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Ader Avion III

Clement Ader Avion III (1897 photograph).


Ader's progress attracted the interest of the minister of war, Charles de Freycinet. With the backing of the French War Office, Ader developed and constructed the Avion III. It resembled an enormous bat made of linen and wood, equipped with two four bladed tractor propellers, each powered by a steam engine of 30 hp (22 kW). Using a circular track at Satory, Ader carried out taxiing trials on 12 October 1897 and two days later attempted a flight. After a short run the machine was caught by a gust of wind, slewed off the track, and came to a stop. After this the French army withdrew its funding, but kept the results secret. After the Wright brothers made their flight, the commission released in November 1910 the official reports on Ader's attempted flights, stating that they were unsuccessful.

The Avion III had a 52 ft 6 in (16.0 m) wing span, gross weight of about 882 lb (400 kg).


Clément Ader's Avion III is still displayed

at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris.


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