Pigeon-Fraser Albree Scout / Model 9 / Timson-Albree / SG
At a time when the biplane configuration had become the norm for single-seat fighting aircraft, George N Albree designed a single-seat shoulder-wing monoplane intended for use as a fighting scout. Ordered by U.S. Army April 17, 1917, two prototypes were delivered to the US Army Signal Corps by the Pigeon Hollow Spar Company in September 1917.
The aircraft was of wooden construction and powered by a 100 hp Gnome rotary engine. A unique design concept of the aircraft was that the "rudder" was not used for flight control, but only to compensate for engine torque. Also the Scout quite possibly was the very first aircraft design to invoke the use of an all 'flying tail' as the entire tail assembly was hinged behind the cockpit moving up and down for elevator control. It is believed to be the first aircraft to utilize a flat-bottomed airfoil, and uniquely designed spring-type wheels were used to provide shock absorption.
First aircraft Model SG- SC-#116 delivered in September 1917 and SG- SC #117 followed in November 1917. First flight: both were flown and successfully tested by contract pilots including Eddie Stinson, at Langley Field, VA. There were no official flights authorized to be made for the U.S. Army acceptance process.
The third Model SG order under the same contract was for a fuselage only, no engine to be provided and with instructions for it to be shipped to the Colt Arms Company, Hartford, CT. The SG fuselage was completed and shipped in the fall of 1917.
The two Model SGs for the Army had their SC Serial #s: high on the vertical stabilizer for #117, and lower for #116). U.S. Army standard aircraft wing star markings for 1917. The first pursuit aircraft contracted for by the United States.
The aircraft was intended to be fitted with a single machine gun, but no armament was ever provided and the Signal Corps considered the aircraft both unreliable and too slow. The fisrt aircraft was tested to destruction, while reportedly the second aircraft was test flown on behalf of the USASC, crashing on its first flight, killing the pilot. The USASC considered the aircraft both unreliable and too slow, consequently, no series production was undertaken.
A third unfinished aircraft was stored in the rafters of the Pigeon Company. It was bought by Cole Palen on November 15, 1961, and restored for display at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum.
Engine: 100 hp General Vehicle-Gnome rotary