Clement Triplane Glider, Claudio Luchina, 1/72 Scratchbuild


At about 5.5 meters span the Louis Clement triplane seems like something you can take on your carry-on bag to the nearest airstrip. It was first presented at the Paris Aero Salon in 1919 with an Anzani engine behind the pilot on top of the aft fuselage, transmitting power through an extension shaft to the propeller on the normal front position. One could say it was the ultra-light of the time. It reappeared in the Salon in 1921 without the engine. The Clement triplane was made of a rather complex tubular metal construction it was also braced outside with a number of wires that will made the delights of the 1/72 model builder. As you can see on the model, a tricycle landing gear was provided, with a nose wheel recessed in the front and the other two being located on the wingtips of the lower wing; an unusual arrangement for the time, no doubt. The pilot, its only occupant, had the plane built around him, the only way he could get in. To get out, he had to crash the plane. Well, I think you better disregard this last sentence. Anyway, by 1922 with the engine removed the plane was presented at the Combegrasse gliding competition where, according to press reports, managed quite well considering its cumbersome design and aerodynamics, but ended up having a too close and sudden encounter with the ground.

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