Commentary and confirmed identifications of aerial oddities and pioneering
flying machines built before World War I
Breguet’s Pre-1914 Aircraft Challenge™ related forum discussions and further details concerning these aircraft can be found at http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/pioneer-aviation/
Avro Type F of 1912.
Mid-wing two-seater monoplane with enclosed cabin, intended for military use and initially designed for the military aeroplane competition of 1912.
Meißwinkel-Frohmüller Gleiter of 1910.
Glider built by Wilhelm Meißwinkel and Heinrich Frohmüller at Buchhagen, Germany; first flown on October 19, 1910.
Sikorsky S-6 Biplane.
Constructed in Kiev, this 100 hp Argus-powered biplane was used by Igor Sikorsky to set new Russian flight records in November 1911, even setting a world-record with his design – a distance record with two passengers.
Essen NVfL “Essener Flugmaschine” Gleiter of 1909.
This glider was owned by the Flugtechnische Kommission of Sektion Essen of the flying club NVfL (Niederrheinischer Verein für Luftfahrt). It was designed by a member of the club, Ing. Düll, and built under the direction of Otto Hilsmann at the carpenter’s workshop “Schmetz & Diepenbrock” during 1908/1909. Tests were made by Heinrich Schmetz, flown from a ramp [Flugplatz Holten] that could be turned into the wind.
Blériot Type VIII ter.
Appeared at Issy-les-Moulineaux in August 1908 as a improved replacement to the original Type VIII that had been completely destroyed in a crash on July 23, 1908 from which Blériot walked away unharmed. Starting on August 12, numerous flights were made with the Type VIII ter. On October 31, 1908, Blériot flew 14 km from Toury to Artenay. On November 4, 1908, the new machine was also wrecked, this time with Blériot not being so lucky, as he was severely injured in the crash.
Kimball Helicopter of 1908.
An invention of Wilbur R. Kimball, the special design behind this helicopter was that the vertical thrust would come from an array of 24 small four-bladed propellers driven by a centrally placed engine. The machine was tested at Belmont Park, New York, but was not successful.
Burchardt Gleitflieger of 1909.
A dreidecker glider built by Wilhelm Burchardt of Klosterneuburg, Austria; the Gleitflieger was seen as a full scale test machine for his design with the intention to fit an engine with pusher propeller later. Burchardt had connections to the Austro-Hungarian military who were interested in his machine and after validation of his design by Professor Budau (Technical University Vienna) facilities to build it were provided. [*]
Howard Wright Avis Monoplane Type 1910.
Named “The Golden Plover” – and fitted with an Anzani three-cylinder delivering 25 to 30 hp – this wing-warping monoplane was delivered to the Scottish Aviation Syndicate.
Romanoplane of 1910.
Built by Eugene Joseph Romano in Seattle, Washington, the aircraft had a caged centre section designed like a biplane, while it had monoplane wings only. According to a contemporary newspaper clipping of unknown origin, the Romanoplane had a span of 36 feet and “was flown successfully”.
Albessard “La Balancelle” of 1912.
First actual built design of Lucien-Joseph-Antonin Albessard; although not necessarily named “La Balancelle” at the time. Albessard tried to design a comfortable passenger aeroplane that would prevent stalling in alternating wind conditions, therefore he arranged the wings around an enclosed cabin to help keep the aircraft in the stream. Jules Vedrines tested the machine and noted that it was underpowered.
Designed and built by Robie Seidelinger for the Wilmington Aero Club, and flown by Eddie Bloomfield. According to “Delaware Aviation History” by Frebert, taxi tests in the configuration shown resulted in moving the engine to a position after the wings rather than under the pilot’s seat, and use of a single propeller, as well as shortening the rear fuselage. In this later form it flew 300 yards on October 21, 1910, and made several other fights on the following days. It was destroyed when lightning struck its storage shed. While by Seidelinger, it was funded by the Wilmington Aero Club. [*][*]
Sutro Hydroaeroplane of 1913.
Assisted by Waldo Waterman, California millionaire Adolf Gilbert Sutro designed and built this machine in San Francisco, and, powered by a Hall-Scott 60 hp engine, it flew quite successfully. Specifications given are: upper span 45 feet; lower span 33 feet; length 25 feet.
Pröckl-Hasselböck Flügelschlagflieger of 1908.
Motorschwingenflieger / Flügelschlagflieger designed by Moritz Hasselböck and Wilhelm Pröckl, and apparently worked on for five years in Vienna. Looking further into the construction of the machine reveals that the flapping wings were not only just flapping in a vertical plane. The two had realized that in this way the ornithopter would only ascend and descend vertically. To achieve forward motion they devised a method to rotate the wings to another angle with the objective to achieve forward motion or in the event of landing, a braking of the speed of descent. The machine was built to specification by “Automobilfirma Wyner, Huber und Reich” of Vienna. Photos taken on the property of the firm date from July 1908. [*][*]
Chantraine Monoplane of 1908.
Belgian monoplane designed and built by Joseph Chantraine. Chantraine was incapable of making test flights so he asked an 18-year old pupil of a technical school in Brussels, Edouard Tollet, to attempt them instead. Tollet is seen in this photo at the right wing tip, while Chaintraine is in the center. Tollet made a flight which was not successful as the machine crashed and was heavily damaged, and he himself slightly injured. Chantraine acquired several patents in Belgium, France and the UK, however he died in 1910 at the early age of forty. Tollet followed a career in aviation, serving in WWI and continuing as a member of the Belgian aviation service until pensioned as a high-ranking officer in 1946.
Stringfellow Flying Machine of 1848.
Built by John Stringfellow using a Henson steam engine modified by himself. The model was demonstrated attached to a cable inside a lace production shed at Chard, Somerset, and at Cremorne Gardens in 1848; however no proof exists that this machine, having a wingspan of 10.5 feet and a wing surface area of 12 square feet, was capable of sustained powered flight at all.
Clark Bi-wing Ornithopter.
Currently residing at the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine, and may well be the oldest full-sized internal combustion engine powered flying machine anywhere in the world. James W. Clark of Bridgewater, Pennsylvania, supposedly tested this machine between 1900 and 1910. It failed to fly, was wrecked, then rebuilt and fitted with its present engine – a 5 hp 2-cylinder Waterman – in 1907.
Dorner-Begas Gleiter of 1908.
A parasol design started by Diplom Ingenieur Hermann Dorner in the spring of 1907 as a glider with a possibility of attaching an engine at a later time. He was financially assisted by Gottfried Begas, the son of the German sculptor Reinhold Begas. The machine was flown by towing it behind a horse and flights made were about 80 meters in distance at a maximum height of 10 meters. Dorner himself flew the machine and as can be seen in the photo, lay horizontally in the same way the Wright brothers would lie on the lower wing of their biplane gliders or early motorized biplanes.
Blériot I Ornithoptère.
Louis Blériot built the model – datable to 1900-1901 and patented in 1901 – with a span of 1.5 m and powered it with a carbonic acid engine. In 1902 Blériot built another machine to size which he tried to fly (span 9 m, weight 70 kg), but despite the successive replacement of three chemical engines it was a failure.
Kaiser Tandem Biplane of 1912.
Dan Kaiser’s interesting tandem biplane, with tilting fore and aft biplane wing cells and a metal-covered fuselage enclosing aviator and engine, was tested at Cicero Flying Field, Chicago, in 1912.
Lescarts Biplane “N’Deke Mwaope” of 1912.
In April 1912 Fernand Lescarts, with the financial help of King Albert, travelled from Belgium to the Congo bringing with him a Farman biplane. The Farman was destroyed during the journey whereupon Lescarts designed and built a new biplane, and named it N’Deke Mwaope (White Bird), which flew pretty well until a violent windstorm wrote an end to the story.
Lamson Man-Lifting Kite of 1897.
One of several kites built by American inventor Charles H. Lamson over a span of years before and after the turn of the century. The name of the man ascending in this trial is Frederick W. Bickford, his assistant.
Zambeccari Rozière Balloon.
Constructed by Italian aeronautical pioneer Count Francesco Zambeccari, who had served as an officer in the Spanish navy, fought against the Turks in 1787, and after three years of captivity in a Constantinople prison devoted himself to the study of lighter-than-air flight. Between 1803 and 1812 he made a number of ascents with balloons of his own conception.
Myers Sky Cycle of 1900.
Third “Sky Cycle” built by Carl E. Myers of Frankfort, New York, in controlled, man-powered flight at the St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall Coliseum where the machine made over 120 ascensions during a single engagement in 1900.
Rupel Flying Machine of 1904.
Although it flew as a glider in October 1904, its builder Albert Rupel died before he could test it with a proper engine.
Biot-Massia Glider of 1879.
Designed and built by Comte de Massia, leading to flights made by Gaston Biot. Biot flew the glider several times at Clamart, a suburb of Paris approximately 3 km south-southwest of
Issy-les-Moulineaux. Donated to the Musée de l'Air in 1925 and restored in 1960, the glider is currently on display at the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace, and is said to be the oldest surviving heavier-than-air flying machine in the world.
Strack Hochdecker of 1911.
High-wing monoplane built by the Strack Flugzeugwerke of Duisburg; a completely open model of tubular metal construction, fitted with a two-cylinder rotary engine which drove two counter-rotating propellers. [*]
Bristol Coanda Military Monoplane of 1912.
Mumford Aerodrome of 1913.
A Scottish machine of the helicopter type built in Glasgow where Mumford realized two different machines. His first machine was started in 1908, and after a rather long and active life for an early flying machine, was wrecked in 1912. In that time, it went through a number of improvements and alterations, as various flaws with the design were attended to. Construction on the second helicopter was started in 1913. The patented Mumford machine was originally identified as the Mumford Aerodrome in a 1909 article published in “The Aero”, Vol. 1, No. 1.
Auto-Volant of 1905.
L’Auto-Volant, was a helicopter invented and built by Jean-Baptiste Laisnez and Charles Wilfart in France during 1905–06. Two rotors consisting of three arms, each of which held small moveable blades closed to form a flat surface on the downward stroke. The machine was featured in the February 1905 issue of the Parisian publication “Cosmos”. It was also the subject of the 1905 French patent #357,036.
Gallo Monoplano Gabbiano of 1911.
A design of Count Muzio Gallo, construction of the machine was started in spring 1911 but work was still not finished in October of 1912 for some reason. Unfortunately the monoplane – christened Gabbiano (Seagull) – was completely destroyed by fire on October 24, 1912. The engine fitted developed 40 hp.
Sweany-Davenport Airship of 1897.
Non-rigid design with an external ballonet, from which was slung a car fitted with two sets of 6-bladed aluminium propellers that were to be driven by a 4 hp gasoline engine. However, the project at Green Island, California was never brought to its final construction. The designers had high hopes for their machine, and talked about making “a transcontinental journey to the national capital.” The envelope was described as circumscribed along its length with bicycle tubing to prevent it from collapsing. This tubing, a part of the suspension band, was probably inflated to pressure and thereby stiffened. This device was similar to an idea developed and demonstrated by the notable aeronaut Louis Capazza using a free balloon in the 1880s; that if the envelope were to suffer a catastrophic loss of lift gas during flight, the suspension band would keep the envelope from folding, or rather collapsing, and thus allow the gas bag to act as a parachute in slowing the descent of the airship.
Fortney Monoplane of 1911.
This large monoplane, Louis Fortney’s third, was powered with a 4-cylinder Knox engine of 60 hp weighing 400 lbs. Viewed from a distance the machine had a very fine appearance, but under closer inspection revealed a number of weak points in construction. After two short jumps Fortney met with the usual fate of the novices – yet deserves credit for staying in the game – as this was also his third machine to be destroyed.
Pini Monoplano/Biplano of 1910.
Designed and built by Enrico Pini of Italy, its planes were so arranged as to widely separate a large rectangular monoplane wing, then to add a small horizontal plane above the gap.
Urbánek II of 1910.
The second design of Vilém Urbánek (sometimes identified as Urbánek II) which was exhibited at the Prague Automobile Salon of 1910 in an unfinished form. The aim of Urbánek was to design an “automatic” device for lateral control. In the available photographs of the machine can be seen a long construction of lattice fitted before the wing used in such a way that when one wing half dropped (or rose) the other wing half would automatically compensate in the opposite direction. The machine was never finished, so it was never determined whether the automatic stability system devised by Urbánek would work in actual flight. [*]
Da Vinci Volante Piume Glider of 1490–1496.
2003 realization of a glider design by Leonardo da Vinci which was found as a drawing and identified with the name “Piume” (Feather), only coming to light with the rediscovery in 1966 of the da Vinci Madrid Codices. The replica was designed by Angelo d’Arrigo, a famous hang glider pilot, who actually flew the aerodynamically-modified replica in 2003.
Delest Biplane of 1912.
Constructed by Juan Alberto Delest during 1912–13 at Villa Lugano, a section of greater Buenos Aires where the first airfield in Argentina was established. Although unconfirmed, the machine was possibly named “Porteno”.
Crosbie “Aeronautic Chariot” of 1784.
As detailed in the September 1784 issue of Hibernian Magazine, the gondola portion of the craft – with its windmills, masts, and sails – had been built and were on display by August of that year. The article explains how his craft was supposed to work, which in its own way was quite ingenious and clever, even if it was doomed to fail. As events transpired, it wasn’t until January of 1785 that Richard Crosbie was first able to take to the skies. When he did so, it was in a conventional hydrogen balloon, the fixtures and fittings of his “Aeronautic Chariot” having been left behind on the ground. Crosbie went on to make a series of attempts to cross the Irish Sea, none of which were successful.
Vert Poisson Volante of 1858.
“Flying Fish” designed by Camille Vert shown here during the presentation of the machine in 1859 at the Palais de l’Industrie in Paris. The realization of Camille Vert was also presented in the provinces – that which was this snapshot of the first photographic representation of a flying apparatus in history. A description of the system elaborated by the ingenious mechanic is quite explicit: “Two propellers are placed under the balloon, at the extremity of a horizontal axis and the vertical plane passing through the length of the device, that is to say one at the front, the other at the back, and united by a steam engine at the center of the nacelle, are used to direct the Flying Fish. Tractive effort is directed onto the frame solidly fixed around the aerostat.” Demonstrated in the presence of the French emperor Napoleon III, the airship, which had an ingenious parachute system for the safety of its passengers, functioned satisfactory as it turned at will in all directions when in the air.
Abelmann Eindecker of 1909.
Constructed during 1909–1910 at Kassel-Waldau by Carl Abelmann; the son of a Cologne factory owner. The monoplane had both tractor and pusher propellers with extra lift propellers (Hubschrauben). Carl Abelmann, FlAbt 254(A), along with his observer Ltn Heirich Schönberg, were the victims of Georges Guynemer on April 14, 1917 – his 36th victory.
Designed by Wilhelm Baumeister of which a model was built. Exhaustively described and illustrated in an article which appeared in the Austro-Hungarian weekly Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung Jahrgang X (1909) Heft 11 (March 14) pp. 37-39. (special supplement of this magazine is named Allgemeine Flugmaschinen-Zeitung). No full-scale machine was produced.
Kébouroff-Vasiliev Monoplane of 1912.
Second monoplane design of Kébouroff and Vasiliev, built in 1912 in Georgia (part of Russia). In 1910 Vissarion Kébouroff took flying lessons from Blériot at his flying school in Pau where he obtained a brevet from the Aero Club de France on August 29, 1910, becoming the first licensed aviator from Georgia. On his return to Russia he brought back two Blériot monoplanes (probably Type XI) which he flew there frequently. As these machines were rapidly worn out and in need of repair, Kébouroff worked together with Alexander Vasiliev to design and built a new monoplane to replace the aging Blériots. Kébouroff and Vasiliev actually built a pair, where the second (1912) is given as the same construction as the first but fitted with a 50 hp Gnôme rotary engine. Later a third monoplane was built by the two which was designed somewhat along the lines of the Nieuport IV monoplane.
Sohn Doppeldecker of 1909.
German flight-technician Emil Sohn seated on his doppeldecker during one of his trials at Johannisthal. Sohn’s machine was a Wright-like biplane with a Haake motor. The engine didn’t work and Sohn was left without enough money to purchase a better one.
Friedrichshafen FF 2 Seaplane Monoplane of 1913.
A further development of the floatplane of the Swiss engineer Grandjean, who had patented floats with coils (in German: Schwimmerabfedering). Characteristic of this wing warping monoplane is its Orlikon engine of 50 hp, radiators at the fuselage sides and completely open fuselage behind the pilot seat.
Fifty-five horsepower Viale 5-cylinder radial-powered monoplane from Canada circa 1909, constructed by Louis Prosper, possibly of Montreal. Almost nothing is known of Prosper, although he was reported to have assisted in the assembly of the infamous “Scarabée” – a Channel-crossing 50 hp Blériot XI flown by Comte Jacques De Lesseps – at the Montreal aviation meet, Canada’s first air show, which ran from June 25 until July 5, 1910.
Kuhnert Ferryboat of 1911.
The creation of Frederick Kuhnert of New Jersey, and at the time was said to be to the largest aeroplane in the world, though no doubt it was just one of several claimants to that title. He established the Kuhnert Aerial Construction Company in order to “manufacture flying machines”. The $100,000-valued company’s directors were Frederick Kuhnert, Matthew Andronico and Lester Gilbert. In 1910, Kuhnert bought 20 acres of land in the Hackensack Meadowlands to use as an aerodrome where he built a passenger airplane that could hold 14 people. Called Kuhnert’s Ferryboat, it, along with his aerodrome, was destroyed by a tornado in 1912 before it could make its first flight. Prior to the tornado, the Kuhnert Aerodrome hosted weekly aerial demonstrations.
Preston Rocking-wing Machine.
Preston Watson’s first rocking-wing aeroplane, photographed at Errol, Perthshire, Scotland probably around 1909–1910. Watson’s second aeroplane was his first to have actually left the ground under its own power.
Gonnel Uniplan of 1911.
Second patented Uniplan of the Gonnel brothers – Raoul-Georges and Arthur-Édouard – built at Juvisy, France during March 1911. This rebuilt, 2nd version of the machine, which is actually a complete rebuilt of the fuselage and undercarriage, was also fitted with a more powerful engine, a 45–50 hp 4-cylinder Velox-Suère.
Auffm-Ord Monoplane of 1908.
Built in the Paris factory of the firm Frères Voisin and powered by a 7-cylinder 35 hp R.E.P. engine – the first of two monoplanes designed by the Swiss-born Clément Auffm-Ordt (often misspelled as Auffin-Ordt). This tractor monoplane had a unique solution to lateral stability, whereas the wing could be tilted as a whole, while a small center surface could be tilted separately. Preliminary tests began at the airfield at Buc on April 23, 1908 with little success, though promising enough to build a second machine, a pusher monoplane tested in Switzerland on the frozen lake near St. Moritz in early 1909 and abandoned after crashing from a height of six meters onto the ice. Although the machine seemed to be quite intact after its mishap nothing was heard from M. Aufmm-Ordt again, at least related to aviation. A possibility may be that his financial backers had no further trust in the abilities of his concept.
Henri Farman No.1 of 1908.
Built for Farman by the firm of Voisin Frères, Charles and Gabriel – often referred to as the Voisin-Farman 1 or Voisin HF-1 – yet sometimes called the Farman HF-1, since after delivery from the Voisin Factory, Farman made significant modifications to the machine. The photograph shows Farman at the moment he crosses the start/finish line at Issy-les-Moulineaux in completing, on January 13, 1908, the first 1 km circuitous flight, thus winning the Grand Prix d’Aviation that had been offered by Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe. Although the two points (start and return) were exactly at 500 m distance, Farman was unable to fly the aeroplane in that way. As this Voisin-built Farman had no ailerons and no wing warping, the only thing to do was to fly a very steady level turn. Observers in the photo from left to right are: René Demanest, André Fournier, Louis Blériot (commissaire au départ et à l’arrivée) and Charles Voisin. In the car are Ernest Archdeacon (one of the prize sponsors) and his wife.
Breguet 1-bis of 1909.
In full flight at aérodrome de la Brayelle near Douai in November 1909. Originally the Breguet biplane 1, but after a crash, it was re-designed and rebuilt. Sometimes referred to as the Breguet 2.
Battini Flying Motorcycle of 1911.
Design of the Battini brothers of France; described as a flying motorcycle.
Moisant “L’Ecrevisse” of 1910.
Also known as the “aluminio-plane”, an all-metal sesquiplane built at Issy-les-Moulineaux by American aviator John Benjamin Moisant entirely of steel and aluminium; constructed by workmen hired from the Clément-Bayard airship hangar and completed in February 1910. Revolutionary in the construction of its wing – patented by Moisant in France as 414,748 – described as aiming to make the machine automatically stable laterally without any form of ailerons or wing warping. Trials proved considerably less successful than had been anticipated. Specifications: surface 22 metres; span 5.5 metres; length 9 metres; weight 250 kilograms; powered by a 50 hp Gnôme rotary.
Cornu Ballon Remorqueur.
The ballon remorqueur, or balloon tug, was a patented dirigible airship conceived and drafted by Cornu aîné of de Nuits, Cote D’or, France, during the years 1852–1854, with the intention of using compressed steam as its system of propulsion to tow a train of balloon carriages as a proposed aerial express running between Paris and London. The steam reactor system employed a pivoting “point d’appui aerien” (aerial fulcrum) in the shape of a bell set three meters ahead of the nose of the dirigible express. By injecting steam into the bell and deflecting the steam rearward, M. Cornu planned to steer the craft by articulating this hinged fulcrum device. [*]
Vaniman-Goodyear Airship “Akron”.
The original Akron, specifically built for the Sieberling-Vaniman trans-Atlantic expedition, during its November 5, 1911 trials at Atlantic City, New Jersey. After making changes and repairs to the airship, it was once again tried on June 1, 1912 with results less than satisfactory due to an accident with the drag rope in which Calvin Vaniman, the younger brother of expedition leader and commander Melvin Vaniman, had to climb out on the propeller struts to save the airship from wrecking. Sadly, the final test of the Akron on July 2nd ended in an explosion of the over-pressurized hull 1000 feet above Absecon Bay, resulting in the deaths of all five crewmen aboard.
The aeroplane of Baron Jean de Crawhez on display at the Eighth Annual Belgian Motor Show, held in Brussels from the 16th through to the 26th of January 1909. In the background of M. Crawhez’s aeroplane is the ornithopter of M. de la Hault, both Belgian machines. [*]
Ponche et Pimard “Tubavion” Monoplane.
The all-metal Tubavion of Charles Ponche & Maurice Primard – the first 100% metal aeroplane built in France – which went through a number of variations from 1911 onward, well into WWI. This photograph represents the 1912 version flown by Marcel Goffin at Reims or Amiens. The undercarriage and metal framework around the nacelle containing the engine and pilot are distinctive. Development of the Tubavion halted when Ponche was killed in an aircraft accident on February 10, 1916.
“Le Victorins” Dirigible Airship Model.
Scale model of a never-realized airship named “Le Victorins”, attributed in 1909 by the photo agency Meurisse (Paris) to the nearly-forgotten, builder-extraordinaire of French aerostats, Henri Rogé. Possibly conceived and constructed during the years between the 1896 “torpilleur aérien” draft project of Louis Godard, and that of Rogé’s death at the age of 75 in 1900.
De Dion-Bouton Multiplane of 1909.
