L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
Flight, January 6, 1912.
PARIS AERO SHOW.
THE exhibit on this stand consisted of four monoplanes, a school type, a military two-seater, a racing type, and an uncompleted all-steel monoplane. Both the little Anzani-engined school type machine, and the 70-h.p. military are identical as far as their general outline is concerned, the only difference in the two models being the slightly increased size of the more powerful machine. The fuselage in both cases is of the customary box-girder type, being fairly deep in the neighbourhood of the pilot's seat and tapering off from that point towards the tail where its termination may be represented by a horizontal line. In the case of the two-seater machine the 70-h.p. Gnome engine with which it is equipped is almost totally enclosed in a large oil-shield, an idea of which may be gained from the accompanying sketch. This feature is naturally omitted in the school machine, as this is fitted with a stationary air-cooled engine for the proper operation of which a maximum volume of air-cooling draught is imperative. Both are equipped with a Henry Farman type of landing gear, the only difference being that the skids, not being up-turned in front, are apparently not intended to come into action when landing, and the wheels are mounted in a slightly different manner. The fuel tanks are arranged under the steel wind-screen, which latter is heavily padded along its rear edge in order to prevent any personal damage to the pilot should he be thrown forward from his seat as the result of a heavy landing. The main body is covered in throughout its whole length to reduce head-resistance.
In its main characteristics the Morane-Saulnier racer is identical with the two machines already described, its only difference lying in the design of its under-carriage. This latter being entirely constructed of oval section steel tubing, to which are attached the two landing-wheels. As no attempt has been made to endow the chassis with any degree of flexibility, it is doubtful whether it will prove successful under the pilotage of any but the most expert pilots at landing, and even then the ground would have to be of an almost billiard-table-like surface. The wings, in plan form, are similar to those on the Borel machine, and they are stayed by means of stranded steel cable to the middle point of the chassis. Control of the wing warping and the rear elevator is maintained from a vertical universally-jointed lever, of which the action is identical with the Bleriot cloche.
The fuselage of the all-steel war monoplane, which is exhibited in an uncompleted stage, is of torpedo form and constructed throughout of sheet steel. From its blunt nose, which is ventilated, and which encloses the motor, to a point to the rear of the pilot's seat, this steel body is of circular section, but from that point to the tail it flattens out horizontally. Even the skeletons of the wings and the rear controlling surfaces are carried out very cleverly in metal.
Principal dimensions, &c.
Length 20 ft.
Span 30 ,,
Area 154 sq. ft.
Weight 575 lbs.
Speed 55 m.p.h.
Motor 35-h p. Anzani.
Length 20 ft.
Span 30 ,,
Area 120 sq. ft.
Weight 630 lbs.
Speed 75 m.p.h.
Motor 50-h.p. Gnome.
Length 20 ft.
Span 30 ,,
Area 154 sq. ft.
Weight 686 lbs.
Speed 54 m.p.h.
Motor 50-h.p. Gnome.
Flight, February 3, 1912.
THE MORANE-SAULNIER RACING MONOPLANE.
IT is a common opinion among those who had the good fortune to attend the last Aviation Salon in Paris, that the Morane-Saulnier stand was showing machines above the ordinary. In all four types exhibited - a school machine, a two-seater military monoplane, a racer, and a veritable monoplane man-o'-war - were incorporated very excellent and very practical ideas, more especially in the latter two.
So short a time elapsed between the separation of Messieurs Leon Morane and R. Saulnier from the Borel firm and the production of their first machine, the one at present under review, that we must confess we were most agreeably surprised, when this racer was first tested at Villacoublay, to see Vedrines, without any preliminary tuning-up process, take the machine up to over 1,000ft., and fly for 20 mins. at the extraordinary speed of 78 m.p.h., this with a motor of only 50 h.p.
Identical with the endeavours of almost every constructor at the present time, the chief aim of the designer has been the minimisation of head-resistance, an all-important point when high speeds are to be considered. The main body, enclosed throughout its complete length by a covering of fabric, possesses a fairly accurate stream-line form, and is deep enough in the front to accommodate the pilot so that his head alone protrudes above the cockpit, his body being protected from that rush of air which would otherwise have such an adverse effect on his own personal comfort and on the facility of the machine to cleave the air with a minimum of disturbance.
As regards the motor, a Gnome of 50 h.p., the same point has received consideration, and by means of a roughly stream-line casing, which also forms a shield to prevent any lubricating oil and exhaust products being thrown off in the direction of the pilot, much of the resistance presented to forward advance by the rapidly-revolving motor has been avoided, not, as some might imagine, at the expense of efficient cooling.
The motor is mounted port-a-faux, that is, it protrudes from the front of the main body, and is not supported on both sides of the crank-case.
Almost revolutionary is the design of the landing-gear, as, in order to obtain the simplest and strongest arrangement possible, means for shock absorbing, other than that provided by the resilience of the pneumatic tyres with which the wheels are shod, have been excluded from the scheme. One of our photographs well illustrates how this section is constructed from hollow-steel tubing of oval section. If the machine had not originally been devised for the use of experts only, we should have held that the omission of any shock-absorbing device was simply courting trouble. Even with an "expert" at the lever, we can quite imagine wheels buckling, and perhaps tubes bending, if a landing is tried on any but the most smooth of surfaces.
In plan form the wings are almost analogous to a blade of a Chauviere propeller; the entering-edge is shorter than the trailing-edge. It is claimed that the strain felt at the tips is in a great measure reduced by this design, and also that it is possible by this means to obtain a more powerful warp for correcting balance.
The tail is reminiscent of a cross-Channel Bleriot, a fixed monoplane surface playing the part of stabilizer, while rotatable ailerons on either side govern the attitude of the machine. A balanced rudder, operated from the pilot's seat by a pivoted foot-bar, effects the lateral steering. Control over the machine is maintained from a Bleriot-type central lever.
Flight, November 2, 1912.
THE PARIS AERO SALON.
THERE are three models shown. Two of them are two-seaters, and one has an 80-h.p. Gnome installed and the other a 70-h.p. Renault. The third monoplane is a single-seater scouting machine fitted with the ever popular 50-h.p. Gnome. In main outline all three are the same and not a great deal different from the single-seater model, with a rigid chassis that was shown last year. There the past year, the necessity of fitting some form of springing to the wheels, although, perhaps, they might have got over their difficulty quite well by merely fitting pneumatic tyres of such greater diameter than these on last year's rigid chassis. In detail the two-seaters are a great improvement on those shown twelve months back. For instance, the observer on the 80-h. p. Gnome machine has a most complete view both below him, through a hole in the floor, and on either side through windows of triplex glass. In the machine exhibited dummies occupy the pilot's and passengers' seats. The front dummy, supposedly the observer, is posed with a rifle.
Let us briefly run through the main features. The fuselage is a box girder flattening to a horizontal line at the rear which is the axis on which the elevators turn. On the two-seaters there is no fixed stabilizer surface - simply balanced elevators. That part of the machine is kept clear of the ground by a neat little tail skid. There is no change as regards the wings, they retain the notion of having the trailing longer than the leading edge. An improvement in the 80 Gnome 'bus is that the passenger has before him a starting handle so that the machine may be got going without his leaving his seat. He'll probably have to get out once or twice to inject petrol, unless he has a mechanic to do it and then the mechanic might as well, while he were about it, give him a "turn over." Still, at times the starting handle will come in quite useful.