HC Deb 22 June 1927 vol 207 cc1837-8
30. Lord APSLEY

asked the Secretary of State for Air, if he can now make any statement on the recent attempt of Lieutenants Carr and Gillman to reach India; whether the cause of the failure was due to fault of engine or structure; whether he is aware of the success all-metal monoplanes are having for long-distance fights in America and Germany; and whether similar designs are under construction for the Royal Air Force and Imperial Airways?


As regards the first part of the question, the damage which was sustained by the machine in hitting the water makes it improbable that the exact cause of the forced landing will ever be ascertained with certainty. The evidence available points to its being probably due to some temporary stoppage of the petrol pipe and not to any inherent defect in the construction of the aircraft or engine, which have both given excellent results under normal service conditions.

As regards the remaining parts of the question, I have noticed with interest the recent performances of all-metal monoplanes in long distance flights and their development has been carefully followed by the Air Ministry. Several types of all-metal machines have been built or are at present under construction in this country and some of these would be capable of carrying out long distance flights, but it cannot be assumed that the all-metal monoplane has been proved to be a type peculiarly suitable for the general purposes either of the Air Force or of Air Transport undertakings.


Is it not a fact that the designer of the Wright Company was an Englishman and formerly employed in the Farnborough workshop?


Yes Sir, it is true that this gentleman who assisted the Wright Company in developing the air cooled engine was an Englishman, and until 1919 was employed at Farnborough.

33. Sir W. de FRECE

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he can give an approximate estimate of the cost of carrying out a trial aeroplane flight from this country to India; and whether a sum for purposes of this nature is set aside in the Estimates of his Department?


In view of the miscellaneous character of the expenditure involved, I am not in a position to give an inclusive figure for the cost of the flight to which my hon. Friend refers. Flights of this character are undertaken as a normal experimental service in connection with the development of the range and endurance of service aircraft; no specific provision is therefore made for them in Air Estimates, but their cost is defrayed from the appropriate Votes.