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Voisin Bros.

France
First European commercial manufacturer of aircraft, formed by brothers Gabriel (1880-1973) and Charles (1888-1912) Voisin at Billancourt (Seine). Dominant partner was Gabriel, one of aviation's earliest pioneers who had built gliders (with varying success) for Archdeacon, Bleriot and others from 1904. When Bleriot formed his own company in February 1907 the AA Les Freres Voisin was formed in new premises at Lyons, and from spring 1907 began building series of boxkite biplanes (Hargrave-based) for Delagrange, Paulhan, Farman, Moore-Brabazon, and others; by end of 1909 had built nearly 20, though by then this type had been separately much improved by Henry Farman. First "gunbus" biplane appeared 1910, a canard oddity in 1911, and the large Icare seaplane in 1913; but Voisin chiefly known for extensive series of successful military bombers of 1914-1918. Primitive but strong, these Voisin "chickencoops" appeared in many variants, principal being Types 3,4,5,8, and 10 of which, collectively, nearly 3,400 were built. Although reliable, their design had progressed little by 1918, and in 1919 Gabriel Voisin left the aviation industry and subsequently entered the automobile industry.

 

 


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