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Packard-Le Pere LUSAC-11 (Lepere United States Army Combat Model 11)


Biplane Fighter / Light Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft


United States | 1918



"An original French design, the Packard-Le Pere LUSAC-11 biplane fighter was produced for the United States towards the end of World War 1."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/27/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
French Captain Georges LePere was employed by the United States Army Air Service (USAAS) in 1917 when he designed a new two-seat multirole biplane aircraft. The design emerged from the American need to develop an indigenous multi-faceted platform for service in Europe amidst World War 1 (1914-1918) and the growing American involvement in the conflict. As it stood, the aircraft was intended as a fighter, escort fighter, reconnaissance aircraft and light bomber and its arrangement and construction were highly conventional for the period - owing to the need to get this aircraft into the air as quickly as possible and made available in the numbers required of the war effort.

With U.S. entry into World War 1 coming during 1917, the Air Service found itself in need for more modern aircraft of all types. Available to them were many designs of foreign origin, including many French fighters and light bombers, but deliveries were largely at the mercy of overseas need. One solution to the requirement was in bringing over French aeronautical engineers and designs for local development and manufacture. Now American factories could stock American air groups as needed without interference from foreign parties and LePere formed a part of a French engineering team that was paired with the Packard Motor Company of Detroit, Michigan to do just that. The work of 1917 ultimately begat the prototype of 1918 and the aircraft proved itself such a promising design in testing that even Army officials were convinced of its merits and placed an order for 3,525 as the "LUSAC-11" ("LePere United States Army Combat 11"). Production would be handled through Packard as well as the Fisher Body Corporation to help expedite deliveries to the Front. A first flight was recorded on May 15th, 1918.

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As finalized the aircraft was given a biplane arrangement of equal span with a two-bay approach. The wing elements sat ahead of the crew positions which included the pilot in the front cockpit and the observer in a rear cockpit - both open-air. The Liberty 12 series engine of 400 horsepower was fitted appropriately at front and drove a two-bladed propeller. The undercarriage was wheeled at the main legs (mounted under the main mass of the aircraft) with a tail skid brining up the rear section. Performance specifications included a maximum speed of 136 miles per hour, a cruising speed of 118 miles per hour and a ceiling up to 20,200 feet. Armament consisted of 2 x 0.30 caliber Marlin machine guns in the forward fuselage (operated by the pilot and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades) and 2 x 0.30 caliber Lewis machine guns paired on a trainable mounting (Scarff Ring) in the observer's cockpit.

Despite this gaining momentum, the war in Europe was drawing to a close until it officially concluded with the Armistice of November 1918. This left only seven completed LUSAC 11 aircraft available by the time the fighting ended and further manufacturing brought the total to twenty-eight before the Army contract for thousands was cancelled. The service did take on a limited stock of this aircraft and operated them for a while into the 1920s with some serving in testing (strafing platforms, triplanes, etc...) and others going on to set altitude records (one modified LUSAC 11 was fitted with a turbosupercharger and managed an altitude of 39,700 feet). A pair of LUSAC-11 aircraft were evaluated in France before the end of the war by the U.S. Army but were found wanting as combat aircraft. At least one was also evaluated by the French though not adopted. The Waterman 3-L-400 was a further development of the LUSAC-11.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Packard-Le Pere LUSAC-11 Biplane Fighter / Light Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft.
1 x Liberty L-12 V12 liquid-cooled engine developing 425 horsepower.
Propulsion
134 mph
215 kph | 116 kts
Max Speed
20,210 ft
6,160 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
320 miles
515 km | 278 nm
Operational Range
1,085 ft/min
331 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Packard-Le Pere LUSAC-11 Biplane Fighter / Light Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
25.3 ft
7.70 m
O/A Length
41.5 ft
(12.65 m)
O/A Width
10.6 ft
(3.22 m)
O/A Height
2,557 lb
(1,160 kg)
Empty Weight
3,682 lb
(1,670 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Packard-Le Pere LUSAC-11 (Lepere United States Army Combat Model 11) Biplane Fighter / Light Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft .
2 x 0.30 caliber Marlin machine guns in upper fuselage
2 x 0.30 caliber Lewis machine guns on trainable mount in rear cockpit.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Packard-Le Pere LUSAC-11 (Lepere United States Army Combat Model 11) family line.
LUSAC-11 - Base Series Designation
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Packard-Le Pere LUSAC-11 (Lepere United States Army Combat Model 11). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 30 Units

Contractor(s): Packard Engineering Division - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (134mph).

Graph Average of 113 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
30
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
GROUND ATTACK
RECONNAISSANCE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Packard-Le Pere LUSAC-11 (Lepere United States Army Combat Model 11) Biplane Fighter / Light Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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