The first of two unsuccessful aeroplanes designed and built by Établissement de Dion-Bouton, the famous car and motor company. Remotely resembled a Wright Flyer, with twin rudders at the rear, a single small tailplane, and a triplane elevator in front, but instead of wings, each side had four wing-segments set at 30 degrees dihedral. Four propellers were to be employed, driven by a 100 hp engine. Displayed incomplete at the Première Exposition internationale de la locomotion aérienne at the Grand Palais in Paris during September 25–October 17, 1909, construction and/or testing was likely halted afterwards as nothing more was heard of this flying machine of Jules-Albert de Dion and Georges Bouton.
Albatros DE of 1913.
Albatros doppeleindecker type, quite likely a training machine, given the skids and the apparent comfort provided to the instructor in back. Its 6-cylinder engine was either a Daimler Mercedes D.I or D.II of 100 or 120 hp. Very similar to the Albatros Uhu Schuldoppeldecker (training biplane) dating from 1913, described by Lange as having many of the same qualities. [*]
Butusov Soaring Machine “Albatross” of 1896.
Shown at Dune Park, Indiana, on its launching trestle, the “Albatross” was devised and built by William Paul Butusov, a Russian sailor, who by the mid-1890s was living in the American mid-west. Its construction and testing was funded by Octave Chanute, the French-American civil engineer who did much to advance aviation at the end of the 19th century. It was one of a number of gliders that Chanute and others had tested on the banks of Lake Michigan, during the summer of 1896. Of the flying machines there, Butusov’s was undoubtedly the largest and most ambitious, but unfortunately it was also the least successful.
Tsapenko-Farcot Ornithopter of 1908.
Orthoptère of Spiridon Tsapenko [Спиридон Цапенко] and Joseph Michel Ambroise Farcot. The two photos taken by Branger on July 21, 1908 show a small scale version built as a pre-study for a full-size higher powered machine. This trial version had a 12 hp Farcot engine of 20 kg in weight, bringing the total weight of the machine to 150 kg. [*]
Queen Aeroplane Company Twin Monoplane of 1911.
Taken at Mineola airfield, the Queen Speed Monoplane / Double Gnôme Monoplane; fitted with two Gnôme rotary engines of 50 hp – the two bladed propellers driven in opposite direction to prevent torque. Its design influenced by the Blériot monoplane (Queen built Blériot XI monoplanes under license at the time), the twin engine construction was thought to be safer, that in the case of malfunction of one, flight could continue using the other. The machine was financed by the banker Willis McCormick, who was president of the New York Aeronautical Society. Built in Fort George, New York in 1911, its first flight was made by Frank Stone on July 10, 1911. Unfortunately the machine was unstable during the climb, turned and crashed, injuring the fearless Stone. The machine was ruined, never to fly again.
A.P.V. Aeroplane – „Самолет АПВ“.
Designed by a collective [Аэроплан АПВ (Коллективный)] under Alexander Petrovich Vernander (Александр Петрович ВЕРНАНДЕР – 1844–1918), professor of the Military Academy of Engineering, then second chief of the engineering bureau in Gatchina. Among the seven aircraft constructed in Gatchina one was christened „ласточку“ – swallow – a triplane that followed the Wright design but with curved wings, its propulsion consisting of a 25 hp REP engine, that drove two inward slanted propellers via bevel gear, to centre the air stream onto the rudder’s sides. Construction began in St. Petersburg in 1909, but the machine was not completed when construction ended in 1910.
Hargrave Tandem Monoplane Glider of 1894.
Replica built by Rob De Groot, photographed at the Hang Gliding World Championships of 1994 – the 100th anniversary of the glider designed and built by the Australian pioneer Lawrence Hargrave. As the original’s only flight was unsuccessful, Hargrave shied away in his career from monoplanes, adopting instead the idea of biplanes (box-kite designs). The tandem wing monoplane however, became a concept Langley later saw fit to continue with his Aerodrome in 1903. [*]
Reynolds Man Angel No.1 of 1905.
The earliest of six neutral-buoyancy man-powered dirigibles designed and built by Alva L. Reynolds of Los Angeles, California. This lighter-than-air ornithopter was fitted with a triangular section framework “boat” suspended from its 3,000 cu. ft. gas bag, in which – using a large pair of oars set into oarlocks on blocks – the seated “rower” was remarkably successful in propelling and manoeuvring the craft over far distances. This rare photo was probably taken during its trials performed above Fiesta Park, Los Angeles, where the aerial rowboat was first flown by Herbert Burke on July 27, 1905.
Assman Balloon “Miss Sofia”.
Gas balloon piloted by the intrepid St. Louis, Missouri, aeronaut William Assman – already world-renowned for his aerial exploits in America – in flights made during 1911. [*]
Hipssich Flieger (reconstructed) of 1910.
The “rekonstruierte Hipssichflieger” – sometimes identified as the Hipssich Drachenflieger II, a development of the I – photographed at the flying field at Wiener Neustadt around the beginning of October 1910. At right, wearing a bowler, is Karl Hipssich. Hipssich was a German inventor living in Vienna with an interest in aviation who invented and patented an automatically stable Flying machine, or “Drachenflieger” rather. Construction started at the end of 1908 where the actual building was done by the Viennese firm of Karl Köhler. On the left is the pilot of the machine Erich Köhler who had no pilots brevet at the time, he nevertheless acquired German license No. 347 on January 10, 1913 at Breslau when flying a Rumpler Taube.
AEA Aerodrome No.3 of 1908.
Third design of the Aerial Experiment Association of Alexander Graham Bell, identified more commonly as the “June Bug” or, because of the use of his engine – the Curtiss June Bug. This machine became famous because of its winning the Scientific American Trophy when piloted a distance of 5,080 feet by Glenn H. Curtiss on the 4th of July, 1908. It can be identified by the peculiar construction of its biplane wing, whereas the ends were described as “balancing rudders” – today termed ailerons.
Degen Flugmachine of 1807.
Ornithopter built by Jakob Degen – a Swiss watchmaker living in Vienna – first drafted and published in 1807. Degen made his earliest somewhat successful flights by using a counterweight to assist his lift, indoors at the Winter Riding School of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna on April 18, 1808. That same year, on November 13 and 15, he gave two outdoor performances with his Flying machine at the Wiener Prater using a small hydrogen-filled balloon to aid his ascensions. Later on over the years, three times Degen staged his performance in Paris and is also known to have visited Berlin with his apparatus. These attempts generally resulted in complete failure accompanied with personal injury.
Unidentified Hot-air Balloon.
Exhibited by an unidentified aerialist at Fargo, North Dakota – from an empty lot on the 300 block of Broadway next to the Fargo Lime & Fuel Co. – circa 1899. Possibly associated with the “Fargo Fire Festival”, an annual event celebrating Fargo’s rebuilding after a devastating fire which took place in June 1893.
Built in 1908–1909, assembled and tested at Knockholt Cricket ground in Kent. It took off, but crashed on the first attempt and appears not to have been rebuilt. The fuselage was an open parallel girder, with curved top and bottom members meeting at both front and rear ends. fitted with a tail plane and front elevator, there was considerable dihedral to the wings, which were braced to a tall pylon of four struts, and could be warped. The unidentified type of motor drove twin tractor propellers, apparently by shafts and bevel gearing.
Tatin-Mallet Monoplane of 1907.
Funded and piloted by Comte Henry de la Vaulx at St. Cyr.
Keil “Ballo-plane” of 1905.
An electrically-propelled dirigible balloon combined with lifting aeroplanes. Its envelope constructed by Carl E. Myers at his balloon farm at Frankfort, N.Y. for Mr. W. M. Keil of Tuxedo Park, N.Y., this Keil-Myers HTA/LTA airship was presented the week of January 13, 1906 at the 69th Regiment Armoury Auto Show in Manhattan, of which the aviation exhibition element was put on by the Aero Club of America. Nothing is known of its existence afterwards.
Anders Airship «Киев» of 1911.
Russian non-rigid dirigible “Kiev” «Киев» was designed and constructed by Fedor Ferdinandovich Anders [Федор Фердинандович АНДЕРС]. First flight is given as August 6, 1911 (probably old style date) in the city of Kiev. It is claimed that “Kiev” was the first Russian dirigible built with private funds that carried passengers commercially.
Lunardi Balloon of 1784.
First gas balloon to make an ascension on the British Isles – September 15, 1784. Later exhibited at the London Pantheon by the flamboyant Italian aeronaut Vincenzo (Vincent) Lunardi, secretary to Prince Caramanico, the Neopolitan ambassador to the Court of St. James.
Avro Type D Biplane.
Float plane version at Cavendish Dock, Barrow-in-Furness, circa 1911, flown by Commander Schwann, of HMS Hermione, carrying out early morning trials on the Roe biplane, which had been fitted with float attachments of his own invention.
Russian hang glider built circa 1911 by (later to become well-known aviator) Nesterov, working with Sokolov.
Asteria MB (Monoplano Biposto) of 1913.
Societa italiana aeroplani – founded in Milan in 1912 by attorney Enrico Luzzatto after the close of the Helios firm – made use of the work of engineer Flaminio Piana Canova, who left the workshops of Somma Lombardo’s Battaglione Aviatori, and briefly assumed the role of technical director for all of Asteria where soon he built an almost identical monoplane to the Sia Italia, called Asteria MB, and also presented at the 3rd International Exhibition of Aerial Locomotion of Turin (May 17–24, 1913).
Sclaves Biplane of 1910.
French machine, apparently constructed of metal pipes and an abundance of wire bracing.
Suvelack “Apparat” of 1910.
Willing Eindecker Nr.3 of 1912.
Karl Willing’s third monoplane and first Gotha aeroplane. Willing had already built two monoplanes, when in 1912, lacking money for further work, asked for help from the Gothaer Waggonfabrik (Thüringen). This third monoplane was built in the old Gothaer Waggonfabrik shops and was powered by a 70 hp RAW engine. The machine was offered to the army but refused before it was ever flown, and apparently it never was.
Mohawk Aerial Navigation Company Glider.
Most likely the firm’s third and final glider built by Charles Proteus Steinmetz – the “Wizard of Schenectady” – and others in 1894. Steinmetz is not well known today but he accomplished a great deal in his lifetime considering he had dwarfism, was hunchback, and had hip dysplasia. While working for General Electric at Schenectady, N.Y., Steinmetz organized a band of fellow flying machine enthusiasts into the Mohawk Aerial Navigation Company, and over the summer of 1894 built and tested a man-carrying kite and two true gliders. None were particularly successful. [*]
Gatling Aeroplane of 1873.
Replica of the machine designed and built in North Carolina by James Henry Gatling, the brother of Richard Jordan Gatling, the inventor of the infamous machine gun. The aeroplane, also called the “Turkey Buzzard”, is the first known man-powered aircraft built and flown in America. On a brisk Sunday afternoon in the Fall of 1873, Gatling, sitting in the cockpit of his invention, with hands and arms furiously turning the cranks of his fan blowers, reportedly glided a little over 100 feet from a platform constructed approximately 12 feet above the ground.
Wright Doppeldecker of 1911.
German Flugmaschine Wright-Gesellschaft (Johannisthal) Wright biplane designed by Deutsche Wright pilot Robert Thelen. It had only a single propeller, directly attached to the drive shaft of its 50 hp NAG engine. Thelen used at least one of this type with the Ad Astra Fluggesellschaft, a flight school and exhibition company that Thelen formed with Rudolf Kiepert, also a Wright pilot.
Neumann “Dreiflächler” Tandem Monoplane of 1910.
Paul Neumann built the parts at the Neptun shipyard at Rummelsburg and constructed the machine at Johannisthal. The apparatus was modified and tested until 1911, but never left the ground. Though a tandem monoplane, the term “Dreiflächler” was likely derived from the front elevator being seen as a third wing.
Santos-Dumont No.12 of 1906.
Bamboo framework hélicoptère designed and built during 1905/06 at Neuilly St. James. The apparatus was abandoned soon after mechanical tests revealed inherent flaws in the transmission of power to the contra-rotating rotors.
Strack-Flugzeugwerke Wassereindecker 1913.
Amphibian monoplane entered by the builder Strack Flugzeugwerke (Duisburg) into the Bodensee-Wasserflug 1913. The machine had a unique amphibian construction which worked such that the land undercarriage was fixed but the floats could be moved up and down. When landing on the water the floats were set in the down position, so that the fixed land undercarriage cleared the water. The machine was a fairly conventional monoplane with a length of 8 meters, a span of 13, and a total weight without pilot of 400 kg. Strack had built two other aircraft before the Wassereindecker: a Grade-like eindecker and a high-wing monoplane with two propellers. [*]
Santos-Dumont No.19 type “Demoiselle”.
Capone Aérogyroplane of 1905.
Federico Capone’s machine was called l’Aérogyroplane because of the way it was powered. A small motorcycle engine of 4.5 hp drove double pairs of swinging blades symmetrically disposed at the end of wings. The blades worked like rotors in the initial stage of flight and then their position could be changed from horizontal to vertical. The latter was to give horizontal action to the machine. Built by Ceccarelli in Naples, testing was not very successful, as the machine was partially wrecked by a gale on April 30, 1905. The repaired machine was later sent off from a high launching position and managed to fly a certain distance.
Von Hagan Aeroplane of 1911.
Built by German immigrant Alexander von Hagan in Seattle, Washington, the machine had two sets of silk wings, an aluminium framework, two motors and three propellers. It weighed 600 pounds without the operator. One propeller was in the front, the second three-quarters back, and the third at the rear. One 40 hp motor ran the two front propellers and a smaller one of 35 hp powered the rear. Von Hagan was born in 1859 and served in the German army for 14 years.
Eich Canard Monoplane of 1910.
Pierre Eich (1867–1951) was born in Ghent into a carnival family of German origin. Highly interested in everything related to mechanics, Eich, like a lot of craftsmen mechanics, was also attracted by the adventure of aviation. In 1909 he built a monoplane, a canard type with wings equipped with ailerons. The aircraft was fitted with a French Antoinette motor of 24 hp to which Eich has a propeller of his design attached. Ground tests were conducted at the plain of Saint-Denis-Westrem at Ghent and the first attempted flight took place on June 13, 1910. The aeroplane, piloted by one Albert Ville, the mechanic who had developed the Antoinette engine, left the ground to a height of several meters, then fell heavily. The aircraft sustained minor damage, the pilot remained unhurt. Retrying June 16, he met with the same result. Finally, on June 23, Ville managed to make several flights of 70 meters at a height of two to three meters. On August 9, Pierre Eich himself was in control, but feeling that the apparatus did not exhibit sufficiently stable behaviour, decided to end his experiments. Along with the young son of the inventor, a modified aircraft would reappear June 20, 1911, on the Farman plain at Ghent. There would be made a unique and last flight.
Schreck “Diapason I” Monoplane of 1910.
Louis Schreck’s first Diapason flying machine – first version. The Diapason (French for tuning-fork of which it resembled), was monoplane in a form where the wing was swept back in a wide curve. The photo clearly shows a hefty radiator at the front of the small fuselage, from which may be concluded that one is looking at the 50 hp water-cooled Chenu-powered version. This engine was placed directly in front driving the pusher propeller at the back of the short central nacelle via a long shaft. In this version the entire nacelle is uncovered.
Walsh Monoplane of 1910.
In its original configuration (with nose wheel); the modern looking monoplane devised by Charles Francis Walsh, who had founded the San Diego Aeroplane Manufacturing Company the previous year. The machine, with its massive wing, would probably have flown but was severely handicapped by its underpowered Cameron automobile engine of only 29 hp.
Parker Monoplane of 1910.
The Spokane (Washington) Spokesman-Review of August 28, 1910 reported Fred Parker’s monoplane’s first flight in Minnesota occurring a day earlier. Fred was 22-years old at the time. The monoplane was built in a workshop in Hamline, a St. Paul suburb, and weighed 130 pounds. It is stated in Popular Mechanics (1909) that Fred Parker had previously made several dirigible flights for Roy Knabenshue and Captain Baldwin.
Pons Velocípedo Aéreo of 1895.
Monoplane designed as early as 1893 by Cuban inventor Arturo Comas Pons. In 1895 a test at the quarries near Bejucal was made, where his machine was purportedly flown 100 meters over a circuitous course before crashing against a cliff.
Vogt Eindecker of 1912.
Based on the Taube design and built by Richard Vogt when he was just 16-years old, this machine was test flown on the Mutlanger Heide but unfortunately crashed on its first flight. Vogt, later a famous aircraft designer with Kawasaki (1923–1933), Blohm & Voss (1933–1945) and Boeing, designed this 30 hp Anzani-powered monoplane together with an unknown friend during 1911 through early 1912.
Senge Eindecker of 1910.
Monoplane built by Paul Senge at Karlsruhe, Germany, weighing 280 kg, of 24.7 sq. meter wing area and powered by an unnamed 25–30 hp three-cylinder engine.
Nau Monoplane of 1910.
Monoplane of Robert Nau, a French sculptor. Nau constructed an earlier monoplane in 1909.
Cayley “Governable Parachute”.
López Aeroplano “Jalisco” of 1909.
Designed, patented, built and flown in 1909 by Mexican aviation pioneer José Guadalupe Mejía López. During its first test on the plains of the Rosary in the city of Guadalajara, the aeroplane was pulled with a rope by an automobile and rose 4 meters before it collided with a cactus, although suffering only minor damage. López subsequently received a German-made engine of 35 hp and flew the machine a distance of 800 meters at a height of 2.5 meters, thus becoming the first Mexican to built and fly his own aircraft.
De Groof Machine Volant of 1874.
In 1864, a Belgian shoemaker named Vincent de Groof designed an apparatus which was a sort of cross between beating wings and a parachute. His plan was to cut loose with it from a balloon, and to glide down in a predetermined direction by manoeuvring the supporting surfaces. He endeavoured to make a practical experiment, both in Paris and in Brussels, but it was only in 1874 that he succeeded in doing so in London. The apparatus consisted of two wings, each 24 feet long, moved by the arms and the weight of the operator, and a 20 foot long tail which could be adjusted using one’s feet. De Groof first went up on June 29, 1874, from Cremorne Gardens, London, attached to the balloon of Mr. Simmons. He came down safely, and claimed to have cut loose at a height of 1,000 feet. Subsequently however, it was stated by others that in fact he had not, on this occasion, cut loose at all, but had descended still attached to the balloon. In any event, he went up again on July 5 following, with the same balloon, and on this occasion he really did cut loose. The result was disastrous. In his descent, as soon as pressure gathered under the moving wings, they were seen to collapse together overhead into a vertical position, bringing De Groof down like a stone and killing him on the spot.
Aviatik Schul-Doppeldecker of 1912.
Of a type usually powered by 50–70 hp Argus engines, this particular machine was the first Aviatik biplane that received a 100 hp engine. In November 1912 aviator Arthur Faller planned to perform a promotion flight from Habsheim to the “Feldberg”, the highest mountain in the Black Forest, but while waiting for suitable weather conditions he undertook several record-breaking multiple-passenger flights. One such flight took place on January 30, 1913 at Flugplatz Habsheim carrying three passengers, lasting 2 hours and 3 minutes, breaking the standing world-record of 1 hour and 35 minutes set on January 25, 1912 by Dipl.-Ing. Grulich on a Harlan Eindecker, yet others with 3, 4, 5 and 6 passengers followed or predated that event.
Lamprecht-Gerstel Eindecker of 1909.
Built by the fitter Eugen Lamprecht and engine mechanic Heinrich Gerstel in Pforzheim. Lamprecht was the initiator of the project with Gerstel to install the engine. When funds ran out, the machine was exhibited at the guest house “Schwarzer Adler”, where it is told that the engine was occasionally started inside the ball room. Afterwards the monoplane was tested at the Exerzierplatz Forchheim, with only minor success.
Hübner Eindecker of 1912.
Tentatively identified as his second monoplane (E II).
Clément-Bayard Monoplane No.1 of 1909.
Alternately know as monoplan C.A.M. (Clerget-Archdeacon-Marquézy). In March 1908 Pierre Clerget, employed by Gustave-Adolphe Clément-Bayard at the time, received an order from Ernest Archdeacon to design a monoplane. It was to be financed by Archdeacon and constructed by the firm of Clément-Bayard. On November 4, 1909, during a trial of the C.A.M. monoplane, fitted with a Clerget motor of 50 hp, the pilot, René Marquézy, after a quick start, suddenly rose to a height of 15 meters whereupon Marquézy cut the ignition and the aircraft returned to earth abruptly, breaking the propeller and distorting the wheels. René Marquézy, oft mentioned as being a lighter-than-air aeronaut, later acquired a Brevet of the Aeroclub de France (#238) on October 4, 1910.
Howard Huntington Multiplane.
Massive multi-wing aeroplane designed and built by Howard Huntington sometime during 1912/1913. The photo shows Huntington in front of his house in Hollis, Queens, on January 22, 1914, while in June of 1914 he constructed a single wing variant of his multiplane – the Huntington “Clam”.
Strohbach monoplane of 1910.
Constructed by George Strohbach, a skilled mechanic in Company E of the Fifteenth Infantry at Fort Douglas near Salt Lake City, Utah. In April of 1910 however, prior to finishing the project, Strohbach deserted the Army and disappeared. A fifty dollar reward for his apprehension was offered, but the Army also had another problem. Still in its box at Fort Douglas was the motor for the flying machine, ordered from St. Louis, yet no one knew how to handle either the motor or the monoplane, and neither was anyone willing to pay the C.O.D. charges on the crated engine – thus leaving the Army’s aeroplane-building attempt forever grounded.
Berger Doppeldecker of 1910.
An Austro-Hungarian design by Franz Berger, the machine was an early example of negative stagger – the lower wing mounted considerably forward of the top wing. Of wooden construction with the exception of the wing struts which were of aluminium, the photograph was taken before February 19, 1910 in the Hungarian region of the double-monarchy, at Balatonboglár near Lake Balaton (in German: the “Plattensee”) at a time when no engine was fitted. It was however planned to use an Anzani 3-cylinder radial of 35–40 hp.
Schukking Glider of 1908.
Glider built and flown in the Netherlands by Willem Hendrik Schukking – a member of the the Dutch Royal Engineers – in 1908. It was not proceeded with, one reason being that Schukking married and had to swear that he would never fly again. The machine was a biplane on which the pilot flew downhill while in a forward prone position.
Unidentified Monoplane of 1910.
Present but not flown at the Los Angeles Aviation Meet at Dominguez in January 1910, its actual identity is not determinable at this time.
Kosch Ornithopter of 1896.
Patented experimental human-powered machine for aerial navigation built in Cleveland, Ohio, by Rudolph Kosch. The machine was published in the USA and in several magazines in Europe. In a French article from October 1896 the machine was identified as “un hélicoptère à ailes battantes” – a helicopter having flapping wings.
Shown in Rome in 1905, the “Aerostave” was financed by the Italian industrialist Achille Bertèlli (1855–1925). As a consequence the machine is commonly known as the Aerostave Bertèlli. The man who designed the machine was Vittorio Cordero di Montezemolo, who in 1903 published his ideas in a study of aerial navigation. The complex multi-wing structure was eventually built at the Surcouf factory in Paris. There, powered by a Levavasseur engine of 22 hp, trials were performed fitted with a gas bag, thus giving it additional lift in the manner done in 1906 by Santos-Dumont when testing his No. 14-bis. [*]
Smith “Flying Dragoon” Ornithopter.
