|Thomas-Morse Scout - USA|
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|Early model Thomas Morse Scout; the upper wing has dihedral.|
The Thomas company was founded by a young
Englishman, W. T. Thomas, who emigrated to the United
States and obtained a position with Glenn Curtiss at Hammondsport,
New York. He was later joined by his brother
Oliver, and they set up the aircraft firm of Thomas
Brothers at Hammondsport, where an experimental pusher
biplane was constructed in 1910.
The firm then moved to Bath, New York, where a number of types were built; one of these gained the world's altitude record in 1913. Shortly before the outbreak of war in Europe, B. D. Thomas--no relation--joined the concern; he had worked for both the Vickers and Sopwith companies in England. His first design was the T-2 tractor biplane , twenty-four of which were supplied to the British Admiralty in 1915.
After a second move, to Ithaca, New York, the firm began to produce aero engines, one of which was installed in their next design, the D-2 tractor biplane. During 1915 two seaplanes and the D-5 landplane were built for the U.S. Navy and Signal Corps respectively; further seaplanes and a flying boat appeared in the following year.
In January 1917 the firm merged with the Morse Chain Company of Ithaca, and the concern was reorganized as the Thomas-Morse Corporation. The first Thomas-Morse aeroplane was a trim little single-seater biplane, the S-4. Its 100 hp. Gnome Monosoupape 9-B rotary engine was partly enclosed by a circular open-fronted cowling, which was faired into the flat-sided fuselage by triangular fillets. The staggered wings were constructed of wood, wire-braced and fabric-covered; the top plane was flat, the lower plane had slight dihedral. There was a semicircular cut-out in the trailing-edge of the top wing, which carried the ailerons; these were operated by vertical rods. Single-bay wooden interplane struts, braced by wire, were fitted; the center section struts were slightly splayed outwards. The fuselage was a wooden wire-braced box girder, with a rounded top decking; the whole structure being covered with fabric. The neatly shaped empennage was of wood and fabric construction. Wooden vee struts formed the undercarriage legs. the wheels were sprung with rubber cord.
As it could be easily converted into a seaplane, the S-4 was offered to both the U.S. Army and Navy. The prototype was tested at Hampton, Virginia, and as a result of these trials fifty modified machines, known as S-4Bs, were ordered shortly after the United States entered the war.
This order was increased to 150 to cope with the increased need for training aeroplanes. Meanwhile a similar model with twin floats, the S-5, was put into production for the Navy Department.
The last fifty machines ordered had shorter-span wings and were designated S-4Cs. Further orders were placed for this version, with the 80 hp. Le Rhône 9-C rotary, built by the Union Switch and Signal Company of Swissvale, Pennsylvania, in place of the Mono-Gnome; the fuselage of the Le Rhône 'Tommy' was slightly shorter.
In all 447 Le Rhone versions were delivered, and they were widely used as advanced trainers. The final model in the series was the S-4E aerobatic trainer; it had shorter tapered wings and a mounting for a synchronized gun.
|Thomas-Morse S4c Scout|
|Top Wing span:||26 ft 6 in (8.07 m)|
|Bottom Wing Span:||25 ft 6 in (7.77 m)|
|Top Chord:||5 ft 6 in (1.67 m)|
|Bottom Chord:||4 ft 3 in (1.29 m)|
|Gap Between Wings:||4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)|
|Length:||19 ft 10 in (6.06 m)|
|Height:||8 ft 1 in (2.46 m)|
|Empty:||961 lb (435 kg)|
|Gross:||1,354 lb (614 kg)|
|Maximum Speed:||100 mph (160 km/h) @ Sea Level|
|Service Ceiling:||15,000 ft (4,572 m)|
|Fuel Capacity:||27 gal (102 lt)|
One Gnome Mono 100 hp (74 kw) 9-cylinder Rotary type
One Le Rhône 9-C 80 hp (59 kw) 9-cylinder Rotary type.
|Synchronized machine gun.|