L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
Louis-Pierre Mouillard was born in Lyon in 1835, and early became interested in flight, especially bird-flight: he began weighing and measuring birds. His actual experiments and patents in the course of his life amounted to very little, but his big book L 'Empire de I 'Air, published in 1881 and republished in their Annual Report by the Smithsonian Institution in 1893 as The Empire of the Air, was widely read, and served to focus attention on the need to understand gliding and soaring before undertaking powered flight.
He built his first glider in 1856 in Lyon, but it was too weak, and he abandoned it. Moving later to Algeria, he built 2 more: the last one weighed 72.6 kg, and consisted of monoplane wings made of thin wood stiffened by aloe ribs, with the pilot standing in an opening cut between them. The wings were hinged upwards, and at the conclusion of his first hop (unexpected), which covered some 45 meters, he fell, breaking the glider. Rebuilt, it flew once more, but in a gust the wings folded up on him. and he sprained his shoulder. He moved to Cairo in 1865. where in 1878 he began his 4th glider, a monoplane with a fan-shaped tail, adjustable sweep-back and what looked like ailerons but were in fact differential air-brakes to slow down one wing or the other for turn control.
In 1891 Octave Chanute got in touch with Mouillard, and offered to help him finance the new glider. In the course of his work Mouillard suggested to Chanute the use of rockets for propulsion and aluminum for structure, but was dissuaded in both cases. The machine was finished in 1895 and tested unsuccessfully in 1896. His US patent was awarded in 1897.