Norman Sykes Unorthodox Aircraft

My dear Tophe,may be you are right,who knows.
A photograph and another three view drawing.

[source: A.W.J.G.Ord-Hume - British Light Aeroplanes Their Evolution, Development & Perfection 1920-1940]


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Topic renamed.

Although the document was clearly captioned "Norman Sykes", the topic's title said "Norman Skyes." Such mistakes mean that further searches for that project will be unfruitful and someone might create a duplicate of the same topic.
One thing I would like to point out is that this aircraft is actually called the Hillson Pennine. Norman Sykes was the designer of this and the the later Hillson Helvellyn trainer which unsuccessfully tried to supplement the Miles Magister but was rejected. The Hillson Pennine was a small high-wing braced monoplane powered by a 36 hp (27 kW) Praga B two-cylinder piston engine, though it was originally designed to use a more powerful 80 hp (60 kW) Aspin engine. (If anyone is interested in the Aspin rotary valve engine, then may I suggest looking at The Pennine was of all wood construction utilising a fixed tailwheel undercarriage. One revolutionary feature of the Pennine, was that although it had a normal elevator and together with spoilers on the leading edge of the mainplane, it had a fixed rudder with just a trim tab and had no ailerons fitted. Construction of the Pennine started in 1936 and was finally completed at the Old Trafford factory of Hillsons in 1937. Like all of the Pragas and later the Proctors built by the company, the Pennine was moved by road to nearby Barton Aerodrome. (which is the oldest civil airfield in the UK still in operation). Whilst undergoing a taxi test on 4 February 1937, with Norman Sykes at the helm, the Pennine became airborne due to the controls having not been adjusted properly. It took Sykes half-an-hour of circling to the left to get down safely. Following this incident, the aircraft was not flown again, with the company concentrating on a design for a trainer (the Hillson Helvellyn) and with space a premium for wartime work, the Pennine was dismantled. The registration G-AFBX was cancelled on 19 November 1945.
Crew: 2
Length: 21 ft 8 in (6.60 m)
Wingspan: 36 ft 1 in (11.0 m)
Wing area: 164 ft2 (15.24 m2)
Empty weight: 584 lb (265 kg)
Gross weight: 1080 lb (490 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Praga B air-cooled horizontal twin, 36 hp ( kW)
All info sourced from the Putnam's British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Volume 3.
Just as I was about to click on the Post reply button I just did a check search and found that the Helvellyn has not been covered on here as far as I could see so I will do a separate post for that type.
I don't agree with you, VictorXL188. If you contrast the photographs of the Hillson Pennine (British Civil Aircraft (Jackson), vol. 3, p.254) and the Sykes Monoplane (British Light Aeroplanes (Ord-Hume), p.479)(I can't refer to the Flight article as the current publisher of the magazine has withdrawn its online archive), they are as different as chalk and cheese. I have no reason to believe other than that these were two separate and distinct aeroplanes, not one and the same.
From Ord-Hume:

'The Sykes Monoplane was virtually complete by the end of autumn [1936] but there is no record of it ever being registered or any attempt at flying it. It seems more than likely that the project was thoughtfully abandoned before it could cause serious damage to anybody's health.'


'However, Norman Sykes and his leading edge spoilers turned up the following year [1937] with furniture-makers and Praga Baby-builders F Hills & Sons of Manchester. Seeking a replacement for the Praga, this company sought the services of Sykes who designed a new machine for them. Hills built a machine called the Pennine, which had a fixed fin but no rudder and small spoilers on the leading edges of each wing ..... .This was followed by another of Sykes' creations, a shoulder winged monoplane called the Helvellyn which was more conventional in appearance (save for its peculiar 'horn-balanced fin).'

Thus the Sykes Monoplane (i.e. that illustrated in Hesham's original post in 2008 and my subsequent post in 2013) preceded the Hillson Pennine and Helvellyn and the only thing that the three aeroplanes had in common was a designer. Thus I would suggest respectfully that VictorXL188's post should be transferred to a new topic entitled 'Hillson Pennine' and that it might be helpful for this topic to be retitled 'Sykes Monoplane' because, as far as I am aware, Norman Sykes designed only three aeroplanes and there would then be a discrete topic for each of them.
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Was that designer the same guy of Britten-Norman or not ?.
This Sykes Norman airplane is much earlier than Britten-Norman company which was founded after WW2.
Britten-Norman got their start installing spray booms on war-surplus Tiger Moths for a contract in the Sudan.
John Britten and Desmond Norman designed their first airplane BN-1 in 1951.
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I think that Desmond Norman would be turning in his grave at the suggestion that he might have had anything to do with Norman Sykes' unorthodox flying machine !
Many thanks folks,

and if that person designed any aircraft beside Sykes or not ?.
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Hills and Sons Ltd. (F.), Trafford Park, Manchester, are building a new version of the famous Hillson Praga to be known as the Pennine which is designed around the new Aspin four-cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled motor.

From another source-

Hillson Pennine- Side-by-side, two seat cabin monoplane of wooden construction powered by one 36 h.p. Praga B, designed by Norman Sykes and built by F. Hills and Sons Ltd. at Trafford Park, Manchester in 1937. Fitted with an unorthodox control system consisting solely of a normal elevator and spoilers on the leading edge of the mainplane. One aircraft only: G-AFBX, c/n H.A. 100, registered 27.10.37 in the name of the manufacturers. Registration cancelled 19.11.45.

It looked a bit like a Praga, and not like the design in the original post. I wonder if the specifications listed in Victor's post would apply to this plane?
This thread needs to be sorted out to separate the Norman Sykes Monoplane from the Norman Sykes designed Hillson Pennine and Hillson Helvellyn aeroplanes.

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