In 1912 the boatbuilders J.Samuel White and Co,started building aircraft at Cowes.Their first aircraft, the Samuel White Navyplane(drawing above), was a "high-powered hydro-biplane" built to a design by Mr Howard T Wright who was in charge of the newly formed Aviation department at J S Whites. The aircraft , which was built in the "Gridiron Shed" on the banks of the Medina at East Cowes was shown in partly assembled form at the Aviation Show at Olympia in February 1913.Test flying was carried out during the summer of 1913 by Mr Gordon England.The upper picture below shows the machine in flight near Cowes on 23rd August 1913and the lower picture shows the aircraft being hoisted on board an unknown vessel.
The Gridiron Shed still survives at Grid Ref SZ 501956.Shortly after this, company moved its aircraft building activities to West Cowes and started building landplanes in addition to the seaplanes already being produced.The landplanes were initially flown from a field at Three Gate Cottages,Northwood,but in 1916 Whites purchased the land at Somerton which became Somerton Airfield .A factory was set up on the east side of the Cowes-Newport road and aircraft manufacture continued until the end of WW1.With the war ended ,Whites ceased aircraft production on 21/1/19 and closed their aircraft department completely six months later.
However , as may be seen in the advert below, the company returned to the aviation world in the 1930s as a component manufacturer.
Listed below are known details of J Samuel White's production.If you can add to ,or correct this list pleasecontact me.
128 &129 Wight Pusher Seaplane 155 Wight Pusher Seaplane 171to 177 Wight Pusher Seaplane 187 Wight Twin Seaplane 831 to 840 Wight 840 884 Wight(type unknown) 893 to 895 Wight Pusher Seaplane 1000 Wight AD1000 1300 to 1319 Wight(cancelled order) Possibly only 1306 delivered) 1351 to 1354 Wight 840 1355 to 1361 Admiralty AD1000(only 1355 & 1358 built) 1450 &1451 Wight Twin Seaplane 8321 &8322 Wight Trainer Seaplane 9097 &9098 Wight Baby Seaplane 9100 Wight Baby 9841 to 9860 Wight Seaplane(9841 to 9850 completed as landplanes) N14 Wight N1B Triplane N501 Wight Landplane N546 Wight Quadruplane...image below.
N1240 to N1259 Short 184...image below N1280 to N1289 Wight Converted Seaplane N2180 to N2199 Wight Seaplane(2195 to 2199 not deliverd) N2950 to N2999 Short 184 N9100 to N9139 Short 184 N9400 to N9449 Short 184(Cancelled)