The “Flying Dragoon” – possibly a misspelling of “Flying Dragon” – was devised by T. F. Smith and dates from about 1909, likely in or around New York City. [*]
Mines “Dot” Biplane of 1909.
This Edward Mines curiosity was entered in the Doncaster (UK) Flying Meet, and made its debut there on the fifth day of the event (Wednesday, October 20, 1909). It attracted some media attention, unfortunately most of it negative. Promptly nicknamed the “coffee-stall”, its planes had a span of only fourteen feet and a chord of six feet. There was no tail, and the ruddering was by means of square ‘flaps’ fitted between the wings. This machine had an elevator in front of the top plane, and the bottom plane’s extremities were adjustable. Needless to say, it never flew. A photo exists of the Mines biplane in an earlier version, without the flaps between the wings.
Castillo-Miltgen Blériot Biplane of 1911.
To compensate for their high elevation Jose Ciceron Castillo and Paul Miltgen converted an original Blériot monoplane into a biplane, here shown at the fields of the Polo Club, north of Bogota, Colombia in 1911.
Roe I Biplane of 1907.
First powered aircraft to be designed, built, and flown in England. Designed by Alliott Verdon Roe in an attempt to claim a prize offered by the Brooklands Automobile Racing Club, based on a powered model with which Roe had won a Daily Mail prize of £75 at Alexandra Palace in April 1907.
Photographed on December 8, 1903, during its second and last attempt to fly.
Tse Tsan-tai Airship.
LTA/HTA dirigible designed by Australian-born and raised Chinese revolutionary Tse Tsan-tai – sometimes identified as being the first person of Chinese descent to fly an airship, although it is not clear as to whether the actual craft was ever completed. Even so, had it been, it almost certainly would not have been able to fly. An extract from the July 1907 issue of “Aeronautics” describes the invention thus: “A syndicate is being formed in Hong-kong to build an airship designed in 1894 by a Chinaman, Tse Tsan Tai. It is to be built of aluminum, and will be enclosed in an aluminum shell to protect it from the enemy’s projectiles. The envelope is to be cigar-shaped. Tse Tsan Tai’s principle is that airships should depend upon their fan-propellers for advancing, receding, ascending and descending. The gas-envelope is to be used only as a buoy. For the vertical movement, therefore, there are to be horizontal propellers on the deck regulated by clockwork. The steering will not be by exposed planes and rudders, but by concealed steel wings, which can be thrown out at the stern on the pressure of an electric button.”
Italian Asteria No.1 Biplane.
First aircraft built by the Italian firm of “Asteria” – a Farman-inspired biplane dating from about 1910 – designed by Francesco Darbesio. In this photo Darbesio is accompanied in the cockpit by his mechanic Emilio Pensuti. The machine, presumed to have been powered by a Gnôme rotary engine, was successfully flown. “Asteria” is probably best know for its role in providing the first Italian aircraft ever used in a military conflict – the Asteria No.2 biplane.
Timm Eindecker 1.
Heinrich Timm, owner of a sawmill in Kummer near Ludwigslust, built two monoplanes. The first in 1912, and an improved model in 1913. Both of them flew. An earlier doppeldecker was not completed. The latter eindecker, something of a Taube-Blériot hybrid, was flown regularly until WWI, although Timm did not have a flying licence until, after joining the German flying corps, passed his “Feldpilotenprüfung” in 1915. Timm, born in 1885, died in the winter of 1917, having succumbed from severe burns suffered in a crash landing.
Gotha-Büchner Schuldoppeldecker of 1913.
Bruno Büchner designed, 120 hp Argus powered, 20 m span biplane built by Gothaer Waggonfabrik.
Photographed at the Malvarrosa beach of Valencia while being tested by Pablo Grau in Autumn 1910.
Gabriel Poulain, a famous bicycle-racer who held at least one speed record on the track, built this monoplane, his third design, in 1912.
Kjuder-Renčljevo of 1911.
Velazco Escofet I Biplane of 1909.
Built as a glider then fitted with an Anzani engine but flight could not be achieved. Parts of the Escofet I were used in the second model.
Maurice Farman MF.7ter of 1913.
The MF.7ter, shown here on at Hendon airfield, was fitted with an 80 hp De Dion-Bouton engine. This machine was the private aeroplane of the Frenchman Marquis Larienty-Tholozan.
Unge Balloon “Svenske”.
1902 design by Captain Eric Unge.
Jacobs Multiplane of 1910.
Otto Eindecker of 1911.
Built at the Puchheim airfield; one of the first Otto monoplanes. In all probability the later re-designed 1911 “Schule Doppeldecker,” thus converted from a tractor biplane into a monoplane.
Teichfuss Aerocicloplano of 1907.
Designed and built by cycling champion Luigi Teichfuss. Span was 10 m, empty weight 90 kg. It was unsuccessful.
Pliska Biplane of 1912.
Curtiss-pusher influenced design built by John V. Pliska and Gray Coggin of Midland, Texas; famed as being the first aeroplane to be built and flown in that state. In the photo, Pliska is on the left: his partner in the aviation project, Coggin, is in the pilot’s seat. Pliska was claimed to have been inspired by a Wright Flyer II (piloted by Robert G. Fowler) that landed in the area on November 19, 1911, and that he and Coggin carefully studied. John Pliska’s machine still survives, and today is on exhibit at the Midland International Airport.
Odier-Vendome Biplane of 1910.
Apparently the second version of this French design.
Pilcher Bat of 1895.
Lilienthal-inspired “Bat” glider – the first glider built by the Scottish Percy Pilcher in 1895 and tested at Cardross.
Wells Monoplane Glider of 1910.
Aerodynamic design built by Daniel D. Wells of Jacksonville, Florida, during 1909/1910. Wells, an early inventor, patented the skid (US Patent 935075) and claimed to have made models with wing-warping already in 1897.
Beach-Whitehead Biplane of 1918.
A joint venture between Stanley Beach (son of the publisher of “Scientific American”) and the controversial aviation pioneer Gustave Whitehead.
Jospe Eindecker of 1910.
In 1908 Jospe, a Russian “Ingenieurstudent” at Dresden Technical High School designed a monoplane for three persons and presented a model of it to the War Ministry of Sachsen. In 1910 Jospe built his bird-like design at D.F.G. (Deutschen Flugmaschinenbau-Gesellschaft) in Rummelsburg near Berlin, then tried the monoplane at Johannisthal. [*]
Kahnt Eindecker “Falke” (Falcon) of 1912.
Thirteen meter span monoplane – with which two passengers could be carried beneath the pilot – built by Oswald Kahnt in Leipzig-Lindenthal. Kahnt was taught to fly by Hans Grade and opened the “1. Sächsische Fliegerschule” in Leipzig. Apart from some Grade machines, he built this monoplane during 1911. The power-plant used was initially a 45 hp Oerlikon; later a 70 hp Schröter inline engine was installed. With his “Falke”, Kahnt flew over the “Völkerschlachtdenkmal.” As head pilot at the Gothaer Waggonfabrik during the war, he was killed in a crash.
One of two monoplanes built by the former assistant manager of the Borel flying school. Copin opened his own facility “G. Copin Aéroplanes et Cie.” at Chalons and built the two machines in 1911. One with a Chenu inline engine, the other powered by an 80 hp Gnôme–not flown until 1912.
Carelli Dirigeable Ballon of 1899.
Arguably the first navigable airship system invented in Italy. Designed by Comte Jules Carelli and realized by Evaristo Vialardi. Tethered ascension using spring-wound motors made in November 1899; possibly followed by later trials.
Farman-copy built by Otto Trinks & Co Luftfahrt-material (Gitschinerstrasse 91, Berlin) during 1910/11 and fitted with a 44 hp eight-cylinder engine.
Deicke Eindecker of 1911.
High-wing monoplane with two pusher propellers powered by a RAW engine. Probably the typ C, although possibly the typ B. Deicke was quite prolific; he built 10 types from 1908 until 1933, when he introduced a “Volksflugzeug”, the Deicke ADM 11.
Dailey Biplane “Old Glory” of 1910.
Center-Drop biplane constructed by H. M. Dailey (some sources spell H. M. Daily, or H. H. Dailey) in Chicago, Illinois, in 1910. Very characteristic in gull-like fashion, the machine had the name “Old Glory” painted on the fuel tank that was mounted under the center of the drop in the upper wing. Although apparently built to completion, it is doubtful the machine was ever flown.
Gilbert Aérocycle-Rotateur “Gladiator”.
Novel combination gas balloon/parachute of 300 m³ volume employed by French aéronaute-constructeur Charles Gilbert, exhibited in spectacular fashion primarily throughout France, then in Russia, during the 1890s. During these performances a bicyclette – likely a model built by the Paris firm of “Gladiator” – was suspended by ropes from the balloon in place of a basket, and while pedaling in the void, Gilbert naturally had to deal with the manoeuvring of his apparatus. With his “rotateur” system enabling him to land at his discretion, at a given point, a kind of “rallye-ballon”, or balloon rally was organized. Velocemen who set off in pursuit of the balloon, joined the descent, and with folded balloon bagged, the aerocyclist returned with them on his bicyclette, to the place he had ascended from. [*]
Freymann Model Ornithopter.
As a youth living in Russia, Oskar Freymann had observed eagles in flight and determined to build a flying machine based on the actions he saw. After emigrating to America in 1895 he worked in a bicycle shop in Brooklyn. Freymann soon built his flying machine, with four wings operated by the pedaling action of a bicycle, and handle bars that moved a rudder at the rear. In November 1896, Freymann and three other men trucked the machine to an open field in Flatbush. He claimed to have pedaled furiously and flown the ornithopter to an altitude of 14 feet – but this is quite doubtful. In any event the machine was damaged during the trial and never rebuilt. Freymann ultimately planned on building a larger, gasoline-powered ornithopter on a tricycle, but ran out of money and abandoned the project. The model – seen here in 1939 on display at the Ripley’s “Believe It or Not!” Odditorium in New York – was built by Freymann in 1895, to help him work out the wing-flapping system. It currently resides at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in East Garden City, New York.
Anchorena / Aero Club Argentino Balloon “Pampero”.
In 1907, Argentine aeronaut Aarón Félix Martín de Anchorena (1877–1965) brought from France a balloon which he named “Pampero”, after the cool Pampero wind which blows on the flat plains of Patagonia and the Pampas. Its first ascension was made on Christmas Day 1907, when Anchorena and well-known sportsman Jorge Newbery inflated the “Pampero” using the Belgrano gasworks at the Sociedad Sportiva Argentina in Buenas Aires (located in Palermo what is now the Campo de Polo), rose to 2000 feet altitude and drifted for two hours across the Río de la Plata to land at a ranch about 30 miles away in Conchillas, Uruguay. The journey had been the first aerial crossing of the Río de la Plata, and numerous flights followed successfully. On October 17, 1908, Eduardo Newbery, brother of Jorge, invited his friend Thomas Owen, a prominent yachtsman, to accompany him on a night flight. When Owen became absent, Newbery decided to make the flight anyway, onto which he invited Sergento Eduardo Romero. After leaving as usual from the Sociedad Sportiva Argentina to the southeast, the balloon disappeared without a trace.
Juge et Rolland Ornithoptère.
Ornithopter of Jean-Baptiste Juge and Paul Rolland designed and realized during 1907 through 1909. In a January 1909 magazine article written by Paul Rolland in “L’Aérophile” about the machine, Rolland begins with a plea to the editor of “L’Aérophile” for a more powerful engine (40 hp), as the one available had insufficient power. In the last paragraph he mentions that the first tests were made without any publicity given. Additionally, he states that the first wing flaps or “coups d’ailes” rather, “have given us every satisfaction.” Jean-Baptiste Juge had filed a French patent on September 28, 1907 (published November 28, 1908) for an “Aviateur”, which is remarkably similar to the finished model. That this patent has only Juge as inventor, gives the impression at least, that he was the driving intellectual force behind the design of the machine.
Narahara No. 2.
Second biplane designed and built by Sanji Narahara, dating from early 1911. Of twin-boom, open construction and powered by a 50 hp Gnôme rotary, this Japanese machine actually flew as there is at least one photograph showing it in-flight.
Hunt Rotary Aeroplane of 1910.
Helicopter designed and built by A. E. Hunt of Kansas, identifiable by the two large drum-like constructions that were the rotors. Hunt, a blacksmith, appeared to have put most of his stock of pipe and angle iron into the machine, as it ended up weighing 3 tons. Since the rotors generated 400 pounds of lift, performance was somewhat below what he might have been hoping for.
Swiss designed and built by Fritz Wullschleger and Albert Peier in 1913; their design of the triplane was uniquely implemented as the wing tips on the upper plane were folded down and on the lowest plane were folded up. The whole resulted in an almost closed-wing construction. As can be seen from other photographs of the machine, it was a two-seater, powered by a 5-cylinder Anzani air-cooled engine. Unfortunately the machine never got of the ground.
Tips Biplane (second version).
Belgian brothers Maurice and Ernest Tips designed in 1908 a machine that would rise and land vertically while transitioning to and from horizontal flight. Their solution to this challenge opted for a canard type biplane, driven by three-bladed propellers which could be rotated, thus given the need for space, the middle section of the wing was almost completely open. The engine to power this complex design was Belgian-made by the firm Pipe, and construction was done in Etterbeeke (now part of Brussels). The machine was not successful however, and the brothers persevered onward and re-designed their machine – using as many parts as already available – whereas they dropped the idea of starting and landing vertically. The second version of the Tips machine was a biplane which resembled the original quite closely, but fitted with two “fixed” two-bladed propellers. Almost everything else was the same, save the engine of Pipe which was at a later time changed to a 50 hp Gnôme rotary. The machine flew during 1909 and 1910 earning the distinction (with the Pipe engine that is) of being the first Belgian plane of construction (inclusive the engine) to do so.
D’Equevilley Multiplane of 1908.
Patented multi-wing machine design by Raymond d’Equevilley-Montjustin – otherwise known as the Marquis d’Equevilley – very characteristic in its circular hoop construction and several levels of planes. The pilot was to stand in flight and direct the machine by leaning his body to the left or right, and although the machine was continuously developed adding or diminishing the number of “wings”, it failed (luckily enough in hindsight) to ever leave the ground. D’Equevilley, a quite capable engineer and designer, had nearly fifty patents to his name, and is often credited as the person who perfected the snorkel that is used on submarines.
Italian ornithopter, designed by Dr. Fuseri, a pharmacist living in the small town of Fossano in the province of Piemonte, and built by Franz Miller, one of Italy’s first aeronautical engineers, as a contractor. In 1908 the firm “Società anonima italiana per l’esperimento dell’ortoelicottero Fuseri” was formed in Fossano and construction of the aircraft was initiated in 1909 by the factory of Miller in Torino where it was never flown and unlikely to have ever been tried. This sort of machine (VTOL) is along the lines of the somewhat later machines of deCazes where it is named a Hélicoplane, just as the Fuseri Ortoelicottero, a mix of helicopter (vertical take-off and landing) and aeroplane.
Ritchel Flying Machine of 1878.
Having been first flown outdoors less than two weeks before by Mark Quinlan in Bridgeport, Connecticut; Charles F. Ritchel began exhibiting his flying machine – also known as the Dirigicyle, or Flying Car – at Boston’s Tremont Temple on June 24, 1878. The demonstration, arranged by William McMahon, who played a major role in introducing Edison’s phonograph to the public, was a complete success. In addition to the indoor flights, Quinlan made an exciting ascension from Boston Common. Once in the air, the propeller gears jammed, allowing the balloon to rise dangerously high. Without a valve to relieve the increased pressure of the expanding lift gas, the envelope swelled, breaking several of the bands from which the frame was suspended. Quinlan could not slit his envelope, for there was no netting in which the fabric could gather to form a parachute. He had little choice but to tie one hand and ankle to the frame, then drop beneath the craft to make repairs with a jackknife as his only tool. He finally descended at Farnumsville, 44 miles from the Common, after a flight of one hour and twenty minutes.
Pérez Balloon “Villa de Paris”.
Matias Pérez was a Portuguese aeronaut, tent-maker and Cuban resident who, carried away with the ever increasing popularity of aerostation, disappeared while making a gas balloon flight originating from Havana’s Plaza de Marte (now Parque Central) on June 28, 1856. A few days earlier he had made a successful first attempt, traveling several miles. His second try however, became part of Cuba’s folklore as today when someone or something vanishes into thin air, people say: “Voló como Matías Pérez” (flew away like Matias Pérez).
Sperry Biplane of 1910.
Original-design tractor biplane built during the summer of 1910 by 17-year old Lawrence Sperry, son of noted inventor Elmer Sperry, on the second floor of his parent’s house in Flatbush, New York. First flown as a glider, a 60 hp Anzani engine was then procured and the aircraft was successfully flown at the Sheepshead Bay racetrack. Certainly one of the first tractor biplanes constructed in the United States, it was equipped with an unusual multi-wheeled lattice skid undercarriage meant to help the aircraft operate from rough terrain.
Bacchiega Monoplano of 1910.
The machine, dreamt up by Ing. Omero Bacchiega of Tortona (midway between Genova and Milano), was constructed of beech and bamboo with metal rods for added strength. It was fitted with a 25 hp Anzani engine, driving a 2 meter diameter propeller.
Breguet-Richet No.2 Gyroplan of 1908.
Configured as a canard – its elevator can be seen mounted low at the front – the Breguet-Richet Gyroplan was distinguishable by it two double-tiered four-bladed airscrews [*] in combination with what one might define as “wings”. It was later morphed into the No.2 bis. [*]
Martino Biplano Quadricellare of 1909.
In 1905, Signor Martino, a railroad worker, along with some associates began construction of a tandem biplane in the workshops at Scalenghe Azzario (the ancestral home of the Coda family). Flight tests were carried out in 1909, but with little success. A few photographs bear witness to its construction and completion.
Cayley Model Helicopter of 1796.
Early design published in “On Aerial Navigation,” 1809. Its construction – in Sir George Cayley’s own words – described thusly: “There are two corks, into each of which are inserted four wing feathers, from any bird, so as to be slightly inclined like the sails of a windmill, but in opposite directions in each set. A round shaft, which ends in a sharp point, is fixed in the top cork. At the upper part of the bottom cork is fixed a whalebone bow, having a small pivot hole in its centre, to receive the point of the shaft. The bow is then to be strung equally on each side to the upper portion of the shaft, and the little machine is completed. Wind up the string by turning the flyers different ways, so that the spring of the bow may unwind them with their anterior edges ascending. Then place the cork with the bow attached to it upon a table, and with a finger on the upper cork press strong enough to prevent the string from unwinding, and taking it away suddenly, the instrument will rise to the ceiling. This was the first experiment I made upon this subject in the year 1796.”
Martin Biplane “Harvard 1” of 1910.
Built in Boston, Massachusetts, by S. L. Saunders and certain Harvard students of the 400-member Harvard Aeronautical Society. James V. Martin – the manager of the society – designed, patented, and piloted the machine on several 125-yard flights within Soldier’s Field, fitted with a regular Cameron 4-cylinder, air-cooled automobile engine, at a height of 8 or 10 feet.
Pauly and Egg Fish-formed Airship “Dolphin”.
The creation of two Swiss-borne gunsmiths; eccentric engineer and inventor of the cartridge breech-loader (patented 1812), Jean Pauly, and Durs Egg, gun-maker to King George III – its construction was begun during June 1816 in Knightsbridge, London, and continued into the following year. The rigid craft, Pauly’s second dirigible flying fish – his first being a smaller one that he first flew in 1804 near Paris with little success – had an envelope 90 feet long and was notable for its intended use of trimmable ballast. The device, to have been either a sand-filled box or a water-filled barrel (accounts differ), was to be slung on ropes laid out between the airship’s tail and the rear of the gondola, and by using these ropes the ballast could then be hauled back and forth, thus moving the centre of gravity of the aerostat. For this, and its other innovations in aeronautic navigability, a patent, No.3909 dated April 15, 1815, was granted by the Great Britain Patent Office to Jean Samuel Pauly and Durs Egg. This patent became entangled in a lawsuit between the two gunsmiths, which was ostensibly about pistols. The lawsuit, Egg v. Pauly, lasted from 1817 until 1820 – the year previous to Pauly’s death. During the lawsuit Pauly claimed that Egg had failed to assist with the production of certain firearms in contravention of an agreement dated March 15, 1815, which dealt with the building of the airship. In the end, the venture, aptly named “Egg’s Folly” by those following its lack of progress, failed miserably, proving to be both too complex and too costly, resulting in the financial ruin of its inventors. A decade later, Durs Egg, having gone blind and insane, died in 1831. In January 1844, P. T. Barnum and General Tom Thumb (1838–1883) sailed for England to begin a European tour where at the Surrey Zoological Gardens a captive balloon ascent exhibition was made by the famous dwarf using the Dolphin’s still-existing goldbeater’s skin air bladder, or ballonet rather, capable of lifting fifty or sixty pounds when filled with gas.
Flores Balloon of 1840.
Jose Maria Flores, (also Florez, 1820?–1848), was an obscure 19th century balloonist who made first ascensions in many South American countries, including Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, as well as being a pioneer aeronaut in Guatemala and Mexico – although ironically, he never flew in his native Argentina. This illustration depicts the first balloon ascension made in Peru, which took place in Lima on September 24, 1840 at the Plaza de toros de Acho, the oldest bullfighting arena in the Americas. Still standing today, its construction dates back to 1766. Flores died accidentally during an ascension on January 30, 1848.
Bell Ring Kite of 1908.
As designed by Alexander Graham Bell, the Ring Kite had been constructed in 1907 having two superimposed flat annular surfaces, of outer diameter 4.4 m and inner diameter of 3.4 m separated by two rings of 25 cm tetrahedral cells. After being repaired following damage sustained during the flights of 1907, this kite was again flown the following summer. With the line attached at the outer periphery of the lower ring the kite flew steadily, but as the point of attachment was moved inward toward the inner edge, while the kite flew high, it displayed a tendency to slide off the wind. During one such slide it struck the ground and was destroyed. [*]
Hohl Eindecker H 3 of 1910.
Electrician Hans Hohl was not a successful aviator and little is recorded of his designs. None of his machines is known to have flown; the main criticism of Hohl always given to his non-existent airfoil. Even in 1912, when the army allowed the use the Exerzierplatz at Halle-Beesen – 10 or so miles from Merseburg, south of Berlin – the last-known of his monoplanes, “Hohl-5”, failed to make a sustained test flight.
Cornu Helicopter of 1907.
Paul Cornu’s helicopter was first tried in November 1907 with sandbags as ballast. Then Cornu added control devices (seen here at front and back), yet could only lift one pair of the four wheels. The Antoinette engine, although probably mainly the counter-rotating rotor construction, was inadequate for a proper take off. [*]
Pauly Fish-formed Dirigible Balloon of 1804–05.
In 1789, Baron Scott, of Paris, proposed an aeronautic fish. Jean Samuel Pauly revived the plan with modifications. Marshal Michel Ney patronised it, and gave nearly 100,000 francs for the construction of an aerostat 50 feet long, and for experiments. Its first trial was made on August 22, 1804 at Sceaux, south of Paris; the success anticipated did not follow.
Kimball Model Helicopter of 1906.
