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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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. [*]
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 petrol 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.
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.
Farman-copy built by Otto Trinks & Co Luftfahrt-material (Gitschinerstrasse 91, Berlin) during 1910/11 and fitted with a 44 hp eight-cylinder engine.
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.
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.
| Copin Revillard Monoplan
Châlons-sur-Marne, France Aviation Photo 1912
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.
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.
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.
Pilcher Bat of 1895.
Lilienthal-inspired “Bat” glider – the first glider built by the Scottish Percy Pilcher in 1895 and tested at Cardross.
Odier-Vendome Biplane of 1910.
Apparently the second version of this French design.
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.
Teichfuss Aerocicloplano of 1907.
Designed and built by cycling champion Luigi Teichfuss. Span was 10 m, empty weight 90 kg. It was unsuccessful.
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.
Jacobs Multiplane of 1910.
Unge Balloon “Svenske”.
1902 design by Captain Eric Unge.
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.
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.
Kjuder-Renčljevo of 1911.
Gabriel Poulain, a famous bicycle-racer who held at least one speed record on the track, built this monoplane, his third design, in 1912.
Photographed at the Malvarrosa beach of Valencia while being tested by Pablo Grau in Autumn 1910.
Gotha-Büchner Schuldoppeldecker of 1913.
Bruno Büchner designed, 120 hp Argus powered, 20 m span biplane built by Gothaer Waggonfabrik.
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.
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.
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.”
Photographed during it’s second and last attempt to fly on 8/12/1903.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Credit for the first aeroplane built and flown in Utah ALMOST went to the Fifteenth Infantry at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City. George Strohbach was building a new kind of monoplane at Fort Douglas, one that he had invented himself. In April of 1910, prior to finishing the project, Mr. Strohbach took "French leave" from his Company E of the Fifteenth Infantry and disappeared.