The rise and fall of the Semiquaver

Shortly after the trans-Atlantic episode, Martinsyde drafted a new machine, this time a racing aeroplane. Like the Raymor it was of generally similar form to the Buzzard. Its fuselage was modified from an existing F4 but the single-bay wings were newly designed...

The aircraft employed a 300hp Hispano-Suiza driving a two-bladed propeller, with a large nose-mounted radiator. Again, its fuel tank was located between the engine and open cockpit. Unusually, the fuselage mounted both wings, the upper being attached to a hump just ahead of the pilot. Registered G-EAPX and painted red, the machine was named the Semiquaver. It was a small aeroplane: span was 20ft 2in, length 19ft 3in.

On 21 March 1920 Fred Raynham flew G-EAPX at Martlesham Heath, achieving a British speed record of 161.434mph (apparently measurements were that precise). He entered with ’APX in the 1920 Aerial Derby race, to be held on 24 July, one of 14 participating entrants. But on the competition’s eve he hurt his leg and asked his friend, Frank Courtney, if he would take his place.

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