L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
Albert, Marquis de Dion, was one of the most famous names in automobile history. This tall commanding figure was associated with the small one of Georges Bouton; together they founded the famous car and motor company. In 1889, with Trepardoux, they designed and had built a rotary 4-cylinder radial motor, and later a series of more powerful inline aeromotors, more or less modeled on the air-cooled Renault: in 1918 the most powerful French engine was the experimental and unreliable 930 hp V-16 de Dion-Bouton. De Dion founded the Automobile Club de France in 1895; but also, much involved with aviation, he was one of the founders and first chairman of the Chambre Syndicale de l'Industrie Aeronautical which in turn created the Exposition de la Locomotion Aerienne, today the Le Bourget Salon International de FAir et de l'Espace. His firm designed various kites and, eventually, 2 unsuccessful aeroplanes.
The first, a multiplane built by Corneloup, was shown at the 1909 Exposition in its uncompleted form; it is likely not to have been finished. The main structure remotely resembled that of the Wright Flyer, with twin rudders at the rear, a single small tailplane, and a triplane front elevator. There were no wings as such: on each side a frame stood outward at 30° dihedral, and at the end of each frame were 4 wing segments of about 3 meters in length. 4 pusher propellers were driven at 450 rpm by a de Dion-Bouton V8 mounted at the bottom of the central structure. The top plane of the elevator warped, the other 2 were fixed. Each of the 4 wing segments on each side could be inclined left and right. The take-off wheels were to be raised in flight, and skids were to be used on landing.
(Full span: 12 m; length; 9 m; total wing area: 62 sqm; front elevator span: 3 m; gross weight: 700 kg; 100 hp de Dion-Bouton V8)
Flight, October 23, 1909
FLYER SILHOUETTES FROM THE PARIS SALON.
Multiple-decked flyer defined by the makers as a "dix plan." In reality it properly belongs to the category of "five-deckers," since on either side of the centre body there are but five tiers of supporting surfaces. Each half deck, that is to say, each surface element on either side of the machine, is independently mounted on a longitudinal hinge, so that it can tilt out of the horizontal. All the decks are connected together, so that this tilting is reproduced simultaneously throughout, but in its present state the machine is unfinished in respect to the controlling mechanism. The object of thus pivoting the decks is to provide a means of balancing the machine by altering the "projected area" of the surfaces on either side. The air pressure on a plane is normal to its leading edge, and if the leading edge is not horizontal the vertical component of the pressure is reduced below the maximum. Normally, all the leading edges are horizontal, but this condition is disturbed in the event of loss of equilibrium, and the object of the De Dion system is to provide a means of maintaining the balance by the application of this principle, which is analogous to that of the dihedral angle in the Antoinette monoplane and to the description of which we would refer our readers for further reference to the subject.
Four chain-driven propellers are fitted. In front of the machine is a biplane elevator, while behind is a biplane rudder intersected by a horizontal fixed tail. The construction of the elevator outrigger resembles the Wright design.
Dimensions.-Span, 12 metres; supporting surface, 54.2 sq. metres; area of supplementary surfaces, 8 sq. metres; elevator span, 3 metres; chord, 0.7 metre; tail span, 2.6 metres; chord, 0.7 metre. Engine, 100-h.p. 8-cyl. De Dion. Propellers, four, two-bladed, wood, chain-driven at 450 r.p.m.