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Levasseur PL.8 "l'Oiseau blanc"

Levasseur PL.8 "l'Oiseau blanc"

Levasseur PL.8
Originální název:
Original Name:
Levasseur PL.8
jiná kategorie
DD.MM.1927-DD.MM.1927 Pierre Levasseur, Constructions Aeronautiques, Paris /
Období výroby:
Production Period:
Vyrobeno kusů:
Number of Produced:
První vzlet:
Maiden Flight:
Základní charakteristika:
Basic Characteristics:
Vzlet a přistání:
Take-off and Landing:
CTOL - konvenční vzlet a přistání
Uspořádání křídla:
Arrangement of Wing:
Uspořádání letounu:
Aircraft Concept:
Přistávací zařízení:
Landing Gear:
Technické údaje:
Technical Data:
Hmotnost prázdného letounu:
Empty Weight:
1905 kg
Vzletová hmotnost:
Take-off Weight:
5030 kg
Maximální vzletová hmotnost:
Maximum Take-off Weight:
? kg
14,60 m
9,75 m
3,89 m
Plocha křídla:
Wing Area:
61,00 m2
Plošné zatížení:
Wing Loading:
? kg/m2
Počet motorů:
Number of Engines:
Lorraine 12Ed o výkonu 331 kW/450 k
dvoulistá pevná kovová vrtule
Objem palivových nádrží:
Fuel Tank Capacity:
4025 l
Maximální rychlost:
Maximum Speed:
193 km/h v ? m
Cestovní rychlost:
Cruise Speed:
165 km/h v ? m
Rychlost stoupání:
Climb Rate:
? m/s
Čas výstupu na výšku:
Time to Climb to:
? min do ? m
Operační dostup:
Service Ceiling:
7000 m
? km
Maximální dolet:
Maximum Range:
7000 km
Uživatelské státy:
User States:
Bénichou, Marcel. L'Oiseau Blanc dans un faisceau de présomptions, Le Fana de l'Aviation 2010/05.
Gras, Philippe. Le hussard de la mort Charles Nungesser, Le Fana de l'Aviation 2008/07.
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Aircraft Levasseur PL-8 "White bird" was a machine specially constructed for the attempt to fly the North Atlantic crew in the composition of the Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli. Was derived from the maritime three-digit aircraft Levasseur PL-4, designed for the French navy.

The machine is characterised by original structures. The chassis it was possible to drop, the lower wing and the fuselage were waterproof and specially designed so that the aircraft could land on water, while it on the surface to remain as long as it's marine only terms allowed. Take-off from the surface of course was not possible, it was envisaged to pick up the aircraft on the deck of the ship with a crane.

For more specific details of the design of the White bird, unfortunately, too much information there is. It was a single engine biplane with the probably all-wood construction for the most part covered in canvas. The original hull machine PL-4 was enlarged and three-seat cabin has been transformed into a two-seat layout, where the right-seat navigator was positioned slightly behind the seat of the pilot and also was a bit below. The cabin was open, the crew was protected by a large windshield.

The bearing surfaces were reinforced and slightly enlarged, compared to the PL-4 was launched the mechanism of the folding wings for storage in ships ' hangars. In the fuselage in front of cockpit were placed three large duralumin fuel tank with a total volume of 4025 liters. Empty weight of these three tanks did not exceed 80 kg. The tank from the motor separated the fireproof bulkhead.

Aircraft powered line engine Lorraine–Dietrich with the arrangement of the cylinders in W on the performance of 450 horsepower. Radiator blinds the pilot could open and close manually, although primarily controlled by the thermostat. Coolers were installed in the lower wing roots on each side of the fuselage. Carburetors were equipped with a heating system against freezing.


Arrangement:12-cylinder configuration into the W
the Total content of the cylinder: 24.42 liters
Nominal power:450 pcs at 1900 revs/min.
Reduction propeller (the ratio of 1:1,545): 1230 r/min
fuel Consumption: 215 g (1900 rpm) - 266 g (1400 rpm) for 1 horse power per hour
oil Consumption:6-8 g per 1 horse power per hour
Weight without operating the filling (with vrtulovou head):415 kg

In total, there were Nungesser and Colimu company Lorraine–Dietrich delivered three identical engines – one was designed for the factory tests, the other for flight tests and the third to himself attempting to fly.

For the White bird had been built several propellers of wood so of duralumin in two basic dimensions – one of a total length of 3.8 meters and the second with a length of 2.85 meters. During the tests should the crew decide which of them applies.

