L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
No 3. named Aeral, was a good copy of the Curtiss pusher of the period. The monoplane front elevator was set as high as the top wing; both wings had trailing triangular ailerons covered with the same flap of fabric that covered the wings themselves. Pierre Levasseur, much later the builder of the Nungesser and Coli Oiseau Blanc, saw the Fernandez at the 1909 Paris Exposition and bought the manufacturing rights; Francois Denhaut got his license in one of these in 1911.
(Span: 9.55 m; length: 9.2 m; wing area: 24 sqm; top speed (reported but highly unlikely): 100 kmh; 42 hp water-cooled ENV)
On 6 December 1909, Fernandez took off in No 3 even though an elevator cable was damaged. The mechanic, Fighiera, wanted to take time to repair it, but Fernandez, in a hurry, repaired it with his handkerchief. After some satisfactory flying, the aircraft dived into the ground, and Fernandez became the third aircraft casualty in France, after Lefebvre and Ferber.
Flight, October 30, 1909
FLYER SILHOUETTES FROM THE PARIS SALON.
Small biplane, designed to have a similar appearance to the American-built Curtiss flyer; its construction is, however, less convincing. Bamboo is used extensively in the outrigger framework, but elsewhere the spars are wood. The decks are double surfaced, and the trailing extremities of the planes are arranged to warp for balancing purposes, a point of difference between this flyer and the Curtiss, which has independent balancing planes.
The control levers are peculiarly arranged, but their operation will be obvious from the accompanying sketch. In front of the pilot is a pivoted vertical post, on which are pivoted two adjacent crossbars. Rocking the post to and fro operates the elevator; tilting the cross-bars, separately or together, as may be necessary, warps the decks and operates the rudder.
It is noticeable that the pilot's seat is well to the fore of the decks. The engine is arranged to drive a single propeller through a vertical chain.
The supplementary surfaces include a monoplane elevator in front and a rudder behind. An interesting constructional feature, well illustrated by the accompanying photograph, is the three-wheeled chassis.