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Ponnier L.1

France (1914)
Picture of Ponnier L.1 Scout Biplane Prototype

The Ponnier L.1 Scout Biplane of France failed to net any viable military interest, leading to no production units forthcoming.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Ponnier L.1 Scout Biplane Prototype.  Entry last updated on 2/6/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

World War 1 (1914-1918) proved the perfect avenue for which aviation concerns could showcase their wares - and hopefully secure potentially lucrative wartime contracts. The Ponnier L.1 of French origin was one product introduced during the period, arriving just prior to the start of hostilities in July of 1914 (the war began before the end of that month). The type was evolved along the lines of a biplane "scout" but, before the end, it did little to interest French authorities in its purchase - as such no production contract followed. Design of the L.1 was attributed to Alfred Pagny and manufacture stemmed from Avions Ponnier. A first flight occurred in July of 1914.

The L.1 design held roots in the earlier Ponnier D.III monoplane of 1913 which was born as a racing aircraft - fitted with a then-powerful Gnome engine of 160 horsepower. Only one was completed by Ponnier, its design again coming from the mind of Alfred Pagny. Spurred by the British Schneider Trophy win of 1913 - they using a biplane racer to claim the gold - thought fell to converting the racing-minded D.III from its original monoplane form to that of a biplane for possible military service.
The L.1 carried over the fuselage of the D.III with a single-bay biplane wing arrangement added (parallel interplane struts being used). The undercarriage was wheeled under center mass and the tail supported through a simple skid. The engine of choice became the Gnome 7-cylinder rotary engine though this unit outputted only 50 horsepower. It was installed at the nose in the usual way and drove a two-bladed wooden propeller. The pilot sat in an open-air cockpit under and aft of the upper wing mainplane which had a section above the pilot cutout for improved upward vision. The tail unit consisted of a sole vertical fin coupled with a pair of low-set horizontal planes held close to the fuselage. The fuselage itself was given slab-sides which was a typical design feature of aircraft of the period.

Despite the work done, the L.1 failed to net any military interest. It was underpowered by its 50 horsepower engine and there appeared better competing types for purchase by the French air service. The L.1 therefore fell into French aviation history as nothing more than a footnote but the work completed on the design proved helpful in the development of another Ponnier product to come - the M.1 fighter which appeared in November of 1916 and netted twenty production examples.






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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (65mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era Impact
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: France
Service Year: 1914
Classification Type: Scout Biplane Prototype
Manufacturer(s): Avions Ponnier - France
Production Units: 1
Operational Status: Cancelled
Global Operators:
France (abandoned)
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Ponnier L.1 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
17.39 ft


Meters
5.3 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
26.25 ft


Meters
8 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
573 lb


Kilograms
260 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Gnome 7-cylinder rotary engine developing 50 horsepower while driving two-bladed propeller in nose.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
65 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
105 kph


Knots
57 kts


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
381 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
116 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• L.1 - Base Series Designation