W. Starling Burgess : Massachusetts Aviation Pioneer
Object ID:
2015.11.50.1
VE Exhibit Label 1:
Model A2 "Flying Fish"
The Herring–Burgess Model A#2 Flying Fish
was a pusher biplane with central and wing tip skids. It was completed in March 1910 and transported to Plum Island, Newbury onboard the Burgess steam yacht The Ox. Its first flights occurred on April 17, 1910 at the Plum Island Aviation Grounds piloted by Augustus Herring on his second solo, and by Starling Burgess on his first solo flight.

The Model A 2 was a single place with a Curtis 25 hp 4 cyl water cooled engine with a Herring direct drive. It had a four bladed propeller, ignition by Bosch and is equipped with and El Arco radiation. It spanned 26'9" with a wing area of 292 sq. ft. Its height was 9'8", length 33', chord 5'6", gap 4' and weighted 400 lbs. Its surfaces were covered with Nalad silk. The Model A 2 had eight stabilizing fins on the upper wing. Two were added to the six fins used in the initial design.

The A 2 was the Burgess Company's test and flight training aeroplane at Plum Island and was modified extensively in April through August 1910. One notable experiment was with Pfitzner equalizers – sliding wing panels used in flight extending the wing span and lift on one wing while decreasing lift on the opposite wing by retracting an outward wing panel to hopefully bank and turn the aircraft.

This Burgess aircraft was flown in its various configurations by a number of amateur aviators at Plum Island including Herring, Burgess, Alexander Pfitzner, Greely Curtis, Norman Prince, William Hilliard, Walter Bowman and John Stratton.
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Flying Fish 2Flying Fish 2
HB Number 2 At Plum Island 1910HB Number 2 At Plum Island 1910
Herring Burgess Model 2 Plum Island 1910Herring Burgess Model 2 Plum Island 1910
Herring Burgess Number 2Herring Burgess Number 2