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Kellner-Béchereau E.60
 

Kellner-E60-01

The E-60 is one of many attempts to create a cheap and efficient training aircraft that combines high flight performance, small size and modern appearance. After conducting a series of studies, French designer Louis Bechereau began construction of such a machine in 1939. Its design was distinguished by a very small size - length 4.9 m, wingspan - 5.4 m with an area of ​​only 3 sq.m. To ensure flights at ultra-low speeds, an absolutely new aileron system was installed on the E-60. All the originality of the plane was due to this " wing in drawer " design. The first works on the drawer wing had started in 1936, and found their first application on the Kellner-Béchereau E.1. This system consisted of a wing in two parts, the movable rear part of which could move backwards by lowering for landing, like the Fowler flaps. The mobile part of this wing could also partially retract, the two extreme positions corresponding to the "low speed" configuration (fully free wing) and "high speed" configuration (mobile wing partially retracted).
 
Tests carried out on September22,1939 at the Eiffel Laboratory allowed to establish the polar (curve characterizing the profile). This resulted in a profile with low drag (therefore allowing high speeds) and high lift, allowing a large speed difference. However, the high angles of attack were hardly usable, due to the lack of visibility when the aircraft was taking a very nose-up attitude.
 
The airplane was a monoplane with a mid-wing and a streamlined fixed landing gear. The construction was carried out in spruce and plywood. The fuselage had only three frames: the sheet metal firewall, the pilot's backrest and the sternpost support. The engine was a Walter Micron of 62 hp, driving a two- bladed propeller. The engine rested on a frame of steel tubes. The simplified landing gear consisted of a single axle.
 
The completion of the construction of the E-60 just coincided with the competition announced by the fleet on a training aircraft. The plane left the factory in the early days of March 1940 and was brought by road to Buc (Yvelines) and reassembled for his first flight. This took place on 7 March1940. The test pilot was François Bruneteau. He took off from the 900m grass runway, which was in poor condition that day, plowed by the landings of British heavy aircraft the day before. Takeoff was bumpy. As soon as it took off, the plane took a strong 45- degree right tilt, due to the improper adjustment of the slots. The pilot's skill allowed him to reduce the incline to 30 degrees and bring the plane back onto the runway, the left wheel touching first. The following tests focused on longitudinal and transverse stability, and revealed acute problems.
 
 Kellner-E60-02
 
A presentation flight was carried out on April 25, 1940 by François Bruneteau before the Naval Air Commission, which was very interested. This flight, which lasted 40 minutes, highlighted the qualities of the aircraft. Due to its small size, it became practically invisible at 1,500 meters. The Navy planned to use it as a reconnaissance aircraft. The aircraft was able to be fitted with light bombs.
 
The last two flights took place on June 1 and June 3, 1940. The first included engine temperature tests, and the second included level speed tests at different altitudes, recorded with the barograph. This last flight, lasting 1 hour 45 minutes, almost ended badly for François Bruneteau. A leak of ethylene fuel took place, the vapors spreading in the cockpit.
 
Before the advance of the Germans, who were already at the gates of Paris, the prototype was evacuated to the South on June 5, 1940. Mounted on a truck, it left Paris by the Porte de Saint-Cloud, when the Germans had arrived at Le Bourget. The destination was the fall-back factory in Alençon, but the Germans were already there. The truck took the direction of Castelnaudary. François Bruneteau left the convoy at Clermont-Ferrand to reach Marseille where he embarked on a boat bound for North Africa. From there, he joined the Free French Air Force in London. The truck continued to Air Base 745 Aulnat, where the plane was hidden throughout the war.
 
After the war a scrap dealer, "aviation fan", found the prototype among the wreckage of planes which he found in Aulnat and sold it to his test pilot, François Bruneteau, or rather to his wife, who offers it to her husband as a Christmas present. François Bruneteau completely restores the aircraft (except the original paint and without engine) on his property in Èze-sur-mer (Alpes-Maritimes). In 1975, following the publication of the article in the Fanatique de l'Aviation (number 72), the Air and Space Museum contacted the Bruneteaux. The aircraft was donated to the museum.
 
 Kellner-E60-04
 
Engine: Walter Mi-2, 62 hp
Wing span: 5.40 m
Wing area: 3.20 sq,m
Length: 4.90 m
Height: 1.80 m
Empty weight: 410 kg
MTOW: 580 kg
Maximum speed: 215 km / h
Cruising speed: 168 km / h
Range: 400 km
Ceiling: 4000 m
Crew: 1
 

Kellner-E60-03

 

 
 
 
 


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