BY TETARD OVER DURDHAM
ROCKED AND BUFFETED BY
A VAST CROWD
The exhibitions of flying which took place over
Durdham Down on Saturday excited the keenest interest among all classes
of citizens. The temporary hangar which has been erected near the Sea Walls
has already become a centre of tremendous attraction for thousands upon
thousands of people, for in that single canvas structure are housed two
of those fine aeroplanes which are putting Bristol in the van of progress
as regards the latest and most fascinating mode of locomotion. In the old
days the highest compliment the nautical world could bestow upon a vessel
was to say she was "shipshape and Bristol fashion." History repeats itself,
and the old city is making such a big bid for distinction as a centre where
"clippers of the clouds" are built, not only with phenomenal rapidity,
but possessing extraordinary merits, that the time may come when the expert
British flying man, mindful both of the perils of the air and of the fat
prizes to be won, will think twice before investing in a machine that is
not "Bristol fashion."
On Saturday the Bristol biplane (the 14th
manufactured by the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company) was taken out
for a morning flight. At 8.40, when the machine was wheeled from the hangar,
a heavy fog obscured the landscape, but on the plateau where the trials
were to take place it was sufficiently clear to allow of an ascent being
M. Jullerot, acting as pilot, took Mr Stanley
White for a ten minutes' trip. As on the previous day, the machine was
working perfectly. The whirring of the propeller, a short, swift run, and
the aeroplane rose gracefully into the air, speeding forward at a height
of about 50 feet.
A course was taken round the border of the
plateau, in the course of which the maximum height reached was about 100
Afterwards, the trial having proved entirely
satisfactory, the machine was run back to the hangar. The wind was blowing
at about 15 miles an hour, but as the morning wore on, and the sun came
through the fog, it freshened up considerably, delaying a second journey.
A considerable crowd was present from an
early hour, and horsemen, motorists, and cyclists flocked in numbers to
the scene of the operations. Among the earliest arrivals was Sir George
White, Bart., chairman of the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company.
A REMARKABLE SCENE
During the afternoon many thousands of people
assembled upon the Downs in the hope of seeing a flight, and though the
weather conditions were far from favourable, those who arrived before three
were not disappointed. Durdham Down presented a remarkable sight. Thousands
of spectators flocked round the hangar, and it was naturally near that
spot that the biggest crown had gathered; but thousands were content to
remain at a distance; and, indeed, they secured the best view of the exhibition.
Many had come in motor-cars, dozens of which lined the roadway that runs
parallel to Sneyd Park, and there were many carriages and countless cyclists.
Between the Sea Walls and the Stoke Road, the Downs were almost black with
At 2.45 the machine was brought out from
the hangar, and the excitement then grew intense. It was three o' clock
exactly when Sir George White gave orders, on the arrival of the Sheriff
and Mrs Riseley, for a flight. Owing to the vastness of the crowd, and
the way they had surrounded the machine, it appeared as if the men would
experience difficulty in getting a start. Supt. Hazell, with a strong body
of police, several of whom were mounted, soon cleared a protion of the
plateau, however, and amidst ringing cheers, M. Tetard, the famous French
aviator, took his seat upon the biplane. He ran it over the grass towards
the Stoke Road for a considerable distance, and them turning, rose swiftly
into the air. He steered for the Sea Walls, which he skirted, and then
tooka wide sweep round the Downs in the direction of the Reservoir. After
wheeling back towards the hangar, he started on another circle of a very
wide radius, and eventually came back to earth, lightly as a bird, on a
space kept clear in admirable style by Supt. Hazell and his men.
A ROUGH PASSAGE
It was evident to the spectators that during
a large part of the flight the aeroplane was badly buffetted by the wind,
and it spoke volumes both for the skill of M. Tetard and the quality of
the biplane that he was able to give so fine an exhibition under such adverse
weather conditions. M. Tetard has distinguished himself at the Continental
meetings, and at Rheims he made one flight lasting nearly four hours.
There was a further outburst of cheering
when M. Tetard alighted from the machine, and he was cordially shaken by
the hand by
|Sir George White and other members
of the Aeroplane Company and the Aero Club.
The crowd waited in the hope of seeing another
flight, but the weather did not improve, and soon after four it was decided
that it was inadvisable to attempt any more flying that day.
M. TETARD DESCRIBES HIS
After his fine flight, M. Tetard was interviewed
by a "Times and Mirror" reporter. He does not speak English, but in voluble
French, accompanied by many gestures, he expressed his delight at the behaviour
of the Bristol biplane.
It was, he said, the first time he had been
up in a machine of that make, and it was certainly the best he had ever
flown in. The flight was exceptionally difficult because of the tricky
On the ground the wind was not particularly
heavy, though gusty, but in the upper air he struck many whirlwinds coming
from the Avon Gorge. The effect by the gully was to suck him downwards,
and this prevented him from attaining any great elevation.
To plane upwards it is necessary to fly
against the wind, but going towards the Gully he met with a counter-current
that prevented the machine rising, and directly he turned he had the wind
behind him, the effect of this being to depress the line of flight. Indeed
on the Blackley Hill side of the Downs he wassometimes within eight feet
of some lofty elms. On turning again by the Red Lamp he met the wind broadside
on, and it was this which caused the biplane to rock as it did. In no other
machine, he said, would he have accomplished what he did.
M. JULLEROT'S PRAISE
M. Jullerot, referring to M. Tetard's
flight, said, "It is one of the most wonderful flights I have ever seen.
It was a most severe test, though the general public could not realise
it. But up above, the currents of air are very tricky, as one could see
from the way in which the machine rocked every now and then. He handled
it splendidly, however, and the aeroplane could not have worked better.
Really he ought not to have gone up in the conditions prevailing, but he
was determined the public should not be disappointed. The elevation was
from 150 to 200 feet, for the greater part of the journey, but M. Tetard
would have risen higher had not he had to work in a circumscribed area.
It was necessary to plane up against the wind, but he had to turn before
reaching any great height, and directly he flew with the wind the tendancy
was to drop down again."
M. Tetard has figured with M. Jullerot
at all the big aviation meetings, and at Blackpool was third with the amount
of prize money he drew. His record flight was one of three hours and three-quarters.
Previously he has used the Henry Farman and Sommer machines. At Blackpool
he went twice around the Tower, and he carried quite a lot of passengers,
as did Mr Grahame-White, one ticket in every 500 issued to the public for
admission entitling the bearer to a ride in an aeroplane, and many took
advantage of the privilege. M. Tetard has also won notariety by a flight
across the Seine at its mouth - a great performance.
Mr Leslie Macdonald, the young aviator who
on the Friday went for the trial flight on the Downs, is, as we have mentioned
before, a Bristolian born and bred, and an old Cathedralian.
He is now only 20 years of age, but he has
already attained skill in aviation, and we understand is likely to go abroad
shortly with one or two of the company's aeroplanes. Mr Macdonald, on leaving
the Bristol Cathedral School,received his training in engineering in the
workshops of the Bristol Tramway Company, and passed thence to the British
and Colonial Aeroplane Company's works, where he learned all about the
construction of the machines. Eventually, he took lessons in the company's
flying school in practical aviation, and he has since made good flights.
It was expected he would take part in Saturday's
exhibition on the Downs,but it transpired that he had gone to Brooklands
to secure his English (Royal Aero Club of Great Britain and Ireland) pilot's
certificate, which will be a passport to aviation meetings the world over.
Mr Macdonald's contemporaries in the school and many friendswill learn
with interest of his achievements in aeronautics.