WW1 Planes
An encyclopediae of 1914-18 aircraft types

flag Dorand Planes

About Dorand's STAé

Pretty much all is known about the best known model of Dorand Aviation was related to the AR model designed by Georges Le Père. Dorand Aviation only served the official "Section Technique de l'Aéronautique (STAé) de Chalais-Meudon" headed by Colonel Dorand from 1916, of the Army reconnaissance branch. Initially, the first aeronautical laboratory in the world was l'Établissement central de l'aérostation militaire de Chalais-Meudon in 1877, specialized in observation balloons. It was tasked of producing, provide training, define the use and tactics of balloons. From 1909, aircrafts manufacturers multiplied in France, and in early 1916 it was observed a lack of technical coordination between the command and capabilities of manufacturers, with development delays and technological dead ends. To remedy this situation, Deputy Secretary of State for Aeronautics René Besnard and Minister of War General Gallieni created the Section technique de l'aéronautique, headed by the Colonel Emile Dorand that previously was in charge of the Chalais-Meudon establishement. Abbréviated STAé, it moved to Issy-les-Moulineaux, as "Établissement d’expériences techniques d’Issy-les-Moulineaux", and comprised workshops, laboratories and wind tunnels, ground testing facilities, all under supervision of the war ministry. Dorand acted as the well-needed interface between the Command and manufacturers, testing engines and plane, writing sub-specifications and reports, tasking various manufacturers in certain areas, creating connection between them.

Dorand DO.1 photo
(unknown date - airwar.ru)

The first task of the organism was to create a tractor propeller observation aircraft armed to withstand back attacks from the Fokker E.III. Later finding a solution to fire through the propeller disk, and a three-seater, twin engine observation model, later to define new aircraft engines specifications and eventually in 1918 the STAé was responsible for aircraft, engines, armament, flight test and research. In January 11, 1918, Dorand left and was replaced by Albert Caquot.

Military engineer and officer Jean-Baptiste Émile Dorand started working on planes going back to 1908 and his biplane. He also created for the army a reconnaissance plane with some armour in 1913. More importantly he designed in 1914 at the Meudon facility, the first production model, named DO.1. Only 12 were built from August 1914, but it was found mediocre and soon replaced by the Farman MF-11 Pusher. Later in 1916 he will design his first success, the AR.1, mass-produced for many air forces and used well after the war around the world. He went on as an engineer for various projects and his son René made his name famous again with a very innovative model in 1938 through the Syndicat d\'Etudes de Gyroplane, creating the forward-thinking Dorand G.II or G.20, using a counter-rotative system and V-tail to get rid of the stabilizing propeller. This was pretty much the ancestor of counter-rotative helicopters postwar, 20 years in advance of any other models.

Dorand Models

Dorand biplane 1908

In 1908, the French military ministry seconded Captain Max Dorand (Max Dorand) with a special task: to wipe his nose with a civilian who could not build a suitable military aircraft. The captain approached the matter strictly scientific and began with the construction of a scale model of the chosen aerodynamic scheme. He got a normal kite with weight balancing and four (originally) rows of wings. Four rows of engine wings in 34 hp. He did not pull, and the number of wings was reduced first to three, and then to two. With two, they say, even managed to fly a little, and this was the first specially military aircraft. It was emphasized that its special arrangement provides an ideal view for reconnaissance, since the wings are all higher than the pilot's potholder and did not prevent him from observing the earth. Unfortunately - and maybe, and fortunately - normally this structure did not fly. But the captain (by that time already a major) was carried away - and in the world war France entered a sufficiently sane company Dorand, which built quite a lot of aircraft of an entirely classical scheme. Apparently, its founder knew how to learn from his mistakes.

Dorand 1913

The first plane was designed in 1913, simply named "Dorand 1913". http://airwar.ru/enc/fww1/dorandai.html
In 1913, General Bernard proposed the classification of armored aircraft, where the first class - single scouts of short-range, the second - double long-range, the third - double fighter-scouts and the fourth - heavy multi-seat for special missions. In the same year, under the leadership of Emil Dorand (Jean-Baptiste Émile Dorand), the aircraft was designed and built to meet the requirements of the third and fourth grade. This machine received an unofficial designation "Armored fighter" was a triple three-stand biplane equipped with two Le Rhone engines with 80 hp. The aircraft's armament consisted of two 8-mm Hotchkiss machine guns installed in the front and rear cabins (the pilot was in the middle). In the future it was planned to replace the machine guns with the 37 mm Hotchkiss gun. The protective reservation was made in the form of steel plates 3 mm thick installed on the sides and in the floor of the cabins. From the first flights it became clear that the car was heavily weighted and clumsy. Finish it did not, did not even get an official designation. The only copy was handed over to the CRP (Camp Retranche Paris).

Dorand DO.1 (1914)

Dorand DO.1 Blueprint
Blueprint - 3 views (unknown author - airwar.ru)

In 1914, General Bernard published requirements for an armored aircraft for long and short reconnaissance. Several companies like Bleriot, Breguet, Clement-Bayard, Deperdussin, Ponnier, Voisin and Dorand started work and designed prototypes for these requirements. The one designed by Jean-Baptiste Émile Dorand received the designation DO.1. It was a biplane with a single fuselage in framed canvas and double tailplane, equipped with a single Anzani rotative engine rated for 85 hp. The aircraft's armament consisted of one 7.7-mm Lewis machine gun mounted in the front cockpit of an observer on a mobile turret. Steel plates protected the crew at a total weight of 90 kg. This two-seater had a wingspan of 15.00 m, length of 10.07 m, with a load-bearing area of 50.00 m², motorized by an Anzani engine developing 85 hp, for a top speed of 108 kph and a 2800m ceiling. Despite the fact that the flight characteristics of the DO.1 were judged all mediocre by the the authorities, about a dozen DO.1 were ordered. The six first DO.1s equipped in August 1914 the squadron DO22, formed for the occasion. The others entered the DO14 squadron in December 1914. But in early 1915 already, they were all replaced by the better Farman MF.11.


Dimensions: Wingspan, 15m, Length 10.07m, Height ?, Wing area 50.00m2
Weight, 1510 kgs empty, maximum take-off 2000 kgs
Engine: Type 1 PD Anzani, 85 hp
Maximum speed 108 kph, 96 kph cruise speed, autonomy 4h, ceiling 2800m
Crew: 2, pilot and observer
Armament: one 7.7-mm Lewis machine gun on the turret


Profile of the Dorand DO.1 by David Mechin
Aviafrance. Un siecle d'aviation francaise. Dorand DO.1
James J. Davilla, Arthur M. Soltan. French Aircraft of the First World War
Aviationsmilitaires.net. Dorand Do.1
Albindenis.free.fr. Escadrille DO 22 - MF 22 - F 22 - AR 22 - SAL 22
AeroJournal 2014-06-07. David Mechin. La cinquieme Arme

Dorand AR.1 (1917)

Dorand AR.1
Dorand AR.1 - San Diego Air and Space Museum archives

Read More

The Evolution of French Aircraft During the War, by Colonel Dorand On aviationsmilitaires.net On militaryfactory.com http://jn.passieux.free.fr/html/DorandAR1.php Service Technique de l'Aeronautique On aviafrance.com https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorand_AR.1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorand_AR