JUNE, 1912

Beckwith Havens
Type 12 -- No. 31

Benoist Tractor
     In conformity with the most advanced principles of aero-
dynamics and the result of four years' practical aeroplane
construction, the new 1912 tractor biplane of the Benoist
Aircraft Company has been produced. In the words of some
forgotten philosopher, "experience do teach." Modification
in design made in the Benoist machine, being those found
by every-day flying experience to be the best, has resulted
in the design shown herewith.
     In the new model the question of head resistance has
rightly been considered of paramount importance, and has
been obtained by inclosing the seats for the pilot and passenger
within a streamline body of similar shape to the Nieuport
monoplane, which obtained its wonderful speed chiefly by
the lessened resistance in the body used. In addition to the
body inclosing the pilot and passenger, it is also designed
to inclose all control levers and the gasoline tank, so that
the only exposed parts are the planes, struts and landing
gear. The body is made sufficiently wide to accomodate
two passengers side by side on the front seat. This seat is
located approximately over the center of gravity of the ma-
chine, so that there is no change in trim when flying without
     The chief measurements of the new model are as follows:
Spread of main planes, 35 feet; length over all, 24 feet; chord,
4 feet 9 inches; area of main planes, 240 square feet; area
of rudder, 7.5 square feet; area of elevator, 26.6 square feet;
area of ailerons, each, 20 square feet; weight empty, 925
pounds; useful load, 500 pounds.
     The motor, a six-cylinder 75 hp Roberts, is mounted
in front just behind the automobile type of radiator. In the

Gallery 1Next
rear of the motor the passenger and pilot seats are placed
such a distance apart that the head resistance is at a mini-
mum. The ailerons, elevator and rudder are of the flexing
type developed by the Benoist company, the rudder being
wholly above the elevator. The landing gear is of the well-
known Benoist type, being a combination of wheels and
skids united through the medium of steel springs as the
shock-absorbing medium. That such a system of shock ab-
sorption is satisfactory may be judged by the fact that since
its adoption a year ago, not a breakage has been recorded
against it.
     The efficiency of the new model is well attested by its
greatly increased speed over the older models of the same
horsepower and its much flatter gliding angle. This quality
is of greater importance than speed for cross-country flying,
for which this new model is primarily intended. The land-
ing gear design is such that pontoons for hydro work can
be attached without difficulty or other change in the ma-
     The planes are covered with Goodyear fabric, no.10.
The standard size of the gasoline tank has a capacity of 15
gallons, sufficient for two hours' flying. Feed to the car-
bureter is assured by an air pressure of about two pounds,
maintained in the gasoline tank by means of an automobile
air pump. An auxiliary air pump to be worked by hand is
also supplied. The pressure on the tank is indicated by a
guage placed in front of the aviator. The speed of the motor
is indicated by an electric tachometer, placed in full view
of the pilot, so that the flight speed is at all times relatively
This from AERO, June 22, 1912