Vendôme-Lalièvre: Charmant petit mammifère.

This stubby monoplane was conceived by Lt. Eugene Lalièvre and built by the Vendôme company in 1912. The design was notorious for its characteristic low mounted engine which drove the high placed  propeller via a chain. First flown in late 1912, the Vendôme-Lalièvre flew frequently until Aug. 1913 when its crashed.

Lovely toy-like little thing.

Dassault Mirage F1C: Chauvinisme bien-fondé.

That Citroën GS was one of my -many- childhood wet dreams. The X2, in particular, was the middle range model in the GS X (sports) series. It was a very sleek looking car, just like the F1C the company employed as a background on their 1978 catalogue cover.

Photo: Citroën.

Potez-CAMS 161: Didn’t run very far.

The CAMS 161, like the Latécoère 631, was a magnificent six-engined flying boat designed to operate on the prestigious North Atlantic routes; the jewel of the crown in the aviation of the late 1930s. Sadly, only a prototype was built after its configuration was tested by a proof-of-concept aircraft. First flown at the end of 1939, the CAMS 161 story is quite obscure. Taken by the Germans it undertook some flying under their colours. It was destroyed in an unclear place near the end of WW2.

Balkenkreuz-equipped. Not as clean as the 631, but mighty in its own way.

Odier-Vendôme biplane: Look Ma, No Hands !!

Carrying the name of its designer (Antoine Odier) and ordered by Turcat-Méry race car driver Henri Rougier, this elegant pusher biplane was built by the Vendôme company. According to the most fiable sources it appeared in 1909 and was (under)powered by one of Rougier’s employers 18hp Turcat-Méry engines. A later improved tractor biplane followed in 1910, sadly with less arched wings.

The designer was also the pilot when this precious photo was taken. He also made the first flight of this, his first aircraft in May 27, 1909…, which was also Odier’s first flight, ever. Routine back then.

Fauvel AV.2: Charme sans queue.

Built in the early 1930s, the AV-2 was one of the first of Charles Fauvel’s tailless designs and his first to fly. Of wooden construction and partially fabric-covered, this experimental flying wing was powered by a 32 hp ABC Scorpion engine placed inside a neatly egg-shaped nacelle. It was just the beginning. Fauvel’s flying wing designs infatuation endured for quite some time; both powered and unpowered examples appeared regularly well into the 1960s.

Pretty cute little thing. Another one of those so beloved to me.