Images Of Aviation, Early French Aviation, 1905-1930

The first decade of aviation saw France in a commanding position, but this advantage was steadily lost to other nations. This new book provides a fine selection of rare images from the golden years of French aviation. – Very Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Images Of Aviation, Early French Aviation, 1905-1930
FILE: R3044
AUTHOR: Graham M Simons
PUBLISHER: Air World, Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PRICE: £14.99                                                                
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Aviation pioneers, early aircraft designs, technology, French designers, 
French aircraft production, experimentation, originality, diversity, airships, heavy-
than-air, monoplanes, biplanes, aircraft engines

ISBN: 1-52675-874-1

IMAGE: B3044.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/urgurpr
PAGES: 128
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: The first decade of aviation saw France in a commanding position, 
but this advantage was steadily lost to other nations. This new book provides a fine 
selection of rare images from the golden years of French aviation. – Very Highly 
Recommended.

The story of aviation is not without contention, not least the identification of who 
made the first powered flight. There is a British contender who preceded the Wright 
Brothers, apparently making a controlled flight with a steam powered aircraft, but the 
challenge in designing aircraft and submarines lay in finding effective power sources, 
submarines having to contend with limited oxygen when submerged, and aircraft 
requiring light powerful motors that could provide an acceptable power to weight 
ratio. In the second half of the Nineteenth Century there was no shortage of aviation 
pioneers, only of suitable engines. That meant the captive balloons were the most 
common early devices, giving way to dirigibles that could use the early combustion 
engines that were still too heavy to power winged aircraft reliably.

The French Government used gas balloons to escape the German besiegers of Paris 
during the Franco-Prussian War, leaving the Parisians to their fate. French airships 
pioneered that form of flight and, shortly after the Wright Brothers flew, French 
winged aircraft were being built. There was great diversity with some designs being 
frankly bizarre, through competent, if fragile, designs, to a number of very advanced 
designs at the forefront of technology.

Through World War I, the French aircraft industry continued to produce some very 
effective and pioneering aircraft, but they were steadily overtaken by the British and 
the Germans. After WWI, the victorious allies all suffered with politicians rushing to 
spend the 'peace dividend' after the War That Ended All Wars. France probably 
suffered most, with inadequate military funding going to fund battleships and fixed 
defences, leaving little to be allocated to aviation. The US was also powering ahead 
from having to borrow British and French aircraft during WWI, to producing some of 
the most promising designs for civil and military use.

The period selected for this book does demonstrate why the early years of French 
aviation were the golden years. The many images are of a high standard and show the 
great diversity of design. Text is confined to an introduction, captions, and extended 
captions neatly completing the book and adding to the photographic selection.