L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
Type U.2 No 87: The first Breguet seaplane appeared in 1912, similar to U.2 No 45, except that the lower wings had been replaced with panels identical to the upper wings; the 2-bay cell now had proper 2-bay bracing. The arrangement was soon abandoned. After this machine, seaplanes received the additional prefix H for Hydroaeroplane, at first with a number to indicate the number of floats. This latter was soon abandoned.
(Span: 14 m; length: 11 m; wing area: 40 sqm; weight: 700 kg; 9-cylinder Canton-Unne)
Type G.4 No 147: This handsome 2-bay 2-spar seaplane - it also flew as a landplane - competed in the 1914 meet at Monaco, its rudder painted with the number 21. It had a central float, 2 side floats and a tail float. Ailerons were fitted in all 4 wing panels. In 1912 the Breguet Aeroplane Limited firm was established in England and built some 7 different designs, more or less similar to the 1912-1913 French Breguets, but differing slightly in such items as engine mounts and fuselage coverings.
Flight, December 13, 1913.
THE STANDS AT THE PARIS AERO SHOW.
The Breguet firm are showing on their stand one complete hydro-aeroplane with a large central float and two smaller ones situated about half-way along the main planes. Between the two front members of the chassis is mounted a strong headlight which derives its current from a "Radios" dynamo. In addition is shown a fuselage which has been left uncovered for the purpose of showing the new construction, which appears to be a great improvement on that employed in earlier machines. A wireless transmitting apparatus is fitted in front of the observer's seat, where is mounted on a small writing desk the telegraph key and a writing pad. One is inclined to think that the use of the latter would be somewhat hampered by the vibration of the machine when in flight, as the table is not sprung in any way.
Flight, December 27, 1913.
THE PARIS AERO SALON - 1913.
The first impression one receives of the Breguet hydro-biplane exhibited is one of strength and power, and a closer inspection confirms the correctness of this impression. In its general lines this machine resembles the previous Breguet hydros., but an examination of the constructional details soon reveals numerous improvements which should almost totally rectify most of the points that met with adverse criticism in earlier machines of this make.
The fuselage, which is still built of steel practically throughout, is constructed on a quite different and greatly improved principle. It will be remembered that in the earlier machines the rear portion of the fuselage consisted of a single steel tube stiffened with wire bracing which, whilst probably perfectly safe as far as bending stresses are concerned, could not be all that was to be desired for torsional strains. In the present machine this single tube has been supplanted by four thinner steel tubes forming a girder in the more orthodox way with struts and cross members and diagonal wire bracing. On this steel structure are mounted wooden distance pieces connected by longitudinal stringers, which gives the fuselage its streamlined form, the whole being afterwards covered with fabric. The two seats are arranged tandem fashion, the pilot occupying the front one. In front of him are the controls which consist of a rotatable handwheel for steering and elevation and descent. A foot-bar actuates the ailerons, with which one is pleased to note that this machine is fitted. Another improvement has been effected in the wing construction, as the flexible mounting of the ribs on the tubular spars has been discarded. One cannot help wondering, however, why M. Breguet does not go a step further and employ two rows of struts, which method of construction would increase the strength immensely and more than compensate for the extra weight and head resistance of a few extra struts. However, a diagram displayed on the stand shows a loading test, which appears to have proved that the new wing construction possesses ample strength for any practical purpose.
The machine is supported on the water by a big central float and two smaller ones under the first pair of inter-plane struts. The centre float is attached to the fuselage by four steel tubes, of which the rear pair have coil springs introduced in them, while the front pair forms a swivelling joint with the float, thus providing springing of the rear portion of the main float. A small tail float protects the tail planes against contact with the water. The engine - a 130 h.p. Salmson radial water-cooled motor - is mounted in the nose of the fuselage on steel bearers, which are further strengthened by two tubes running up to the upper ends of the two inner plane struts. The radiator, which has been given a shape resembling that of a wing section, is mounted in the place usually occupied by the centre part of the upper plane, a position which ought to combine the advantages of little head resistance and effective cooling.
In order to facilitate alighting in the dark, a strong headlight has been fitted on a transverse tube between the two front chassis struts. The current for this headlight is furnished by a "Radios" dynamo.
The tail planes are of the usual Breguet cruciform type, and are attached to the fuselage by means of a universal joint. A very large tail fin runs along the top of the fuselage from the passenger's seat back to the tail. The object of this fin, which is not fitted on the land machines, is, no doubt, to balance the considerable side area of the central float. The front portion of the fuselage is covered with aluminium, which is fitted very nicely round the engine cylinders, of which only the upper part projects outside the aluminium.
The rear part of the fuselage is covered in the usual way with fabric applied to the longitudinal stringers which give the fuselage the streamline form.
The uncovered fuselage shown is of a similar construction to that of the hydro., and is interesting chiefly on account of the wireless apparatus with which it is fitted. The key of the transmitter is mounted on a small table in front of the observer, and the practical demonstration of the wireless given at the Show never fails to attract a great crowd of interested onlookers, as the hissing of the sparks can be heard distinctly to the farthest corner of the Grand Palais. The wireless installation has been carried out by the Societe Francaise Radio-Electrique. The output of the transmitter is 750 watts, and the frequency is 1,500 periods. It has a range of 200 kiloms., and the total weight is 47 kilogs.
The workmanship in the complete machine as well as in the skeleton fuselage is very good, although no attempt has been made to provide a highly polished "show finish."