L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
Flight, November 2, 1912.
THE PARIS AERO SALON.
Louis BLERIOT is showing three models and his 50-h.p. Gnome single-seater, his 70-h.p. Gnome tandem two-seater, and a new model that has not yet been tried out.
This new machine is of a particularly clear design. The fuselage is of torpedo form, circular in cross section, and sufficiently wide near the front to seat pilot and passenger side by side.
The construction of the fuselage is extremely interesting. It is of the monocoque type and made on a "forme" in the same manner as a boot is made on a last. Over the "forme" paper is applied and over that pieces of sheet cork.
The whole is well glued up together, then covered with fabric and well pasted to prevent the ingress of water. The thickness when completed of this composite skin of paper, cork and fabric is roughly 6 mm. In front, where greater strength is required to withstand the Strains of the rotaiy 80-h.p., the composite skin gives way to chrome steel sheeting. A Levasseur propeller is used.
As we have already said, the chassis has undergone an entire change. The new one, as the sketch shows, is of the single skid variety, preferable because of its low head resistance. It is carried out in steel tubing and the wheels are sprung by oleo-pneumatic springs of special design. From the efficiency of a similar spring, mounted in a stand of its own for demonstration purposes, we should think that no great amount of trouble will be experienced with the suspension. Bleriot, too, has, on this machine, made use of the floating tail with hinged elevators. The rudder is shaped like a fish tail, and the levers and cables actuating both are carried inside the fuselage. There is no back skid, for the weight of the tail is carried by the rear end of the main skid. A tripod cabane above the cockpit supports the wings through strong steel cables when the machine is stationary, and, when in flight, so Bleriot has told us, it sometimes come in for a bit of top pressure. The wings are of conventional Bleriot design and span 12.25 with a chord dimension of 2 m. 25. The supporting area of this new machine is 25 sq. metres, and its weight, without oil and fuel or passengers, is 375 kilos.
The other two machines on the stand need no description, for those that follow things pretty closely in England know their main characteristics.
There is another object of interest on the stand, and that is the Bleriot aeroyacht, a light four-wheeled chassis fitted with a leg-o'-mutton sail which Bleriot primarily designed for the amusement of his family when staying at his place at Hardelot plage.