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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218445
Last updated: 16 August 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic be2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c
Owner/operator:Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough
Registration: 601
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Laffans Plain, Aldershot, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Laffans Plain, Aldershot, Hampshire
Destination airport:Laffans Plain, Aldershot, Hampshire
5.11.14: Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c 601, Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough. Written off (destroyed) when caught fire in mid-air on test flight, Laffans Plain, Aldershot, Hampshire. Pilot - 2nd Lt Edward Teshmaker Busk (aged 28) - was killed.

In the early years of powered flight inherent stability in an aircraft was a most important quality. Busk took his theories into the air and tried them out in practice. In 1913 this work was used in the R.E.1 (Reconnaissance Experimental), claimed as the first inherently stable aeroplane, and resulted in the development of the B.E.2c.

The remarkable feature of this design was that there was no single device that was the cause of the stability. The stability resulted from detailed design of each part of the aircraft, with due regard to its relation to, and effect on, other parts in the air. Weights and areas were so arranged that under most conditions the machine would tend to right itself.

Busk was killed on 5 November 1914 while flying a B.E.2 which caught fire in flight at Laffans Plain (now Farnborough Airfield). In the issue of Flight magazine for November 13th 1914 (page 1117 - see #6):

"The Fatal Accident to Mr. Busk.
AN inquest was held at Aldershot on Saturday to inquire into the accident which caused the death of Mr. E. T. Busk, of the Royal Aircraft Factory. According to one witness, the deceased was flying at a height of about 1,000 ft. when a small light appeared in the front of the machine, developing into a fierce flame. After gliding for a little way the machine fell to the ground.

Mr. Heckstall Smith, assistant superintendent at the Aircraft Factory, said the accident was due probably to the engine backfiring. The engine had been adopted as the standard factory type, after many months' exhaustive experiment.

A verdict of " Accidental Death " was returned, the jury expressing the opinion that the death of Mr. Busk was a loss to the country."

He was buried at Aldershot Military Cemetery with full military honours. His genius and his courage were recognised by the posthumous award of the Gold Medal of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain, and amongst the many letters of condolence received by his mother was one from King George V.

Edward Teshmaker Busk has several memorials:
- Busk Crescent, Farnborough.
- The Busk Memorial, R.A.E. Farnborough, a small lily pond and fountain with memorial plaque.
- Holy Trinity Church, Rudgwick, Sussex
- The Busk Studentship in Aeronautics at Cambridge University


4. Biography & photo of crash:
6. Flight magazine (November 13 1914 pages 1114 & 1117):
10. .


Edward Teshmaker Busk Grave The grave of Edward Teshmaker Busk at Aldershot Military Cemetery in 2015

Revision history:

24-Nov-2018 00:15 Dr.John Smith Added
24-Nov-2018 00:17 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]

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