- Léon Levavasseur
Léon Levavasseur
from the Aerospace.org website

L'Aeroplane de Villotran
by Philippe Gervais
     "In 1902, Jules Gastambide funded a project to build a new engine and afterwards an aeroplane to go with it; Levavasseur was to be the engineer."
     To read the rest of the story, and to view the two photographs of the plane under construction, click on the title above.

Using the Google search engine on "Léon Levavasseur"+aviation, ( 11-27-05), I found some 394 links. Perhaps the best place to start is the following.
Léon Levavasseur
      On this page of Those Magnificent Men website, you will find a brief biography of Levavasseur, about as comprehensive as any I have been able to find, so far. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.
     If you are not already familiar with the story of Hubert Latham, whose career was so closely related to that of Levavasseur, you should read his biography which you will find immediately above the one of Levavasseur on this page. If you want to learn more of this phase of aviation development, including several biographies of the principal players, you should visit the homepage of this site by clicking on:
Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines.

Origins of Control Surfaces
      This page on the Aerospace.org website offers the nicest photograph of Levavasseur and his Antoninette IV which I have found, so far. The caption of the photo reads as follows:
     "The modern aircraft tail configuration was not seen until 1908 when Frenchman L?on Levavasseur constructed his Antoinette IV monoplane. This aircraft featured fixed vertical and horizontal tails with movable rudder and elevator surfaces attached to their trailing edges."
     You can access the site and view the full size photo by clicking on the title above.

O Primeiro Vôo do "Mais pesado que o ar"
The First Flight of a Heavier than Air.
      On this page, which is written in Portuguese, you will find a very nice picture of the motor which powered the 14 BIS of Santos-Dumont in 1903. The caption, translated into English, reads as follows:
     "The engine the gasoline of the type "Antoinette", constructed for Leon Levavasseur, was in "V" with 8 cylinders (4 of each side) and had initially a power of 24 HP functioning to a regimen of 1000 rpm (rotations per minute)."
     You can access the site and view the full size photo by clicking on the title above. The entry is almost halfway down the page. You can also enjoy the many beautiful photos of the 14 BIS which are displayed on the page.

Before Amelia

The Remarkable Airplanes
of Léon Levavasseur
by Stephen H. King
Product Details
Paper back: 160 pages, 62 pages of photographs
Pub. Date: June 28, 2007
List Price: $24.95
ISBN: 1595711783
from stephen King's website
      "This extremely well-researched book is about the airplanes that one of France's genuine 20th century geniuses - Léon Levavasseur - designed and built during the Golden Age of aviation, roughly from 1903 through 1914. Few people today, other than those intimately familiar with this period of aviaiton, have heard of Levavasseur, but many have seen photographs of one of his creations that even to this day is hailed by many as the most beautiful airplane ever built - the incomparable Antoinette monoplane.
      Woven thoughout the text are interesting side discussions of contemporary issues that bring this era to life, such as the flying of the French pioneer Hubert Latham at the comptetitions in Europe and the United States and his tragic death in Africa in 1912, and the French military's attitude towards aviation from 1910 leading up to the outbreak of World War One. There are fifty pages of photographs in this book, manyu of which have never been published before, and they richly enhance this book."
      You can find complete information regarding this book, and Stephen's other book "Windkiller", by clicking on the link below:

The death of Léon Levavasseur is reported as 1922.
Personal communication from Stephen H. King

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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