L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing
Paul Schmitt tried for years to develop a device to make aeroplanes automatically stable: he was finally one of the winners of the 1914 Concours de Securite with his 7th design, Type 7. Records are incomplete concerning the previous 6; some of the earlier kites and gliders built between 1904 and 1909 may have been included in the numbering system.
The first known Schmitt aeroplane was built by Lucien Chauviere and brought to Chartres for assembly in March 1910; it was tested in April. It was a biplane resembling a headless and tailless Wright. A heavy chassis rested on 4 wheels and 2 skids, with the pilot at the front and a large 4- or 6-cylinder inline engine on the center of the lower wing, driving a single pusher propeller at the rear through shafts and chains. Diamond-shaped rudder surfaces were attached to the rear outermost wing struts. The second Schmitt - or perhaps it was the first modified - had enlarged rudder surfaces, and a pair of long outriggers on each side carried small horizontal surfaces far out in front and to the rear. The forward undercarriage skids curved up much higher - perhaps to ensure safety in landing.