Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


YESTERDAY, WE LEARNED about Louis Blériot’s enthusiasm for air transport, as exemplified in his company’s development in the early 1930s of the innovative Blériot 125.

The Blériot 125 during its flight testing.

Today in Part 2, here are tidbits about my GMax modeling a Blériot 125 for Microsoft Flight Simulator. This project had plenty of documentation and, yet, some good puzzles.

Cabin accommodation, including conveniences.

Populating the Cabins. What with the aeroplane’s seating six passengers in each of its twin pods, I had a wizard idea of populating the cabins with individuals from some of my earlier GMax projects. 

My first choice was Adrienne Bolland—Queen of the Andes. I rendered her Caudron G.3 with her wearing her flowery pajamas. She keeps the flowery outfit in her Blériot 125 First Class seating, Left Cabin 1A. 

First Class accommodations for Adrienne Bolland, of course. She brings the sextant for fun.

Next on my proposed list of passengers were two crew members of the Tupolev ANT-25, the Soviet aircraft that may have flown Moscow to the American West Coast. (Or maybe a pair of the planes tag-teamed the achievement, with one taken by ship to an intermediate point?).

I had had good fun with these crew members in the Tupolev: The navigator carried an articulated sextant. When the aft canopy was raised, the other guy stood to attention and flourished a CCCP flag.

The Tupolev ANT-25 and its crew

Wouldn’t it be fun to have them performing such antics in a Blériot 125 cabin? And then add another nine folks in tweeds and elegant attire.

I tested Adrienne and the flag guy successfully with less than the full model. Alas, including everything exceeded the limit of GMax rendering, a problem encountered only once before with the complex 14-cylinder rotary engine of the Blériot limousine.

I compromised by giving Adrienne the Tupolev’s sextant, albeit in non-articulated form. She’s double-checking the Blériot 125’s navigator. 

Louis and his navigator on the 125 flight deck.

The pencil in the navigator’s hand follows the La Manche route followed by Louis back in 1908. This animation uses GMax “Tick18” coding, intended for repeating objects such as beacons, but useful here too. By the way, my pilot is modeled after Louis Blériot, though, in fact, by the early 1930s he no longer piloted aircraft.

What About That Coulir d’Aile? As noted yesterday, a detailed cutaway of the Blériot identified an Echelle d’accès au coulir d’aile, an Access ladder to the wing corridor. 

A website discussion on odd aircraft posed the question about such an access. Was it essentially a crawl space for maintenance? Or did crew and passengers use it for passage among the twin cabins and central flight deck? 

Using M. Blériot’s height as a metric, I believe it’s a maintenance corridor. What’s more, could I imagine Adrienne climbing an Echelle situated next to the cabin conveniences? Zut alors!

Indeed, the cutaway also listed an access hatch in the floor of the flight deck. But access to what? A crawl space? 

No, I concluded my Blériot crew come aboard through the hatch by climbing a ladder that elongates almost to ground level. I modeled the size of the hatch and ladder by putting my prototypical pilot through the exercise. He seemed not to complain.

My copilot view.

There are great views to be had by one and all.  ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2021 

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