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Dorand biplane

Страна: Франция

Год: 1914

Dorand - Do.1 - 1913 - Франция<– –>Dorand - AR.1/AR.2 - 1916 - Франция

Форум Breguet's Aircraft Challenge

You are right, the Dorand affair is not clear at all. I am sure that things are confusing because Dorand was a military and not a company.

As the head of Chalais-Meudon technical services (STAe) , his job was testing new technics, ideas etc for the Army.

His first effort, pictured by Crimso, was more a kind of motorized kite than an airplane. No control surfaces, it was steered by the propeller

I don't know anything about the 1911 biplane

In 1913, General Bernard, chef des services aeronautiques militaires requested that all military aircrafts should be armoured, except trainers. There was 4 classes :
1- single seat, cavalry and short range reconnaissance
2- 2 seater for HQ reconnaissances
3- 2 seater with armament for fighting EAs and dirigibles
4- heavy multi-seater, long range, "missions speciales" (bombers? spyplanes? )
I suppose that the STAe designed prototypes for these categories : Do1 for class 2, the only type built in (small) quantity, and the ones pictured in Flight for classes 3 and 4. All these planes were built by Letord, located at Meudon.
There is no doubt that the Do1s were officially named Dorands : they were marked Do1 n° X on their tail and they served in escadrille DO22

The next STAe design, the AR, was not officially a Dorand, even if this name was widely used by front-line units. Actually it had no official name at all, just AR... Notice that the units using it where designated AR32, AR203... not DO32 etc...

According to Albert Eteve (in La victoire des cocardes, 1970), the AR acronym is for Avant (front) Renault : the new design was to have an engine in the front fuselage, as the Farman pushers could not be protected against rear attacks; and Renault because it would use the large stock of Renault V8 engines.
I tend to favor this explaination of AR origin because Eteve had a high rank in the STAe. Also the very fact that several theories were emitted about AR meaning proves that the signification of this acronym was never publicized, maybe it was just a STAe internal reference.
French companies were very bitter because this mediocre "official" aircraft was ordered in very large numbers even before its first flight. Eteve says that AR was produced because Farman was relucant to give up production of its obsolete F40 types. However, in the "french aircrafts" book, one can find half a dozen of Farman tractor prototypes...

The following STAe design, a replacement for twin engine Caudron R4s, was camouflaged as... Letord!

Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
FRENCH ARMOURED BIPLANE BUILT AT CHALAIS-MEUDON. - This new product of the French military aircraft factory has a tractor type fuselage, but is a propeller biplane having two 160 h.p. Gnome engines mounted in streamline casings in the manner shown in the accompanying photograph, and each driving a separate propeller. The font portion of the fuselage is armoured with 3 mm. thick steel plates, and a Hotchkiss machine gun is mounted in the extreme nose of the fuselage, a position which provides a very wide angle of action.
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
Dorand biplane armoured interceptor (80 hp le rhone engines)
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
French military biplane designed and constructed at the military aircraft factory at Chalais-Meudon. - This machine is characterised by a very long and narrow fuselage, which carries at its rear end a biplane type elevator. The engine is a 200 h.p. horizontal Salmson (Canton-Unne system) driving through bevel reduction gearing a single tractor screw situated in front of the main planes and above the nose of the fuselage. Several seats are provided, and the machine is fitted with a complete set of instruments for wireless telegraphy.
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.