Esnault-Pelterie R.E.P. 1

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R.E.P. 1
Esnault-Pelterie airplane 1906.jpg
R.E.P. 1 of 1906 preserved at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris.
Role Experimental aircraft
Manufacturer Robert Esnault-Pelterie
Designer Robert Esnault-Pelterie
First flight 19 October 1907
Number built 2

The Esnault-Pelterie R.E.P. 1 and the R.E.P. 2 were experimental aircraft built and flown in France in the early twentieth century by Robert Esnault-Pelterie. These aircraft are historically significant because they were the first to employ a joystick as their main flight control.

R.E.P. 1[edit]

The R.E.P. 1 in 1907

The REP 1 was a single-seat tractor configuration monoplane powered by a 22 kW (30 hp) seven-cylinder two-row semi-radial engine driving a four-bladed propeller with aluminium blades rivetted to steel tubes. The fuselage was made largely of steel tubing covered in varnished silk and the wings of wood. An elongated triangular fixed horizontal stabiliser was mounted on top of the rear fuselage with a rectangular elevator mounted on the trailing edge, and a fixed fin and rudder were mounted under the fuselage. Lateral control was effected by wing-warping. The main landing gear consisted of a single centrally mounted wheel mounted on a pneumatic damper, with a small tailwheel mounted on the rudder. Large outrigger wheels were fitted to the tips of the wings, which featured marked anhedral.[1] Esnault-Pelterie began testing the R.E.P. 1 in September 1907, initially flying the aircraft as a glider before attempting powered flights. Throughout October, these flights became increasingly successful.

The R.E.P. 1 is preserved at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris.

R.E.P. 2[edit]

The R.E.P. 2 in 1908
The R.E.P. 2 in 1909

The R.E.P. 2 differed from the R.E.P. 1 in having a slightly different undercarriage (of the same general arrangement) in addition to a large ventral balanced rudder.

Tests with the R.E.P. 2 commenced in June 1908, and on 8 June a flight of 1,200 m (3,900 ft) was made, reaching an altitude of 30 m (100 ft), setting a height and distance record for monoplanes.[2] The aircraft was then modified by the addition of a trapezoidal dorsal fin, to create the R.E.P. bis. In this form, piloted by M. Châteaux, it won the third Ae.C.F. prize for a flight of over 200 metres on 21 November 1908, with an officially observed flight of 316 m (1,037 ft).[3] It was then exhibited at the Paris Aero Salon in December 1908 and at the Aero Show at Olympia in London in 1909. It was entered for the Grande Semaine d'Aviation in Reims in August 1909, but Esnault-Pelterie did not compete there owing to an injury to his hand.[4]

Specifications (R.E.P. 1)[edit]

Data from l'Aérophile, October 1907, pp. 290-1

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 6.85 m (22 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 18.0 m2 (194 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 230 kg ( lb)
  • Gross weight: 507 kg ( lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × R.E.P. 7-cylinder two-row semi-radial piston engine, 22 kW (30 hp) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 60 km/h (37 mph)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Les Premiers Assis Publics d'Aéroplane Esnault-Pelterie". l'Aérophile (in French): 289. October 1907. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Experiences de M. R. Esnault-Pelterie". l'Aérophile (in French). 15 June 1908. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Le Monoplan R.E.P bis gagne le 3e Prix de 200 metres". l'Aérophile (in French): 479. 1 December 1908. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Rheims Aero Meeting", Flight, 21 August 1909: p. 504 

References[edit]

  • Gibbs-Smith, C. H. Aviation. London: NMSI, 2003 ISBN 1 900747 52 9.
  • Opdycke. Leonard E. French Aeroplanes before the Great War. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 1999 ISBN 0-7643-0752-5
  • Taylor, M. J. H. Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions, 1989 p. 351
  • World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star, File 893 Sheet 06