Robert Esnault-Pelterie

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Robert Esnault-Pelterie 1909
Robert Esnault-Pelterie 1930
REP au sol, oct 1908, "LES AÉROPLANES, etc", Henri de Graffigny, Gallica

Biography in context

Robert Albert Charles Esnault-Pelterie, pioneer of aeroplanes, engines, and rockets. He founded the Association des Industriels de la Locomotion Aérienne (Manufacturers Association of Aerial Locomotion) in 1908. His aircraft are numbered from 1907. He was generally working in or from Billancourt, France.

He was born on the 8th of November, 1881, in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, and died on the 6th of December, in Nice. He was as Aeronautical Engineer and an Inventor more generally.[1]

In 1904, Esnault-Pelterie built some unsuccessful versions of the Wright glider, including a vessel with ailerons.[2] Albert Francis Zahm (more charitable than Charles Harvard Gibbs-Smith) wrote that Esnault-Peletrie had a good design but should have purchased some of the key components from manufacturers who already specialized in making them.[3]

From 1907 to 1918, under designation REP, built at least 16 original designs including monoplanes, a floatplane, a parasol, and a fighter, some of which saw service in WWI. REP1 monoplane of 1907 with REP engine used wing warping. At Vickers request, sold REP license, 1911, to Vickers, which built eight REP monoplanes, 1911-1912. His firm was called Établissements Robert Esnault-Pelterie.

We have him as an Engineer addressed at rue de Silly 149, Boulogne-sur-Seine, département Seine, France.[4]

Get this patent in here: [1] aka [2] -- should be called Patent DE-1908-49251 or Patent DE-1911-49251

(We are missing a few pertinent Austrian patents here: basic ESNAULT-PELTERIE search. There are a few modest references to Belgian parental filings. Esnault-Pelterie was quite prolific. Filings in Spain seem to have greatly increased during his later productive years. These may not have been predominantly aeronautical. On the other hand, Patent ES-1907-40625 is absolutely aeronautical. There are others. We are working around various technical difficulties.)

Patent data followed by publication data

Patents whose inventor or applicant is Robert Esnault-Pelterie

Publications by or about Robert Esnault-Pelterie

Other standard format data

Names Robert Esnault-Pelterie
Birth date 1881-11-08
Death date 1957-12-06
Countries FR, US, GB, DE, AT, ES
Locations Billancourt, département Seine, France; Boulogne-sur-Seine, département Seine, France
Occupations Engineer, Aeronautical Engineer, Inventor
Tech areas Airplane, Monoplane, Biplane, Hydroaeroplane, Propellers, Wings, Wing warping, Lift, Construction, Design, Aerodynamics, Flapping, Propulsion, Propellers, Ignition, Rudder, Chassis, Fuselage, Stability, Cables, Aileron, Shock-absorbers, patins, Amerrissage, Landing, Automatic stability, pump, Pistons, Fueling
Affiliations Association des Industriels de la Locomotion Aérienne, Établissements Robert Esnault-Pelterie
Wikidata id


  1. Robert Esnault-Pelterie on French Wikipedia
  2. Gibbs-Smith, Aviation, 1970, p. 108. "Inspired by Archdeacon to emulate the Wrights, an able engineer named Robert Esnault-Pelterie also built and tested in May 1904 what he falsely claimed was an exact copy ('absolument semblable') of the 1902 Wright glider, except for details; he found it was unsatisfactory and decided to improve it. He clearly could not make the warping work properly, and—like the other Europeans—did not understand the significance of Chanute's description of the simultaneous use of warping and rudder. Esnault-Pelterie then asserted that warping was structurally dangerous. In October 1904 he tested a rebuilt version using—for the first time in history—ailerons, or rather primitive elevons, instead of the warping and front elevator (Pl. XXII): this machine, despite its ingenuity, was a crude affair and a failure, and Esnault-Pelterie—like his friends—would not take the trouble to experiment, modify and improve. The deplorable influence of Esnault-Pelterie on French aviation did not take effect until 1905, when his lecture was given, and publicized later in the year."
  3. Zahm, 1911, Aerial Navigation, p. 304. "Though the 'R. E. P. aëroplane, as it was commonly called, did not achieve great distinction at first, due, perhaps, to the inventor's being over original, and making all its parts himself, instead of buying some high-class engine and propeller, as other successful aëroplanists had done, still his machine was greatly admired by technicians for its excellent finish and the fastidious, thorough and patient manner in which its young inventor labored to make it perfect, both in design and construction."
  4. Patent GB-1912-20927


More patents by REP, from DPMA

  • DPMA -- the German patent office which has records from several countries
  • there does exist some << < > >> navigation to get to later pages, which is used in the browser window away from the pdf, after the pdf is closed.
  • Search query: ((PA=(Esnault (L) Pelterie)) OR (IN=(Esnault (L) Pelterie))) Status: 24.03.2017

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