Need Drawings of the Lawrence or Lawrence-Lewis Flying Boats

Richard N

Lost in the Sky
Senior Member
18 June 2009
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I am looking for 3 view drawings of the Lawrence or Lawrence-Lewis flying boats. I have been told that patent drawings exist but I have not been able to find them using every combination of Lawrence-Lewis flying boat I could conceive of. I am sure there are those out there who are masters of the patent search and I would really appreciate your help. There were two or thee versions, but drawings of any version would be appreciated. Any new photos would be welcome too.

The George R. Lawrence who created these aircraft is the same one who used kite cameras to capture the famous panoramic photos of the San Francisco Earthquake and the best website about his aircraft is here:
Information about Lawrence's earthquake photos is here: Several huge full resolution images of his earthquake photos are here:

I've included some of the pictures of his aircraft that I have. My purpose for gathering this information is to build a large flying model that I know no one else will show up at a radio control model float fly meet with. It is the far other side of the box from the Piper Cubs on floats.




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How funny that you should raise that subject... I discovered about that aircraft only two days ago!!
Amazing design and ahead of its time in more ways than one. Unfortunately I don't have a three-view of it... Yet! But if I find it be sure I'll share it here.
Richard: no drawings but ER Johnson's American flying boats and amphibious aircraft: an illustrated history, McFarland, 2009, has a near perfect sideview (attached). That image gives a hint as to the nature of the hull covering and, combined with Thomas Yanul's construction photo, should allow you to prepare rough hull drawings.

The same photo (with an inflight view superimposed) appeared in Flight on 29 March 1917.

Flight claimed that the Lawrence design was intended to be convertable into a landplane. Another design goal was inherent stability: "lateral control ... being obtained entirely by virtue of the aerodynamic properties of the machine." No ailerons or wing-warping being thought necessary.

BTW, Flight said that both A-1 and B-1 models were powered by a 140 hp Hall-Scott. Both this and quoted specs conflict with (likely more accurate) details given by Yanul.

Lawrence-Lewis A-1 - span 30 ft, chord 6 ft, gap, 4 ft 8 ins, overall length 25 ft, stagger 6°, weight 1750 lbs, useful load 800 lbs

Lawrence-Lewis B-1 - span 42 ft, chord 7 ft 6 ins, gap, 5 ft 8 ins, overall length 29 ft, stagger 6°, weight 2200 lbs, useful load 1500 lbs


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Thanks for the profile shot. I have that one and a few others. The other really good source for Lawrence Flying Boat pictures and information is in WWI Aero issue No. 129 August 1990. Starting on page 33 is a multipage article by Bill Lewis and Leo Opdycke with more detail and a very good selection of photos, but no drawings.

I contacted Mr. Yanul and he told me that there were patent drawings out there somewhere and that is what I am really looking for. I could build something from the photos but I would like to make an effort to see if someone who is a patent search wizard can find the patent for this subject. Take a look at the patent drawings for the Peyret Tandem Wing Glider, a subject almost as unknown as the Lawrence: . You could hardly ask for better drawings than these and I am hoping that someone can dig up the patent for the Lawrences.


Some additional information can be found on also.

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