• Review: Thomas Morse Scout By Flysimware

    1918 S-4 Thomas Morse Scout
    Publisher: Flysimware
    Review Author:
    Bill Stack
    Suggested Price:
    $19.99
    Buy Here
    Thomas-Morse Scout by Flysimware
    Thomas-Morse Scout by Flysimware Thomas-Morse Scout by Flysimware Thomas-Morse Scout by Flysimware

    Screen shots by Flysimware

    The Thomas-Morse S-4 Scout was the most popular of biplanes flown by the United State during World War I. Designed and built by the Thomas-Morse Corporation in 1917, this single-seater biplane was powered by a 100 horsepower Gnome Monosoupape 9-B rotary engine. The wings were made of wire-braced wood frame covered in fabric, and the fuselage was a wire-braced wooden box. The United States bought more than 200 modified versions of the original prototype, including seaplane models. It was commonly used as a trainer.

    The rotary engine spun around a spindle, the propeller blades were attached to this rotating engine, and there was no carburetor or throttle. It required a multi-step startup procedure, and airspeed was controlled by literally cutting electrical power to the engine to stop and restart it. More information about rotary engines can be found at Fantasy of Flight.

    Aircraft remaining after World War I were surplused to civilians, and many were flown throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Some are still flying today, and several are displayed in aviation museums. It is also a popular model among radio-control enthusiasts.

    The "Tommy," as it was affectionately called, has no equal among stock FSX aircraft. It's slightly heavier than the Piper Cub (1,354 LBS versus 1,220 LBS) and about one-tenth faster (97 MPH versus 87 MPH).

    Aircraft Specifications
    Specification Thomas-Morse Scout
    Occupants 1
    Maximum Take-off Weight2 1,373 LBS
    623 KG
    Empty Weight2 966 LBS
    438 KG
    Useful Load3 407 LBS
    185 KG
    Fuel Capacity 2 27 USG
    102 L
    Maximum Speed 97 MPH
    156 KPH
    Cruising Speed 80 MPH
    129 KPH
    Ceiling 15,000 FT
    4,575 M
    Endurance 2.5 HRS
    Range3 243 NM
    450 KM
    Length 20 FT
    6 M
    Wing Span 26.6 FT
    8 M
    Power 2 160 HP
    Sources: Flysimware unless otherwise noted, 2) Aviation History 3) Calculated

    Specifications and performance data vary widely. As examples: Wikipedia says the S-4B models were powered by a 110 horsepower Gnome engine, and Aviation History says the S-4B was powered by a 100-HP Gnome engine. Flysimware says both aircraft are powered by a 160-HP Gnome engine. Flysimware shows maximum speed of 90 MPH in its aircraft configuration file and 97 MPH in its reference sheet. Flysimware shows gross weight as 1,373 pounds in its configuration file and Fuel/Payload menu, and Aviation History shows gross weight as 1,354 pounds. I used Flysimware's data first and filled in from other sources.


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