Since Nungesser and Coli had planned to land on the water in new york harbor, was preserved the concept of odhazovatelného chassis, which has been additionally reinforced to support the enlarged mass of the aeroplane. A two-wheeled chassis itself weighed 123 kg.

At that time it was very rich instrumentation of the airplane, which (in addition to the usual devices) also include a thermometer and hygrometer, allegedly also gyroscopically stabilized artificial horizon, the transverse inclinometer, vertical speed indicator, and also Le Prieurovo warning device for years without sight. It was a pair of steel cables, weights and odvinutých of the bow and the stern of the aircraft, which activated the warning signal at the moment when the weights touching the ground or water level.

On the other hand, the crew refused to let into the machine to install a wireless radio, because in their opinion they could great weight of this device rather hurt, than to keep them in case of emergency saved my life.

[nadpis]History of aeroplane[/heading]

The exact date of commencement or termination of the construction are not known, the machine was built in the winter of 1926/27. Certainly we know only that 16. April 1927 the machine was delivered to the airport of Paris, where to be launched tests. Finally completed could be later than in the first half of April, probably, however, already in march. The first flight took place the next day, and 19. 4. the machine in the takeoff weight of 3,000 kg climbing to above 6000 meters. The highest achieved speed was clocked at 207 km/h. Further tests should be carried out with higher take-off weight.

During the testing of certain types of propeller Nungesser felt the light oscillations. For years, therefore, was ultimately chosen a big metal propeller with a diameter of 3.8 meters. This of course made it more difficult to start, because between the edge of the radius of rotation of the propeller and the terrain of the airport area remained a space of only 20 cm.

During the tests also showed the test engine irregular operation, therefore, the last test flights held with the "sharp" engine, intended for the flyover. It is estimated that the total length of these test flights was about 6 hours.

Meanwhile, also conducted motor tests of the first engine. The engine has been running continuously for 43 hours without failure in different modes and the total fuel consumption amounted 4010 litres plus 57,39 liters of oil.

The last test flight in the length of 4.5 hours was probably 3. may 1927 take-off weight of 4000 kg. The overall results after the end of the test flights were the following. Aircraft with a weight of 3500 kg, reaching a top speed of 195 km/h with the chassis. After his deployment to the max. the speed was estimated at 210 km/h. The travel speed then was 165-170 mm/h with the chassis and the estimated travel speed without chassis was 180-185 km/h. The ascent to 3000 meters with a weight of 2500 kg with the chassis insisted of 12.5 minutes, which gave a climb rate of 4 m/s. the Highest altitude was estimated at 6,500 feet.

None of the test flights was carried out with a maximum starting weight, calculated on the basis of previous experiments on 5030 kg. Nungesser explained by the take-off follows heavy machinery poses a particular risk, which the crew decided to undergo only once – when the "sharp" start. In-memory persisted fateful attempt to Rene Fonckand from September of the previous year, when at the start of his overloaded aircraft crashed in flames and killed two crew members.

Day 6. 5. 1927 at 6:32 a.m. off both the French from the airport of Paris and the've skimmed the White bird to Le Bourget airport, where the aircraft landed at 7:20 p.m. When the crossing was a White bird accompanied by two other aircraft, one of which the event filmed. In Le Bourget took place last minor adjustments before the actual flight.
To the historical take-off then occurred the morning of the 8th. may 1927. Weather conditions were unfavorable. It was raining and the wind was strong. White bird still began to 5.17 hrs taxied down the runway. Speed, however, grew very slowly, bobbed, swayed and reflect, until finally after about osmisetmetrovém starting finally pushed away from earth. Nungesser then threw the chassis and the aircraft overloaded with fuel began only slowly gaining altitude. When he disappeared from sight, still not higher than about 230 meters.

At 6:48 pm. was "l'Oiseau Blanc" spotted, when he traveled to Le Havre. At about 10:00 a.m. was painted white plane observed in the irish coast, heading further into the depths of the Atlantic. That was the last time someone White bird seen. Details about the last flight of the White bird can be read in article about Charles Nungesser.

In 1928 was built one more Levasseur PL-8, but was equipped with an engine Hispano-Suiza with an output of 600 horsepower.

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Levasseur PL.8 lOiseau blanc -

Levasseur PL.8 lOiseau blanc -

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Levasseur PL.8 lOiseau blanc -

Levasseur PL.8 lOiseau blanc -

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