Three of the photographs reproduced herewith show three of the latest successful French aeroplanes in flight, while the fourth picture shows one of the new biplanes which has recently been produced in that country,
The most noteworthy of the two monoplanes shown in flight is the "Antoinette IV," which, driven by Mr. Hubert Latham, an Englishman, has recently made some extraordinary flights. After only about fifteen practice flights, Mr. Latham began making record performances. Some of these have been noted by us in previous issues, The most remarkable of all of them is that made on Saturday, June 5th, when he remained in the air in continuous flight for 1 hour, 7 minutes, and 37 seconds, while traveling continuously at a speed of about 45 miles an hour. This flight beats all French records (with the exception of Wilbur Wright's glight of 2 hours and 20 minutes on December 31st last) and is significant from the fact that it was made with a monoplane, which is generally considered to be the most advanced type of aeroplane. The day before, Mr. Latham made a 37-minute flight at a height of from 60 to 75 feet, and the day afterJuen 6thhe won the Goupy prize for a flight of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in a straight line across the country, covering this distance in 4 minutes and 13 seconds at a speed of about 44.1 miles an hour. The entire flight lasted 14 minutes. On June 7th he made four flights of 600 meters (1,968 feet), 700 meters (2,297 feet), 3 kilometers (1.86 miles), and 12 kilometers (7.46 miles) respectively. In each of these flights he carried a passenger. The last flight was of 11 minutes 6 seconds' duration, Mr. Latham's companion in this instance being Mr. F. Hewartson of the London Daily Mail. The latter sat facing backward in front of Mr. Latham, and so steady was the flight of the machine, that he was able to make stenographic notes while in full flight. Even with the extra passenger, the aeroplane had a tendency to soar, but this was easily checked by means of the horizontal rudder.
The other monoplane shown in flight is the new No. 12 machine of M. Louis Bleriot. This monoplane has a length of 10 meters (32.8 feet), a spread of 12 meters (39.4 feet), and its weight with two men on board is given as 498 kilogrammes (1,098 pounds). The thrust obtained from the propeller (which in this case is chain-driven from a 30-horsepower, 8-cylinder water-cooled motor mounted in the lower part of the body framework) is 73 kilogrammes (161 pounds). The first test was made on May 21st. The machine flew successfully at its first trial. Since then it has been altered somewhat. Our photograph shows 'it in its altered condition. The vertical rudder has been moved from the extreme end of the body framework to a point about half way between the two ends, and has been placed above the frame. The horizontal rudder has been placed below the body framework near the rear, while there is a second one below the aviator's seat. A fixed horizontal surface is located above the body just below the vertical rudder. After making successful flights with a passenger, M. Bleriot, on June 12th, is reported to have flown 1,000 yards at a height of from 15 to 20 feet, carrying two passengers, the weight of the machine with passengers being in this instance 1,232 pounds. This was a very remarkable performance, and it is the first time that an aeroplane is known to have carried more than two men. The passengers taken by M. Bleriot were M. Fournier and Santos Dumont. M. Bleriot is continuing his experiments, and he will, no doubt, make some record flights before long.
The biplane, shown in flight, is one of the Voisin machines, such as was first used successfully by Farman and Delagrange. The particular one shown in the photograph is that of M. De Rue. It has made some excellent flights at the new aviation field of the Aero Club of France at Juvissy, and in the picture is shown winning the Archdeacon cup. The biplane shown on the ground is a new machine, having planes which are arched from the center outward in a peculiar manner, as can be seen from the picture. This arching of the planes also extends to the tail in the rear. A large four-bladed propeller is placed just back of the main planes, and is driven by a chain from the motor. The designer, M. Lepetil, expects to increase the transverse stability by means of the arching of the planes, The machine has not yet received its initial test. It has two runners below the tail, and two runners with wheels in front.
Originally appeared in Scientific American, 100,, June 26, 1909, p. 481f.