Wilbur R. Kimball, at one time the Secretary of the Aeronautical Society and an adherent of the helicopter theory, exhibited in 1906 a rubber-driven model that had two “air-screws,” each fifteen inches in diameter, mounted on wheels; altogether it weighed about ten ounces. According to a 1907 publication of the Aero Club of America, it could run 12 feet along the floor, rise, and fly for a further 70 feet. [*]
Porte and Pirie Glider of 1909.
Porte and Pirie were both lieutenants in the Royal Navy when they designed and built this biplane. It was taken to Portsdown Hills, Portsmouth for a trial on 17th September 1909. To quote “Flight” magazine for 25th September 1909; “With both officers seated in it the machine was mounted on a trolley and run along a temporary track, but it failed to rise, and eventually pitched forward and collapsed, both officers being thrown out, but escaping unhurt.” One of the designers, John Cyril Porte, who went on to have a successful career within aviation, was closely involved with the Curtiss biplane “America” intended to have made a pre-war trans-Atlantic flight.
Royal Navy Airship “HMA No.2” and British Army Airship “Eta”.
On August 19, 1913, “Naval Airship No.2” (the re-constructed “Willows No.4” – under the command of Lieut. Neville Usborne, R.N.) experienced engine failure due to a broken crankshaft near Odiham in Hampshire. In order to save the hydrogen in the disabled airship, it was decided to try and tow it home employing the airship “Eta” – newly-constructed by the Royal Aircraft Factory and currently undergoing its acceptance trials. Accordingly, a tow-line was attached and the two airships ascended, the “Eta” keeping about 600 feet above the towed ship so as to avoid all chances of fouling the rudder gear. The approximate 8-mile trip back to the airfield at Farnborough (the exact distance to the town of Odiham being 7.4 miles) was made at a groundspeed of 25 mph against a 5 mph headwind. The “Eta” was in all probability skippered by Army Capt. Waterlow at the time.
Weihmüller Monoplano “Weihmüller I” of 1909.
First of two monoplanes built at San Jerónimo Sud, Argentina, by little-know Santa Fe aeronautical pioneer/constructor Ingeniero Friedrich Gottfried Weihmüller, aka Federico Godofredo Weihmuller (frequently spelled Weighmüller).
Suter Lenkballon of 1901.
Inspired by the experiments of Graf von Zeppelin, Heinrich Suter of Arbon, Switzerland, built an airship of 40 metres length. The Paris-made, cigar-shaped, 5-chamber envelope had a reported volume of 1000 m³. The movements of the LTA/HTA craft were carried out by propellers, while the balloon was used only to lift the machine and aeronaut. On a wooden pole under the balloon hung by a ball joint, was the actual flying machine, which enabled a free, independent movement of the two parts. Suter’s connection of a balloon with a flying machine was based on the principles of Ingenieur Kreß of Vienna. In Gustav Adolf Saurer, the founder of the “Ersten Schweizerischen Velociped-Fabrik Arbon”, Suter found the perfect construction partner. Inside the metal structure that connected to the ball joint, he built a velo-drive. Pedals drove outside of the “cage”, mounted and by hand, a pivotable double propeller. In this way, Suter believed to be able to control the occurrence of different air currents, while the position of the steering sail could also be altered manually. On April 19, 1901, from the purpose-built shed at the Hotel “du Lac” the inflated airship was pulled to the shore of Lake Constance. Many curious onlookers as well as journalists were in attendance to witness the spectacular event. At first everything went according to plan – Suter increased the pressure on the pedals and circled the steerable airship over Steinacherbucht bay. Suddenly the wind shifted, and at low altitude drove it into the branches of a tree on the Steinach shore, ending the maiden voyage. As for Suter, he lacked the funds to conduct further tests and the project was terminated shortly thereafter.
Holbrook Aeroplane of 1910.
High-wing monoplane designed by Arthur Erritt Holbrook and built by the Holbrook Helicopter Aeroplane Co. in Joplin, Missouri. At around the time of the founding of his company, Holbrook also filed (January 19, 1910) to patent an Aeroplane; rather a tandem wing monoplane fitted with both tractor propeller and vertical rotors – hence the name of the firm. Four years later, on February 10, 1914, Holbrook was finally granted US Patent 1,086,916 for his invention. It is reasonable to assume that this photographed machine, with shafts protruding above the wing, was a “first draft” to be augmented to a form visible in the patent of Holbrook, where two rotary propellers are visible. After its appearance in 1910, Holbrook’s aeroplane was never heard from again.
Dunne D.1 Glider.
Photo showing the glider being mounted on a dolly at Blair Atholl, Scotland. Testing in 1907 was done in secrecy by the War Office (Balloon Factory), and there exists at least four other photos of its initial trial. One showing the shed which stored the Dunne glider; the glider on its dolly at the point of take off; the glider during the take-off; and another taken immediately after its crash. The machine was fitted later with a 15 hp Buchet engine, but the machine was underpowered and could not lift itself off the ground. An old method was used to get the machine in the air – setting it high on a man made ramp and racing down, hoping to build up enough speed to get airborne. The attempt did not work as planned, and the machine fell from the ramp during the run and was wrecked beyond repair. It was later redesigned and rebuilt, where it received the identification D.4, being sufficiently different from the original D.1.
Benbow-Myers Airship “Montana Meteor”.
Photographed on November 6, 1903 at the Balloon Farm of “Professor” Carl E. Myers at Frankfort, New York. The “Meteor”, a patented invention of Thomas Chalkley Benbow, was built, assembled, and – during late October/early November – tried at the Balloon Farm. The airship later made brief ascensions with some success at the aeronautical concourse of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, otherwise known as the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904. On May 27, 1902, T. C. Benbow had already filed for a patent on his “Air-ship”, which was accepted on November 8, 1904 – US Patent 774,643.
Le Gaucier Amphibian Flying Boat of 1913.
An invention of a French law student living in Chicago named C. Le Gaucier, that once completed, was to have been christened “Napoleon”. Construction of this steam-powered flying boat was started at Cicero Aviation Field in the spring of 1913 with the long-range intent of crossing the Atlantic with it once tested and proven on Lake Michigan. The “Napoleon” was intended to be of a special construction of aluminium steel and be equipped with four 250 hp steam turbines, with four propellers – the span of its monoplane wing; 100 feet, with a 14-foot cord. The machine had an ingenious four wheel design along the sides of the hull whereas the wheels could be moved up or down, thus allowing for the capability to take off and touch down on land.
Ginocchio biplane flying boat seen here in 1913 at Venezia (Venice). Manlio Ginocchio was an Italian aviation pioneer, and an officer in the Italian Navy. After earlier experiences with flying and designing of machines, he designed and built his “Idro-canotto” and powered it with a 90 hp Salmson engine. The machine was not very successful and remained in one example, although it was acquired by the Italian Navy and became part of the early Italian naval establishment in Venice.
Goedecker Flugboot Amphibium.
Second Amphibium, or “Amphibium II”, constructed by the Jacob Goedecker Flugmaschinen-Werke in 1912. At the end of August 1912 Goedecker flyer Bernard de Waal took the newly developed “Amphibium” to the First German Seaplane Competition in Heiligendamm district. Due to technical problems the Goedecker flying boat achieved only 4th place in a field of 6 participants. A second flying boat with a more powerful engine was built and tested at the Mainzer Floßhafen, and stationed in a boathouse. In a strong storm on April 6, 1913, the “Amphibium II” was severely damaged and scrapped.
Roe I Triplane of 1909.
The Roe I first flew on July 13, 1909* at Lea Marshes, Essex, and by doing so Alliot Verdon Roe (1877–1958) became the first Briton to fly an all-British aeroplane. The fragile craft was constructed from wood and paper, was powered by a 9 hp JAP engine, and despite its low power managed to fly some 100 feet (30 metres). Photo shows the full-scale Roe I replica at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, UK. [*Some sources claim July 23, 1909].
Fyodorov Split-wing Machine.
Designed and built by Yevgeny Stepanovich Fyodorov [Евгений Степанович Фёдоров] during the period 1895 until 1903. Fyodorov had a career in the military as an engineer, where in 1895 he presented a model aeroplane project with a “split-wing” [самолёта-пятиплана]. This model was successfully flown behind an automobile, which towed the model. On the results of the tests with this model Fyodorov decided to built a full scale aeroplane at his own expense. According to sources (Shavrov / Шавров) it was finished, but never flight tested. The machine of Fyodorov is considered the second constructed flying machine after the one of Mozhaiski [Можа́йский].
Bédélia Flying Boat of 1912.
Exhibited at the Salon Paris 1912. More versions of this machine were built – as the designers developed it further – yet in the end it was not very successful.
Built circa 1910/11 by Paul Schröder at Bochum, or Paderborn, North Rhine-Westphalia. Contemporary journalistic reports described it as Blériot-like for the fuselage, the wing and vertical tail surface, but Antoinette-like for the horizontal tail surface.
de Havilland Biplane No.1 of 1909.
First aircraft constructed by British aviation legend Geoffrey de Havilland, retroactively named “de Havilland Biplane No.1”. “Flight” magazine, in 1910, referred to the biplane as “Havilland No. I” and also as the “Havilland I”.
Vaniman Airship Model “Atlantic No.1”.
Scaled miniature trans-Atlantic passenger airship built by Calvin Vaniman – completed June 23, 1912. Made for the American inventor-aeronaut-adventurer Melvin Vaniman, who died alongside his younger brother Calvin and three other crew members in the airship “Akron” trial-flight disaster on July 2, 1912 near Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Bjork Tandem Monoplane.
Constructed in September 1910 by Edward Bjork, a Chicago building contractor residing at 934 Fletcher Street. His machine was forty feet in length by twenty in width. He constructed it in a shed at Evanston Avenue and Byron Place. Bjork was obviously of Swedish ancestry, amplified by being a member of the Swedish-American Aerial Club of Chicago – a manufacturer of aerial machines that failed to conduct the business for which it was created.
Castaibert Monoplano 1910-I.
Pablo Castaibert’s monoplane 1910-I was modelled on the Santos-Dumont Demoiselle. Fitted with a 35 hp Anzani, it was not able to fly. It is claimed that the machine would not fly because of a balance problem that could not be resolved after several modifications although it was probably also due to the absence of flight experience by Castaibert himself. At the end of 1910 Castaibert saw a Blériot flying which prompted him to switch designs resulting in his rather more successful series of monoplanes.
Shown here with his daughter Rose; Gustav Whitehead, born Gustav Albin Weisskopf, was an aviation pioneer who immigrated from Bavaria, Germany to the United States. Whitehead is claimed to have achieved powered flight with this monoplane at Fairfield, Connecticut on August 14, 1901 – more than two years before the Wright brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk – and in 1968 the state of Connecticut officially recognized Whitehead as the “Father of Connecticut Aviation”. Without photographic evidence this ongoing controversy is likely to never be resolved although a replica of No.21 piloted by Hollywood actor Cliff Robertson did manage to make it into the air at Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1986.
Tissandier aérostat électrique of 1881.
The contemporary engraving shows the Tissandier electric dirigible scale model – similar in appearance to the Giffard airship of 1852 – at the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers in Paris. Seen at the Exposition d’électricité in 1881, the aérostat électrique was a demonstrative model of the later constructed full-scale Siemens electromotor-driven Tissandier airship of 1883. The model’s all important electromotor was designed and built by the famous French inventor Gustave Trouvé, who at the end of his life also experimented with “navigation aérienne”.
Triplane built by the Stebbins-Geynet Aeroplane Company of Norwich, Connecticut, possibly the model A of 1909. As a tri-bi-plane it had a detachable middle wing, which once removed converted the machine from a triplane into a biplane.
Hélicoptère Maurice Léger of 1907.
Large, early vertical-lift design utilizing two broad-bladed rotors.
Built by the Russian military engineer K. A. Antonov [К. А. Антонов], in development at St. Petersburg from 1907–1911. The essence of the machine was that it rose vertically by the use of the counter-rotating rotors and after gaining enough height it was flown horizontally by the propeller. It was a concept more often seen, for instance in France by Élie-Joseph-Marie-Raymond Decazes. The whole system was driven by one 25 hp engine, so a complex system of cogwheels and rods was probably necessary to work the rotors and propeller. As the Helicoplane – according to reports – did not fly, it may be presumed that it was too heavy. Antonov filed a patent in 1907 describing in detail his machine that was later built. As he was a military engineer it can be assumed that there was some form of financial backing or other help received from the Russian government. Antonov was otherwise prominent in Russian aviation as he participated in the design and building of the 6,900 m³ dirigible “Krechet” in 1910.
Meichelböck Eindecker of 1913.
Built by Franz Meichelböck and a friend in Ober Sankt Veit, a district of Vienna.
Herdler Hochdecker of 1911.
High-wing eindecker designed by Carl Herdler, the machine had an “Absturzsicherung auf dem Flügel (ein sammengefalteter Luftsack) der bei Gefahr gespreizt werden konnte” – a security device, where the idea was to blow up the bag with air, to remain longer in the air whereas to lessen the force of impact in the event of a crash on the ground. The “air bag” may have also been somewhat based on the parachute. The machine made short flights, rather hops, in 1911.
du Temple Monoplane of 1874.
Impression of the machine as it might have been realized by Félix du Temple de la Croix (1823–1890), variously reported as steam powered or powered by a hot-air engine; fitted with a propeller of 12 blades or 6 blades or even 8 blades; and the undercarriage sometimes claimed as “retracting”. A flight of the full-scale machine was attempted in 1874 in Brest, where it was launched from a ramp. Flight was not attained as the machine swiftly hit the ground and rolled over. Reports on who was in the pilot’s seat is given that du Temple at the controls – or, in other reports – a “young sailor” was the pilot. Félix du Temple had been the first to build a heavier-than-air model (weight 700 g), which flew and landed safely in 1857.
Papin & Rouilly Gyroptère.
Gyroptère Modele B “Chrysalide” designed by A. Papin and D. Rouilly, patented in 1911, built in 1913–14 and tested on March 31, 1915 at Lake Cercey in eastern France. Undeniably one of the strangest flying machines ever to have left the drawing board, the main feature of this elegantly engineered helicopter, rather gyrocopter, is that it was powered by a single blade – seen right – balanced by a counterweight that can be seen on the left. Powered by a 80 hp rated Le Rhône 9C that was placed at the center where the pilot sat in a nacelle.
Cervi Volanti of 1912.
Man-carrying train box-kite in triangular cell arrangement built by Francesco Giordani and Teodoro La Cava and reported to have been intended for people who could not afford an aeroplane but wanted the experience of flight.
DFG Hintner Eindecker of 1910.
Monoplane drawn up by the Cornelius Hintner – a successful Austrian artist who later became famous as a film director – realized by the German firm of Deutsche-Flugmaschinenbau-GmbH. It is likely that DFG also brought in engineering expertise as Hintner was probably ignorant of technical design matters. At the time, the constructor at DFG was W. Schultze-Herfort who designed several monoplanes which were known under his own name. The Hintner Eindecker was special in that the elevator was mounted in front of the tractor propeller. Power was supplied by a 25 hp Anzani 3-cylinder radial driving a Chauvière propeller. The wing area was about 30 m², where total weight (inclusive the pilot) was 280 kg. During the first test flight the machine flew for 500 meters at a height of 25 meters, most likely only in a straight line. The machine lifted after a run of only 25 to 30 meters. When Hintner flew his eindecker he had no licence and almost certainly no flying experience whatsoever. He later received German flying licence No.110 on September 9, 1911 flying an Albatros biplane at Berlin. [*]
Irvine Aerocycloid of 1908–09.
The photograph shows a quarter-size model which was able to lift the weight of ninety pounds. The San Francisco based John C. Irvine (president of the Pacific Aero Club) had worked three years on the machine, which was driven by a 3 hp electrical engine, that could lift 30 pounds for each hp. Records do not show that the full-sized model was ever built, probably due to problems with financing of the project. The specialty of the machine was of course the two upright wheel construction, driven by cables, which carried four “propellers” which pivoted between the wheel and furnished the lifting power. With the propellers in the proper position the force would be upright, lifting the machine vertically. Pivoting the propellers at an angle would obtain a forward motion.
Tytler “Grand Edinburgh Fire Balloon” of 1784.
Barrel-shaped hot-air balloon constructed by James Tytler of Edinburgh, Scotland. According to one source, over a one week period in late August 1784, the craft made three brief flights, each time with Tytler as its sole occupant, while another source states that he failed to make “proper” flights in August and September. These were the first manned flights to have take place in Scotland, and also in Great Britain. The first manned flight in England was achieved by Vincenzo Lunardi on September 15, 1784. The first flight by an Englishman took place on October 4, 1784 when James Sadler went aloft. A later attempt to fly the balloon in October 1784 succeeded only when Tytler stepped out of the basket and the craft went aloft without him. This event seemingly earned him widespread ridicule, along with the nickname of “Balloon” Tytler, one which was applied more with derision than anything else. James Tytler fled from Edinburgh to Ireland in 1792 after being arrested for producing anti-government pamphlets. He emigrated in 1795 to Salem, Massachusetts where in 1804 he drowned on a stormy night.
Dodge Model Aeroplane-Helicopter.
This steam-powered model aeroplane-helicopter was created by the American artist William de Leftwich Dodge, and can be dated to 1900–1901. Although it looks too improbable to fly, according to one source, it succeeded in flying twenty-five feet. The model itself still survives, part of the Paul E. Garber Collection at the Smithsonian Institute. Today this type of machine is classified as a “convertiplane” (propeller on top for vertical movement and propeller in front for horizontal movement).
Sorenson Glider of 1909.
Hot-air balloon-launched glider built and flown by U. Sorenson of Berwyn, Nebraska, specially constructed with warping wings for balance. Its first and only flight was less than successful as the left wing broke and the machine came spinning down at 100 rpm. Sorenson was lucky not to have been killed.
Tatarinov “Aeromobile” of 1909.
Tatarinov started building his “Aeromobile” at Petrograd with a grant provided by the Russian Ministry of War. The project was never completed, since Sukhomlinov, Russian Minister of War at the time, thought the work was progressing too slowly and consequently, the continuation of funding was denied. In despair, Tatarinov set fire to his rotorcraft and the hangar which housed it. The “Aeromobile” had four rotors, each turning at the end of an X-form of beams. Beneath it the chassis contained an EDTT 25 hp water-cooled engine which was to drive the rotors as well as a five-bladed “centrifugal propeller”. The pilot’s seat and controls were placed behind the engine. The total weight of the machine was 1300 kg.
Howard Wright Biplane “Manurewa No 1”.
Walsh Brother’s “Manurewa No 1”, a New Zealand-built example of the Howard Wright Biplane, made the first undisputed powered flight in New Zealand – flown by Vivian Walsh on Sunday, February 5, 1911, from a grass field at Glenora Park, a total distance of 400 yards at a maximum height of 60 feet (flight data figures differ somewhat depending on the source).
Phillips Flying Machine of 1893.
Second version of Horatio Phillips’ 1893 steam powered test-rig study model on its wooden 200 foot diameter circular test-track at Harrow, England, where, tied to a cable fixed on a central mast, its first test was made on June 19th. Reaching a speed of 64 km/h with a total weight of 174 Kg, it rose to a height of 90 cm and covered a distance of 600 meters. Phillips also built multiplane machines in 1904, 1907 and 1911; his elaborate multiwing approach – 40 double-surface airfoils grace this early example – is often referred to as the “Venetian Blind”. The photo shows the machine’s puzzling thin profile with one of Horatio Phillips’ sons helpfully providing scale.
Hydrogen Balloon “L’Intrépide”.
Replica of a French military observation balloon captured by the Austrians in 1796. The actual preserved envelope is the sole survivor of the world’s first military air fleet – and possibly the world’s oldest surviving aircraft. “L’Intrépide” was the larger of two observation balloons, the other being “Hercule”, issued to the Aerostatic Corps in June 1795. These balloons were used by the Corps’ first company attached to General Jourdan’s Army of Sambre-et-Meuse in 1796. When that army was defeated by Austrian forces at the Battle of Würzburg on September 3, 1796, the balloon was captured and brought to Vienna, where it is now on display under glass at the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum.
An ornithopter, circa 1910, that was built by Melville M. Murrell of Morrinsville, Tennessee. He’d previously patented a human-powered ornithopter in 1877, then was bitten by the aviation bug again when powered flying machines were being developed. For reasons of his own, 35 years after applying for his flying-machine patent, Murrell pulled his old drawings out, made some alterations, and built a new flyer. Though Murrell’s new model bore some resemblance to his original ornithopter, he’d apparently been doing some reading. This time, he gave his plane a fixed wing; his louvered flapping wings were still a part of the design, but now supplied forward thrust. Murrell rigged the machine to a cable along a hillside and harnessed it to a mule to launch it into the air. The cable having some sort of a trip such that, when the plane had gotten to a certain speed, it was hurled into the air.
Ottino and Wyllie Direct Lift Device of 1910.
“Aerostatic and Heavier-than-air Aeronautical machine” designed by engineer Giuseppe Pietro Ottino and George Algernon Wyllie. Although the two men patented their invention (filed in 1909) as No.6378 A.D. 1909, it is very likely Ottino invented and designed the machine while Wyllie, an English gentleman, furnished the funds for its construction. An extraordinary model based on a rotary plane system, it was displayed at the Olympia Aero Show in London during March 1910.
Aeroplanes Sanchez-Besa Demountable Biplane (Type Militaire).
A variant of Sanchez-Besa’s Renault powered 1912 biplane, identified as his third design. Purportedly Salmson powered with slightly different dimensions. The tow vehicle is a 1910 model Delage type French roadster.
K.u.k. Militärluftschiff M.III System „Körting“.
Non-rigid military dirigible constructed by the firms of Körting and Wimpassing (K-W 1) based on the Parseval type. First ascended on January 1, 1911, the “Körting” was Austria’s most successful airship before being tragically lost on a routine aerophotogrammetric mission at Fischamend near Vienna. On June 20, 1914, moments after suffering a glancing mid-air collision with a Farman HF20 – a pusher biplane newly acquired by the military – the hydrogen-filled airship burst into a ball of fire and was dashed to earth. Nine men died including the pilot and observer of the Farman.
Anonymous Hot-air Balloon/Tullamore Balloon Fire of 1785.
On May 10, 1785 a hot-air balloon crashed in the town of Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland, causing a fire that burnt down about 100 to 130 houses, making it the world’s first aviation disaster. Launched from a Dr. Bleakly’s yard; the fire started when the balloon collided with the barracks chimney, and ignited. Despite the efforts of the Tullamore townspeople and the scorching and burning of a few, the fire could not be put out until it had done enormous damage. To this day, the town’s coat-of-arms depicts a phoenix rising.
Schmaltz Eindecker of 1908.
Ernst Schmalz, born 1879 in Nidau, Switzerland, in 1908 built with the help of Failloubaz, a pusher monoplane – powered by a 12 hp Anzani motor – with large ailerons he himself named “Stabiloklappen”. In flight tests at Thun he made jumps of up to a height of 6 meters. In 1909, Schmalz retired from flying. He sold his apparatus to a chauffeur, who collided with a tree top in flight tests on the Beundenfeld in Bern. Although the pilot remained intact, the aeroplane itself was a total loss.
Barcala-Cierva-Díaz Glider of 1910.
The first B.C.D. glider built by José Barcala, Juan de la Cierva and Pablo Díaz.
British National Antarctic (Discovery) Expedition Balloon “Eva”.
