After the departure of Pierre Prier from the company in January 1912, Rumanian Henri Coanda joined the British & Colonial Aeroplane Company taking over the responsibility for monoplane design and development. His first involvement was the completion of the final Prier two seat side-by-side monoplane design.
Coanda next went on to produce a monoplane seating two-in-tandem and known as the Coanda School Monoplane.
This aircraft was strongly influenced by the Prier-Dickson design, but had wing tips that were raked to extend the length of the trailing edge. The first example (build number 77) was tested at Larkhill from 27th March 1912.
A pylon mounted on the top longerons in front of the rear cockpit supported the upper bracing wires.
A second pylon, below the fuselage to the rear of the same cockpit. supported the lower set of wires. Power was provided by a 50 hp Gnome and six were built.
A side-by-side variant of this machine was also developed and produced in parallel with the School machine.
The first example (build number 80) was built in May 1912 and it continued in use at Larkhill until it crashed on 26th January 1914. The pupil (GL Gipps) was killed in this accident, with the instructor (F Warren Merriam) being seriously injured.
This type was used very successfully in the Bristol training schools and seven aircraft were built. Examples of both the School and the side-by-side monoplane were exported to Italy and to Rumania.
Coanda next designed a clean two-seat monoplane for the War Office 1912 Military Aeroplane Competition. These aircraft were powered by an 80hp Gnome engine and featured short streamlined supports for the wing bracing wires, positioned ahead of each cockpit.
Two aircraft were built and flown in the competition (build numbers 105 and 106, competition numbers 14 and 15) and both were subsequently purchased by the War Office, having been placed third in the demanding and extensive trials.
On 10th September 1912, one of these crashed, killing Lieutenants Edward Hotchkiss and Claude Bennington. Flying on all Royal Flying Corps monoplanes was immediately stopped with the eventual cause being shown as one of the bracing wires becoming unattached.
Despite this, the type eventually entered production as the Military Monoplane with a 33-inch increase in wingspan. It was ordered by Rumania and Italy, where the type was built under licence by Caproni. The Military monoplane was also licensed to Deutsche Bristol-Werke at Halberstadt, Germany although it is not clear how many aircraft were finally built there.
In all, a total of twenty Military monoplanes were built.
A final, unsuccessful design (build number 111, nicknamed The Elephant), was produced in September 1912. Powered by a 70 hp Daimler engine, this aircraft was found to be overweight and under-powered and failed to fly successfully.
A total of 33 Coanda Monoplanes were built and the type also formed the basis of the Coanda TB.8 biplane, which is described separately.
|Powerplant||50 hp Gnome||50 hp Gnome||80 hp Gnome||80 hp Gnome||70 hp Daimler|
|Span||40 ft 0 in||41 ft 3 in||40 ft 0 in||42 ft 9 in||42 ft 9 in|
|Maximum Weight||1,100 lb||1,100 lb||1,710 lb||1,775 lb||1,850 lb|
|Capacity||Two seat||Two seat||Two seat||Two seat||Two seat|
|Maximum Speed||65 mph||65 mph||73 mph||71 mph||Not flown|
Variants and number built
|School||Two seats in tandem, 50hp Gnome, tall king-post between cockpits, 6 built. Build numbers: 77, 132 (to Italy), 185, 186, 188, 189 (to Rumania).|
|Side-by-side||Two seats side-by-side, 50hp Gnome, king-post ahead of cockpit, 7 built. Build numbers: 80, 110, 164, 165, 166, 176, 177.|
|Competition||Two seats in tandem, 1912 Military Aeroplane Competition, 80hp Gnome, one short king-post ahead of each cockpit. Two aircraft, build numbers: 105, 106, competition numbers: 14, 15.|
|Military||Two seats in tandem, 80hp Gnome, one short king-post ahead of each cockpit. Main production type, 20 built. Build numbers: 118, 121. 122, 123, 131, 142 – 154.|
|Coanda-Daimler||Two seats in tandem, 70hp Daimler-Mercedes, modified undercarriage. One only, build number 111.|
Fuselage 174, built
Fondazione Museo storico del Trentino, Trento, Italy