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Robert ESNAULT-PELTERIE

French Robert ESNAULT-PELTERIE

Pioneering French aircraft designer and spaceflight theorist

Source :  Bruno MARGELIDON

Born: on November 08, 1881 in Paris, France
Died: on December 06, 1957 in Nice, France


Biography

His first experiments in aviation were based on the Wright brothers 1902 glider. His first glider design was tested on a beach near Calais, but was not successful. His glider was based upon an incomplete understanding of the Wright glider, and although using a version of the wing-warping which the Wright brothers had used to control their aircraft this did not work properly and was abandoned, since he considered it dangerous. After condemning the Wright brothers' approach, he developed the concept of the aileron along the trailing edge. This is now a standard roll maneuvering element on most modern aircraft. (Note that the aileron was also invented independently by the Aerial Experiment Association, headed by Alexander Graham Bell).

In 1906 he began his first experiments in towed flight. On 19 September 1906 he flew 500 m (1,600 ft). He made his first powered flight on October 10, 1907, a distance of 100 m (330 ft) with the Pelterie I (or R.E.P. I). This was driven by a seven cylinder, 30 hp air-cooled engine of his own design.
Avion Esnault-Pelterie, 1908

Trials of the monoplane Pelterie II began on June 8, 1908. This aircraft set a record with a 1,200 m (3,900 ft) flight, reaching an altitude of 30 m (98 ft). After a modified version of this plane was flown for the last time in 1909 at Rheims, Pelterie stopped flying and instead focused on the development and manufacture of aircraft.

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See Also :

- Category Inventor, Aviator