Flight, December 1926
The Paris Aero Show 1926
SAINT NAZAIRE PENHOET
THE Chantiers et Ateliers de St. Nazaire Penhoet, one of the largest shipbuilding firms of France, which built the biggest liners of the French Line, such as the France, the Paris and
the new Ile-de France, recently instituted an Aeronautical Department, the chief engineer of which is M. Richard.
The first product of this firm, the five-engined sea-going flying-boat Richard-Penhoet, was launched last summer at St. Nazaire, and has since been undergoing flying tests. These have, on the whole, been very satisfactory, considering that this huge machine, which weighs fully loaded 18 tons, is not only the first seaplane ever built by this firm, but that it also incorporates a great variety of novel ideas which will, naturally, take some time to "reduce to practice." Hence M. Richard deserves sincere congratulations on having carried a bold idea into the realm of practice.
The Richard-Penhoet is, as our photograph shows, a thick-wing, cantilever, monoplane flying-boat which is fitted with five 420 h.p. Gnome-Rhone "Jupiter" engines driving tractor airscrews. An idea may be had of the bigness of this seaplane by looking at the relative size of the engines, which appear as mere toys against the enormous wing, which has a maximum depth of 1-80 m.
The framing of the wings is of timber, reinforced with stiffeners of high-tensile steel. The hull is likewise of timber construction. The internal arrangement includes two decks. The pilot's cockpit is situated between the wings, near the leading edge.
As this machine is mainly considered as an experimental type, no definite commercial or military equipment has as yet been provided for it, though its great weight-lifting qualities make it particularly adaptable to transport and long-range reconnaissance work.
Specification.- Engines, five 420 h.p. Gnome-Rhone "Jupiter"; span, 40 m.; length, 27 m.; maximum wing chord, 9 m.; maximum wing depth, 1-80 m.; height of hull, 4 m.; beam of hull, 4 m.; weight empty, 13,000 kg.; weight loaded, 18,000 kg.; maximum speed, sea level, 157 km.p.h.
Owing to its size, it has been found impossible to bring the Richard-Penhoet into the Grand Palais; however, no visitor to the Salon will be allowed to ignore its existence, for the St. Nazaire Co. will exhibit a photograph of truly heroic size, 38 m. long by 8 m. high, showing the big flying-boat in almost life-like proportions.
The St. Nazaire firm will also exhibit a turntable catapult launching gear for naval aircraft, which was recently tested, with satisfactory results, by the French Navy at St. Nazaire. This catapult is operated by compressed air and gives the machine to be launched a flying-off speed of 80 km.p.h. The overall length of the catapult is 20-25 m.