Champel No. 4
L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
The wealthy amateur pilot Florentin Champel started flying in 1909, when he began flying his Voisin at Sartrouville, a north-western suburb of Paris. He subsequently flew Henry Farmans; one of his machines was equipped with the automatic stabilizer of Bronislawski's, without ailerons. These aircraft were most of the time reported as "Champel biplanes," not "Champels."
But early in 1912 a Champel appeared which did not resemble a genuine Henry Farman. The vertical legs of the undercarriage sloped forward, and there were nose and tail elevators and 2 rudders with rounded leading edges. The engine was an air-cooled V Renault; the passenger sat on the lower wing leading edge with the pilot sitting on a seat overhung in front of him. Behind the passenger the Renault fuel tank was square and flat like a radiator; the upper wing was fitted with ailerons.
In the summer of 1912 appeared a new biplane, perhaps Champel No 4, featuring a shorter 4-blade pusher propeller, longer tail booms, a single large trapezoidal tailplane with 2 rudders below it, and both seats enclosed in a streamlined fabric-covered fairing. The wings may have been the same ones used on No 1. The landing gear was no longer based on the Farman. This machine is reported to have carried 852 passengers in 1912.
(Span: (upper) 16.6 m; (lower) 11.6 m; chord: 1.65 to 1.75 m; wing area: 42 sqm; empty weight: 500 kg; gross weight: 700 kg)
Champel's No 5 - perhaps a modification of No 4 with a shorter, fuller nacelle - appeared at the end of 1912 and was tested in mid-January at the Camps de Cercottes, near Orleans, and achieved a world record on 15 April, carrying 5 people including pilot Champel a distance of 250 m in 3 hr 1 min.
(Span: 12 m; 100 hp 12-cylinder Anzani)
Flight, April 19, 1913.
New Passenger Records.
AT Orleans, on Tuesday, Champel, on his enormous biplane, which has a 10-cyl. Anzani motor, beat the world's passenger records up to 250 kils., and set up a new duration record for pilot and four passengers of 3 hrs. 1 min. The new time records are 30 mins., 40 kils.; 1 hr., 82 kils.; 1 1/2 hrs., 122 kils.; 2 hrs., 165 kils; 2 1/2 hrs., 208 kils.; 3 hrs., 249 kils. The new speed records are: 50 kils. in 36 m. 31 s.; 100 kils, 1 h. 13 m. 1 s.; 150 kils., 1 hr. 49 m. 11 s.; 200 kils., 2 h. 29 m. 2 s.; 250 kils., 3 h. 1 m. The new distance record is 250 kils. All these are world's passenger records for pilot and four passengers.
Also, on Tuesday, but at Crotoy, Marty, on a Caudron biplane, fitted with a 10-cyl. 100-h.p. Anzani, beat the height records for pilot and three and pilot and four passengers. The former he raised to 1,800 metres, during a trip of 35 mins., beating Chevillard's old record of 1,350 metres, made on a Henry Farman last February. In a second flight of 35 mins. duration, he took four passengers up to 1,450 metres, beating Gougenheim's record of 1,120 metres, also made on a H. Farman last February.