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Old 11-17-2015, 02:53 PM   #1
dhmeissner's Avatar
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Country: North America
Vessel Name: The Promise
Vessel Model: Roughwater 35
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For the flyers among us...

and Bill Staines fans


Bill Hosie

Bill Hosie built a plane, a survivor from the Schneider Trophy Reign.
He seemed like a nice old guy, with his
baseball cap and his sunlit eyes.
He took the airframe, motor, and wings,
and restored all the fabric, the floats, the
struts and things
And "The Shark on Banana Skis" was set
to roar once more over Cornwall seas. In the "27" Schneider race, it was a
Supermarine that took first place.
The year Bill Hosie was born, there were
still tall ships sailing 'round Cape Horn,
But the S5 Supermarine was the fastest
seaplane the world had ever seen,
Nearly 300 miles an hour with a Napier
Lion engine to give her power.
And her daughters flew in World War
Two, their pilots were known as the first
of the few.
When the Battle of Britain raged, the
Spitfire blazed across a history page,
But Bill Hosie had a dream to haunt the
skys with the ghost of a Supermarine
And she rose on the steppe again with the
spirit of a Schneider Trophy-winning
She took to the cool spring air with Bill
Hosie sitting in the pilot's chair.
She banked along the Cornwall shore, but
her tail broke away and she flew no more.
She flew from her flight of grace the year
they revived the Schneider Trophy Race
And the Supermarine S5 was the plane that
Bill Hosie made feel alive.

Words and music by Archie Fisher

Dave & Suzie - Roughwater 35
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:36 PM   #2
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Some years ago as part of the research I was doing for a book project I made arrangements with the curator of the Science Museum in London to thoroughly inspect and sit in the Supermarine S6b No. 1595, the plane which in 1931 won the Schneider Trophy once and for all for England.

The S6b had no competition in the race--- the Italian plane, the fearsome Macchi-Castoldi MC-72 wasn't ready yet and when the Italians asked for a time extension the British refused in the same way the Italians had refused to grant the British an exception some years earlier when one of the British planes wasn't ready.

So the single S6b roared around the course by itself and won the race and retired the trophy for good. (The deal was whichever country won the race three times in a row would win the cup permanently and end the race series).

Sitting in that S6b was quite an experience. The visibility out the front is zero. The low seat, high cowl and huge fuselage fairings over the Rolls Royce V-12's rocker boxes block any forward vision. I have read statements about the plane from the pilots who flew it and they said the flying was totally done with peripheral vision or simply looking out the side.

R.J. Mitchell, the Supermarine designer responsible for the S4, 5, 6 and 6b series of racing floatplanes went on to design that company's contender for a new fighter for the RAF. It's no coincidence that his fighter bore a strong resemblance to his Schneider Cup designs: he drew heavily on the design elements that had worked on the racers.

The British are big on naming things. For example it was the British who named the P-51 the Mustang. Today the turbofan engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce are all named after rivers in the UK. So Supermarine needed a name for RJ's new fighter design. The name they picked was "Spitfire," a name RJ hated.

The huge fixed-pitch props used on the Schneider Cup planes developed a P-factor that was so strong the pilots had to start their takeoff runs 90 degrees off the wind. As the plane accelerated the P-factor would pull the nose around until by the time the speed was fast enough to give the air rudder enough authority to control yaw the plane was facing into the wind.

On the day of the prototype Spitfire's (K5054) first fight the pilot, Joe Summers, well aware of the strong P-factor of the props used on RJ's previous designs dutifully faced K5054 90 degrees off the wind. As it turned out, he hadn't needed to: the Spitfire had good directional control from the outset.

The photo below is S6b 1595, the plane I got to "play with" in the museum. The photo was taken at Calshot Castle on the Solent, the body of water between the south coast of England and the Isle of Wight. When the Schneider Cup races were held in England, the race course was over the Solent.
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