Re: The Absurd...

Erik Pilawskii (
Thu, 16 Feb 1995 15:09:46 -0800 (PST)

> Well, not really *that* absurd. The theory on off-setting
> the top wing to the rear is to provide the pilot with
> unobstructed forward vision - a similar reverse stagger
> was used on a couple of British fighters for the same reason.
> With the top wing shifted back, center of gravity/lift
> considerations require the lower wing(s) to be shifted forward -
> hence the extreme forward stagger of the lower two wings.
> 'Course the whole thing looked kinda wierd and and the
> aircraft didn't fly all that well, but the theory was reasonable.
I don't know!... I mean, negative wing stagger is certainly not a novel
idea. Applied in moderation (say, on the D.H.5, or Beech Staggerwing) I
can see both some aerodynamic advantage, and more arguably, a possible
improvement in (forward, anyway) visibility. But *this* thing!! Surely,
it was carried out in classic Gallic fashion-- that is, Melodramitic,
Ungainly, and Overwrought!
For (one) example, can you imagine attempting to keep such a wing,
suspended on a 10 strut, from vibrating to pieces? Or the difficulties in
reaching any kind of control harmony? No doubt the contraption didn't fly
very well-- how could it?

Well, maybe I'm just rubbishing the French again. But, honestly, this
aircraft is Truly Ludicrous!...

"The Heavens were the grandstands, and only the Gods were spectators. The
stake was the World. The forfeit was the Player's place at the table; and
the Game had no recess. It was the most dangerous of all sports-- and the
most fascinating. It got in the blood like wine. It aged men 40 years in
40 days; it ruined nervous systems in an hour. It was a fast game-- the
average life of a pilot at the Front was 48 hours. And, to many, it
seemed an Age....
Elliot White Springs, WWI ace