Cedric Lee Co.

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Cedric Lee; test pilots, E. C. Gordon England and Gordon Bell. First Lee monoplane, labeled Lee-Richards, was based on work of John George Aulsebrook Kitchen, developer of the annular wing, and designed by George Tilghman Richards with construction at Shoreham in 1913 by E. C. Gordon England.

Circular or annular-winged monoplanes, 1913-1914. What was actually the second Cedric Lee annular-winged machine, this one described as resembling a heart in shape flying head first, was flight tested in November 1913 by England; during England's attempt at a power-off landing, it went out of control due to being tail heavy and crashed. Reconstructed with altered trim, it made a number of successful flights until, in late April 1914, malfunctions with the elevator and air pressure caused a pancake landing during testing by Bell. In the meantime, another experimental Cedric Lee annular monoplane had been constructed and tested successfully. Described as flying "pterygoid," or like a dart, its length was greater than its span, which was only 20 feet, the annular planes being centrally divided fore and aft by the fuselage; a 50hp Gnome drove the tractor screw. The outbreak of WW1 eliminated the holding of the Gordon-Bennet race in 1914 in which the Cedric Lee Co. had hoped to enter the last two machines and further experimental work was abandoned.

SD apparently did not know about the heart-shaped aircraft being tested in 1913 and appears to count only its reconstructed version of 1914. SD mistakenly calls the "pterygoid" a glider. Lee, who was not a pilot, joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve at the outbreak of war; he was killed in action in the autumn of 1916, shortly after receiving his commission as sub-lieutenant. In early 1915, the Cedric Lee Co. changed its name to South Coast Aircraft Works was to stay under the same management and control.


Names Cedric Lee Co.
Country Great Britain
City Shoreham, England
Started aero 1913
Ended aero 1914
Key people
Wikidata id