View Full Version : unidentified french object.

FE Hoppy
12th Aug 2003, 10:32
I've been playing name that aircraft with a few friends for about a month. We are all closet spotters but we are stuck on this one.
anyone know what it is. We think it's French.

12th Aug 2003, 11:45
The Three Stooges? :}

Does someone think that thing behind them will actually defy gravity???

13th Aug 2003, 01:12
It begins with a 'C'........

Still no idea?

Its a Carnival Float......!! (leastways, if it is an actual aircraft I bet it flew like one!

I am intrigued now - wotisit??


FE Hoppy
13th Aug 2003, 05:54
OK we think it's a Gastambide-Levavasseur but haveno further info.

13th Aug 2003, 07:12
I’m sure I’ve seen photos of this machine before, but I can’t name it. Gastambide-Levavasseur? I don’t think so. Jules Gastambide was founder of the Antoinette company, builders of the eponymous pioneering monoplane which was named after his daughter, and Leon Levavasseur designed both the elegant aircraft and its watercooled V-8 engine. Antoinette went into liquidation in 1911 and I don't think the Gastambide/Levavasseur partnership endured. Its configuration suggests a design with endurance in mind, perhaps an east-west transatlantic attempt? The voluminous barrel of a fuselage has no windows, so lots of fuel maybe? The inadequate-looking undercarriage (even allowing for the aircraft here being propped up on a trestle in flying attitude, three-point take-offs and landings would seem essential for propeller ground clearance) might have been jettisonable, as was that of Pierre Levasseur’s (different spelling, no relation) PL.8 'Oiseau Blanc' in which Nungesser and Coli went missing in 1927 while trying to make the east-west crossing. There’s a fence-like device on the lower port wing that could be a control lock, but might equally be a mounting for an underwing skid for a gear-less landing. And I’m not 100% convinced that it’s French. True, there’s tri-colour vertical striping on the rudder, but — and this may just be imagination — I fancy I can see something on the middle (white?) stripe that could be the crest of the House of Savoy. Could even be American, though the military gent on the left looks more likely to be French or Italian.

13th Aug 2003, 18:29
No idea what it is but I've a feeling it's Italian. I remember seeing a documentary on early Italian aviation pioneers and I'm sure this beast was in it.

13th Aug 2003, 21:29
Found the same photo being discussed here (http://aeroforums.free.fr/forumhist/aff.php3?11179). Seems to be a Gastembide-Levavasseur ca. 1929.

A rough Lycos-translation of the thread (my French is no good):

Which is thus this monster? Some tracks, the character in uniform on the left is André Viardot patent FAI N°12.254 of October 28, 1918 (patented military on April 7, 1918), the apparatus is an engine prototype Salmson 260 CV and it was destroyed at the time of its first flight. The apparatus was to be tested by the captain Daucourt at the end of May 1919. Question put in N°81 Pioneer of July 1984: "is This apparatus it Amiot?"

Non: Gastembide-Levavasseur
It is a plane has geometrie variable years 1930. An article of Harm-Jan Hazewinkle in the Feature of Union speaks about it, like two other planes has wings has surfece variable contemporaries: Gerin "Varivol" and Makhonine Mak-10

Re : Non: Gastambide-Levavasseur
Amusing, it is thus the Antoinette who will have taken weight! The higher surface of the plan is actually described like variable, I think that 1929 should be read rather (makes some later) than 1919, which too was surprising. In any case thank you.

I have a little seek yesterday evening, I have few things on both Gastambide-Levavasseur. They have ete built at Jean Latham and, contrary to information of "PEGASE", this photograph could not be taken in 1919 bus construction did not etait if avancee. The first flights took place at the end of 1920 (apparently in October) and, still, none of both is ecrase with the first flight, they have realises several tests. The mechanism of wings has variable surface consisted of two mobile plans which slid, one forwards wing, the other towards the arriere, increasing or decreasing the cord will has.

Re : Gastambide-Levavasseur
The fact that it was built at Jean Latham, therefore side of Le Havre is very interesting! I will test a track! Thank you, I will complèterai the wire in the event of infos positive.

Quand on cherche !
Here is an interesting response in the article of Charles Dollfus devoted to Levavasseur in N°6 Pioneer: "... After a long interruption where its activity is badly known [ 1911-1923 ], Levavasseur produced in 1923 a very interesting plane, on variable surface by slip of the wing. It was tested in Etampes. In spite of results encouraging, this solution did not prevail." It does not mention any breakage on the apparatus. The photograph represents the "biplane on variable surface of 1920 (!?!) with engine Salmson 250 horses. Of right-hand side on the left Levavasseur, Jean Latham, manufacturer of seaplane and cousin
of the famous Hubert and Robert Gastambide."

Re: Gérin
The G-L is splendid - but your mention of Gérin intrigues me. I information retrieval on a certain Jacques Gérin (resident of the Gold Dimension has the time) who in 1923 patented an extraordinary vehicle aerodynamic. Is this same Gérin which conceived Varivol, know you? Thank you

13th Aug 2003, 22:59
Ah, now it begins to make sense. Jules Gastambide died in 1922, but Robert Gastambide was his son and must have teamed up with Levavasseur again for this monstrosity. Hard to believe that the creator of the beautiful Antoinette could come up with this, though. The VG wing probably explains that 'fence like' device, maybe a guide for the sliding sections. The French were into VG in the 1920s. The Makhonine mentioned in the pervious post actually had a telecopic wing whose span could be varied.

FE Hoppy
14th Aug 2003, 05:35
I found another pic with Levavasseur standing in front of it with two other guys. It would seem to be one of his last designs and I can find no evidence of whether it flew.