One of two observation balloons procured by Robert Falcon Scott from the the British War Office for him to use on his first polar expedition. Inflated with 8480 cubic feet (240 m³) of hydrogen and ascended with Capt. Scott on February 4, 1902, this was the first flight in Antarctica by any type of aircraft and reached a height of 244 metres – the limit of the tether. From the balloon Capt. Scott saw many parallel lines of undulation to Southward. A second ascent was then made the same day, carrying Ernest Shackleton, who took the first ever Antarctic aerial photographs, but after that the balloon developed a leak and was never flown again. The location of these flights was a small bay in the Ross Ice Barrier, near King Edward VII Land along what is now known as the Bay of Whales. The second balloon of the expedition was never flown. The name “Eva” was given to the former British Army balloon by Scott.
Aldasoro Glider of 1909.
Monoplane glider built by Juan Pablo Aldasoro of Mexico City, Mexico.
Cayley Boy Carrier.
Original sketch by Sir George Cayley of his full-size glider of 1849. It was successfully flown unmanned, and tested for a few yards at a time with the 10-year old son of one of his servants on board. It was the world’s first aeroplane with inherent stability. Wing area: 338 square feet; empty weight: 132 pounds.
Christmas Pusher Biplane of 1912.
Patented biplane configuration as invented by William Whitney Christmas (U.S. Patent 957,744 Flying machine, patented May 10, 1910), constructed by the Christmas Aeroplane Co. of Washington, DC. This version was fitted with a 6-cylinder 75 hp Roberts motor, photographed after making practice flights in the hands of Clinton O. Hadley at a height of 500 feet.
Designed and patented by Louis-Charles Letur (French brevet dated July 1852); the first pilot-controlled, heavier-than-air machine to be flight-tested in France and Britain. The fateful last flight by Letur at London’s Cremorne Garden on June 27, 1854 resulted in a fatal accident. The story is told in the references differently, nevertheless, the machine was suspended below the balloon of William Adam which was intended to get the “parachute-dirigeable” to the required height, but was almost immediately seized by heavy winds. The balloon did not get much height and bounced the machine over the obstacle-littered ground with poor Letur fastened by ropes to his seat. Fatally wounded, he lived only a few hours after the balloon and machine came back to earth to a complete stop.
Peterson Monoplane of 1910.
Canadian Edward C. Peterson piloting his own modified Blériot XI type copy across Kelly’s race track at Fort William, Thunder Bay, Ontario, near the corner of Edward and Arthur streets. Reportedly the first monoplane built in Canada, unfortunately on this occasion the plane failed to leave the ground. A later report in 1911 stated Peterson did make a successful flight over the fields at Mission Island.
Bünzli Glider of 1908–09.
Built by the “Société de Construction d’Appareils Aériens” in Levallois, based on the design of M. Bünzli. The firm’s specialty, the production of wooden parts, destined the framework to be made entirely of wood. The glider consisted of a pair of V-shaped wings set at an angle of 14 degrees, held into place by elastic cords attached to the top and the bottom of the frame. The underside of the frame had an ingenious slide construction that made it possible to move the pilot seat forwards and backwards. Cords were fixed at levers mounted on the elevator, which were then fastened to the moveable pilot chair, which in turn controlled the elevator at the back of the glider. When the pilot slid forward in his seat, the elevator turned down, lowering the nose of the glider. When sliding backwards the opposite happened as the elevator went up assisted by a spring device. Its wing area, the surfaces covered with balloon fabric, totalled 20 square meters; and weighing only about 36 kg, the length of the machine was 5.60 meters, its span 7 meters. It is said that better flights were made with this glider than with the machine of Chanute.
Wellman-Vaniman Airship “America”.
Rescue of the “America” photographed from the SS Trent on October 18, 1910, 72 hours and 1000 miles into the Trans-Atlantic voyage by Chicago newspaperman-explorer Walter Wellman, aero-pioneer Melvin Vaniman, four crewmen and one stowaway cat. It was an audacious attempt, especially considering that it was also this particular airship’s first (and last) flight. No test flights of any description were undertaken. Originally the 1906 Godard-designed, French-built polar exploration airship, the “America” had already been rebuilt and enlarged twice by the time it was lost at sea.
Andrews Flying Ship “Aereon” of 1863.
First successful American dirigible airship invented by Dr. Solomon Andrews of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. On August 9, 1862, Dr. Andrews wrote to US President Lincoln suggesting he could produce an aerostat to aid the armies of the Union. Constructed to demonstrate the capabilities of his invention, it was flown four times during the summer of 1863 during a period ranging from June through until September 4th. Motor-less yet able to navigate against the wind using lift force and ballast to ascend and descend while traveling horizontally. To understand how the “Aereon” could have made a round trip of twenty or thirty miles to reconnoitre the Confederate army positions and report back to the Union army commanders, it’s necessary to understand that the “Aereon”, by compartmentalizing the gas and stiffening the three gasbags, was built into a gliding wing that could be tilted upwards and downwards slightly by moving the center of gravity in the car forward or aft. The flying ship “flew” by pointing it in the direction you wish to go and then dumping ballast, causing it to go shooting off on a flat trajectory as it ascends. By using this difference in specific gravity between the balloon and the surrounding atmosphere as its propulsion, once the “Aereon” reached its maximum allowable or favourable height, the pilot then vented gas causing the craft to glide downward. This could be repeated as long as the gas and ballast held out.
Forssman Lenkballon of 1911.
First ascent of the Forssman dirigible balloon, on January 13, 1911 at Gerstenhofen, north of Augsburg. In 1910, Villehad Henrik Forssman (1884–1944) had graduated from the Riga Polytechnic Institute as a mechanical engineer and then moved to Germany that same year. Thereabouts, the flamboyant Swede had been contracted by the Russian army to deliver a dirigible and was there to be used for intelligence services, which was constructed at “August Riedinger Ballonfabrik” in Augsburg. It is not known whether or not the Russian military ever took delivery of the airship. The diminutive dirigible was only 35 meters long with a maximum diameter of 6 meters, and held 800 cubic meters of hydrogen gas. It could be dismantled very quickly and just as fast, later be ready to fly. Because of lift-force limitations a gondola was not available, only a single bench seat with the engine, where the pilot and even a mechanic had a place to sit. The 28 hp motor, which was also built by engineer Forssman, weighed only 38 kg, and that of the cooling device 4 1/2 kg. Reportedly the entire craft weighed 450 kg and capable of attaining a maximum speed of 43 km/h.
Lauer L.II “Dädalus”.
A German school biplane built in spring 1912, powered by a 55 hp Argus. Richard Lauer operated a small automobile factory in Halle/Saale and had built a monoplane in 1910. In 1912 he built this biplane and was permitted to test the aircraft at the Exerzierfeld Halle-Beesen, where he managed “some long flights”. He also set up a hangar and wanted to open a flight school that summer but unfortunately he crashed and destroyed the aircraft in June. Lauer suffered severe injuries that presumably prevented him from ever flying again.
Etrich VIII Luft-Limousine (Fluglimousine) 1912.
The Etrich Limousine made its maiden flight on May 7, 1912 at Josefstadt, Austria. It was the first passenger aircraft with a completely enclosed seating cabin. Igo Etrich had established the “Aeroplan Bau Gewerbe” in his home town of Trautenau, and at the airfield in Josefstadt – only few kilometres south of Trautenau – developed his new constructions: the Taube-Limousine and Schwalbe. The airplane had very successful flight characteristics and made many flights.
Vlach Monoplane No.4.
The Vlach No.4 was the first successful Czech aircraft, including its Czech engine, a 38 hp Laurin & Klement type L. Metoděj Vlach was born on July 6, 1887 at Říkovice near Přerov, Bohemia. After studying at a secondary school he went to work at Maribor, a train manufacturing company and then on to the firm Puch (Steier), a company producing cars. Beginning in 1908 he was employed as the chief mechanic at Laurin & Klement in Mladá Boleslav where his first airplane, an underpowered biplane, was built. His No.4 was already started in 1911 and together with helpers Vítek and Ševit the new monoplane was finished in the summer of 1912 and exhibited at the Mladoboleslavská severočeská výstava (Northern Czech Mlada Boleslav Exposition), there winning the Gold medal.
Copetta Monoplane “El Burrito”.
The first four airplanes constructed in Chile, were designed and built by the Copetta brothers. The first of them flew in 1911 and its name was “El Burrito” (young donkey). This airplane followed the lines of the Blériot IX in some way and was built in the necessity to fly after the irreparable destruction of their Voisin biplane, brought originally from France. Irregardless of it being the first, “El Burrito” bore on its tail the inscription “Copetta 2”, since in those years it was common to put the name of the pilot and constructor; in this case Copetta and Copetta.
Sloane Biplane of 1912.
Australian tractor biplane designed and constructed by Douglas Sloane (1890–1917). The engine was also of his own design and one of the things that held him up in his attempt to fly. Despite the stage of progress seen in this photo, the plane was eventually covered. It was towed behind a car to give it extra power but the engine just didn’t have the muscle. However the plane did manage a short hop at “Dick’s Plain” swamp in late April 1912. Douglas Sloane was killed in an RE8 of 69 (Australian) Sqdn RFC headed for France on August 21, 1917. With it was 2AM Sloane (observer/gunner), piloted by 2nd Lt FG Shapira. Having some engine trouble, they landed to have it rectified. This was done and after lunch they set off again. The plane reached about 600 feet when the nose suddenly dropped and it went into a spin from which it never recovered. Shapira and Sloane were the first active service casualties of the squadron.
1911–1912 monoplane of Austro-Hungarian/Croatian origin built by Slavoljub Šoštarko in Zagreb (Agram), Croatia – then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Šoštarko was probably an automobile racer who crossed over to airplane design and flying, but when his monoplane was exhibited in Zagreb in 1912, it was destroyed during his very first attempt at flight. There is no evidence that Šoštarko flew after this. As one of a few others who were experimenting right next to the sheds of Mihajlo Mercep at the gates of Zagreb, to be expected, the Šoštarko monoplane shows some resemblance to the Mercep Rusjan-Novak monoplanes; i.e. wing-posts, tail assembly with rudder running through the stabilizer, etc.
Kolbányi Monoplane Type V.
Second of two monoplanes built by Hungarian aviation pioneer Kolbányi Géza in 1912. A two-seater characterized by its very long vertical stabilizer stretching along the fuselage, the Kolbányi V monoplane was fatally crashed in October 1912, owing to a break of the wing structure, in which the pilot and sole occupant Takács Sándornak was killed.
A construction of “Gesellschaft für Flugmaschinen- und Apparatenbau” at Bonn-Hangelar; designed and built by Dr. Josef Hoos – a “Kölner” – and a flyer since 1911. Similar monoplanes were built in “some” numbers during 1910–1913, with various engines and used by the Hoos flying school up until 1914 – at first in Cologne and from December 1913 in Bonn-Hangelar. The earlier G.E.F.A. eindeckers (of 1911/12) had a small rudder, the later rudders were larger. This example, probably a later model with a partially covered fuselage, is shown at Hangelar Flugplatz in early 1914 with flight-student Albert Leick seated.
Unidentified Eindecker of 1911 at Cologne.
Probably photographed at the Butzweiler farm airfield, what is almost certainly a machine by Jean Hugot or Bruno Werntgen, to name but two possibles among a small group of very early Kölner aviators. Powered with what is most likely a Delfosse three-cylinder radial engine – a copy of the Anzani W “fan” – developing about 25 hp. [*]
Blériot Type XL of 1913.
Looking superficially like a Henry Farman pusher biplane; it differed noticeably from the HF by its undercarriage, nacelle and oval rudder. The machine was first presented in May at Salon de Turin, then later exhibited at the Paris Salon, but remained a singular example. It can also be found numbered arabically as the Blériot 40.
Wallbro Monoplane of 1910.
All-British aeroplane constructed by brothers Percy Valentine & Horace Samuel Wallis in the shed at the rear of their parents’ house in Cambridge with ‘offices’ of the Wallbro Aeroplane Co. in their bedroom overlooking the rear garden. By May 1910, it was complete and was put on display to the public. On July 4, 1910, the brothers made their first tentative ‘hop’ near Abington, where the machine had been brought to be housed. A complete and detailed description of the craft can be found in the Thursday, May 12, 1910 edition of the CAMBRIDGE DAILY NEWS.
Ellehammer Standard Monoplane of 1910.
This machine has sometimes been called “Ellehammer VI”, and while the aircraft was capable of flight, its performance was rather modest, and as a consequence was nicknamed “graesslaamaskinen” (the grass cutting machine, or “Lawn-mower”) in the newspaper Ekstrabladet. With a six-cylinder Ellehammer radial engine and triangular fuselage shape in typical Ellehammer style, the ribs including the cloth could be pushed inboard along the main spar, which then could be folded along the fuselage. The main spars are still in transverse position in this photograph; believed to have been taken at “Kløvermarken” in 1910. Frederik Moltke (very likely somewhere in the photo) was to compete with this machine for the first crossing-flight over the Øresund to Sweden. Unfortunately the airplane was not ready when Robert Svendsen had then already overflew the waters.
Wenk Hängegleiter of 1909.
A 16-year old Friedrich Wenk built this glider at Blaubeuren and flew it at Allmendingen. In 1920 he designed the Wenk-Peshkes flying wing sailplanes, and then, among many other works, the “Weltensegler” flying wings. Later, the wings for “Moazagotl” and “Minimoa”. Dr. Wenk died in 1966.
Khevenhüller Schwingengleiter of 1913.
A wing-flapping glider built and tested with moderate success by early Austrian experimenter and nobleman Graf Georg Khevenhüller at his castle, Burg Hochosterwitz, in Kärnten. Khevenhüller had begun in 1905 with a glider he himself built and in 1911, to further his experiments, the Count partnered with Franz Xaver Wels. From here the bar was set higher: to realize a glider with flapping wings. A machine seems to have been built, yet it was not successful and the men parted company soon after. In 1913 Count Khevenhüller built his last Schwingenflieger (as photographed), without any help of Wels. The machine had a weight of 50 kg and was constructed from bamboo, metal tubing and the wings of duralumin and balloon silk. The Count had the idea to flap the 12 meter span wings using human power, whereby a pulley construction was devised so that a person could beat the wings and hold the machine in the air. To give the glider its needed initial speed, a launching railway of 40 meters was laid down with a maximum slope of 20 degrees on the eastern part of Burg Hochosterwitz. Although this aircraft purportedly flew up to 100 meters in October 1913, all the attempts failed to make more than one flap of the wings, partly because of the instability of the machine in the air. After a severe crash, further attempts to fly the machine were halted and apparently remains preserved at Hochosterwitz.
South African biplane of original design constructed in Johannesburg by J. H. “Harry” Cutting with the help of friends Jimmy Cloughly, Ernest Miles and Sammy Samuels. The machine was built in Cutting’s workshop out of steel tubes, aluminium, covered with linen and powered by a 12 hp air-cooled two-cylinder J.A.P. V-engine driving a locally-manufactured aluminium propeller. Construction was started on August 22, 1908, and while several attempts to fly the plane were made prior to its three month-long public exhibition commencing in December 1909, the machine, although being capable of a fair speed along the ground, would not take off owing to a lack of engine power. When the plane was displayed next to the Empire Theatre in Johannesburg it was called “Carter’s Aeroplane”. Carter claimed he was awaiting a more powerful engine and would replace the canvas with silk to lighten his machine. Herbert Carter was a boxer by profession and most likely had purchased the aeroplane, but nothing more was heard of it after the exhibition closed down on February 26, 1910.
Moreau Aérostable No.2.
A De Dion-Bouton “Vis-à-vis” automobile towing a “Frères Moreau Aéroplane a stabilisation automatique” in 1911 at Combs-la-Ville. Different than other machines built by brothers Jules Albert & André Moreau, the No.2 was equipped with a Gnôme engine and the wings do not seem to be covered of silk, but with emaillit.
Rougé Aéro-voile of 1911.
Fourth construction of Emmanuel de Rougé; and piloted by Sadi Lecointe (1891–1944) who obtained French civil brevet No. 431 on February 10, 1911. Before this machine, the industrious de Rougé designed and built two helicopters and one biplane. The Aéro-voile is probably his last venture as after this machine little or nothing was heard of de Rougé.
Grohmann Eindecker of 1911.
1910/11 two-seater monoplane of Dipl.-Ing. Karl Grohmann, with a high-positioned “Zanonia” wing and a fully open fuselage. It was powered by a 50 hp Argus engine, which drove the tractor screw via a chain. Immediately on its first flight the machine flew 300 meters. Later Grohmann built a single seat development of the 1911 machine. Sometimes the two-seater is identified as the Grohmann I and the single-seater as the Grohmann II, but this is probably a spurious coding introduced years after the event. Karl Grohmann later worked at Albatros (Johannisthal) where he was involved in the design of, among others, the Doppeltaube. During the War he was Chefkonstrukteur (chief-designer) of the Ostdeutsche Albatros-Werke (OAW) in Schneidemühl (Posen).
Clément Ader Avion III Aquilon of 1897.
Restoration preserved at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris; the third “Avion” (after Eole and Zéphyr) built by Clément Ader (with the help of Ing. Morel). Trials of Avion III began at the Satory army base near Versailles on October 12, 1897, with the aircraft taxiing along a circular track. The first flight was attempted on October 14 and most sources agree that it ended almost immediately in a crash without ever leaving the ground, beyond which the “Ministère de la guerre” ceased to contribute further funding towards its research.
Gallaudet Model B Flying Boat.
Gallaudet’s second aircraft, the Model B monoplane flying boat, continued the arrangement of an engine enclosed in the fuselage driving remote propellers, in this case a pusher propeller behind that trailing edge of each wing panel. The Model B was flown several times during 1913 and 1914 with several different engines, but does not appear to have been particularly successful.
Heaton Airship California Messenger.
George E. Heaton’s 1904/05 Oakland/Bay-area airship, the California Messenger, making its first trial on December 2, 1904, at a field in East Oakland (north of the Tidal Canal, east of 23rd Ave.). At Idora Park during the following February it was on the California Messenger which world-renowned birdman Lincoln Beachey made his first powered-flight.
Never-completed 250 foot rigid airship, 24 feet in diameter, under construction during 1909–1910 by the Preble-Rekar Airship Company of Portland, Oregon.
Saru-Ionescu Monoplane of 1911.
Powered by a 25 hp Anzani, tests of this machine were conducted between July 22 and August 28, 1911, at Cotroceni, Romania. Nicolae Saru was a bank clerk who as Ionescu, in his free time and out of his own pocket, realized this machine. Unfortunately Saru was the only person available to fly the aeroplane, but had no flying experience. Therefore, after a few minor mishaps which could be repaired, he finally wrecked the machine on August 28, 1911. Lacking the money to (re)build a new monoplane he left aviation.
Pilâtre de Rozier “La Rozière” of 1785.
First hot-air/hydrogen balloon.
Le grand aéroplane Solirène.
Built during 1903/1904 by Solirène and son from Montpellier, but never flown due to financial problems.
Thomas Brothers Aeroplane Company Biplane.
1913 Thomas Bros. three-seat nacelle pusher biplane, powered by a 90 hp Austro-Daimler engine.
Sikorsky Helicopter No.2 of 1910.
Also known as the S-2; an identification later designated. Powered by the same Anzani 3-cylinder of 25 hp as in the No.1. Developing lift force using contra-rotating three-bladed rotors, reportedly it could almost lift itself.
Wolf-Becher Triplane Glider.
Triplane duo-seat glider designed and built in 1909 by Carl Wolf and August Becher, variously described as being from Oakland, California or Fitchberg, California. The aircraft is said to have made flights of up to 200 feet when launched from a specially built inclined ramp, 50 feet in height. Wingspan: 19’ 8”; wing area of 220 sq ft.
Retouched photograph of replica on Richard Pearse Memorial at Waitohi, New Zealand.
Pomar Monoplane of 1908.
Of Peruvian aviation pioneer Carlos Tenaud Pomar.
Aéroplane Pompéïen of 1900.
As presented at the Exposition Internationel 1900 in Paris; probably “No. 2” of Jean-Claude Pompéïen-Piraud.
Wölfert Airship “Deutschland”.
The invention of Dr. Karl Wölfert; an 800 cubic meter capacity non-rigid dirigible, driven by an internal combustion Daimler gasoline motor of 8 hp. Wölfert made ascensions on “Deutschland” at Tempelhof-Berlin on August 28 and 29, 1896 and on March 6, 1897, but did not have a lot of success navigating his machine. On June 12, 1897, an exhibition of “Deutschland” in front of government dignitaries and military men ended disastrously. Carrying Dr. Wölfert and his mechanic Robert Knabe, the airship rose to 200 meters and was suddenly engulfed in flame, dashing both men to their death. The airship was the first to have an accident involving the combustion of the hydrogen lift gas resulting in fatalities.
Robertson “Flotille Aérostatique”.
Eugène Robertson gas balloon, ascending from the Castle Garden at the Battery in New York, October 10, 1826. Robertson made many early ascensions in North America, with flights made at New York and New Orleans between 1825 and 1836. He also made early flights in the Antilles (1828 at La Havana) and in Mexico (1835 Mexico City and Veracruz). He died of yellow fever in Veracruz in 1838. His father and his brother Dimitri were also well-known balloonists.
Compañia Universal de Navegación Aérea Flying Machine.
Part of a central section of the “Multíptero” or “Flugilarillo” of the Catalonian inventor Cristóbal Juandó y Rafecas, dated circa 1901/1902.
Paulhan “Machine à voler” of 1910.
Watres Monoplane “The Grass Cutter”.
Designed and constructed by Reyburn Watres of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1910. Powered by a vertical type motor of four cylinders; Watres flew his aircraft a number of times, primarily at his airfield in the Lake Wallenpaupack region.
Fabre Hydravion Le Canard.
World’s first successful seaplane; constructed by Henri Fabre in 1910.
Schwarz All-metal Rigid Airship of 1897.
Gomes da Silva II of 1910.
Bousson Auto-Aviateur of 1900.
Besson Canard Hydroplane, circa 1912.
Kitchen’s Annular Biplane of 1910–11.
Taddéoli seaplane “La Mouette” of 1912.
Tatin Aéroplane of 1879.
Designed by Louis Lejeune, built by de Pischoff et Koechlin, the 1909 Lejeune biplane modified with forward extending biplane aileron control; possibly Lejeune No.3. Powered with a 10–12 hp 3-cylinder Buchet radial engine chain-driving two 2-bladed pusher propellers; featuring bicycle gear in tandem with wingtip wheels. At the Prix de Lagatinerie, held May 23, 1909 – the official opening of Port-Aviation – Lejeune, who was not entered in the race, tried to fly his plane. However, despite very long ground runs through the grass the little biplane never took off, managing only to earn itself the nickname “la moissoneuse”, (the harvester).
Merx Fünfdecker “Himmelsleiter”.
Built and demonstrated at Flugplatz Johnannisthal in 1911, but apparently did not fly. Later, the machine was modified, and it appears questionable whether the revision flew either. The secretive Merx had “Himmelsleiter” (sky ladder) built and kept in its shed – hidden from prying eyes. When the first flight test was to take place, it turned out that the apparatus was higher than the door and could not be pulled out of the shed. Also known as the Mehrdecker-Versuchsflugzeug von J. Merx, (multiplane-experimental).
Rossier-Kunkler Hochdecker of 1912.
