RON D. MYERS COLLECTION
No. 13187. Cody IB
08/31/2017. Remarks by Kees Kort
: "Samuel Franklin Cody constructed one of the first practical aeroplanes in Great Britain. It was a large biplane with a French Antoinette eight-cylinder water-cooled engine mounted in the rear of the nacelle, driving via chains two counter-rotating pusher propellers mounted between the wings. Referred to by the press at the time as the Cody British Army Aeroplane No. 1, this original design made a first sustained flight on October 16, 1908 with a length of 1,390 ft (424 m) at a height of 30 ft (9 m) in 27 seconds at a speed of 25-30 mph (40-48 kmh). This flight is regarded as the first controlled powered flight in Great Britain. As was often the case in the early days of aviation, the machine was damaged upon landing, the ensuing repairs and alterations took some twelve weeks.
The aircraft reappeared at Farnborough on January 6, 1909 and was flown on January 9. At the time still designated as the Cody British Army Aeroplane No. 1, by the significant constructional and aerodynamic changes historians later referred to this version as the Cody IA. Test flying started with the machine fitted with streamers to study the airflow around the machine, a practical way of doing wind tunnel tests in the flesh.
After another inevitable crash the machine was rebuilt and modified again (later identified as the Cody IB), this is shown in the photo above. This version was still powered with the French Antoinette engine with water cooling, the radiator can be clearly seen on the third rear interplane strut from the left. The tail section was altered compared to the original Cody I, but the ailerons fitted between the wings at the top were retained.
As was expected the Cody IB also was damaged after a flight and was altered into the Cody IC which also was fitted with a French ENV engine eight-cylinder water-cooled V-engine rated at 60 to 80 hp. This Cody IC got the nickname 'Cathedral' for obvious reasons.
Life for the early aviator was hectic, with constant repair and/or rebuilds or redesigns. Undaunted Cody started with a new biplane identified as the Cody II (what else?), which even came in the versions IIA, IIB, IIC, IID and IIE."