History Hour: Henri Fabre flies first seaplane in 1910
On the 28th of March 1910, Henri Marie Léonce Fabre (29 November 1882 – 30 June 1984) flew his Hydroavian, the first seaplane, at Étang de Berre, a lagoon about 25 kilometers (15½ miles) west of Marseille, on the Mediterranean coast of France. The airplane, named Le Canard, flew 457 meters (1,499 feet).
The Hydroavian is 8.45 meters (27 feet, 8.67 inches) long with a wingspan of 14 meters (45 feet, 11.18 inches) and height of 3.70 meters (12 feet, 1.67 inches). It has an empty weight of 380 kilograms (838 pounds) and the gross weight is 475 kilograms (1,047 pounds).
Henri Fabre standing beside the 50-horsepower Gnome Omega 7 engine and propeller used to power the Hydroavian. (Photo by Fabre Family/AFP via Times of Malta)
Fabre’s airplane was powered by a normally-aspirated, air-cooled, 7.983 liter (487.140-cubic-inch-displacement) Société des Moteurs Gnome Omega 7-cylinder rotary engine which produced 50 horsepower at 1,200 r.p.m. The direct-drive engine turned a two-bladed wooden propeller in a left-hand, pusher configuration. The Omega 7 is 79.2 centimeters (2 feet, 7.2 inches) long, 83.8 centimeters (2 feet, 9.0 inches) in diameter, and weighs 75.6 kilograms (166.7 pounds). The prototype of this engine is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution National Air & Space Museum.
Fabre Hydroavian at Monaco, April 1911 (Photo by CTIE Monash University)
Though it was damaged in a crash in 1911, Le Canard was restored and is in the collection of Musée de l’air et de l’espace.
First Class of Women Naval Aviators
How NASA intentionally crashed a Boeing 720
First jet landing on aircraft carrier
First England to Australia flight
Text Author: Bryan R. Swopes
Top 5 presidential aircraft
Being the first person of a country requires an appropriate transport to air travel from one destination to another rapi...
90 years ago: Hunter brothers 23 days non-stop flight record
Sometimes it seems that long-haul flights between different continents last for weeks, rather than hours. But imagine re...
Game changer of military aircraft: B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber
The B-2 Spirit strategic bomber is an exceptional stealthy flying wing that left a mark in the history of military aeros...
Fine expat pilot’s hope in Asian aviation market
Straggling pilotsSince COVID19 pandemic started, we have been facing the most difficult scenario in aviation history, es...
World’s oldest flight instructor and active pilot: Robina Asti
The journey from WWII veteran, transgender female to the world's oldest active pilot and flight instructor – that is the...