Simanaitis Says

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SOME AVIATION PIONEERS are well known, such as the Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss and Louis Blériot, for example. Others may be well known, but not in the context of early flight: Harry Houdini, Cecil B. DeMille and Gabriele D’Annunzio, to name three who have appeared here at SimanaitisSays.

Pioneer aviators are cited in Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 1913. Here’s a sampling of some of them less celebrated, though hardly less memorable. These capsule descriptions are direct quotes from Jane’s “Aerial ‘Who’s Who.’ ”

Bathiat. (Georges). Frenchman. After only one hour’s tuition at the Hanriot School, secured his certificate at Rheims, October, 1910. Brother of the Bathiat who flew a Breguet.


French Breguet, 1912. This and other images from Jane’s Historical Aircraft from 1902 to 1916 and Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 1913.

Brindley. (Oscar). American citizen. In August, 1911, he made 11,726 feet, at Chicago. These figures were afterward stated to be incorrect, so the record was not allowed.

Colmore. (Cyril). British. Ac. C. Pilot 15. Flying partner with the late Cecil Grace. Now given up flying.

Doutre. French lawyer, interested in aviation. Invented a stabilizing device in which Maurice Farman was interested.


French Stabilisateur Doutre. From Jane’s 1913: “automatically and instantaneously counteracts troubles due to sudden gusts or partial motor failures.”

Gilmore. (Graham). British. Pilot Ae. C. F., April, 1910. In 1911, flying a Bristol, with which many of his flights have been directly or indirectly of a highly sensational nature. These have included a flight alleged to be over London (reported to R. Ae. C.—case dismissed), flying low over Henley Regatta (certificate suspended, with subsequent litigation). Won second prize in the Brooklands-Brighton Race, May, 1911. Killed February, 1912.


British Bristol, 1913.

Hekking. (R.) Frenchman. In September, 1909, carried out experiments with a biplane glider of 7 m span and 25 m2 surface. He rose to a height of 25 m, and is stated to have remained stationary for 5 minutes. Not confirmed, however,

Henry, Prince of Prussia. Well known for practical interest in motoring and aviation. Has driven his own car in races, and is a certificate aerial pilot for Germany.

Hucks. (B.B.). British aviator. Has made several fine exhibition flights on a Blackburn. First man to make the double journey across the Bristol Channel, also to carry out wireless telephone experiments with aeroplane.


British Blackburn, 1913.

Jatho. (Karl). Stader Chausse 22, Hanover, Germany. Born 1873. Pioneer avaiator from 1893. Has built various machines—none very satisfactory.


Jane’s 1913: “Karl Jatho built his first aeroplane in 1899, and has produced machines at intervals ever since. Capacity: small.”

Josef Ferdinand (Grand Duke of Austria). Enthusiastic aeronaut and moving spirit in aviatory matters in Austria.

Kriegger. (Hans). German. Formerly chauffeur to the Kaiser. Built a monoplane of his own design, and on September 5th, 1911, obtained his certificate with it.

Marey. (Professor). Inventor of the Whirling table, 1870.

Mars. (“Bud”). Well known American aviator. Has more than once been reported killed; but always appears again.

Patiala. (Maharaja of). In December, 1910, purchased a Blériot and a Voisin, member of the R. Ae. C.


Above, French Blériot Channel-crossing craft, 1909. Below, French Voisin, 1913.


Pfitzner. (late Lieut. Alexander L.). Hungarian. Born 1875. Served in the Austro-Hungarian Artillery. Leaving the army he went to the U.S.A. and became connected with the Herring-Curtiss work, designing the novel Pfitzner monoplane. He met many mishaps with this, which depressed him. He returned to Hungary early in 1910, but meeting no success there came back to America. Drowned in Marblehead Harbour, 12th July, 1910.

Pierre. (Petit). Frenchman. The late secretary of Blériot School at Hendon. Assassinated at Hendon, August 1911, by a Swiss pupil named Hanot, who went insane at not learning to fly so quickly as he had expected.

Robil. (Late Thaddeus). German aviator. Killed on a Farman, 1910, through attempting to fly in unpropitious weather in order to allay the complaints of sightseers. Has been designated the “First martyr of aviation”—not without some cause.


French Farman, 1912.

Swann. (Rev. Sydney). The Vicarage, Crosby, Ravensworth, Westmoreland, England. First clerical aviator. Ceased.

Twining. (S. Frisco). Cal. U.S.A. Experimenter with flappers, man propelled, from 1910 onward.

A Maharaja. The Kaiser’s chauffeur. A Grand Duke. A Prince. And an experimenter with man-propelled flappers. Not a boring aviator in the bunch. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2016

4 comments on “AERIAL WHO’S WHO—1913

  1. Larry Crane
    August 1, 2016

    Dennis, I am curious why the Voisin brothers are not on your list. They had been flying gliders from 1900 and were manufacturing aircraft for clients in 1904-5 (Appariels d/Aviation LesFreres Voisin), not the least of which was Henry Farman who never designed any aircraft in his life, but flew a series of Voisin aircraft to a number of records including the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize of 25,000 francs — which was doubled by Ernest Archdeacon, creating the Deutsch-Archdeacon trophy.
    The Voisin design was licensed to new manufacturers in several countries with its pusher propeller rotating within the four primary frame rails behind the pilot and engine — an easily recognized design. As they produced machines for aviators they would put the aviator’s name on the machine with the Voisin logo below it — too small to be recognized in many early photographs, but the unique design was clear enough. Sorry. I could not resist the importance of the very early work of the Voisin brothers and the fact that they were the world’s first aircraft “manufacturers.”

    • simanaitissays
      August 1, 2016

      Hi, Larry,
      We’re both card-carrying whackos of Voisin’s works, aero and automotive. And I trust you understand why the Voisins were not included in my “lesser known” among Jane’s Who’s Who. Neither are Curtiss, the Wrights, Bleriot and other familiar names in Jane’s multi-page listing.

  2. Larry Crane
    August 1, 2016

    In the advertisement in your post the aircraft on the right is a Voisin design and the aircraft being flown by Henry Farman is a Voisin.

  3. kkollwitz
    August 11, 2016

    Hey, John Moisant is way lesser-known except among us Louisianans who have flown from MSY.

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