De cette manière, il est le premier au monde officiellement à le faire car les frères Wright n’ont pas convié de commissaires pour valider leurs circuits revendiqués de 1904. Il y avait beaucoup de concurrents pour couvrir le premier kilomètre en boucle mais Henri Farman l’a fait à temps sur le terrain d’Issy-les-Moulineaux grâce à un aéroplane modifié des frères Voisin et un moteur Antoinette de Léon Levavasseur. A l’occasion de cet anniversaire, je vous offre quelques pages sur l’exploit de Henri Farman tirées du livre « Une autre histoire de l’aviation ». Cliquez sur ce lien ou sur l’image ci-dessous pour lire cet évènement historique:
Superbe film qui permet de découvrir Henri Farman et en particulier son exploit du 13 janvier 1908 après 3’10 »:
On peut toujours voir la stèle qui commémore cet exploit mondial à Paris. Il suffit de sortir de la station de métro de Balard et c’est juste après le tunnel du périphérique sur la droite. C’est juste à côté de la station de Tramway Suzanne Lenglen. Il reste encore un héliport devant les locaux de la DGAC et la boucle du parcours de santé entre l’Aquaboulevard et l’héliport correspond à peu de choses près à la boucle de Farman sauf qu’il est probablement parti depuis un lieu un peu plus au nord-est du tunnel sous le périphérique. C’est là que les frères Voisin construirent leurs succès. Deux ans plus tard, Henri Coanda fera une première tentative de vol avec un moteur à réaction depuis ce même terrain qui faisait partie d’Issy-les-Moulineaux alors que c’est aujourd’hui un quartier de Paris.
Birth of Manned Rocket Research Airplanes: 1946 to 1975
The first reliable, effective rocket engine that would provide boost for experimental research aircraft was produced by four members of the American Rocket Society (ARS) who combined forces to form Reaction Motors Incorporated (RMI) (Rockaway, New Jersey) for developing the Experimental Liquid Rocket (XLR-11) rocket motor. The XLR-11 engine had four separate rocket chambers. Each chamber provided 1500 lb of rated thrust and could be operated independently as a means of throttling thrust in quarters, up to 6000 pounds. The XLR-11 possessed remarkable longevity, powering an impressive fleet of rocket aircraft for more than a quarter of a century (1946 to 1975). This fleet of vehicles were the first rocket aircraft devoted solely to high performance experimental flight research. They were not constrained by military or commercial demands and ranged from being the first to break the sound barrier (XS-1), to the first to reach Mach 2.0 (D-558-II [fig. 5]), to the first to exceed the X-2 Mach 3.2 record (X-15 with two XLR-11 engines).
Figure 5. The D-558-II airplane on Rogers lakebed.
The X-1E – Early Development of Energy Management
Design efforts to extend aircraft performance produced increased wing loadings, W/S, and decreased lift-to-drag ratios, L/D. These design changes were beneficial in reducing drag to achieve supersonic and hypersonic speeds, but were also detrimental in that they reduced the area of the maneuvering footprint and presented difficulties in the approach and landing.
As L/D values decreased, the glide slope angle and the rate of descent increased, making it more difficult for pilots to estimate distances and times required for acceptable landings. The X-1E (fig. 6) was modified with a low-aspect-ratio wing having a thickness-to-chord ratio of four percent – the only aircraft of the X-1/D-558 series to have sufficiently low L/D values to require unique energy management techniques. This X-1E was the first to experiment with approach patterns designed to give the pilot more time in the traffic pattern to manage energy.
The landing pattern was approached in a conventional manner except that altitudes and speeds were somewhat higher than for powered aircraft. The initial reference point was established at 12,000 ft (mean sea level) on a downwind heading (180 deg remaining to turn). The downwind leg was offset some four miles from the centerline of the landing runway. On downwind, abeam the touchdown point, landing gear and partial flaps were deployed at a speed of 240 knots. Full flaps were usually deployed on the final approach. At the initial reference point the pilot had almost three minutes until touchdown – additional time for handling increased speeds and sink rates.7,8
An RAAF F-111 crew had to perform a belly landing. To help you understand this video in Australian English, there is information both in English and French below:
To shed / I shed / have shed: perdre quelquechose. Attention, « a shed » = un hangar, un abri, aussi un cabanon. To shed a tear: verser une larme. Masterpiece: Chef d’oeuvre, joyau, merveille. Beneath: Sous, dessous. « The F-111 can dump and ignite fuel with the afterburners »: Le F-111 peut larguer et allumer le carburant avec la postcombustion (PC). « This extreme war machine can be fickle »: Fickle = capricieux, instable, imprévisible. In Aussie (in Australian, say [ozy]) language: Brake mechanism, (dites [braïk mekeunizeum]) mécanisme de freinage; Air base (dites [ èr bâïss ]); Formation [Formaïsheun]. All, as per normal = Comme d’habitude. « A wheel has fallen off, which was quite surreal in the circumstances… »: surreal = surréaliste, étrange, onirique. Stricken plane: l’avion n’et pas nécessairement abattu par un projectile, il peut être en perdition, touché ou endommagé pour une autre raison. On pourrait presque dire « avion en perdition » comme pour « doomed aircraft ». To devise a plan: Concevoir, inventer, imaginer, élaborer un plan. « They are spot on »: Ils sont parfaits.
