Jodel

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This article is about the aircraft called Jodel. For the character from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, see Jodel (Fire Emblem).

Société Avions Jodel is a French aircraft company started in 1946 by Édouard Joly and his son-in-law Jean Délémontez. Jodel designed a range of light aeroplanes shortly after the Second World War. The popular myth is that the two, with no formal aerodynamics training, set about designing a single-seat aircraft with some spare plywood and a small Poinsard aircraft engine. The result was the 1948 D9 Bébé (Baby) model. In fact, the two had much experience of building and designing aircraft, Delemontez being a trained aeronautical engineer, and Joly having built an aircraft before the war.

The French government bought many of the aircraft, with more than 500 D9s being built during the next twenty years. Subsequently, the government expressed interest in a larger aircraft as a training aircraft and the two-seat D11 model followed in 1950.

Jodel aircraft are all-wood, usually made from Sitka spruce and plywood made out of okoume (also known as gaboon), a kind of West African hardwood. Most of the designs are recognisable by their distinctive wings, which have ‘cranked’ dihedral only on the outer third. The wings also incorporate washout, retaining aileron effectiveness at or just prior to the stall. From above or below, the wings are also distinctive as this cranked section of the wing tapers sharply towards the wingtip.

Jodel D150

Apart from prototypes, Jodels were made by a variety of French aviation manufacturers, but all construction ceased during the 1960s. Since that time, new Jodels have been made only as homebuilt aircraft by amateur builders. The design is popular in France and, to a lesser extent, around Europe, but the type is virtually unknown outside Europe, especially in the Americas. In Australia, the design has been brought up to date somewhat by Frank Rogers, who redrew the French designs to Australian civil aviation standards. The Jodel designs were later licensed to Avions Robin (in France), Aero Difusión in (Spain) and Falconar Avia (in Canada), which produced derivative designs that retained the Jodel wing.

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