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Smidley 1910 monoplane

Smidley began construction of his monoplane in 1909. It was described in the August 1909 NY Times as having large wings on either side of the central rectangular box. A smaller plane was above and in front, and a fixed semicircular plane was at the tail. Control was a semicircular device at the front with the halves of the semicircle moving together as elevator or separately. It was mounted on four small wheels that ran on rails. This was the 223 pound bamboo version with 18 hp engine. At some point the machine was changed to larger wheels for take-off from the ground and probably rebuilt in other ways. Smidley is credited with three aircraft and a completely rebuilt version of his first machine was reported to be ready for testing in a March 1910 Aeronautics. There is a small picture in November 1910 Aeronautics that shows a machine with the larger wheels, powered by an 18 hp 2-cylinder Stevens Duryea air-cooled engine, and the structure doesn’t look like bamboo. These machines were not powered by an electric motor, but a machine identified as Smidley’s third machine was displayed at a Harrisburg auto show in early 1910, where an electric motor was used to run the propeller in the exhibition. The picture is either the second version incomplete or the third, with the Duryea.

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