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Sperry Messenger M-1 / Verville-Sperry




Designed at McCook Field by Alfred Verville of the Engineering Division, U.S. Air Service, and called also Verville-Sperry, the Sperry Messenger M-1. 
Sperry M-1
The Messenger M-1 open cockpit biplane was powered by a 60hp Lawrance L-4S and, later, L-3 (as Wright Gale) engine and had ailerons on all wings.
Sperry M-1
First flown on 1 November 1920 (piloted by John A Macready) from 1921 tiny Messenger single-seat biplane was in production as an Army liaison and utility aircraft. Alfred V. Verville is best known for his later Verville-Packard and Verville-Sperry racing aircraft of the early 1920s.
Twenty-two were built as military M-1, and twenty as M-1A (AS64223-64227, AS68472-68477, and AS68528-68533), plus 1 civil sport version that failed to spark any public interest, and the idea was never pursued.
Sperry M-1A
Of the first twelve, eight were modified as remote-control flying bombs with the designation MAT ("Messenger Aerial Torpedo").
With a hook mounted above the upper wing, Messenger AS68533 piloted by Lt Rex K Stoner "landed" on a trapeze suspended from the D-3 Army Air Service airship in the first successful contact between an airplane and an airship while in flight, on 18 September 1923, over Langley Field VA.
Sperry M-1A AS-68533 with hookup trapeze
Sperry lost his life on 13 December 1923, crashing in the English Channel while demonstrating this plane, which was later rebuilt and modified by Clarence Chamberlin in 1928 for use in demonstrations to publicize lightplane aviation.
Sperry M-1A
Aeromarine modified a Sperry Messenger with an experimental variable-camber in 1924.
Several ex-military aircraft appeared later in civil roles, as well.
M-1 Messenger, M-1A, MAT
Engine: 60hp Lawrance L-4S, later, L-3 (as Wright Gale)
Wingspan: 20'0"
Length: 17'9"
Max speed: 97 mph
Cruise: 80 mph
Stall: 37 mph
Ceiling: 13,400 ft
Seats: 2













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