Patent FR-1876-111574

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Info from CdB 1876

Steam-powered airplane with two propellers. Hallion, 2003, pp. 124–125, writes:

A large, externally braced flying wing, it resembled nothing so much as a big moth. Designed as an amphibian, with retractable wheels so it could operate from land and a boat hull permitting it to operate off water, it incorporated a number of features found in the successful craft of the mid-twentieth century. These included two propellers located on the leading edge of the wing, an enclosed cabin and cockpit (with a fighter-style clear bubble canopy), instruments for the pilot's reference (including a barometer to measure height above ground, a level to assist in maintaining altitude, and a compass), moveable elevators on the trailing edge of the wing for pitch control, and a fixed vertical fin for directional stability tat had attached to it a moveable rudder for yaw (directional) control. The Pénaud-Gauchot design possessed a Gaulic elegance of line going beyond Henson and Stringfellow's pioneering Ariel of midcentury, with a slight dihedral to the wing and, as with his earlier model, graceful unswept wingtips to provide inherent stability. Its well-thought-out external bracing anticipated the design of early European monoplanes such as the Blériot, Béchereau's Monocoque Deperdussin, and the various Morane-Saulnier designs. Further, the two developers had undertaken a comprehensive performance analysis that indicated a depth of insight and study beyond most of the early pioneers.

The patent itself is dated 18 February 1876; L'Aéronaute (Vol. 10, No. 10, p. 274) says it was legally filed on 8 April 1876.

This invention was experimental with regards to tail stability, propellers driven by rubber band (After him, Pline, Étienne Marey, Abel Hureau de Villeneuve, Clément Ader, Victor Tatin et Bègne, construisent de nombreux modèles de planeurs. );


  • page 7 of Aéro-Manuel, 1914 1914
  • Notes on specific influences leading from Pénaud's patent were drawn from p. 7 of « Chronologie Aéronautique » pages of Aéro-Manuel, 1914 edition; Hallion, 2003, pp.124–125

After him (that is, Alphonse Pénaud, in collaboration with Paul-Élie Gauchot), Pline, Marey, A. Hureau de Villeneuve, Clément Ader, Tatin and Bègne, made many plane models. Hallion, 2003, pp.124–125

Year filed 1876
Year granted 1876
Office FR
Patent number 111574
Inventors Charles-Alphonse Pénaud, Paul-Élie Gauchot
Inventor country FR
Applicant person Charles-Alphonse Pénaud, Paul-Élie Gauchot
Applicant firm
Applicant type
Applicant is inventor? Yes
Original title Aéroplane ou appareil aérien volant
English title Aeroplane or flying aerial apparatus
Tech fields model aeroplane, Aerial Car, marine, propulsion, airplane, airfoil, stability, tail, propellers
Filing date April 8, 1876
Full specification filed date
Application number
Grant date
Granted? Yes
Publication date February 18, 1876
Supplementary to patent
Related to aircraft? Yes
Serial number
Patent agent
Assigned to
National tech categories FR 6.3
Family year 1876
First filing? No
Number of citations
Cited by
Application ID
Number of text pages
Number of diagram pages
Number of figures
Number of claims