Paulhan-Tatin Aero-Torpille

One of the more conspicuous machines at the French military aeroplane trials in October 1911 was the Paulhan-Tatin Aero-
Torpille (acro-torpedo). It was designed by veteran flight experimenter Victor Tatin, and built by Louis Paulhan, then France’s most famous young aviator.
This happy collaboration of youth and age produced a sleek, streamlined monoplane that was in some ways ahead of its time. The
50-hp Gnome engine was completely enclosed in t he fuselage, behind the cockpit, and cooled by air cunningly admitted through louvres in the fuselage sides.
Power was transmitted through a 20ft – long shaft to a two-bladed propeller in the extreme tail. The fuselage was actually a square-section girder structure, faired to a circular cross-section with fabric-covered, light, wooden formers.
To provide lateral stability, the outer portions of the aeroplane’s wings were curved gracefully upwards. The undercarriage, by contrast, simply comprised a pair of wheels on an axle attached to two curved wooden struts that acted as shock absorbers. A tall
tailskid protected the propeller against contact with the ground.
The Aero-Torpille was reportedly capable of speeds as high as hight as 88moph, but it proved a difficult machine to control. This may go
some way to explaining why such a striking and innovative aeroplane vanished from the scene after a notably brief existence.