Sunday, July 1, 2012

Time Capsule: 1912

1912: We’re celebrating a century since the roll out of the Haynes-Atkinson Structureless Inflatable Biplane.

Yeah, it does sound sort of improbable – how can an airplane (much less biplane) not have a definite structure? And inflatable aircraft don’t really sound air-worthy anyway. That’s the gist of it, though. It’s an obvious Bellairsian creation – with a date chosen most certainly at random by the author – that pops up during the back-and-forth between the pedant and the Shuffly. The Shuffly fashions flimsies into the shape of this extraordinary airship for one of his multi-pronged attacks on the logical flim-flam of Snodrog [The Pedant and the Shuffly; 61].

A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two main wings, one placed above the other. Most successful early aircraft were biplanes, in spite of considerable early experimentation with monoplanes, triplanes and even quadraplanes. A few are still made today, typically for nostalgia or aerobatics. Famous biplanes of the early aviation age include the Sopwith Camel and the Wright Flyer, used during the famous first flight of 1903 – a mere nine years before Haynes and Atkinson did their thing.

Right.  Back to them...just who were Haynes and Atkinson?

We’ve always been a bit curious as to where Bellairs pulled those names from. Who knows? Our guess is that they disappeared into obscurity when their one and only aircraft failed to be a runaway success.

Yeah. That’s it.

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