Voisin Type Bordeaux

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Type Bordeaux
Role Sports aircraft
National origin France
Manufacturer Voisin Frères
Designer Gabriel Voisin
First flight 1910

The Voisin Type Bordeaux was an aircraft built by Voisin Frères in 1910, so-called because it was used by Juan Bielovucic to make a record-breaking flight from Paris to Bordeaux.[1] The design differed significantly from previous Voisin designs in eliminating the forward-mounted elevator.[2]

Design and development[edit]

The Type Bordeaux was a two-bay equal span pusher configuration biplane powered by a Gnome Omega 7 cylinder rotary engine driving an aluminium bladed Voisin propeller mounted at the rear of the uncovered wooden nacelle. The tail surfaces, carried on four wire-braced steel booms, consisted of a horizontal stabiliser and elevator mounted between the upper pair of booms with a single centrally mounted rudder beneath it. The structure made extensive use of steel tubing and the flying surfaces were covered with "Continental" brand rubberised fabric. Lateral control was effected by large D-shaped ailerons mounted on the upper wing: these were controlled by foot pedals. The rudder and elevator were activated by a control wheel which was turned to control the rudder and moved forwards and backwards to control the elevator. It had a tricycle undercarriage consisting of a pair of mainwheels mounted on sprung steel struts below the wing and a nosewheel below the front of the nacelle, although the aircraft at rest rested on the two mainwheels and skids mounted at the rear of the lower pair of tailbooms.[1]

The type became famous after a flight between Paris and Bordeaux made in September 1910 by Juan Bielovucic, who intended to compete in an aviation meet being held in Bordeaux and flew there from Paris in order to save the expense of sending the aircraft by rail. The 540 km (340 mi) flight was made in four stages (Paris–Orléans, Orléans–Châtellerault, Châtellerault–Angoulême and Angoulême–Bordeaux) spread over three days, in a total flying time of 6 hrs. 15 mins. This set a new record for cross-country flight, and Bielovucic was given a medal by the Bordeaux Departmental Assembly.[3]

The design was later refined to become the two-seat 1911 Voisin Type de Tourism.[4]


Data from l'Aérophile 15 September 1910, p. 411

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Empty weight: 400 kg (882 lb)
  • Gross weight: 680 kg (1,499 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Gnome Omega 7 cylinder rotary engine, 37 kW (50 hp)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed Voisin, 2.50 m (8 ft 2 in) diameter


  • Maximum speed: 85 km/h (53 mph; 46 kn) (estimated)



  1. ^ a b "Paris-Bordeaux". l'Aérophile (in French): 411. 15 September 1910.
  2. ^ "Les Progrés d'Aviation en 1910". l'Aérophile (in French): 509. 15 December 1910.
  3. ^ "Paris-Bordeaux". Flight: 740. 10 September 1910.
  4. ^ "Les Nouveaux Appariels Voisin". l'Aérophile (in French): 90. 1 March 1911.


Opdycke, Leonard E French Aeroplanes Before the Great War Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 1999 ISBN 0 7643 0752 5

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