High-wing pusher monoplane powered by an opposed 4-cylinder Oerlikon engine rated to 45 hp.
Passerat & Radiguet Monoplane “Sylphe”.
Designed and built by the Parisian automobile coachbuilding firm of Passerat & Radiguet. Displayed at the 2e Exposition Internationale AÈronautique (Salon de l’Aviation) held at the Grand Palais in Paris from October 15 until November 3, 1910. Its specifications were: Span: 29’ 6”; Length: 43’; Weight gross: 1080 lbs.
Severo Airship “Bartolomeu de Gusmão”.
Semi-rigid airship designed by Brazilian aeronaut Augusto Severo, first flown February 14, 1894, from the Royal Field at Rio De Janeiro. Named for Bartolomeu de Gusmão (1685–1724) : see 105.
Lachambre-Andrée Balloon “Örnen”.
Swedish polar explorers Andrée, Fraenkel and Strindberg departing from Danes Island, Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard archipelago, on July 11, 1897, in an ill-fated attempt to reach the North Pole. The hydrogen gas balloon, 67 feet in diameter, with a capacity of 170,000 cubic feet, was built by Henri Lachambre in Paris. Three varnished layers of double Chinese silk formed the upper half of the envelope, with a single layer on the bottom half. A heavy casing of woven hempen netting shrouded the balloon, which was surmounted by a cap, or calotte, of varnished silk to keep arctic snows from lodging in the netting. Suspended from a bearing ring formed from American elm wood was a wicker car measuring 6.5 feet in diameter and 5 feet deep. The balloon was originally named “Le Pôle Nord”, but was later christened “Örnen” (Eagle). In 1930, the remains of Saloman Andrée and his two companions were discovered on White Island and repatriated to Sweden.
Aeronave “Italia” of 1905.
The first Italian dirigible; designed and built by conte Almerico da Schio.
Fisher Flying Machine.
Direct-lift flying machine invented in 1909 by Harry Fisher, an early experimenter from Tauherenikau, New Zealand.
Horváth III/C Fecske Monoplane of 1912.
Replica of experimental Hungarian monoplane designed and built by Erno Horváth. The third version of the Fecske (Swallow) was powered by a 35 hp Daimler engine with which it could achieve a speed of 50 mph, and had the specifications: Span: 37’ 9”; Length: 30’ 10”; Weight empty: 573 lbs. [*]
Replica of 1910 Pither monoplane built at Invercargill, New Zealand.
Morel Canard Biplane of 1911.
Designed by capitaine Morel de l’infanterie coloniale and built by Pierre Pons – who had formed the SAFA (Société Anonyme Français d’Aviation). Entered in the 1911 Grand Concours Militaire de Reims, as evidenced by the Liste officielle des concurrents du concours militaire 1er janvier 1911; named in the list as Pons (Adresse - Paris). As no further mention of the machine can be found in this concours it is likely that it was not ready in time for the competition. The Morel (Pons) Canard was evaluated in a French official military report dated March 6, 1912, and, as quoted by Opdycke, did some flying in April 1912 at Issy-les-Moulineux. Constructed of aluminium and steel in its entirety, the design made it possible for it to be disassembled completely by loosening only nine bolts. Built to carry two passengers in addition to its pilot, this unusual biplane was powered by an Anzani 60 hp, 6-cylinder radial engine. Its primary specifications are: Length: 7 m; Span: 9 m; Surface: 23 m sq.; Weight: 380 kgs.
Luftschiff Zeppelin 1.
First of the famous series of lighter-than-air giants, the construction of Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin’s LZ 1 began in June, 1898, in a floating wooden hangar on Bodensee (Lake Constance) at Manzell (Friedrichshafen). The movable, floating shed allowed the ship to be positioned into the wind to enter or leave its hangar to facilitate the difficult launching and recovery procedures. Completed in the winter of 1899, the Graf decided to wait however until the summer of 1900 before attempting an ascension. The airship was inflated with hydrogen in June, and made its maiden flight on July 2, 1900 at 20:03. At its first trial the LZ 1 carried five persons attaining an altitude of 400 metres (1,300 ft) and flew a distance of 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) in 18 minutes. All the same, the wind then forced an emergency landing on the water. Some sources claim the LZ 1 was forced to land on the lake after the winding mechanism for the balancing weight failed. By moving the weight between its two nacelles, this controlled the pitch of the rigid airship.
Loose Monoplane of 1909.
Twining Ornithopter No.2.
Built by early aviation and radio pioneer, Los Angeles Manual Arts High School Professor Harry La Verne Twining, likely with the assistance of Warren Samuel Eaton. Completed around the summer of 1909 and first appearing in the October 1909 issue of Aeronautics; as President of the Aero Club of California, Twining entered his second ornithopter into the 1910 Los Angeles International Air Meet at Dominguez Field.
Stahlluftschiff “Veeh I” of 1913.
Monnier Harper Type No.1.
Modified from the original machine assembled in Rotterdam, as seen before its August 10, 1911 flight test on the plain, probably around Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Likely a memento taken just before; the couple may be Monnier Harper and his wife. Arthur Frederic Monnier Harper (1888–1916) was a violin virtuoso born in Belfast, and made his public debut at the age of eleven. Probably in 1904 he settled with his mother and brother in Brussels, and at the age of sixteen played in the orchestra of the Ostende Kurhaus. In the following years he performed as a soloist in France, The Netherlands, England, Northern Ireland and of course, Belgium. Monnier Harper also played with the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague during one season (probably 1913–14). In 1911 he settled in Scheveningen, being appointed Dutch representative of the Weston Hurlin Co., a supplier of aircraft components and founder of flying schools. The Dutch aviation pioneer Adriaan Mulder had been his flying instructor.
Heinrich Model A.
First monoplane of the brothers Albert & Arthur Heinrich from Baldwin, Long Island, New York, on which both taught themselves to fly. Its maiden flight was made in May of 1910, and was powered by a 60 hp Emerson boat engine – which was not a surprise considering the Heinrichs were previously active in the boat business.
Langley Aerodrome of 1903, aka the Langley “Folly”, as restored by Curtiss in 1914. Often referred to by Langley as “the Great Aerodrome”. Photo (L to R): Dr. Charles Walcott, of the Smithsonian Institute; Glen H. Curtiss; Miss Walcott; Dr. A. F. Zahn, of the Smithsonian Institute; C. C. Wittmer.
Seddon “Mayfly” of 1910.
Large and ambitious elliptical tube framework tandem biplane flying machine, employing Beedle aluminium sheet propellers, contracted by John W. Seddon to the English engineering company of Accles and Pollock just one year after Blériot’s Cross-Channel flight. It was intended to take six people aloft – one pilot and five passengers. The aircraft never flew, and indeed achieved nothing more than a high-speed ground-run. Often referred to as the Accles and Pollock aeroplane. [*]
Aerial Experiment Association Glider of 1907.
Chanute-style hang-glider and first flying machine constructed by the AEA, set up by Alexander Graham Bell.
Monoplano Micheli Maria.
Built by Guido Micheli and Domenico Ulivi in late 1910 and sometimes referred to as the Ulivi monoplane – Ulivi being the financier of the project. Powered by an Anzani motor, the Maria was the first aeroplane to have been built and flown in Umbria, Italy.
Santos-Dumont 14-bis Cellular Box-kite Canard Biplane.
The misfortunate aftermath of the last flight of S-D 14-bis on April 4, 1907, at Saint-Cyr. It flew about 50 m (164 ft) and crashed. Santos-Dumont did not attempt to repair it. For this flight, square ailerons positioned mid-height in the outer cells of the wings, as opposed to the earlier octagonal type, were tried.
Gabriel Eindecker of 1912.
Copy of the Fokker Spinne built by twin brothers Willi and Walter Gabriel of Bromberg, Germany, just 18 years old at the time. It was the third flying machine that the brothers had built – aptly a two-seater – on which Willi earned his pilot’s brevet on August 12, 1912. Both Willi and Walter went on to become fighter pilots during World War One – Willi, an ace.
Short S.41 “Hydro-Aeroplane”.
The original version of the S.41, it was converted to a landplane and flown by Cdr R. Samson – also the pilot of its maiden flight – during the Army manoeuvres of September 1912. With its floats restored, it started flying from the temporary seaplane station at Carlingnose on October 2nd. In January 1913 it underwent an overhaul during which the centre section gap was covered. In September that year it was overhauled again and the aircraft emerged completely different in shape, fitted with folding wings of greater span and a new rudder. In 1914 it was refitted with a 140 hp Gnôme and assigned to the Eastchurch flying school. In 1915 the S.41 was sent to the Aegean theatre and in 1916 was spotted at Inbros. Not included in the March 1916 list of naval aircraft, it may have been destroyed prior to that month.
Otto Trinks Doppelrumpfeindecker.
Presented at Johnnisthal in 1911 as the first bi-fuselage aircraft; its pusher prop between the two tail booms driven by a 50 hp Argus.
Wright-like with dihedral wings, the Sleigh-glider, or Skiglider – ordered by Rittmeister Hans von Umlauff and built by Lohner – was tried over the winter of 1909/10 with some success. The longest flight achieved by Von Umlauff’s biplane glider was 75 metres during testing at Semmering, Niederösterreich, Austria, on February 16, 1910.
Designed and built by E. Lillian Todd and first flown by Didier Masson over the Garden City aviation field in Long Island during November of 1910. Miss Todd was well known at the time, and her Biplane–1910, powered by an eight cylinder 60 hp Rinek engine, was the first successful aeroplane built by an American woman. Todd is told to have designed and built three full-size aircraft; her first – an engineless machine – in 1906.
Underwood Flying Wing of 1907.
Wadsworth Flying Fish.
In 1911, Detroit industrialist and boat tycoon Frederick Elliott Wadsworth (1868–1927), built a hydro-aeroplane named the Flying Fish which debuted at the New York Boat Show. The unusual vehicle was designed to skim on top of the water at speeds of up to 65 mph, with the ‘skipper-pilot’ seated in a wicker chair at the rear of its canoe-like hull. The Flying Fish was successfully tested on the ice of Lake St. Clair but no further development occurred.
Lenormand Parachute of 1783.
On December 26, 1783, French physician/inventor Louis-Sébastien Lenormand (1757–1837) jumped from the tower of the Montpellier observatory in front of a crowd that included Joseph Montgolfier, using a 14 foot diameter parachute, and officially designating Lenormand as making the world’s first successful, publicly recorded parachute descent. His intended use for the “parachute”, its name coined by himself, was to help entrapped occupants of a burning building escape unharmed.
Gran Monoplane of 1910.
Constructed by engineer Einar Lilloe Gran, the first motorised airplane in Norway had a wing span of 10 meters and cost 12,000 kroner to build. Powered by a 30 hp 2-cylinder Darracq motor, the monoplane was originally put on display in Oslo during March 1910, and then taken to Ringerike where several attempts to get the machine airborne were made, but without any significant results.
Aeroplano Bassoli Corni.
Built in the town of Cortile, near Parma, the A.B.C. biplane of Prof. Bassoli and G. Corni, an engineer and a mathematician, flew just once – ending in a crash – on August 21, 1910
Art Smith Biplane.
Curtiss-type biplane flown and crashed at Fort Wayne, Indiana, on January 18, 1910. The aeroplane reached almost fifty miles per hour before leaving the ground when suddenly it rose alarmingly, dipped, rose again, and crashed into the field in what is now Memorial Park. Art was thrown onto the frozen ground and badly injured. The machine was ruined except for the 40 hp Elbridge engine and never rebuilt.
Hanriot Type VIII.
Built in cooperation with Henri-Hubert Pagny, who had previously worked with Nieuport. This 100 hp Clement Bayard powered machine, the first of the Antoinette-developments by Hanriot, was designed for the Concours Militaire de Reims in October 1911, where it was flown by Gaston Dubreuil.
Bossi “Signorina I” of 1909.
Demoiselle-like monoplane designed by Enea Bossi and Luigi Mojoli of Milano, on display at “prima Esposizione d’Aviazione Italiana”, held in Milano on November 15, 1909. The wings in the background of the photograph are reportedly those of the Bossi Dai-Dai, a Curtiss pusher copy.
Aviatik Versuchs-Doppeldecker of 1910.
Experimental first machine designed and built by Julius Spengler (founder of Aviatik GmbH in Mülhausen-Burzweiler / Elsass). Notable for its twin triple-superimposed propellers driven via chains by a 50 hp Argus engine in the wings, and its unique undercarriage.
Daniel Dunglas Home (1833–1886).
Levitating spiritualist once reportedly seen flying out of, and back into, a third story window of a house. [*]
Gouveia monoplane of 1911.
On December 11, 1909, Portuguese inventor João Gouveia, known for his model aeroplanes and who had already designed and constructed kites since 1907, presented a plan to the Academy of Sciences for the “Gouveia”, a 9 metre span monoplane powered by a 26 hp Anzani engine. He built a hangar in Seixal in 1911, constructed the machine and conducted experiments, but eventually abandoned the project due to breakdowns and a lack of funds.
Bates Airship of 1909.
First powered aircraft of Iowan aviation pioneer Carl Sterling Bates, an experimenter of gliders as early as 1884, also referred to by the newspapers as the Bates Flyer. Bates took this biplane to Daytona Beach, Florida, where he raced it against a Buick automobile and lost. Purportedly this was the first ever race between a car and an airplane.
Wright CH (Model C Hydroplane).
One of three early U.S. Navy hydroplanes serial B-1 to B-3, renumbered AH-4 to AH-6. B-2 caused the first fatality in U.S. naval aviation when Ensign W. D. Billingsley was thrown from his pilot’s seat in turbulent air over Annapolis, Maryland, on June 20, 1913. Billingley’s passenger stayed with the aeroplane, sustaining injuries when the plane hit the water.
Kreß Flugapparat of 1901.
Also known as the Kreß (Kress) Drachenflieger, this 3-wing-in-tandem flying boat was an extraordinary effort of Austrian Wilhelm Kreß and only fell short of actually flying because of a too weak an engine. Kreß himself, then already at advanced age, intended to test fly the machine on October 3, 1901 but the machine capsized and sank in the Wienerwaldsee-Untertullnerbach.
Rieflin Headless Aeroplane Co. Hydro-aeroplane of 1912.
Set world’s record for sustained hydro-aeroplane flight over water when piloted by Fred C. Eels on June 25, 1912 over Irondequoit Bay, New York, seventy-three miles in 1:21:00, at an average speed of fifty-four miles per hour. Eels’ flight was cut short when his supply of gasoline gave out and he dropped his machine into the bay. The best previous record for sustained flight was forty-six miles.
Possibly an ornithopter or glider.
Maurice Clément Biplane of 1910.
Also known as the Clément-Bayard biplane; constructed by the firm Letord et Niepce and fitted with a 43 hp 4-cylinder Clément-Bayard motor.
Donnet-Lévêque Type C of 1912.
In 1912 four Donnet-Lévêque flying boats Type A (no ailerons) and Type C (with ailerons) – assigned numbers from 8 to 12 – were obtained by K.u.k. Seeflugwesen. This specific aircraft sporting number 10 entered service on January 4, 1913 and was written off in December 1913 due to damage sustained in a crash.
Libański “Jaskółka” of 1911.
Early Polish aircraft built by Libański featuring a 3-cylinder Delfose rotary engine placed ahead of its propeller. The Jaskółka (Swallow) never flew with the additional upper wing as shown in the workshop at Lwów (Lemberg), although it did fly in August 1911 as a monoplane at Wiener Neustadt – without its proven-to-be-impractical top plane.
Chanute-Avery Multiple-wing Gliding Machine “Katydid”.
Seventh and final form of multiplane soaring machine built by Chicago carpenter William Avery to the specifications of Octave Chanute based on the principles of the Pratt truss. Photographed here with Chanute during its extensive testing by Avery from the dunes on the shores of Lake Michigan at Miller Beach, Indiana, near Chicago in September of 1896; the Katydid was so named because of its insect-like appearance and made some two hundred glides that summer.
Novák No.1 of 1911.
First helicopter of František Novák in its final version with lighter rotor, 25 hp 3-cylinder engine and large anti-rotating panels dating from the summer of 1911. Novák started his pioneering work on helicopters already in 1909 with a model helicopter and in June 1910 he started building his first full size helicopter which used a motorcycle engine for power. In this first version it turned out that the 3 meter diameter rotor was too heavy and that the motorcycle engine was too weak. Later Novák was able to obtain a more powerful engine, a 3-cylinder Trojan and Nagl of 25 hp; and developed a lighter rotor of the same 3 meter diameter. This helicopter did lift into the air unloaded – however, as there was no compensation for the reaction movement, the machine counter-rotated in the air and even the fitting of large vertical panels did not stop the helicopter from spinning. Coinciding with the start of his more advanced second helicopter, development of Novák’s first ended in the Fall of 1911.
Sächsische Verein für Luftschiffahrt Flugapparat of 1909.
Combination Drachenflieger-Radflieger designed by the Sächsiche Verein für Luftschiffahrt. The machine was powered by a 30 hp engine constructed by Fritz Hayn. Actual construction was done by the “Maschinenfabrik von Hayn u. Leilich” in Chemnitz.
N.F.B. (Hilsmann u. Co.) Eindecker.
“Niederrheinsche Flugzeug-Bbauanstalt Altenessen” Type e or Type d, built in 1911.
Obre Monoplane of 1910.
Third machine built by Emile Obre after two biplanes in 1909, designated, for some unexplained reason, Obre No.1 and No.3. Probably photographed at Issy-les-Moulineaux.
Berger Monoflygplan of 1911.
Unsuccessful design of Swedish actor Bror Berger, powered by a 42 hp R.E.P 5-cylinder fan type air-cooled engine. Building began during 1910 in a closed-down cinema behind the Blanchs Café, and in September 1911 Berger tried the machine at Gärdet, Stockholm. The first take-off attempt ended when the landing gear collapsed and the propeller broke. A new propeller was bought from Landskrona while sturdier gear was fitted, and the resulting new trials were, according to the press, very promising. Yet after 1911 nothing more was mentioned of the monoplane until it was donated to the Tekniska Museet, Stockholm (Stockholm Technical Museum) in 1927, in the same state of repair as it remains in today. In 2010 the Berger monoplane was transported to the new Siljan AirPark Museum, scheduled to open mid-summer 2011.
Monoplano Antoni, Biposto tipo 1913.
Bi-place monoplane built by the “Società di Aviazione Antoni” at campe di San Giusto.
Deboignie Monoplane of 1912.
Third and last monoplane designed by Édouard Eugène Joseph Ghislain Debongnie (born in 1883) of French nationality but naturalized to Belgian in 1905. Deboignie opened a factory near the North Sea at Groenendijk – “Les Établissements Debongnie à Nieuport-Bains (Groenendijk)” – with his first monoplane coming out 1910. A second with characteristic curved wings appeared in 1911 and another in 1912. Although builder of three different monoplanes, the firm was principally into propeller production before folding in 1914 with the beginning of the war. Prior to his pursuit of aviation, Debongnie was a champion cyclist; winning the bronze medal at the 1906 Athens Olympic Games in the sprint racing event.
Gakkel V Hydroplane.
High wing monoplane powered by a 50 hp Oerlikon, designed and built in 1911 by Яков Модестович Гаккель – Yakov Modestovich Gakkel.
Burgess-Curtiss model D.
Hybrid of Farman and Wright machines, completed after the Harvard-Boston Aero Meet in 1910, first tried at the end of this year and flown into 1911. Passenger flights were undertaken until it crashed in April 1911. Its power plant was a 60 hp Hendee V-8, while a proposed 50 hp Gnôme was never fitted. Photographed November or December 1910 at Ipswich.
Reid’s second machine powered by a 55 hp 5-cylinder Viale radial engine, 29 feet long, with a 32 foot span. The machine was quite successful and was flown numerous times in 1912 by Reid and by Ernest Anctil, who assisted in its construction.
Bossi-Mojoli II Biplano.
Powered by a Zust motor and built by the firm of the Zari brothers in 1909. Enea Bossi emigrated to the USA after WWI.
Merćep-Rusjan EDA VI.
Monoplane built by the Rusjan brothers at the workshops of Mihajlo Merćep in Zagreb; completed sometime in Autumn 1910. Unfortunately, while promoting the upstart firm “Agramer Aëroplanfabrik M. Merćep” at Belgrad in January 1911, Edvard “Eda” Rusjan fell to his death when the wings collapsed on this machine.
Pfitzner Monoplane of 1910.
Designed by Alexander Pfitzner, built by the Curtiss company at Hammondsport, N.Y., and flown by Pfitzner himself, but with only variable degrees of success. A solitary, unsuccessful, flight attempt had been made in December 1909, but it was only in early 1910 that proper flights were begun to be made with it.
Martin Monoplane Glider.
Built by William H. Martin of Canton, Ohio, himself, sitting in the pilot’s seat. The glider was flown, towed behind a car, in 1908 in Ohio, and then in 1909 at New York, during trials conducted by the Aeronautic Society. The craft was ultimately donated to the Smithsonian.
Curtiss-Willard Banshee Express of 1910.
Designed on the specifications of Charles F. Willard and built by Curtiss, the first flight of the Banshee Express took place at Mineola, N.Y., and established an American record by carrying 3 passengers (1200 lb gross) on August 14, 1910.
Voisin-built Archdeacon glider acquired and motorized by French inventor Emile Bellamy in 1906.
Rumpler Eindecker of 1910.
Inconclusive model. Possibly the Walter Stein Eindecker. In 1910 Rumpler built monoplanes for several designers, which included the Stein, Eggers, Pegelow and Haefelin Eindeckers. All were powered by the Rumpler 50 hp Aeolus engine and all did not fly.
Salvador Monoplano 1911.
Designed and constructed, starting in 1910, by Don Arturo Salvador Gómez at Valencia, Spain.
Hino No.2 Monoplane of 1911.
Pusher monoplane designed by the Japanese captains Hino and Tokugawa. Its inline 4-cylinder engine was by their own design and developed between 18 and 30 hp.
Caproni Ca.8 Monoplane of 1911.
Lohner No.1 of 1910.
Canadian aircraft designed and constructed by George Lohner, a recently-emigrated German who had arrived in Ottawa, Ontario, during the summer of 1909. Completed and tried unsuccessfully in early 1910, the No.1 was soon followed by the Lohner No.2 – a similar machine that “flew” under tow on July 21, 1910 – after which little else was heard of George Lohner.
Kimball Biplane of 1909.
Wilbur R. Kimball’s aeroplane “New York No.1” at Morris Park, New York, during its christening by the well-known Ziegfield Follies showgirl Anna Held on March 12, 1909. With eight 4-bladed propellers driven by one engine; the big machine was built at Morris Park under the direction of the American Aeronautic Society but appears not to have flown with any great success.
Paulhan-Tatin Aéro Torpille No 1.
Powered by a 50 hp Gnôme; the “Torpedo” was designed by Victor Tatin with Luis Paulhan being a sponsor of its 1911 construction.
Fritz Russ Flyer of 1910.
An American flying machine with wings in the form of half cylinders and immense helical spirals, or screws, set within them.
Sachsen Doppeldecker of 1911.
First Sachsen doppeldecker – powered by a 55 hp Argus and built by Alfred Manhardt and Erich Schmidt at the Sächsische Automobil- und Flugzeugwerke; the fore-runner to Deutsche Flugzeug Werke (D.F.W.).
