boeing requested the machines be returned, so the Navy canceled the contract on July 6 and shipped them back to the manufacturer which eventually sold them to a flight school in New Zealand.
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999
The Americans had a name for such aircraft - dogs, or lemons - take your pick. Actually not convinced that "Lemon" is an Americanism, but regardless, the meaning is quite clear. Anyway, NZFS never used them for training purposes, but they did manage to get quite a bit of work out of the one designated as "F". George Bolt had a lot to do with these orphan aircraft, as detailed in Ted Harvey's book. I think "F" was considerably modified, which may well have included some strengthening and other features to improve its flying, and handling generally. David D
Post by planewriting on May 21, 2019 16:49:06 GMT 12
Thank you Errol and David. Tomorrow (22nd) Erika Pearson, Boeing's Sales Director, Asia and Pacific is giving an address to the annual NAC retired staff luncheon at Classic Flyers followed in the early evening with an address to a joint meeting of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Aviation Historical Society at the same venue. Her main subjects are 100 years since the B & Ws' arrival and 50 years since the 737s'. Th anniversaries were actually 2018 but it was almost 1969 when the latter started full services. Quite an honour to have her coming from Seattle.