HC Deb 19 July 1915 vol 73 cc1173-4
70. Mr. LYNCH

asked whether a number of German aeroplanes have recently appeared driven by more than one engine, or carrying a gun larger than the ordinary machine gun; and, if so, whether such German aeroplanes have inflicted loss on the aerial forces of our Allies?


I understand that German aeroplanes have been seen which appear to be propelled by more than one engine, but that there is no evidence of German aeroplanes carrying guns larger than machine guns. There is no detailed information regarding the aerial losses of our Allies.


Now that the Germans are hypnotised by the Zeppelin idea, is not this just the opportunity for going ahead and gaining predominance?


I do not understand what the hon. Gentleman refers to.

71. Mr. LYNCH

asked whether the Royal Aircraft Factory took any steps before the War to provide the multiple-engine aeroplane advocated by General Henderson; and, if so, whether any such aeroplane produced by the Royal Aircraft Factory ever flew before the War broke out or has flown since?


Yes, Sir, the preliminary questions of design had been considered before the War. I think it undesirable to give an answer to the second part of the question. The hon. Member is, of course, aware that the types of aeroplanes to be constructed for war are not selected by the Royal Aircraft Factory but by the Director of Military Aeronautics.

72. Mr. LYNCH

asked whether the production of aeroplanes with more than one engine or carrying a gun larger than a machine gun was advocated by General Henderson, Director-General of Military Aeronautics, and by other persons closely connected with aviation in this country, some months before the War; whether such aeroplanes were in the possession of the Royal Flying Corps on active service before the appearance of the multiple-engine German aeroplane recently mentioned by the official eye-witness; and, if not, will he say why not?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, and to the second part in the negative. The provision of other types of aeroplane was more urgent, and it is very doubtful whether the two-engined German aeroplanes which have been seen are of the type advocated by Sir David Henderson, and I am informed that they are not necessarily more efficient than single-engined machines.