(Same article in English at the bottom of this page)
L’association Fondett’Ailes a bien fait les choses en ce samedi 30 septembre et dimanche 1er octobre 2017 à Fondettes, près de Tours. L’exposition démarrait avec une présentation de l’icône de l’aéronautique militaire française de la Grande Guerre, le Capitaine Georges Guynemer, l’as aux 53 victoires homologuées. On y découvrait ce jeune homme chétif, au caractère déjà bien trempé. Guynemer venait d’une famille de la bourgeoisie qui descendait de Louis XII. Il n’était pas vraiment destiné à devenir un des plus brillants aviateurs au monde. Cependant l’opiniâtreté du capitaine de l’escadrille des Cigognes le menèrent au firmament de la gloire lorsqu’il fût abattu le 11 septembre 1917 à Poelkappelle. Des maquettes étaient exposées et en particulier celles qui furent frappées du « Vieux Charles » de Guynemer: Morane-Saulnier, Nieuport et SPAD, ainsi que d’autres maquettes d’avions d’époque et d’appareils pilotés par ses victimes. Des extraits de journaux rapportaient les combats aériens qu’il a livrés des débuts à la fin tragique qui conserve toujours une part de mystère.
L’exposition rendait aussi hommage aux autres grands as de la période 14-18 avec notamment Dorme, Nungesser, Navarre et le héros local Maxime Lenoir. Depuis que le journaliste Didier Lecoq a retrouvé sa trace et que le village de Chargé a commémoré la disparition de l’as tourangeau, meilleur as de Verdun entre juin et octobre 1916, les Tourangeaux, les amateurs de la Grande Guerre et les historiens ont pu découvrir, ou redécouvrir pour certains, « Le Guynemer de la Touraine » grâce à un panneau entièrement consacré à Maxime Lenoir et ses exploits. Des uniformes des aviateurs, masque à gaz et fléchettes étaient présentés et surtout trois pièces de collection spectaculaires: une grande hélice, un appareil de photographie aérienne Gaumont aux dimensions étonnantes et un superbe moteur rotatif Clerget Blin avec ses neuf cylindres, immanquable.
Un grand merci à l’association Fondett’Ailes et son président Gérard Souedet pour leur accueil. Un grand merci aussi à Didier Lecoq, Secrétaire Général à La Nouvelle République, pour son accord et toutes ses informations sur Maxime Lenoir.
The Fondett’Ailes association did well on Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October 2017 in Fondettes, near Tours. The exhibition opened with a presentation of of the WW1 French military aeronautics icon, Captain Georges Guynemer, the ace of 53 approved victories. He was depicted as a young sickly man, who had a temperament that was already very strong. Guynemer came from a bourgeois family that was descended from Louis XII. He wasn’t really destined to become one of the most brilliant aviators in the world. However, the stubbornness of the captain of the Cigognes squadron led him to the firmament of glory when he was shot down at Poelkappelle, Belgium, on September 11, 1917. Models were on display, particularly those of the « Vieux Charles » from Guynemer: Morane-Saulnier, Nieuport and SPAD, as well as other models of aircraft from this era and aircraft flown by his victims. Newspaper clippings reported the dogfights he fought from the beginning to the tragic end which has always kept a part of mystery.
The exhibition also paid tribute to the other great aces of the WW1 period with Dorme, Nungesser, Navarre and the local hero Maxime Lenoir. Since the journalist Didier Lecoq found his trail, and since the village of Chargé commemorated the disappearance of the ace of the Loire Valley – the best ace of Verdun between June and October 1916 – the visitors of the Loire Valley, amateurs of the Great War and historians have discovered, or rediscovered for some, the « Guynemer of Touraine » thanks to a panel entirely dedicated to Maxime Lenoir and his feats. Aviators’ uniforms, gas mask and darts were displayed, and above all three spectacular collector’s pieces were displayed: a large propeller, a Gaumont aerial camera with amazing dimensions and a superb Clerget Blin rotary engine with its nine cylinders, unavoidable.
Last but not least, the book Une Autre Histoire de l’Aviation was presented for book signing.
Many thanks to the association Fondett’Ailes and their chairman Gérard Souedet for their welcome. Many thanks also to Didier Lecoq, Secretary General of La Nouvelle République, for his agreement and all his information on Maxime Lenoir.
Dear Friends, I often tell my student pilots that it is wise to hold on before taking off when another aircraft has just taken off. Even two minutes is not enough sometimes because the wake turbulence may move in an unpredictable way – rather sideways – depending on the wind but not only. You can watch a previous post in which a spectacular uncontrolled roll happened: http://airforces.fr/2016/03/06/must-see-weird-takeoff-explained/ I have repeated that over and over – waiting is as wise as safe:
We cannot see clearly what really made the seaplane – assumed to be a French Canadair CL-415 Superscooper water bomber – veer off but it was definitely too close to the previous aircraft. Maybe the pilot wanted to do the right thing by saving time to save more lives. Was it because of the bow wake of the flying boat? Because of the air wake turbulence? A human error? A control failure? Or a combination of several factors? Anyway when you see an aircraft of this size taking off, please wait for two minutes before entering the same path. Fortunately, a pole was clipped, the Canadair was damaged, but it could have been worse.
The 2017 opener has been full of surprises. A victory of Mathias Dolderer was expected in Abu Dhabi today but the Czech Martin Sonka and his Zivko Edge 540 V3 had the last word thanks to his first victory in this competition. The German champion finished fourth. Two French pilots – Nicolas Ivanoff and François Le Vot – reached the Final 8 but failed to go through. Master Class results: Sonka (CZE) 15 points, Velarde (ESP) 12 pts, McLeod (CAN) 9 pts, Dolderer (GER) 7 pts, Ivanoff (FRA) 6 pts, Goulian (USA) 5 pts, Bolton (CHI) 4 pts, Le Vot (FRA) 3 pts, Brageot (FRA) 2 pts, Hall (AUS) 1 pt. The next race is to be hold in San Diego on April 15 & 16.
He took off that day. It was 115 years ago, two years before the Wrights. Gustav Weisskopf had changed his name into Gustave Whitehead before building his aeroplane whose name was the « Condor », or number 21. Gustave was a German immigrant from Leutershausen in Bavaria, where a splendid museum https://www.weisskopf.de commemorates the feats of the brilliant inventor.
Two replicas of his plane #21 flew in 1986 in the U.S.A., and in 1997 in Germany. Several books have been written about Gustave Whitehead so far. Susan O’Dwyer Brinchman published the latest one last year. Her searching follows her father’s, Major William J. O’Dwyer, a retired U.S. Air Force Reserve officer who had found early Whitehead’s photos in an attic, in 1963, and researched Whitehead for the next 45 years, interviewing many witnesses. Susan worked with him during the later decades and recently, has found even more. She explains why Whitehead must have been the first in the world to perform a steerable, propelled without catapult, heavier-than-air flight. She shares an extensive FAQ and lots of resources on her website here: http://gustavewhitehead.info/gustave-whitehead-resources/ which are quite compelling. You can order her book Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight on Amazon or get a signed one by clicking on the cover here below:
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