Voisin was a French aircraft manufacturing company, one of the first
in the world. It was established in 1906 by
Gabriel Voisin and his
brother Charles, and was continued by Gabriel after Charles died in an
automobile accident in 1912; the full official company name then
became Société Anonyme des Aéroplanes G. Voisin[n 1]
Voisin public limited company). It created
Europe's first manned, heavier-than-air powered aircraft capable of a
sustained (1 km), circular, controlled flight, including take-off
and landing, the Voisin-Farman I. On 28 December 1909, French aviator
M. Albert Kimmerling made the first manned, heavier-than-air powered
flight in South Africa or even Africa in a
Voisin 1907 biplane.
During World War I, it was a major producer of military aircraft,
Voisin III. After the war
Gabriel Voisin abandoned the
aviation industry, and set up a company to design and produce luxury
automobiles, called Avions Voisin.
2 Early history
3 Designs of 1907-1914
Voisin designs in World War I
Voisin X ambulance variant
5 Post World War I
6 Other types of aircraft
8 See also
Voisin-Farman 1 winning the Grand Prix de l'aviation, 13 January 1908
Gabriel Voisin had been employed by
Ernest Archdeacon to work on the
construction of gliders and then entered into partnership with Louis
Blériot, to form the company Ateliers d' Aviation Edouard Surcouf,
Voisin in 1905.
Gabriel Voisin bought out Blériot and
on 5 November 1906 established the Appareils d'Aviation Les Frères
Voisin with his brother Charles  (English: Flying Machines of
Voisin Brothers). The company, based in the Parisian suburb of
Billancourt, was the first commercial aircraft factory in the
Edmond Poillot flying a
Voisin biplane with a dog, Smithsonian
National Air and Space Museum
Like many early aircraft companies,
Voisin were prepared to build
machines to the designs of customers, this work supporting their own
design experiments. The company's first customers were a M.
Florencie, who commissioned them to build an ornithopter he had
designed, and Henri Kapferer, for whom they built a pusher
configuration biplane of their own design. The latter was
underpowered, having a Buchet engine of only 20 hp (15 kW),
and it failed to fly. However, Kapferer introduced them to Leon
Delagrange, for whom they built a similar machine, powered by a
50 hp (37 kW) Antoinette engine. This was first successfully
Charles Voisin on 30 March 1907, achieving a straight-line
flight of 60 m (200 ft). In turn Delagrange introduced
them to Henri Farman, who ordered an identical aircraft. These two
aircraft are often referred to by their owners' names as the
Voisin-Delagrange No.1[a] and the Voisin-Farman No.1,[b] and were the
foundation of the company's success. On 13 January 1908 Farman used
his aircraft to win the "Grand Prix de l'aviation" offered by Ernest
Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe
Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe for the first
closed-circuit flight of over a kilometre. Since the achievements of
Wright Brothers were widely disbelieved at the time, this was seen
as a major breakthrough in the conquest of the air, and brought Voisin
Frères many orders for similar aircraft; around sixty were built.
Designs of 1907-1914
1910 experimental two-seater biplane with mitrailleuse fired by the
Voisin Canard seaplane under trial on the Seine, on August 3, 1911.
The front of the aircraft is to the right.
Voisin 1907 biplane
Only one built.
Voisin Type de Course
Voisin Type Militaire
1910 Type Bordeaux
Initially flown as a landplane but later fitted with floats. Examples
were sold to the French Navy and to Russia.
1911 Type Tourism
1912 Type Monaco
Smaller version of the Canard floatplane. Two built to take part in
the 1912 Monaco Aero Meeting.
Voisin Icare Aero-Yacht
Flying boat built for Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe
Voisin Type L or
Voisin Type I
Developed for the French Army's 1912 trials. It performed
successfully, and some seventy were built in France, and a small
number in Russia
1914 Type LA or
Voisin Type III
Voisin designs in World War I
Voisin VIII in June,1917
production of the Type III increased with the outbreak of the First
World War. The
Voisin III was followed by improved Type LB and Type
Voisin IV and
Voisin V aircraft. The larger Type LC, Voisin
VII, followed in 1916, but was not a success and only a hundred were
Soon after the outbreak of the First World War, it became apparent
that the French aviation industry could not produce aircraft in
sufficient numbers to meet military requirements. Manufacturers from
various other fields became aviation subcontractors, and later
license-builders. The earliest such partnership was between Louis
Breguet and Michelin.
