Jump to content

Bertin X-8



This is a Bertin X-8. It is 100HP. Photographed at the Musée de l’air et de l’espace in Paris in 2015. Bertin was killed in a crash of his fifth build before the Great War.


Jane's All The World Aircraft 1913:
BERTIN. L. Bertin, 23 rue de Rocroy, Paris.    1913.    Monoplane.    2-seater.

Length.........feet(m.) 29 (8.80)
Span...........feet(m.) 34 (10.40)
Area .....sq. feet(m?.) 226 (21)
   .....lbs.(kgs.) 770 (350)
Weight, useful...
   .....lbs.(kgs.) ...
Motor..............h.p. 100 Bertin
Speed, max...m.p.h.(km.) 71 (115)
Number built during 1912 1

Remarks--Wood and steel construction. On wheels only. Controls: warping and rear elevator


Flight, November 16, 1912.


  M. Bertin's machine is a monoplane which follows in its general design conventional practice. Its main body, pentagonal in section, is a girder of wood and steel wire. In front is mounted an 8-cyl. 100-h.p. engine of M. Bertin's own design and constiuction. The tail has fixed vertical and horizontal surfaces, to which are hinged respectively the rudder and the elevators. Its chassis built up entirely of steel tubing, and although not highly original, is, nevertheless, extremely neat and effective. Its flexibility is derived from steel compression springs enclosed in the outer oblique chassis struts, the vertical centre ones acting purely as guides.



Recommended Comments

100hp from 8 cyl, I wonder why they made the cyl/pots so small but it would be one hell of a smooth engine when running

Share this comment

Link to comment

Leonce Bertin was quite an inventive fellow. He also designed a helicopter first in 1908, and again in 1912. The 1912 model appears to be powered with a 4 cyl version of his neat little engine.

What is more - the rotor was designed in the shape of an aerofoil, rather than a propeller shape, as in current (rotary wing) design. This shows Bertin was aware that more than a simple propeller was needed for lift.

The 1908 model utilised biplane aerofoils, but the 1912 version utilised a monoplane wing.


There is a photo on the 'net (not readily accessible) of Leonce and his son Rene in the Bertin monoplane, apparently taken on the day they crashed (14th July 1913), which resulted in the death of both father and son.


Bertin helicopter - 1908


Alamy stock photos - the 1912 Bertin Helicopter

Edited by onetrack
  • Agree 1
  • Informative 1

Share this comment

Link to comment

I ran out of editing time on the previous post, and I wanted to outline that the 1908 Bertin helicopter utilised fixed biplane wings, with a propeller for lift - but the improved 1912 version utilised a rotary wing for lift - as well as a propellor for lift.

One can quickly see that although Bertins ideas for lift were going in the right design direction, he was obviously not aware of the need for added controls to resist rotor thrust torque, nor does he seem to have designed in much by way of rotor control, to control direction and speed of travel.

Share this comment

Link to comment

Here's an obviously rare photo of Leonce Bertin from 1910, posing alongside what appears to be one of his earlier engines, a single cylinder version.

The hypnotic stare of Bertin into the camera lens appears to me, to indicate a man of great intensity and drive.


Leonce Bertin - 1910

Share this comment

Link to comment

It’s interesting that he needed a flywheel. Crankshaft looks a bit thin. But you would have to be intense to stick with it in those days!


Share this comment

Link to comment

I find the fact that a large number of these early flyers, tinkerers, and aircraft engine and airframe builders, seem to originate from the bicycle and motorcycle fraternity.

Bertin was a bicycle mechanic, then a motorcycle mechanic. I guess dealing with light weights and small engines, as in motorbikes, would translate pretty easily across to flying machines.

I think it also helped to be a bit of a mad bugger, a real risk-taker, as so many of the motorcycling and motorcycle racing fraternity seem to be, both then and now.

Share this comment

Link to comment
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.