The Antoinette company was formed by Jules Gastambide with designer Léon Levavasseur. Its initial focus was engines, but it later designed a series of monoplanes known as Antoinette I – Antoinette VIII. Levasseur proposed naming the company after Gastambide's daughter Antoinette. Gastambide and Levasseur started out building motors for boats; Levasseur created water-cooled V-8 engine and prototype monoplane in 1903. In 1906 they incorporated, with Louis Blériot as vice president.
In 1908 the company began experimenting with whole airplanes, building Antionettes I through V in 1908; building of three more designs or modifications followed before company liquidated 30 Nov. 1911. Notable among these were the Gastambide-Mengin [seemingly an alternate name for one of the earlier numbers] and the Antoinette V. Léon Levavasseur, incidentally, shows up fairly well on Espacenet, as an individual, from 1898 through 1904, though not so much in his aeronautical capacity. He is the inventor of Patent US-1910-1006106, with Société Antoinette being the applicant. Louis Blériot of course filed prolifically throughout this period. Jules Gastambide together with Robert Gastambide filed at least six patents between 1914 and 1917.
From 1906–1908, Antoinette motors were dominant in French aviation. Alberto Santos-Dumont used an Antoinette engine for his 1906 flights at the Bagatelle grounds in France. Les Frères Voisin and Louis Blériot also regularly used Antoinette motors. In 1909, Hubert Latham was the celebrity pilot of Antoinette monoplanes. However the, the airplane's unreliable motors him from succeeding in a flight across the English channel.
Société Antoinette, per se, is also listed from time to time as "inventor", and-or as "applicant person". The specifics of this particular complex of business and innovation could be explored further.
Address: 28, Rue des Bas-Rogers, Puteaux, Seine, France
|Patents associated with firm Société Antoinette|
- Henry Serrano Villard, Contact!: The Story of the Early Aviators; Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2002 (unabridged version of original published by Smithsonian Institution, 1987); pp. 37, 40, 47, 51, 64, 73.
- Gunston, 1993, p26; Gunston, 2005, p29. G1 and 2dG read the same but type was apparently reset in 2ndG for there is a date error. It has G-M flying A-I in Feb 1908 and A-II in Aug 1907; 1907 is an error.
- A. Clery, "L'Aéroplane 'Antoinette V'", L'Aérophile Vol. 17, No. 1, 1 January 1909, pp. 7–11.
- Gérard Hartmann, Les moteurs et aéroplanes ANTOINETTE
- Patent GB-1911-14722
|Names||Antoinette, Société Antoinette|
|Ended aero||1911 liquidation|
|Key people||Jules Gastambide, Léon Levavasseur, Louis Blériot, Ferdinand Ferber|