Perry, Beadle & Co.
Evelyn Walter Copeland Perry was born the 4th of December
1890 at 5, Manchester Square, London, the only son of Walter Copland Perry and Evelyn Emma Stopford. He was educated at St.
Davids, Reigate, followed by Ripton and Trinity College, Cambridge.
On leaving university, in February 1911 he
joined the Royal Aircraft Factory (then still known as the Army Balloon Factory). He gained his Royal Aero Club Certificate (No. 130) on 12th September that
year at Hendon flying a Valkyrie, following which Perry carried out a considerable amount of flying of machines built by the
R.A.F, including testing the HRE.1 hydro-biplane on Fleet Pond. On leaving in 1912, he joined Sopwith at Brooklands where, in July/August 1912, he instructed Major H.M. Trenchard to fly, but soon left to join A.V. Roe, in October ferrying an Avro biplane to Portugal which had been sold to the Portuguese Government.
1911, Francis Percy Hyde Beadle had also joined the staff of the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough where he met Copeland Perry. Sometime before, Beadle
had designed and built his first aeroplane in Southampton, most probably a monoplane, of monocoque construction and powered
by a small three cylinder engine. On Perry’s return to England from Lisbon, and having inherited money following his
father’s death in December the previous year, he re-acquainted with Beadle and they joined in building a small tractor
biplane in 1913 with a 45 h.p. engine, which was flown from Beaulieu with some success, reportedly reaching as far as Cowes
on the Isle of Wight. The two then set up Perry, Beadle & Company, with works at Gould Road, Twickenham,
but by now, Perry was less actively involved, having enlisted on 21 March 1913, gazetted as a Second Lieutenant, Royal Flying
Corps (Special Reserve) and gaining his certificate as a First Class Pilot on 13th August the same year.
On the 24th February 1914, Perry and Beadle submitted a patent ‘Improvements in Vessels adapted to be used as Hydroaeroplanes
or as Hydroplanes’, the design incorporating this patent resulting in the Perry-Beadle flying boat, first
publicly displayed, incomplete, at the 1914 Olympia Exhibition. Use was made of Saunders' facilities at the Columbine yard for assembly of the Perry-Beadle flying boat and this was
recorded by the visiting impressment officer as a potential machine for service use, at that time fitted with a 90 HP Curtiss
engine instead of the original ENV. The Perry-Beadle was taken to the Eastbourne Aviation Company (taken over by the R.N.A.S at the outbreak of war) in August 1914, but following the death of Perry went to the Lakes Flying Company (subsequently the Northern Aircraft Company) premises on Lake Windermere for testing which was continued to July 1915, but
without success. Proved to be impractical, the machine was discarded and broken up soon after at Borwicks boatyard where it
had remained in storage.
Meanwhile, in May 1914, the next Perry-Beadle design, the T2 tractor biplane arrived
at Brooklands for testing and was first flown by Perry on 26 June. This machine was taken over by the R.N.A.S on the outbreak
of war, as No. 1322. However, by July 1914 the partners had separated, the company continuing on for a short while as the
Perry Aviation Company. With the outbreak of war, and now attached to No 3 Squadron, Perry flew from Netheravon
to Amiens, arriving here on 13th of August. No sooner had he arrived than, along with Herbert Edward Parfitt, he was killed
on 16th of August in the crash of the BE.8 No. 625, the first British Officer killed on active service in France.
With Beadle having left and Perry dead, the Perry Aviation Company wound up later in the year.
- Aeroplane Monthly,
- From Sea to Air - The Heritage of Sam Saunders, Albert E.Tagg and Raymond L. Wheeler (Crossprint,
- British Aircraft Before The Great War, Michael H. Goodall and Albert E. Tagg (Schiffer Publishing
- De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, via Ancestry.co.uk
1S, 1E (monoplane?)
|| T.1 || || || 1913
|| Proto || 1
|| 1S, 1E biplane || 2
| || T.2
|| 1914 || || Proto
|| 1 || 1S,
1E biplane || 2,3,5 |
| || B.3 || || || 1914 ||
|| Pro(n) || 1
|| 2S, 1E flying boat || 2,3,4 |
|| P.6 || || || 1914
|| Proj || 0 || 3S, 1E reconnaissance biplane || 2
- Aeroplane Monthly
- British Aircraft Before The Great War, Michael H. Goodall and Albert E. Tagg (Schiffer
Publishing Ltd., 2001)
- British Aircraft 1809-1914, Peter Lewis (Putnam, 1962)
Pictorial Dec 1987
- Royal Navy Aircraft Serials and Units, 1911-1919, Ray Sturtivant and Gordon Page
(Air-Britain Publications, 1992)
- With the designation of the projected
three-seat reconnaissance biplane as P.6, it may be inferred that there may have been P.4 and P.5 projects.
Beadle Monoplane - One aircraft only, unregistered.
T.1 - One aircraft only, unregistered.
T.2 - One aircraft only, unregistered. By December 1914 impressed by the R.N.A.S.
under contract C.P.62775/14 as '1322'
B.3 - One aircraft only, unregistered; not successfully flown.
Total Beadle / Perry-Beadle Production 4