L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
Although Henri Coanda contributed largely to the various aircraft built under the name Bristol-Coanda in England, and went on to design a series of interesting machines afterwards in France, his name is best known for his discovery of the so-called Coanda Effect in fluid dynamics. But his most advanced and the most interesting aircraft designs were his 2 first, both unsuccessful. His so-called "jet engine" was installed in his sled, which appeared in the 1910 Paris automobile show, and in his first aeroplane, which appeared in the Paris Salon of the following year. In fact, similar powerplants were in both, neither of them jet engines. He had a 30 hp 4-cylinder inline Gregoire in the sled, and a 50 hp Clerget in the aeroplane: each was fitted with a 1-stage compressor set in front, ahead of the motor; the turbine pulled in air past the motor, mixed it with hot exhaust gases, forced the mixture through the long hollow fuselage, and expelled it from the tail. No additional fuel was injected and burned. There is no record of the turbo-sled, built for the Grand Duke Cyril of Russia, ever having run. It was about 4.2 m long, cigar-shaped, with the driver at the wheel sitting in the tail end, and the same bucket-shaped front as on the aeroplane, housing the motor and the turbine blades.
Coanda claimed that with the "200 kg traction" he claimed for his power system, the aeroplane had actually taken off, but in actuality flames coming out the rear had ignited the fuselage, causing the machine to stall and crash, throwing Coanda out onto the ground with slight bruises. The incident was claimed as taking place in December, but no accident report appears in any of the European aviation journals for the entire month. Alfred Bodemer at the Musee de l'Air studied his design and concluded that compression ratio of the turbine could hardly have been more than 1:1, thus providing inadequate power for any kind of take-off.
But the structure of the aeroplane was fascinating: almost no struts or wires were used, the long upper wing and the short lower one, both plywood-covered, were supported by only 4 center-section struts that held the fuselage midway between them; the wings warped, but were otherwise unbraced. The fuselage was a ply shell with light formers and stringers to support its shape, flat on top and rounded on the sides and bottom. The pilot, sitting on top with side-mounted control wheels like the Antoinette, could draw down the trailing edge on one side to control roll, or on both sides at once, to reduce speed. The top wing had small fences below the leading edge to "canalize the air flow."
A small rectangular tailplane at a high angle of attack was set under the rear fuselage ahead of the cruciform tail, and the 4 triangular surfaces hinged to the 4 fins worked both as rudders and elevators.
(Span: 10.3 m; length: 12.7 m; wing area: 32.7 sqm; gross weight: 420 kg)
While Coanda seems to have been the first to build (but not fly!) the first reaction-propulsion full-sized aeroplane, he was not the first to propose the form of power. Rene Lorin described his aerial torpedo project of 1909-1912 in L'Aerophile in 1907-8, and again in 1909-10; Rankine Kennedy had written of it in 1909, A Budau in the same year; and as early as 1863-65 Charles de Louvrie described his Aeronave propelled by the burning of a hydrocarbon, "or, better, vaporized petroleum oil" ejected through twin tail-pipes.
Flight, October 29, 1910
IMPRESSIONS OF THE PARIS SHOW - (continued).
In the gallery, in solitary state, are shown the Fabre marine aeroplane and the Coanda monoplane. The first is well known from photographs and descriptions. It is mounted on three hollow floats, and is a sort of tandem monoplane. The wing construction and lattice-work beams are M. Fabre's patented design, and are similarly employed in the Paulhan biplane, described last week. The Coanda, a large monoplane constructed entirely of wood, has in place of the customary propeller a turbine, of remarkably small proportions in relation to the size of the machine. A much greater tractive power is claimed, with at the same time less vibration.