Epps 1907 Monoplane
|Epps 1907 Monoplane replica at Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum.|
|National origin||United States|
|Designer||Ben T. Epps|
|First flight||October 1907|
The Epps 1907 Monoplane was a pioneering aircraft built and flown in 1907 by Ben T. Epps of Athens, Georgia from an original design. The aircraft consisted of an open framework suspended below a wire-braced monoplane wing. The undercarriage consisted of three bicycle wheels, one at the front of this frame, and two behind it. A buggy seat was located beneath the wing for the pilot. A 15-horsepower (11 kW) two-cylinder Anzani motorcycle engine was mounted behind the seat and drove a two-bladed propeller from an exhaust fan mounted pusher-fashion behind the wing's trailing edge. A biplane elevator unit was carried on struts at the front of the aircraft, and a single rudder on struts to its rear. The airframe was made from scrap timber collected from a sawmill, with the flying surfaces covered in cotton. Only the undersurfaces of the wings were covered.
Inspired by the Wright Brothers and pioneering European aviators, Epps first conceived of the design at the age of sixteen. In 1907, he built the aircraft in the workshop of his bicycle, electrical contracting, and automobile repair business on Washington Street, Athens.
In October 1907, he flew the machine from a cow pasture near Brooklyn Creek. After rolling downhill, Epps took off and flew around 100 yards (90 metres) at a maximum altitude of around 50 feet (15 metres). The flight ended in a crash, but made Epps Georgia's first aviator. In 1949, Lola Trammel told The Atlanta Journal Magazine that Epps had already made a successful flight in the machine prior to the public demonstration, testing the machine by moonlight with the help of friends at two o'clock in the morning.
Data from The Georgia Historical Society et al 2007
- Crew: One pilot
- Wingspan: 35 ft 0 in (10 m)
- Powerplant: 1 × 2-cylinder Anzani, 15 hp (11 kW)
- Hudson 2002
- The Georgia Historical Society et al. 2007
- Epps Aviation: Above and Beyond, p.3
- Aued 2007
- "Who Was Ben Epps?
- Cleland 1985, p.4B
- Nelson 2001
- "Epps, Ben T.
- McMichael 2007, p.1
- "Photos from 1999 Bulletins
- FAA Registry
- Aued, Blake (14 October 2007). "Ben Epps' milestone turns 100". Athens Banner-Herald. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- Cleland, Max (23 October 1985). "Epps launched aviation in Georgia, a little late". The Rockmart Journal: 4B. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
- Epps Aviation: Above and Beyond (PDF). Epps Aviation. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
- "Epps, Ben T.". Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- FAA Registry search for N1907, retrieved 2010-03-06.
- The Georgia Historical Society, Athens–Clarke County Government, Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Epps Cousins Club (2007). First Flight in Georgia: Ben Epps' Garage (Historical Marker 29-5, located 120 E. Washington Street, Athens, Georgia — ).
- Hudson, Paul Stephen (6 December 2002). "Ben Epps (1888-1937)". The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Athens, Georgia: Georgia Humanities Council. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- McMichael, Pate (2007). "A Wing and a Prayer". Aviation Gazette (Center of Innovation for Aerospace): 1, 7. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
- Nelson, Don (28 October 2001). "Epps, pioneer of Georgia aviation, was an Athenian". Athens Banner-Herald. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- "Photos from 1999 Bulletins". Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum. Retrieved 2010-03-06.[dead link]
- "Who Was Ben Epps?" (PDF). Athens–Clarke Heritage Foundation. Athens, Georgia: Athens–Clarke Heritage Foundation. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- Digitized copy of the Benjamin Thomas Epps Scrapbook 1904–1963, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia