В 1912 году Эмиль Сальмсон основал фирму «Societe des Moteurs Salmson» для разработки и производства новых звездообразных авиационных моторов водяного охлаждения, вобравших в себя лучшие черты двигателей Canton-Unne.
После начала Первой мировой войны фирма резко увеличила объемы выпуска двигателей и приступила к разработке самолетов собственной конструкции.
Первым стал неудачный разведывательный биплан Salmson-Moineau S-M.1, спроектированный лейтенантом Рене Мойню и построенный фирмой «Salmson». Причина возникнувших проблем с аппаратом крылась в моторе Salmson Canton-Unne мощностью 160 л. с., установленном внутри фюзеляжа и приводившем во вращение через редуктор два тянущих винта между крыльями бипланной коробки.
Построили всего три или четыре самолета S-M.1, которые в течение очень короткого периода использовались в 1917 году ВВС Франции.
As seen here on SM-1 No 19, the port side of the SM-1’s fuselage incorporated cooling louvres for the starboard-mounted Salmson engine. The tapered fuselage, mid-mounted between the wings, was flat-sided with rounded upper deckings and lower forward decking. Note the ungainly nosewheel fitted to spindly struts, to help prevent nose-over.
The SM-1 prototype, No 1, is seen here with the forward and aft gun emplacements occupied. The pilot’s cockpit, directly in front of the rear gunner, could not have been in a worse position in terms of field of vision, being forward of the upper wing’s trailing edge amid a forest of struts and bracing wires. The pilot’s view forward was significantly obscured by the forward gunner and the bulky water radiators required for the buried engine.
A rare photograph of a line-up of SM-1s, possibly taken at the Salmson factory airfield at Boulogne-Billancourt, a western suburb of Paris, or at an aviation depot pending their delivery. The type’s serviceability was poor, Escadrille F.63 grounding its three examples a total of ten times during December 1916 and January 1917.
The tenth production SM-1 awaits its next flight in the early morning sunshine in the company of a Farman biplane and, interestingly, a German Albatros. Ailerons were incorporated in the top wing only, aft of the inverted-vee kingposts which braced its outer sections, the upper wing’s span being greater than the lower.
Wrapped up in a thick fur coat, a French gunner prepares for a long, cold SM-1 sortie at (relatively) high altitude. Of note is the aerofoil-shaped main fuel tank between the lower wings; a pair of pumps fed the fuel up into a gravity tank, which then fed the engine. Again, the limited ground clearance of the lower wing is noticeable in this image.
In 1917 two SM-1s were acquired by the Russian Air Fleet for evaluation and tested at Khodynka, near Moscow, possibly where this photograph of No 95 was taken - note the Tsarist air force insignia on the hangar behind. Unsurprisingly, the Russians found the SM-1 as troublesome to operate and maintain as did the French.
The unmistakable shape of the Salmson-Moineau SM-1 and its unusual transverse-mounted Salmson water-cooled radial engine is seen to good advantage in this excellent photograph of a factory-fresh example awaiting delivery. This may be a later production machine, as the exhaust pipe runs aft horizontally from the exhaust collector ring rather than up and over the top wing as on most SM-1s.
The Salmson 9 A2C nine-cylinder water-cooled radial engine was fitted in the starboard side of the SM-1’s fuselage, with its crankshaft perpendicular to the aircraft’s longitudinal axis. This example has the more commonly fitted exhaust pipe leading off the forward section of the collector ring to be carried up over the wing and ejected into the slipstream.
A rigger’s nightmare - this front view of a newly-built SM-1 emphasises the type’s lack of aerodynamic refinement owing to the numerous mainly cruciform struts and extensive wire bracing. Also of note is the minimal ground clearance of the lower wing, which must have caused handling headaches on rough or marshy airfields.
Virtually nothing remains of the front end of SM-1 No 4, which obviously hit the ground very hard indeed. The large “6” on the upper wing suggests that the aircraft was probably being used by an operational escadrille at the time of the accident.
Three-view artwork of the Salmson-Moineau SM-1, powered by a Salmson (Canton-Unne) 9 A2C water-cooled radial piston engine. The use of an indirect-drive geared system cost the machine a great deal of power and, although it is thought that as many as 155 may have been built, it was not considered a success.