The first steps of Antoinette
The success of the Wright brothers, who, on 17 December1903 launched themselves into the air at a height of 37 m (previously, on 14 December, Orville Wright had made an unsuccessful flight at the height of 36 m), ignited the imagination of constructors. The English Channel became the barrier of distance that people strived to overcome at all cost.
Antoinette was one of the first planes on which attempts were made. In 1909, Hubert Latham was a step away from breaking the distance record but the plane had to make a forced landing. The pilot very quickly turned the failure into the constructional success of the machine, advertising it with the slogan: “Antoinette planes are unsinkable” (in the end Louis Bleriot was the first to cross the English Channel on 25 July1909).
Interestingly, the constructor of the machine, Lavavasseur, was not an educated engineer, but his talent and passion enabled him to create an airplane that, at the beginning of the century, was regarded as one of the best airplanes in the world (he became famous for the water-cooled eight-cylinder V-type engine located in the heart of the machine).
The collection of the Małopolska’s Virtual Museums could not omit Antoinette’s aircraft engine, that you can see on a daily basis at the Polish Aviation Museum in Kraków.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.