Gabriel Voisin was late to this field, although
his designs were produced in quantity by Russian licensees. By 1918,
Voisin was involved with the Voisin-Lafresnaye company, a major
constructor of airframes, and the Voisin-Lefebvre company, a major
builder of aircraft engines.
Voisin VII came the more powerful, and more successful,
Type LAP and Type LBP, known as the
Voisin VIII. This was the French
army's main night bomber in 1916–1917, with over one thousand built.
Voisin IX, or Type LC, was an unsuccessful design for a
reconnaissance aeroplane, which lost out to the superior
Salmson 2 and
Breguet 14. The
Voisin X, Type LAR and Type LBR, was the
with a more reliable
Renault engine in place of the previous Peugeot
design. Deliveries were much delayed, but some nine hundred were built
by the end of the war.
The last significant
Voisin design, the
Voisin XII, was successful in
trials in 1918, but with the end of the war, no production was
ordered. Unlike previous Voisins, the
Voisin XII was a large,
twin-tractor-engined biplane night bomber, rather more elegant than
previous, boxy Voisins.
Voisin X ambulance variant
In 1918, a
Voisin X (No. 3500) was used to create the Voisin
'Aerochir' ('Ambulance'). The aircraft was capable of flying a
surgeon, together with an operating table and support equipment,
including an x-ray machine and autoclave, into the battlefield. Eight
hundred pounds (360 kg) of equipment could be carried in
Post World War I
Main article: Avions Voisin
Gabriel Voisin abandoned the aviation industry in favor of
automobile construction under the brand Avions Voisin.
Other types of aircraft
^ Gunston, 1993, says the full name was "Aéroplanes G. Voisin". On
the other hand the avions-voisin.org webpage specifies the name as
"Société Aéroplanes Voisin, Société Anonyme".
^ marked on the side-curtains of the tail unit as Léon Delagrange No.
^ marked on the side-curtains of the tail unit as
Henri Farman No. 1
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
^ Baldwin, Nick (1987). The World guide to automobile manufacturers.
New York, N.Y.: Facts on
File Publications. p. 508.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-08-20. Retrieved
2015-06-18. 1910 to 1920 - Early Flying in South Africa
^ a b Gunston, Bill (1993). World encyclopaedia of aircraft
manufacturers: from the pioneers to the present day. Naval Institute
Press. p. 318. ISBN 1-55750-939-5.
^ Davilla & Soltan, p. 541
^ Opdycke 1999 p.263
^ Nouveaux Essais de l'Aéroplane Delagrangel'Aérophile , April 1907,
^ The New
Voisin Biplane. Flight, 11 December 1909 p. 799
^ Stamford, Lincs., U.K.: FlyPast, Key Publishing Ltd, Flying
Hospital, April 2007 No. 309 p. 14
(in French) Carlier, Claude, Sera Maître du Monde, qui sera Maître
de l'Air: La Création de l'Aviation militaire française. Paris:
Economica/ISC, 2004. ISBN 2-7178-4918-1
Davilla, James J., & Soltan, Arthur M., French
Aircraft of the
First World War. Stratford, Connecticut: Flying Machines Press, 1997.
Opdycke, Leonard E French Aeroplanes Before the Great War Atglen, PA:
Schiffer, 1999 ISBN 0-7643-0752-5
Voisin, Gabriel, Mes 10,000 Cerfs-volants, Editions La Table Ronde,
( Italy ) Grassani, Enrico "Elisa Deroche alias Raymonde de Laroche.
La presenza femminile negli anni pionieristici dell'aviazione"
Editoriale Delfino, Milano 2015. ISBN 978-88-97323-46-4
Type de Course
Defunct aircraft manufacturers of France
ANF Les Mureaux
Lioré et Olivier