Breguet Br 901 Mouette

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901 Mouette
Displays at the Musee de l'Air et de l'Espace, Le Bourget, Paris, France, September 2008 (2).JPG
Breguet Br 901 Mouette (F-CAJA)
Role Single seat competition sailplane
National origin France
Manufacturer Société des Ateliers d'Aviation Louis Breguet (Breguet Aviation)
Designer Jean Cayla
First flight 11 March 1954
Produced 1955-9
Number built c.36

The Breguet 901 Mouette (English: Seagull) is a very successful single seat French competition sailplane from the 1950s. It was the winner at both the 1954 and 1956 World Gliding Championships.

Design and development[edit]

Breguet's first sailplane, the Type 900 had some success in national competitions but failed to impress at the two World Championships of 1950 and 1952, partly because of its short wingspan.[1] The 901 is a development of this aircraft, retaining its mid wing layout and largely wooden construction. The wing of the 901 is straight tapered and built around a single spar, with a leading edge torsion box and fabric covered aft of the spar. On the 901 the torsion box was skinned with a plywood-klegecell (a plastic foam) sandwich rather than the ply of the 900. At 17.32 m (57 ft 8 in), its span is 2.97 m (9 ft 9 in) greater than the 900, raising the aspect ratio from 12.9 to 20. There are long span, short chord slotted flaps inboard, mid-chord airbrakes and tips finished with small "salmon" fairings. Both designs have plywood skinned fuselages, though that of the 901 is longer in the nose where the cockpit has an extended, single piece canopy.[1][2][3]

The first two 901s built retained the curved vertical tail of the 900[4][5] but the third[2][5] had a straight topped shape with a rudder that was straight edged except at the heel. The 901's undercarriage is a retractable monowheel, fitted with a brake, plus a tail bumper.[2]

The 901 flew for the first time in March 1954. In 1956 it was developed into the 901S, which had a fuselage 510 mm (20 in) longer with a similar large area rudder like that of the 901 third prototype. A further development, the 901S1, had a more angular rudder and a fin without a fuselage fillet.[3]

Operational history[edit]

Gerard Pierre won the 1954 World Gliding Championships in the first prototype 901 only four months after its first flight. The second prototype, flown by G. Rousselet, finished in seventh place.[6] By the time of the 1956 Championships the 901 had been developed into the 901S; Paul MacCready piloted it to a second Breguet championship victory.[6]

As well as its international achievements the 901 set, and sometimes reset, numerous French national records.[3]

Nine 901S remained on the French register in 2010.[7]


Production numbers from[5]

Original version. Third example had a straight topped vertical tail with a straight edged rudder apart from a rounded heel. Retained fin-fuselage fillet. 3 built.
510 mm longer, larger, tail similar to third 901, modified flaps, heavier. 21 built.
As 901 but with rudder straight edged without rounded heel, no fillet. 9 built.
3 built.

Aircraft on display[edit]

Of the numerous 901s with French museums, two are on public display:

Specifications (901S)[edit]

Data from [3]

General characteristics

  • Capacity: 1
  • Length: 7.57 m (24 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 17.32 m (56 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 15.0 m2 (161 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 20
  • Airfoil: NACA 63 series
  • Empty weight: 265 kg (584 lb)
  • Gross weight: 430 kg (948 lb)


  • Maximum speed: 220 km/h (137 mph; 119 kn)
  • Stall speed: 62 km/h (39 mph; 33 kn)
  • Never exceed speed: 220 km/h (137 mph; 119 kn)
  • Rough air speed max: 180 km/h (111.8 mph; 97.2 kn)
  • Aerotow speed: 150 km/h (93.2 mph; 81.0 kn)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 35 at 85 km/h (52.8 mph; 45.9 kn)
  • Rate of sink: 0.60 m/s (118 ft/min) at 72 km/h (44.7 mph; 38.9 kn)
  • Wing loading: 28.0 kg/m2 (5.7 lb/sq ft)


  1. ^ a b Simons, Martin (2006). Sailplanes 1945-1965 (2nd revised ed.). Königswinter: EQIP Werbung & Verlag GmbH. pp. 59–61. ISBN 3 9807977 4 0.
  2. ^ a b c Bridgman, Leonard (1956). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1956-57. London: Jane's All the World's Aircraft Publishing Co. Ltd. p. 131.
  3. ^ a b c d Brütting, Georg (1973). Die berümtesten Segelflugzeuge. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. pp. 141–2. ISBN 3 87943171 X.
  4. ^ "First prototpye 901 production list". Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Breguet production list". Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Single-Seater Championship Results" (PDF). Gliding. 5 (3): 79. Autumn 1954.
  7. ^ Partington, Dave (2010). European registers handbook 2010. Air Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 978-0-85130-425-0.


External links[edit]