No. 11719. Fauvel AV-10 (F-AONR c/n 01)
Photographed at Waalhaven Airport, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 1935-1940, source unknown

Fauvel AV-10

12/31/2012. The Société Anonyme l'Aile Volante was formed at Suresnes, Paris, France in 1935 to develop and market, under the patents of Charles Fauvel, tailless aeroplanes of the type known as the Aile Volante (Flying Wing).

In 1933, the Caudron Company built a small single-seat flying-wing to the designs of Fauvel, but beyond making a few initial test flights this machine was never proceeded with. This model, known as the AV-2, consisted of a wing which tapered in chord and thickness towards the tips, with a hemispherical swelling in the middle to accommodate the pilot, and hinged surfaces aft. The engine, an A.B.C. Scorpion, was mounted in a nacelle over the wing and drove a pusher airscrew.

A further prototype, the AV-10 with a 75 hp Pobjoy R engine, had a nacelle above and forward of the wing and V-type undercarriage with Messier shock-absorber struts. The Pobjoy engine occupied a normal position in the nose of the nacelle and drove a tractor airscrew. Accommodation was provided for two side-by-side, with dual controls, in an enclosed cockpit.

This machine made its first flight on February 10, 1935, and showed that it could maintain level flight on only 15 hp. It successfully passed all official tests for its certificate of airworthiness at the end of 1935 and it was the first tailless aeroplane to be granted such a certificate. Aerial view (site files)

On December 28, 1937, the AV-10, with pilot and passenger, reached a height of 19,680 ft (6,000 m), an international record for two-seat light aircraft fitted with engines of from 2-4 liter capacity. On May 9, 1938, with pilot alone, it reached a height of over 22,000 ft (6,700 m). Reportedly the aircraft was captured by the Germans in 1940, its fate is unknown.

The photo was taken at Waalhaven, the former airport of Rotterdam. The tall man in front of the aircraft is Frits Koolhoven, the well-known Dutch aircraft designer and manufacturer.

Created December 31, 2012