Antoinette Monobloc of 1911.
Last design of the soon liquidated, and then-named firm “Antoinette Aéroplan-Ateliers”. Powered by a 50–60 hp Antoinette engine, the Leon Levavasseur-designed machine, aka the Antoinette Blindé, aka the Antoinette Latham, never left the ground.
Clark & Fitzwilliams Cycloplane of 1910.
Built in Buffalo, New York, the pedal-powered Cycloplane (sometimes Cycleplane) was 16 feet long spanning 15 feet, weighing about 55 pounds; with approximately 100 square feet of wing surface. Warping wings, front elevator and rear plane with rudder, were all controlled by levers on the frame. It is claimed that flights of 100 feet with a 119 pound pilot were made.
Bristol Biplane Type T Sequence number 45.
Used by Marcel Tabuteau in the June 1911 Circuit de L’Europe. Alternatively the machine was sometimes known as the Challenger-Dickson Biplane.
Székely IV Parasol of 1913.
Fourth machine designed and built by the Hungarian Mihály Székely (Hungary then part of the K.u.k – Austro-Hungary). A typical parasol wing machine with the pilot and passenger sitting in a nacelle beneath the wing-tractor configuration, with the engine high before the wing and petrol tanks above.
Vuia 2 Monoplane.
Designed and built by Romanian pioneer Traian Vuia in 1907. Claimed to be a rebuilt Vuia 1. Compact airframe and folded wings are distinctive features of this design which was powered by a 25 hp Antoinette motor.
Bellanca Parasol Monoplane 1911.
Third design of Giuseppe Mario Bellanca (1886–1960). It was his first US design – the other two were designed and built in Italy (Milan). Built in the backyard of his brother Carlo’s grocery shop in New York, the parasol’s first flight was made on the airfield at Mineola, New York in the fall of 1911. The engine was a 3-cylinder Anzani of 30 hp, mounted before the wing. The machine was quite successful and Bellanca opened a flying school using it. He gave lessons to Fiorella LaGuardia, later mayor of New York City.
BMFW Stahleindecker Militärtyp.
Militäreindecker [Military monoplane] designed by Ing. Philipp Enders [System Enders] announced in Flugsport 1911 to be constructed by the Flug Technische Gesellschaft Nürnberg-Fürth E.V., yet in the same issue a drawing infers that it is to be constructed by the Nürnberger Motoren und Maschinenfabrik. In the end the steel-constructed machine was exposited in the Berlin ALA (Algemeinen Luftfahrt Ausstellung) 1912 as a finished machine of the Bayerische Motoren- und Flugzeugwerke Nürnberg.
Zerbe Multiplane of 1910.
Five-wing multiplane – the second of three such multiplanes built by Californian Professor Jerome S. Zerbe, which came to grief on January 11, 1910 during the 1910 Los Angeles International Air Meet at Dominguez Mesa. Zerbe is somewhat of a mysterious figure whose real name was only recently determined to be James Slough Zerbe.
Gustav Koch Schaufelradflieger.
Ellehammer Helicopter of 1912.
Tested sporadically until 1916, when a roll-over during a trial brought matters to a grinding halt. It was a co-axial aircraft, with two rings of 6 meter diameter, turning in opposite directions. Made of aluminium tubes, each ring supported 6 more wings of one square meter each. The 6-cylinder star-shaped engine produced 36 hp and its power was transmitted to the rings by means of a hydraulic clutch, which was also an invention of Ellehammer. Although the aircraft could lift up on several occasions during tests, I could never accomplish a free flight.
Paulat Hydro-Aero Biplane of 1911.
Ion Paulat (1873–1954), born at Cioara, near Braila, was a sailor who at Galati built the first Romanian seaplane. As the Ministry of War provide no assistance to him, Paulat had difficulties obtaining an engine to power the aeroplane. In the end – through friendly help in order to conduct a flight test – he obtained one of the two 55 hp Hilz engines needed. With one engine the machine flew in early November 1911, making a jump of 10 meters at a height of 35 centimetres. As Paulat did not succeed in obtaining the required second Hilz engine, he designed the light 1912 Hydro-Aero Monoplane – suited for one Hilz engine – and completed in June 1912 as a landplane. This machine crashed on June 6, 1912. Paulat was called under arms during the Balkan War (1912–1913), but once returning, decided to end his aeronautical work due to his financial difficulties.
Zbierański and Cywiński Biplane.
Bleriot VI Libellule.
Libellule after its first modification in July 1907. Built in 1907 by Louis Blériot, and powered by a 24 hp Antoinette engine.
Carl Richard Nyberg began work on this Swedish flying test-bed in 1897, with tests and alterations to the design of the Flugan, the “Fly”, being made over a number of years.
Christmas Red Bird I of 1909.
First of three iterations of Red Bird built by Dr. William Whitney Christmas.
Waterman-Kendall Biplane of 1910.
Silverston “Vacu-Aerial” Flying Machine No. 2 of 1912.
Also known as Dr. Rudolph Silverston’s Milwaukee Flying Machine No. 2.
L’Aviateur of Louis-Étienne Roze.
Hartung Monoplane Nr 3.
Third of four aircraft built by carpenter Albert Hartung in his workshop at Quedlinburg.
Rüb Schaufelrad Flugzeug.
Hammer & Krollmann Eindecker of 1912.
Augustus Herring’s Chanute-style Powered Hang Glider of 1898.
Reichelt Wearable Parachute.
Franz Reichelt, the flying tailor, made a fateful, fatal fall from the Eiffel Tower demonstrating his device in 1912.
Le Prieur-Aihara Glider of 1909.
AKA the Aihara-Le Prieur, built by Japanese Lieutenant Shiro Aihara and French 2nd Lieutenant Le Prieur using bamboo for the structure, the duo made gliding tests with a towing automobile in December 1909 at Ueno Park, Toyko. This was the first glider flight in Japan.
1913 Robiola Idromultiplano.
Aerostato Santa Cruz / Dirigível Santa Cruz of José do Patrocínio of 1901.
Walter Schudeisky tried his luck with Rumpler before he building a monoplane on his own in Bremen. Trials were made, piloted by Adolf Renzel, in 1911.
Bristol-Halberstadt Taube I.
Militär Schule eindecker built in 1913, powered by a 100 hp Mercedes DI engine. Its four-wheeled undercarriage was copy of the undercarriage employed by Bristol aeroplanes .
Martin Pusher Biplane of 1910.
Glenn L. Martin had built a Curtiss-type pusher in 1909 powered by a Ford engine with which he taught himself to fly. In 1910 there followed another machine (biplane shown) with a slightly larger upper wing, interplane ailerons,
a triangular stabilizer at the front rudder and a 50 hp Hall-Scott engine with which he set a few flight records
of distance, duration and altitude in 1910.
Santos-Dumont No.15 Biplane of 1907.
100 hp Antoinette-powered tractor biplane with sharp dihedral wings similar to No.14 bis, although made of wood instead of fabric and with elevators on the outer forward corners of these planes. Its biplane empennage was enclosed by two vertical panels and acted as both an elevator and rudder, being mounted on a universal joint at the end of bamboo outriggers. Trials of S-D No.15 began March 22, 1907 and ended five days later when the machine collapsed while taxiing before a flight attempt. No successful flights appear to have been made.
Zodiac X Airship “Capitaine Ferber”.
Third and final configuration of the non-rigid French military airship first flown on December 6, 1911 named in honour of pioneer aviator Capitaine Ferdinand Ferber. Of 76 meters length and of 12.4 meters maximum diameter, the 6000 m³ Zodiac X, here shown in its hangar at Epinal, had a maximum speed of 60 km/h powered by two Dansette-Gillet engines of 100 hp, each driving two propellers. Perhaps the most successful French airship of 1912–13, “Capitaine Ferber” was deleted in 1914 prior to the outbreak of WWI.
Ferber Biplane No.IX of 1908.
Aeroplane of bamboo construction by French Army Capitaine Ferdinand Ferber also known as the Antoinette III, and powered by an Antoinette motor of 50 hp. On September 22, 1909 at Boulogne, while preparing for a cross-channel attempt, Capitaine Ferber, b.1862, was killed on this machine when after a half-hour flight it overturned when it struck a mound during its landing.
Ezekiel Airship of 1902.
Blanc and Barlatier Aeroplane of 1907.
Bokor Triplane of 1909.
As seen at Morris Park, N.Y., winner of the first money prize in America for design and workmanship independent of performance – a $500 prize awarded by the Aeronautic Society of New York in 1909 – even though it failed to fly. In light of the triplane’s inability to leave the earth, Morris Bokor made changes to his design and took the machine to Arlington, New Jersey, where it won the prize for excellence of construction. There – at the North Arlington Aero Carnival Week of May 25, 1909 which featured Baldwin’s airship, his newest California Arrow, and two aeroplanes, the other that of the Mexican revolutionary Victor Ochoa – the Hungarian Bokor made an attempt at flight but could only manage a top speed of 12 mph while running along an unpaved road. The triplane was subsequently taken to Westbury, Long Island, but it never did get off the ground.
Botts Flying Machine of 1903.
Monoplano Latino America.
Claimed to be the first powered aeroplane built in Mexico (a claim sometimes made for all of Latin America), by Juan Guillermo Villasana, Santiago Poveregsky and Carlos Leon in 1912. Suggested not to be a direct copy of a Deperdussin, but except for the uncovered fuselage shown here, they may be indistinguishable.
Anthony Wireless Airship of 1909.
This monoplane was designed by Belgian engineer Albert Bracke, assisted by Monsieur Misson. The date is not given, but estimated as 1912–1913. Its engine was a 40 hp Anzani driving a 2.15 meter Chavière propeller.
Fity Folding-wing Monoplane of 1911.
An American machine, this monoplane had folding wings, with the idea to drive the machine as a car on the ground using its elaborate 4-wheel undercarriage. It probably did not fly.
Glück II Monoplane.
As seen on the Cannstatter Wasen, Stuttgart, Würtemberg, in 1911. Adam Glück (1886–1966) who with Vollmöller, Heinkel, and Hirth, was one of the pioneers who flew at Canstatter Wasen before the War, and was a “Kriegsflieger” during the War.
Schädler Brothers Human-powered Aeroplane of 1912.
Berry Airship of 1907.
John Berry (1849–1931) was an inventor, mechanic, car-dealer, and builder of balloons in St. Louis who in 1907 was slated to race his airship in the dirigible races held in conjunction with the Gordon Bennett balloon race. For unknown reasons it was never tried and no photos of it are known to exist. This photograph shows the patented airship mechanism without the gas bag. Berry made his first balloon flight on a smoke balloon, in 1862 at the age of 13 from Rochester, N.Y., and his first gas balloon flight the following year. “The Dean of American Aeronauts”, Capt. Berry made more than 500 balloon flights during his aeronautical career which lasted sixty years; his last flight taking place in 1922.
Dinelli Aereoplano Glider.
Monnier Harper Lygia Hydro-aeroplane.
Ben Epps Monoplane of 1907.
Early American monoplane designed and built by Benjamin Thomas Epps in Athens, Georgia. This machine is quoted as being the first heavier-than-air aeroplane in history that flew south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Ludlow Aeroplane No.12.
Israel Ludlow’s Jamestown Exposition Glider on floats during its unsuccessful trials on Hampton Roads, piloted by the aeronaut Capt. T. T. Lovelace and towed by the tug Potomac on August 21, 1907.
Gallaudet Kite of 1898.
Built by Edson Fessenden Gallaudet, an engineer (PhD) and then working as a physics instructor at Yale, this hydro-bike kite was built to test wing-warping controlled by a system of gears and rods. Its wingspan was 11 and ½ feet, its length just over eight feet. The original is currently on display at the Early Flight Gallery in the National Air and Space Museum.
Hanuschke Eindecker Model 1912 “Populaire II”.
German monoplane distinguished by its completely bare triangular tube fuselage fitted with a 50 hp rotary Gnôme engine.
Scott 16-disc Helicopter.
Gonzales No.1 Tractor Biplane.
Built by brothers Willy and Arthur Gonzales during the period 1910 through 1912, this biplane was built in the backyard of their home and flew successfully in the San Francisco Bay area. The machine was donated by the Gonzales family to the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum Education Foundation.
Bland “Mayfly” of 1910.
First “Mayfly” of Lilian Bland tested as a glider in the area of Belfast, Northern Ireland, probably during February 1910. It was built after the 1909 Blackpool meet and was an amalgam of the Farman and Wright types seen there. Likely the first woman to build as well as fly her own aeroplane, Bland developed it empirically, testing and modifying it as a kite and glider before putting a 20 hp engine in it. But Lilian couldn’t sell her constantly modified “Mayfly” and gave it to the Aero Club of Dublin before marrying and leaving for Canada. Its span was 8.40 m and constructed in less than three months.
Baku Technical College Monoplane.
Built by a group of students at the polytechnic school of Baku (today Azerbaijan) in 1910. Obviously based on Blériot’s famous monoplane, albeit a little smaller.
Westdeutsche Piloten-Schule (W.P.S.) Eindecker.
1913 version with plywood fuselage. W.P.S. was located in Krefeld during 1913.
Hans Röver (1890–1917), the son of an organ builder, received his technical training from Hans Grade in Bork. There he also earned his flying licence (Nr.56 on February 3, 1911). Leaving with a Grade Monoplane he flew at a few competitions with the goal to earn enough money to built his own aircraft. This was realised in 1912 – the elegant Röver Monoplane with circular body covered with glue-laminated fabric for what Ernst Röver, his father, was granted German Patent Nr. 271112. This monoplane was entered into meets in Johannisthal twice that year, with only minor success. In 1913 Hans Röver rented a shed at Johannisthal, built a second monoplane, and trained pilots until August 1, 1914. Afterwards he flew for the navy and did not return from a reconnaissance mission in 1917.
Rossel-Peugeot Monoplane of 1910.
Frédéric Rossel, while already working for Peugeot a few years, and with car sales figures depressed at this time, turned his interests to aviation and convinced the Peugeot Brothers to form the “Société Anonyme des constructions aériennes Rossel-Peugeot”. Built by the Reggy frères, who also furnished the propeller, the monoplane was powered by a 50 hp Gnôme rotary engine. The first flight was piloted by Jules Goux – in 1913 the first Frenchman to win the Indianapolis 500 motorcar race – but just 5 minutes into the air the machine lay wrecked on the ground, with Goux unhurt.
Campbell Air Ship.
Powered by an Edison electric motor, its 18,000 cu. ft. envelope supplied by Carl E. Meyers, and built a cost of $2500 by the Novelty Air Ship Company of Brooklyn, N.Y., for Professor Peter C. Campbell; the first flight of which was made December 8, 1888 from Coney Island to Sheepshead Bay, piloted by Carlotta the aeronaut – the wife of Carl Meyers. At this time the motive of power is reported to have been bicycle pedals and multiplying gears. The Campbell Air Ship was lost at sea July 16, 1889 while being flown by Professor E. D. Hogan, a Canadian professional aerobat/parachutist, during an exhibition flight originating from the Nassau Gas Works. Intending to make a trip around New York, then to pass over to New Jersey and into the country, five minutes into the flight the 8 foot diameter lower propeller, with which Hogan was to raise and lower the Air Ship gave way and fell to the ground. To make matters worse, it was observed that the steering propellers did not seem to work as no revolutions were discernible, leaving Hogan at the complete mercy of the wind.
Petin’s Aerial Navigation System of 1851.
“Locomotive Aerostatique Petin a Double Plane de Suspension Stable” designed by Ernest Petin, an example of the “Navigation Aerienne System Petin” and patented by him on May 8, 1848.
Adhémar de la Hault’s Second Ornithopter.
In 1908, at the workshops of Julius Miess in Brussels, De la Hault built a lemniscate paddle-wing ornithopter, his No.1, which was tested with encouraging yet unsuccessful results. This was followed by his second attempt in 1910. In the photograph, De la Hault stands second from the right, while helicopter pioneer Henri Villard is seen on the far left. Together with others, De la Hault founded the Aéro Club de Belgique in 1901.
Dittisham Aerostat of 1894.
Designed and built by the Swiss engineer Albert Liwentaal while he was living in Devon, England. The glider was tested twice, and crashed twice. The photograph, the image appearing to have been printed backwards, shows the result of the final trial, which took place near Bozomzeal, above Dittisham, Devon, along the River Dart.
Bartolomeu de Gusmão Hot-air Balloon Model.
Demonstrated by him to the court of King John V of Portugal on August 8, 1709.
Bartholomeu Lourenco de Gusmão, a naturalist and the first aeronaut, was born in 1685 at Santos in the province of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and died on November 18, 1724, in Toledo, Spain.
Burattini’s Flying Dragon.
The Flying Dragon, or “Dragon Volant”, designed by Tito Livio Burattini, an Italian in the service of the Polish King Władysław IV during 17th century. Two models of this machine were built 1647–48; the first, 1.5 m in length, made a flight with a cat on board and according to contemporary sources – it flew. The ship was powered by spring machinery. During a second flight the model crashed because of malfunction of the mechanism. A full scale craft was not built for lack of money; reportedly the Polish King was asked for funding by Burattini, but was refused.
Mohawk Aerial Navigation Company Glider.
One of the gliders built by Charles Proteus Steinmetz – the “Wizard of Schenectady” – and others in 1894. Steinmetz is not well known today but he accomplished a great deal in his lifetime considering he had dwarfism, was hunchback, and had hip dysplasia. While working for General Electric at Schenectady, N.Y., Steinmetz organized a band of fellow flying machine enthusiasts into the Mohawk Aerial Navigation Company, and over the summer of 1894 built and tested a man-carrying kite and two true gliders. None were particularly successful. Digital image: Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium.
Mouillard’s Glider No.4 of 1878.
Photographed in Cairo, Egypt.
Approximately 30 feet long and originally built of bamboo framework. Exactly when Custead started work on it is unclear, but it is known that by the mid-to-late 1890s it was being tested and was, supposedly, making numerous tethered flights inside of a tent that Custead had erected next to his home in Elm Mott, Texas, a small hamlet located just north of Waco. In 1900, backed by a number of Texas and Southern capitalists, Custead formed the Custead Airship Company, and with a capital share stock of $100,000 forged a partnership with Gustav Whitehead of Bridgeport, Conn., later the same year.
Designed by Argentinian amateur Enrique Artigalá and known as the Argentino 1ro, quoted as fitted with a 50 hp Gnôme and built during 1911.
1909 SPA-Faccioli biplane, powered by a 20 hp Faccioli motor. Piloted by its designer Aristide Faccioli, in December 1909 at Turin, Italy, this machine became the world’s 15th aeroplane to make a successful controllable flight. Faccioli produced four designs during the years 1909–1910, built by his own firm Società Piemontese Automobili.
Sánchez Besa Biplane.
Pusher biplane with a buried 80 hp Canton-Unné motor as seen at the Paris Salon in 1912.
Gasnier Biplane of 1908.
Uncovered photograph of the first pusher biplane designed and built by René Gasnier. Powered by a 50 hp Antoinette motor and featuring a distinctive front elevator that could also be tilted to work as a rudder. This machine was damaged on its first day of flight.
Gammeter Ornothopter of 1907.
Patented creation of Aero Club of Cleveland president Harry Gammeter; with bamboo-and-silk flapping wings, double-hinged to the fuselage, flapping at 75 strokes per minute, driven by a 7 hp Curtiss engine. Listed as an entrant in the 1907 International Aeronautic Tournament at St. Louis.
Némethy Flugrad of 1901.
Designed and built by Emil von Némethy at his factory in Arad, Hungary (now in Romania). The construction of his Flugrad (“flying wheel”) started sometime in 1899 yet wasn’t completed until 1901. A second machine appeared in 1903 – pictured in a 1907 Scientific American article – and in 1910 produced a third and final original design. Némethy soon after however, gave up his experiments once his Anzani motor was damaged and he’d run out of money.
Also known as Wiseman-Cooke biplane from 1910/1911, a pusher that combined the designs of Wright, Farman and Curtiss. Claimed to be the first biplane to be flown in California, it was fitted with an overbored 4-cylinder engine from a “San Francisco engine company” by Frederick J. Wiseman, who increased the power output to 50 hp. Today it is proudly displayed in the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. after being restored in 1983–1985 by NASM.
Caudron Monoplane of 1912.
6-cylinder Anzani air-cooled radial powered Caudron Frères monoplane, sometimes described as Type M, it was also found with a 7-cylinder 50 hp Gnôme Omega. A development of an earlier design of 1911, the Type N, first shown to the public with a 3-cylinder Y-type Anzani.
Saulnier Monoplane of 1910.
Powered with a Darracq engine.
August von Parseval’s aeroboat of 1909 – “Das Aeroplan”.
Sommer Type E Monoplane.
This Roger Sommer monoplane, a fabric covered fuselage version, was designed by Ingénieur Tonnet and flown circa 1911/1912. Léon Bathiat flew many variants of this fast monoplane in several competitions during 1910 and 1911, and in 1912 all interests were purchased by Bathiat who sold these monoplanes under the name Bathiat-Sanchez. Very similar to the Bathiat-Sanchez Type E, shown at the Paris Aero Salon of 1913.
Clerget-Etrich Taube “Aman”.
Slightly modified version of the Etrich IV Taube license-built by Clerget in France for whose name appeared on the tail, Gustave Aman. Powered by an inline Clerget engine, it was completed in August but first flown in October 1910.
Demkin Biplane of 1911.
Georgiy Konstantinovich Demkin’s [Георгий Константинович Демкин] second design, it is stated that he held a shed at the Gatchina airfield near St. Petersburg. Only a few “short, straight flights” were achieved with this sesquiplane fitted with a 3-cylinder 25 hp Anzani.
Konstantin Danilewsky’s Dirigible Aerostat Pilstrem.
Jacob Brodbeck’s Air Ship of 1865.
Jones Aeroplane of 1905.
The flying machine by Charles Oliver Jones was the first heavier-than-air craft to be fitted with a Curtiss engine. Jones was quite active as a socialist lecturer and also an early aeronaut. After his aeroplane failed to fly, he turned his attentions to aerial exhibitionism, first building and flying a unique dirigible named the “Boomerang”, then modifying the apparatus in the style of Capt. Baldwin, on which he lost his life when it caught fire during a flight at Waterville, Maine on September 2, 1908.
Baldwin Airship California Arrow of 1907.
First flown at Hammondsport, N.Y. on June 28, 1907 by Glenn Curtiss, Capt. Baldwin’s Curtiss-powered machine was driven by an atypical 4-bladed propeller and sported a rudder emblazoned with the “Stars and Stripes”. Often referred to as Baldwin Airship No.4, the dirigible was entered in the St. Louis airship races in October and finished a distant third behind the Strobel airships of Lincoln Beachey and Jack Dallas. Constructors (left to right): Eugene Godet, Thomas Scott Baldwin, —, Glenn H. Curtiss.
Ellehammer 1905 Monoplane.
Jacob Christian Hansen Ellehammer’s 1905-maskine. The first full-scale attempt by Ellehammer, which did not fly. Ellehammer then experimented with an upper “sail”, added it to the machine, and succeeded in making brief tethered ascensions from a circular track on September 12, 1906.
Tonini Monorebus of 1911.