« The Legend of Little Eagle » is a novel about destinies that intersect. It is based on a true story which involved an actual American pilot – Lieutenant LeRoy Lutz – whose warplane was hit by anti-aircraft fire while strafing a German train. He then made the decision of purposefully crashing into a clear area instead of dashing into a French village called Mardeuil in Champagne, in June 1944. He did not survive to his feat, but the villagers did.
LeRoy Lutz has been turned into « John Philippe Garreau », and LeRoy Lutz flew a P-38 Lightning whereas Garreau is on a P-51 Mustang for the novel.
Here is further information about this book from a post written by Florian Rochat – the book’s author – published in French on January 24th, 2012:
In 1999, while I was in Montana researching my novel « Cougar corridor », I discovered a letter mailed from France in 1947. It said how a pilot of the US Army Air Force, Lieutenant LeRoy Lutz, had avoided a tragedy by staying on his damaged plane in order not to fall on a small village of Champagne, Mardeuil. It was in June 1944. Having renounced the bail out option while still able to do so, Lutz (picture below) had paid with his life this heroic act. His Lightning P-38 crashed in a field.
I told in a previous article of this blog how this letter led me to write my latest novel, The Legend of Little Eagle.
But now I have found its author. His name is André Mathy and he lives in Epernay, France…
…Time passes by, History is forgotten, but for the old inhabitants of Mardeuil LeRoy Lutz is always a hero whose sacrifice helped avoid civilian casualties in their village. « This story keeps coming to my mind, » said André Mathy.
I have been able to find him, which moves me. For this endpoint in the long story that was the writing of The Legend of Little Eagle highlights a surprising phenomenon on which I return repeatedly – over the reconstruction of the life of my hero who experienced a similar fate to LeRoy Lutz – in this story in which the notion of fate is perhaps the theme: the meaning and weight of stories, as explained in several books by William Kittredge, one of the great writers of Montana. According to him, our lives are ceaselessly intertwined with narrative, with the stories that we tell or hear told, those that we dream or imagine or would like to tell, all of which are reworked in that story of our own lives that we narrate to ourselves in an episodic, somewhat semiconscious, but virtually uninterrupted monologue. We live immersed in narrative (have you noticed?) These stories allow us, according to him, to situate ourselves in the world, and find meaning in our existence in the chaos of life. « We live in stories. We are stories, » he asserts.
“We tell stories to talk out the trouble in our lives, trouble otherwise so often so unspeakable. It is one of our main ways of making our lives sensible. Trying to live without stories can make us crazy. They help us recognize what we believe to be most valuable in the world, and help us identify what we hold demonic,” Kittredge adds.
Seventeen years ago, when he finally learned about his father’s display of courage, Richard Lutz, LeRoy’s son, declared: « I was twelve years old when my mother told me that my father had died in France. I always thought he was the bravest pilot on earth. But now I know. »
This book has already had 4.7 stars out of 13 customer reviews on Amazon.fr. It is a breath-taking novel according to them. The readers did love Florian Rochat’s talent and style. The synopsis made them believe that it was a book on aviation. It is, with many scenes of air combat during John Philip Garreau’s missions over Germany and France. But there is more to it. As mentioned above, it mainly deals with puzzling questions on destiny and fates bound within a same tragic event. However, these readers loved reading this unbelievable story. Air combat is not swept out of sight as the act of gallantry when LeRoy Lutz veered away from the village to save lives is well highlighted. Moreover, the hero amazingly meets with a famous WWII aviator.
Many reviews, and articles have been posted about this book, especially in French since it was first written in French. Here are two of them: