L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
Flight, December 30, 1911.
PARIS AERO SHOW.
ROGER SOMMER was represented at the Salon by two machines, a monoplane and a biplane, the latter constructed throughout of steel. The biplane should really be termed a double monoplane, for the cellular method of bracing the main planes has disappeared in favour of the system originated by Breguet. Balancing laterally is effected by the rotation around the front spar, of the extensions of the top plane. Its chassis, supported by six steel tubes, is composed of a pair of wheels mounted on a common axle, which latter is flexibly attached by means of stout rubber bands to the short steel tubes uniting the steel chassis struts. One peculiarity about this landing gear, which is directly descended from the original Henry Farman conception, is that the radius rods have disappeared. Elevation and depression of the machine is controlled by a small monoplane surface, measuring about 2 ft. span by 1 ft. chord, supported on steel outriggers about 8 ft. in advance of the main plane, which surface works in conjunction with a flap hinged to the rear of the lifting tail. Its diminutive size makes one wonder if this surface is of any use at all as an elevator, and the only apparent advantage of the system is that the outriggers form a good point from which to brace the main planes against drift strains.
The main planes, which are double-surfaced with leaf-green fabric, for the purpose of rendering them invisible when close to the ground, are tested before they leave the works to withstand a strain of four times that they are ever likely to be called upon to bear in normal flight.
Principal dimensions, &c. :-
Length 22 ft.
Span 29 ft.
Area 176 sq. ft.
Weight 575 lbs.
Speed 65 m.p.h.
Motor 50-h.p. Gnome
Flight, November 16, 1912.
THE PARIS AERO SALON.
SOMMER is showing two machines - a 75-h.p. Renault engine biplane and a 50-h.p. Gnome-engine monoplane. In neither case, we regret to say, do the machines show any advance on the types that were shown twelve months ago. For the biplane, a good deal of steel is used in its construction, although not nearly to the same extent as was evident in the extremely neat and promising biplane with the single lank of struts between the planes, that Sommer exhibited on his stand last year. The skeletons of the main planes, the tail and the front elevator, and the strutting of the cellule are of wood. The tail outriggers, elevator outriggers and chassis are of steel tubing. Sommer has abandoned his original idea of mounting his pair of landing wheels on a long common axle. In his new form of chassis each wheel is sprung from a pair of supports in such a manner that if the machine landed in any sort of a side wind, they could do nothing but collapse. From one of each pair of supports on either side of the machine, long curved tubular skids extend forward to meet the front elevator. They, too, seem of little use, for the steel tube must be insufficiently solid to avoid a smash should the machine land nose down, a contingency for which skids of this type were originally designed.
The main novelty in the monoplane is a new system of control whereby the surface that ordinarily constitutes the fixed lifting tail, may be varied in attitude according to the degree of deflection that the rear elevating flaps are given. From the diagrammatic sketch we print can be gathered an idea of how this movement is effected. Presumably the object of this system is to provide a more powerful control, and we can but remark that, if this is indeed the case, the designer could have achieved his object without resorting to such complicated means.