Monoplane designed by Alessandro Tonini, powered by a REBUS engine. The name of the machine was a contraction of both, becoming Monorebus. Tonini had initiated the firm Officine Mechaniche REBUS in Milan, which specialized in “Aeroplani, Motori per Aeroplani, Costruzioni Aeronautiche and Construzioni Mecchaniche”. After the Monorebus was successfully flown in June 1911, Tonini started designing revolutionary canard machines and later became chief constructor with Nieuport-Macchi.
Pischoff Biplane of 1907.
Tractor biplane of Alfred de Pischoff, powered by a 25 hp Anzani 3-cylinder engine. Although tried, the machine did not fly. A French sounding name, de Pischoff was from Austria (Austro-Hungary) where he was known as Alfred Ritter von Pischoff.
Moy Aerial Steamer.
Experimental 15-foot span tandem-wing monoplane, powered by a 3 hp steam engine driving two, 6-foot diameter pusher- propelling paddle wheels. Built by Englishman Thomas Moy, the unmanned flying machine was tested in the Spring of 1875, tethered to a pole, running on a circular track, at the gardens of the Hotel DeLuxe in south London. Spuriously reported to have left the ground and “flown” at a height of six inches, the Aerial Steamer may sometimes be claimed to be the first unmanned airplane to fly from level ground.
Australian engineer L. J. R. (Leslie) Jones’ petrol-engined monoplane, his third design, tested at Emu Plains on March 3, 1912. Jones had previously built two steam-powered airplanes before 1911; both planes and engines being of his own design. He went on to design a biplane that eventually flew in 1916 and was continually active in aircraft design after World War I.
Gassier Monoplane aka Gassier Sylphe.
Pusher monoplane with semi-circular ailerons at the trailing edge of the wings.
Kudashev (Кудашев) Biplane of 1910.
Sometimes designated Кудашев 1, Kudashev’s biplane was, reportedly, the first aeroplane of Russian design flown. On May 23, 1910 (date presumably old-style), it flew about half the length of a football pitch at a height of a couple of feet at Kiev. The flight was not advertised and went unnoticed by the general public. Kudashev was a civil engineer and associate professor at Kiev Polytechnics.
Jatho Doppeldecker “Motordrachen” of 1903.
Powered by a 9–12 hp Buchet motor, belt-drive pusher propeller, rebuilt from Karl Jatho’s earlier Dreidecker, which had been damaged on August 21, 1903.
Siemens Bourcart Biplane.
A 5-seater Siemens-Schuckert Werkes biplane designed by Max Bourcart with a combination steel tubing and wood construction, powered by a 50 hp Argus engine, and chain-driven to the two propellers. First flown on 9 march 1910, a 1000 m straight-line flight piloted by Bourcart. The second, and last flight, was made on March 11, piloted by Bourcart with two passengers, ending in a crash landing. Bourcart had patented such a construction on September 9, 1902 [German Patent 145547 – Flugmaschine mit zwei Luftschrauben, deren Flügel ineinandergreifen].
Albert Ziegler, born in Zeiden (today Codlea) next to Kronstadt (Braşov), Transylvania, worked as an engineer in the motor and aviation business in Switzerland, France and England before coming to Germany in 1911. There he assisted Prinz Sigismund von Preußen in building a glider, and was employed by Rumpler, Wright and Garuda. In 1912 Ziegler acquired a used 50–55 hp Argus engine and a shed at the Bornstedter Feld near Potsdam from the Siemens-Schuckert company, where at least a year was needed to realise his “Pfeil-Eindecker”. Flown during the summer of 1913, it was said to have been very stable and well steerable.
Merćep 1912 aka Merćep-Rusjan Military-Monoplane of 1912 or Rusjan-Novak No.2.
Second design after the crash of the Slovenian aviation pioneer Eduardo Rusjan. Earlier, Eduardo had moved with his brother to Zagreb, Croatia, where Guiseppe Rusjan and Dragutin Karlo Novak then continued to built aircraft for the “Agramer Aëroplanfabrik M. Merćep”, set up by the businessman Mihajlo Merćep in Zagreb.
A machine built by Polish emigrant John Kowalski in Aspinwall, Pennsylvania, USA in 1910. This biplane is recognized to be the first Pittsburgh-built aeroplane flown, when on October 9, 1910, Kowalski, a marine engine builder with a great interest in aviation, crashed just after take-off.
Pega & Emich / Deutsche Sommer Eindecker.
Tractor monoplane designed and recorded as a Deutsche Sommer aircraft, in respect to Pega & Emich (Griesheim / Darmstadt) being sold to the Deutsche Sommer-Flugzeugwerke early in 1911. Unsuccessfully powered by a 60 hp Hoffmann-Rotor engine, sporting an uncovered fuselage and elevator section in front.
NFW E 5 Eindecker.
Designed and built by the Nordwestdeutsche Flugzeugwerke Heinrich Evers & Co. In all, 6 different monoplanes, E 1 through E 6, were built by NFW between 1912 and 1913. The engineer Heinrich Evers was the leading force at NFW and while the firm folded for financial reasons within a year, in 1913 he went to the USA to work for the Benoist firm. At the start of WWI he immediately returned to Germany, but was captured by the French and interned in France until 1917 whereas Evers fled to Switzerland and later to Germany. Evers was then employed by Caspar, later again going to the USA to work for the Fokker firm.
“Mainguet” of 1910.
Intended to hold ten passengers in an enclosed cabin, (the pilot was seated outside). Distinctive for its bulbous fuselage and lack of a stabilizing vertical tail fin.
Powered by a 100 hp Argus; second of two aeroplanes built by Theodor Lawrenz, pilot brevet nr. 638 (Feb. 1, 1914), at Johannisthal.
Built in Switzerland in 1909 by the Dufaux brothers. An ambitious concept for the time, the Tiltrotor not successful.
Miller Monoplano model 1910.
Third and final aeroplane designed and constructed by Franz Miller of Turin, Italy.
Jourdan Monoplane 1.
First of three cone-fuselage aeroplanes (shrouded propeller, patented December 30, 1910), designed and constructed in 1909 by Henri Jourdan, and modified through various stages of development, of which only the final model was flown. Often identified as the Hélicoplane Jourdan, although the designation has no connection to contemporary usage.
Le Grand ballon captif à vapeur of Henry Giffard.
A captive balloon of 25,000 m³ built for the Universal Exhibition of Paris of 1878, capable of carrying 40 passengers. Located at the courtyard of the Tuileries in Paris, it was one of the main attractions of the exhibition, making up to ten ascents per day to an altitude of 500–600 m. Using mechanical winches, its first ascent took place on July 19, 1878 and would eventually lift over 35,000 passengers on more than 1000 ascensions made.
Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen FF 1.
First form of the first Friedrichshafen model, FF 1, distinguished by its central float concept, pusher construction, 3-bay wing and old-style ailerons between the wings.
Licence built version of the Jeannin Stahltaube, 1913. According to the book of M. Krzyzan & H. Steinle on the Jeannin Stahltaube, the Deutsche Flugzeug-Werke G.m.b.H. firm at Lindenthal, Leipzig received an order for 18 of these copies but delivered only two.
Peck “Columbia” Biplane of 1912.
Machine designed by Colonel Paul Peck fitted with a seven-cylinder, air-cooled rotary rated at 50 hp at 1500 rpm, built by the Gyro Motor Company (Washington), sponsored by, and designed under the direction of Emile Berliner. The heavy Gyro motor was fatal to Peck (and passenger) in his crash on Cicero Field, Chicago on September 11, 1912. Peck held American pilot licence No.57 and had set the American duration record at 4 hours 23 minutes, 15 seconds set on May 24, 1912.
Amphibien-Flugboot designed and built by Fritz Grawert in 1910. The engine, a special three-chamber design of Grawert’s (patent issued in 1910), drove two propellers (pusher and tractor). The wings were made of aluminium with silk covering and could be detached from the boat fuselage. Grawert died in 1916.
Fernandez Aeral of 1909.
Machine of Spanish pioneer Antonio Fernandez, the fourth heavier-than-air aviator to become the victim of an aerial accident; dying at the age of 33 on December 6, 1909 on his Fernandez N°3 Aeral.
Michelin Cup machine in which he flew 4 3/4 hours on December 31, 1910 to win the trophy. Clear differences to the earlier machine were the one large propeller installed at the rear in place of the two forward propellers and a 60 hp Green engine fitted in place of the ENV.
Gabardini Flying Boat of 1912.
Tested, unsuccessfully, in the harbour at Monaco.
Yurev Helicopter of 1912.
Student of the Moscow Technical College (МВТУ), Борис Николаевич Юрьев (Boris Nickolaevich Yurev) was the inventor of an automatic pitch-control mechanism, but because of lack of funds this full scale model was built without an engine nor pitch-control mechanism. Later however, a 30 hp Anzani radial was installed yet the machine remained without the poorly working pitch-control, which was used only on rotating tests. Considered to be the first modern helicopter with a single main rotor and a tail rotor.
Frassinetti Monoplane of 1912.
Designed by Colonello Romeo Frassinetti, who was already active in ballooning during 1900–05. Frassenetti founded the now little-known FIAM – Fabbrica Italiana Aeroplani Milano – which probably built this modern looking monoplane.
Hurlburt Flying Machine of 1910.
Designed by Jericho, Vermont dentist Dr. Dane Hurlburt and said to have been built in Lucerne, Switzerland, but flown in his native USA. A box-kite biplane with laterally-placed wings (wings rotated at 90 degrees to the direction of flight), Hurlburt’s aeroplane was powered by one 25 hp Anzani three cylinder motor driving a five and one-half metre long shaft with pusher-tractor propellers of 2 metres diameter. Contrarily claimed by various sources to have achieved several flights (notably on September 21, 1909 at Lucerne), as well as to have never been flown at all.
Gibson Twinplane of 1910.
Designed and constructed by Canadian merchant and businessman William Wallace Gibson, the “Balgonie Birdman”. The first heavier-than-air machine flown in western Canada (at Victoria, B.C.).
Borgnis-Desbordes et de Savignon Triplane.
Also known as the Borgnis de Savignon et de Desbordes. The naming of the machine was after its designers/financier, Achille and Paul Borgnis, and Desbordes de Savignon. According to reports this triplane actually left the ground several times in Gennevilliers on January 31, 1909. The exampled photo is of the first version, which was later modified. In the modification the elevator was brought to the rear of the machine. This machine crashed in 1910, ending the aviation related careers of the Borgnis brothers.
du Réau Monoplane of 1908.
Designed and built using bicycle tubing by du Réau near Angers, France and tested unsuccessfully by Ernest Clairouin.
Hybrid Hot-air/Hydrogen Balloon of Francesco Orlandi of 1825.
Orlandi, the most successful with this type of aerostat, published a treatise on ballooning, suggesting this new design, in 1800. His first flight did not occur until August 30, 1825 after which he made 40 flights. Despite the death in June 1785 of Pilatre de Rozier and Jules Romain in their combination hot-air and hydrogen balloon, experimenters continued to build balloons that combined these elements. The aeronaut Francis Olivari lost his life in one on November 25, 1802, at Orleans, as did Francesco Zambeccari on September 21, 1812, near Boulogne.
Canadian Aerodrome Company Hubbard Monoplane “Mike”.
Designed and built in Canada in 1910. J. A. D. McCurdy, who had been a member of Alexander Graham Bell’s Aerial Experiment Association, set up the Canadian Aerodrome Company after the AEA was dissolved. Gardiner Hubbard was a cousin of Bell’s wife, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard.
Schneider No.1. Biplane of 1908.
Shown at an exhibition at Morris Park called by the Aeronautic Society of New York at the end of 1908, where Frederick Schneider tested the biplane of 30 ft. span. Among the most notable of its features was a low total weight of only 450 lbs. and the use of three aluminium propellers of variable pitch. The engine, an air-cooled rotary, caused the failure of these flights.
Kvasz II of 1911.
The second monoplane designed and built by Slovakian aviation pioneer András (Andrej) Kvasz (1883–1974) at a Budapest workshop. First flown in August 1911 by Kvasz, powered by an Anzani 3W, 25 hp, later Anzani 3Y, 35 hp and Austro Daimler, 40 hp, 4-cyl. On August 30, 1911, with this monoplane, Kvasz won the Sacellár prize. In November 1911 he organized public flights at Szarvas drawing 40,000 spectators. Kvasz, who worked as an engineer for Aladár Zsélyi in Wiener-Neustadt from 1909 on, started to built his own machines in 1911. This photo most probably shows the aeroplane fitted with a 4-cylinder Austro Daimler engine.
Amiot 01 Monoplane of 1912.
Two-seater designed by Félix Amiot, a famous designer of the 1920s and 30s, this first Amiot machine was built in a garage in the Quartier des Ternes, Paris during 1913. Test flown in 1913 at Issy-les-Moulinaeux but crashed on the field. Of all-metal construction, whereas Amiot had devised a unique method for fitting hollow metal pipes together; a system of construction that was patented in many countries. Félix Amiot started his firm Amiot–S.E.C.M in 1916, building Bréguet and Morane-Saulnier machines under licence.
A. Vlaicu N° II.
Second machine of the brilliant Rumanian Aurel Vlaicu, dating from 1911 (his original machine was from 1910). The most distinguishing feature was the now fully enclosed nacelle. In front of the nacelle was a Gnôme 7-cylinder rotary engine delivering 50 hp, driving the two propellers via a chain. This machine participated in the June 1912 competition at Aspern flying field at Vienna.
FSV 10 Glider.
Built by Flug-Sport-Vereinigung Darmstadt and tested on the Wasserkuppe. Set a World record in 1912 of 838 meters in 112 seconds while flown by Hans Gunthermuth that stood until 1920. A replica of this apparatus can be found at the Deutsche-Segelflug-Museum at Gersfeld/Rhön.
Gillespie Aeroplane of 1905.
Designed by G. Curtis Gillespie and featured on the cover of Scientific American for June 26, 1905.
Trussed frame of light aluminium tubing reinforced by piano wire 24 feet overall with a beam of 10 feet, covered in light duck and steered by two integrated flaps. The motive power consisted of an air-cooled gasoline engine having six cylinders, opposed three to three in a horizontal plane with cranks set an an angle of 60 degrees. The machine’s total weight was 150 pounds, and developed 20 horse-power.
Of 46 foot span and fitted with a 35 hp JAP radial motor, this triplane was designed by Henry Seddon Wildeblood and built by the Upper India Motor Company of Lucknow, India, in August 1911. Wildeblood was superintending engineer of the Indian Public Works Department of Mount Abu, Rajputana, India. He studied the flight of birds extensively and on the results of his findings designed models and full-size aircraft which incorporated flexible receding wing-tips, with outer edges rigid in imitation of the feathers of a bird’s wing.
Vasserot Monoplane “Mouette Géante” (Giant Seagull).
Built in 1910 by Jean-Marie Vasserot with the assistance of a carpenter named Louis Houard, who also designed the engine. There is apparently no evidence that it flew successfully, although it is reported by Opdycke to have flown 100 meters at the beach at Cesson on November 13, 1909 as the Vasserot-Delassor Monoplane. Opdycke was most likely mistaken; confusing it with Vasserot’s glider model which made several flights in 1909 from the cliffs at Cesson. M. Delassor is unknown at this time.
DSL “São Paulo” Monoplane.
First airplane designed and constructed in Brazil – 100% made by Dimitri Sensaud de Lavaud; even the propellers and the engine were manufactured by him. It first flew on January 7, 1910 at Osasco : 6 seconds for 103 meters; also considered to be the first flight by an aircraft of complete South America design and construction.
Feng Rue #2.
As displayed at the National Aviation Museum in Nanking. Curtiss-like, but some differences in the front elevator assembly. Feng Rue was tragically killed in a crash occurring 1912.
Blackburn Mercury III.
Powered by a 50 hp Gnôme rotary engine, probably the 4th example – out of 6 built – as flown by Jack Brereton at Filey in May 1912.
Although recognized by the All Russian Aero-Club as the first aeroplane of Russian design to fly – on May 24, 1910 at Gatchina airfield (Гатчинский аэродром) – it was actually the second aeroplane of Russian design flying; Kudashev in Kiev was the first flying a day before. The most important recognition feature of this aircraft is wing structure without interplane struts.
Thomas Walker Model Glider of 1810.
As illustrated in his book A Treatise upon the Art of Flying. The book was first published in 1810, with a second edition appearing in 1831. Republished since and was included within James Means’ 1895 Aeronautical Annual and #3 of the Aeronautical Classics series published by the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1910.
RAS Monoplane of 1910.
Built in England, the name RAS came from the initials of the three London men who were responsible for the flying machine: Mr Reader, a barman; Mr Allen, a bricklayer; and Mr Sheffield, a chauffeur. The person in the pilot’s seat is Oswyn George William Gifford Lywood, who eventually became an Air Vice Marshal in the Royal Air Force.
Designed by C. D’Angelis of Madras, India.
Ask-Nyrop Monoplane No.1 “Gräshoppan” (Grasshopper) of 1910.
Built by Oskar Ask and Hjalmar Nyrop in Landskrona, Sweden.
Rhodes Aeroplane of 1910.
Project of Lieutenant Albert Rhodes and Major George Gossman, who were based at Fort Barrancas, Pensacola, Florida.
Forlanini Semi-rigid Airship F.1 “Leonardo da Vinci” of 1909.
First dirigible built by Enrico Forlanini of Milan, Italy.
Robert Esnault-Pelterie REP 2 of 1909.
Designed and built by David A. Palmgren, as displayed at the Grand Central Palace Aero Exhibition, New York, in May 1912.
Constructed by Henry George “Harry” Ferguson in 1909. Ferguson was an Irish citizen (Belfast) and this machine is quoted as the first Irish machine flown. The machine was rebuilt and flown in 1911 and 1912. Ferguson first flew his design with 35 hp J.A.P. engine on December 31, 1909.
Lohner Pfeilflieger Sporttype 1912 – or Type “Hold”.
Of this light arrow-biplane with 85 hp Hiero engine two copies were built. One for the k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppe got the name “Cyklon”. A second model (seen here) was sold to Herman Hold. It could be fitted with wheels or floats. This photo was taken when Hold flew the aircraft at the Adriatic See at Portorož (today Slovenia) in 1913.
Reissner Ente (Wellblech Ente).
F/F 23 May, 1912, in second form after having been rebuilt (in the third form, it got four fins under the mainplane). Prof. Dr. Hans Reißner built this canard in the experimental workshop of Junkers that was connected to the “Technische Hochschule Aachen”. According to G. Schmitt several versions were built and also flown. The Swiss Robert Gsell presented the machine over a few weeks in Johannisthal at the end of 1912.
Bulot Triplane of 1909.
Machine designed by Belgian Walther Bulot and entered the at the “Semaine de l’Aviation” in Tournai (Sept. 5–14, 1909), but pictures only show it on the ground.
Built at the Mars cycles factory in Nürnberg and flown at Brunn (near Nürnberg).
First plane built by Koolhoven in 1911.
Monoplane designed by Alfred Pietschker who died flying it on 15 November, 1911.
Japanese airship of 1600 m³ capacity and powered by one 14 hp automobile engine. Distinguishable from the No.2 by the larger under-fin. Built 1909/10.
Wright 1909 Military Flyer.
Modified version of the first military heavier-than-air flying machine.
Albatros SZ 1 sport biplane with 70 hp Gnôme, built for Alfred Pietschker in 1911. Span 10 m, max. speed 85 km/h .
First aircraft of Carinthian Dr. Josef Sablatnig, built and flown in 1911 in Austria.
Built by the Bohemian pioneer Ludvík Očenášek (1872–1949) in 1910. It was powered by a 50 hp rotary and is sometimes mentioned as “2-seater monoplane” – derived from a Blériot.
Belgian design of César Battaille and built during the course of 1910–11. It was equipped with variable incidence upper and lower wings. F/F 16 August, 1911.
Anzani built his plane in 1909, the same year he took up flying a Voisin type machine. The Anzani had a span of 8 meters and was powered by a 3 cylinder Anzani engine with a belt drive to the propeller. Project had limited success and was financed by de Mas.
Steffen Monoplane (possible).
Danton biplane designed by Denhaut in 1910. Espinosa built it, Eugène Marie Pierre Frédéric Danton (1874–1929) paid for it, Victor Fumat bought it. Engine was a 6 cylinder 50 hp fan Lemasson.
Merćep-Rusjan Monoplane of 1910.
Designed by Edvard and Josip Rusjan together with Mihajlo Merćep.
Prince de Nissole Sesquiplane.
Zodiac monoplane No.2, known as L’Albatros was ordered by the Prince de Nissole and built in 1910 in France.
Usuelli U.1 of 1909.
3970 m³ non-rigid airship designed by Celestino Usuelli, 51 meters long with a maximum diameter of 9.8 meters. Construction of the U.1 was started in 1909 although it probably didn’t make its first flight until 1910 at Turin. Powered by one SPA of 100 hp driving two propellers.
Giovanni Agusta glider of 1910.
TBN (Tonini-Bergonzi-Negri) Italia-2.
An earlier canard monoplane, the more streamlined Italia-1, was designed for the Italian 1913 trials but became badly damaged by Alessandro Tonini during a landing. Due to a lack of funds and an underpowered airframe, Tonini shifted to a more “rough” and lighter configuration as a replacement: the Italia-2. According to Tonini’s son, the aircraft never flew. Span: 6m, Weight: 340 kg, Motor: 35 hp.
North London Flying House.
Was partially built in 1906 by a French “designer”. Intended to have 8 wings 54 ft. long, 4 propellers, and carry 100 passengers.
first aircraft design of Б.Г. Луцкий (transcribed as B.G. Lutskii, variously spelled in Germany, France, Austria etc.). The machine is dated as 1909 and described as a “Винтокрылый аппарат”, which can be translated as “Rotary-wing apparatus”.
Built and flown by Matthew B. Sellers in somewhat different versions during 1908 and 1913. Engines used were a Kemp G-2 two-cylinder engine of 16 hp and an 8 hp Dutheil-Chalmers.
The Dorner monoplane was a well known sight around Johannistahl. Georg Schendel set a German record for altitude of 2010 meters on 6 June, 1911, and a World Altitude record with passenger, of 1690 meters on 9 June, 1911, in his Dorner. Type II had a 20 hp Dorner-Motor and cost 13,500 Marks. Type III came with a 40 hp Dorner-Motor at 15,500 Marks, or 50 hp at 16,500 Marks. The T.III version had a fatal accident for both passenger and pilot on 9 June, 1911 at Johannistahl. This photo is unaltered and scanned directly from the Original 1912 Dorner Company brochure.
Etrich-Wels “Etrich I”
Pusher monoplane with Antoinette 24 hp engine, tested in the fall of 1907, as shown in the original Etrich Taube brochure. Igo Etrich is in the pilot seat. Had a front elevator and control of the aircraft was for the first time using wing warping. The tests flights were performed at Vienna, Prater Square. For the start was prepared a rail starting ramp, but the aircraft was too heavy to fly. Designed by Igo Etrich and Franz Xavier Wels. Built at Oberaltstadt, near Trautenau (today Trutnov, Czech Republic).
“Mikst” of I. A. Matyunin of 1891.
Mixed HTA/LTA flying machine. Микст И. А. Матюнина в Охтенской верфи в 1891 г.
Breguet’s Pre-1914 Aircraft Challenge™, Breguet’s Aircraft Challenge™, Breguet’s Crash Files™ and Breguet’s 1919-1939 Aircraft Challenge™ are copyright Breguet