TRACY HANCOCK COLLECTION
No. 4182. Demonty-Poncelet Cyrano (O-BAFL)
Photographed in Belgium, 1920s

Demonty-Poncelet Cyrano

05/01/2005. Remarks by Tracy Hancock: "The Demonty-Poncelet (D.P.) is the first side-by-side Belgian two-seater with an enclosed cabin and foldable wings. The drawings and the basic calculations for this aircraft were done by Mathieu Demonty, the SABCA (Société Anonyme Belge de Construction Aéronautique) technical director and the aircraft was entirely built by Paul Poncelet. It was a true closed cabin design which was protecting the passengers from the wind, from the rain and from the engine oil spattering. Contemporary articles preferred to call it a 'limousine' rather than an 'aviette' (little airplane).

The first D.P., named 'Cyrano', was registered O-BAFL (registration certificate no. 97) on July 19, 1924 with Demonty and Mathieu reported as the owners and Demonty Poncelet as the builder. The two owners resold the machine to SABCA on October 23, 1925 while the aircraft has already started participating to meetings under the company colors. From then it was under the SABCA-DP designation that the machine continued its career.

The aircraft with its peculiar shape was seen in the majority of 'moto-aviette' (powered small airplane) contests in 1924 and 1925, executing without failing the imposed test programs. The aircraft flew to Vauville in 1925 piloted by Wouter who was assisted by mechanic J. De Bruycker. After compiling the final results, the SABCA-DP was declared first in the avionnette category (652 mls, 1,050 km in 10 hours 57 minutes), preceding the Caudron and the Cambier-Guldentops; it was declared second in the fuel consumption competition behind the Caudron.

The aircraft was first powered by a 'Grégoire' 43 hp car engine then it was later powered by a 50 hp Anzani. This information was provided by Charles Mali and translated by Alain Bourret. In 1929 the plane was re-registrated OO-AFL, on April 22, 1930 the registration was cancelled and the fate of the aircraft is unknown."

Created May 1, 2005