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Santos-Dumont Demoiselle

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About the Plane
Santos-Dumont Demoiselle (the Damselfly) - the fact that the designer made the plans a public property made the plane very popular. It is considered to be the first ultra light plane in the history even though its design derives from 1909. Its weight did not exceed 140 kilogramms in most cases.

The Demoiselle had a very unique control system; the pilot used the wheel to turn left and right, while altitude control was executed with the control stick. When it comes to banking - pilot`s jacket had a socket attached to its back which accepted a rod placed just behind the pilot. In order to bank pilot had to move right or left. The engine control employed a "socket" that was attached to the pilot`s shoe and then directly to the carburator. Many different types of engines were used. My model depicts one with a Dutheil & Chalmers 35 HP. Bamboo rods, linen, and many other materials were used in the construction of the aircraft.

The Model
This is my first scratch built model. Even though it`s far from perfect I had a lot of fun building it.

I used the thin strips of wood for the wings, ailerons and rudder construction and they were covered with tissue. The rest of the construction is evergreen rods and profiles. The propeller is hand carved.

The rigging is fishing line with home made turnbuckles.
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About the Author

About Filip (xmald11)


Filip, I bow myself to your modelling skills; you are a true artist! It is a pleasure to look at your model. May I ask you how you made your turnbuckles? Best Regards Thomas
FEB 25, 2017 - 05:04 PM
Superb and incredible model. Tell me about the turnbuckles?
FEB 26, 2017 - 02:42 AM
Absolutely delightful.
FEB 26, 2017 - 06:37 AM
That's an absolutely gorgeous model! I've been working on an old Inpact (now Lindberg) Martin-Handasyde monoplane off and on... your build inspires me to get back at it. Well done!
FEB 28, 2017 - 04:33 AM
How did you get the bamboo to look like Bamboo? Unless... You actually used bamboo! In "Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines" a Demoiselle had not been built or flown in 40 years. They couldn't get theirs to fly until they found a lady pilot who weighed 110 pounds (50 Kilos). They then upon some more research found out the original could only lift about 50 kilos. beautiful Captn Tommy
FEB 28, 2017 - 07:53 PM
Excellent build and finish. Cheers from Brazil
MAR 01, 2017 - 01:07 AM
Many thanks for your kind words!!! When it comes to the turnbuckles I make them using the cotton buds plastic tube stretched over the flame. The "loop" is a piece of a wire. If you need more information - let me know I`ll post some more detailed description. The bamboo is actually a metal rod with some "blobs" of CA glue to imitate the texture. It was painted with artistic oil paints.
MAR 03, 2017 - 01:56 AM
That is incredible work! And your first scratch build? Just amazing!
MAR 05, 2017 - 12:58 AM
Great job Filip, really remarkable work! I feel proud to see the invention of my fellow countryman inspiring your build. I saw a replica in real scale in a museum, and I can say your work don't lose anything to the real one.
APR 12, 2017 - 06:58 AM