Before Watches there were planes
The Breguet Type III was the first Breguet test French Air Force model, it gained fame in August 1910 by being the first aircraft to lift six people.
Breguet Aviation was one of the great pioneers of aviation history. The brothers practically invented the first helicopter, working with Professor Charles Richet, called "Gyroplane" in 1907-1908. These were ingenious contraptions with rotors which had a little bit of twisting to regain steering. The second one had a better 41 kW (55 hp) Renault engine and flew several times, but control was nearly impossible. The type 1 and following crafts were biplanes of pusher configuration related to the Wright model, which met various success. But the company is best rembered for the Type IV, later declined in production as the R.U1, which really help funding the company, with dozens of deliveries to sportsmen and amateurs and fourteen variants depending on the engine. This first production model was also used by the French Army and the R.F.C. These were light one-seaters, with a new undercarriage and able to carry a passenger. But Breguet is best remembered for its classic pushers in the Voisin configuration like the Breguet Bre.4, 6 and 12 in relative small numbers.
However the model that changed everything was the Br.14. It was for two years, until the end of the war, one of the most prolific allied plane of the war, with 8,000 built in all, many outside Breguet plant. This reliable single-engine, two-seat biplane bomber was produced also well after the endonf the war, used by the Aéronautique Militaire, US Army Air Service, Polish Air Force and the Royal Thai Air Force and many more, about thirteen countries used it proficiently until the late 1920s. It was of strong construction, and can take quite a lot of punishment, was easy to fly, stable,and had good performance. It was arguably one of the best aircraft of the war. The Company was never really able to repeat this success, but produced nevertheless two derivatives, namely the Br.16 and 17, larger bomber or shorter heavy fighter in smaller quantities.
A Thai Air Force museum replica of Breguet Br.14, one of the best light bomber of the war.
R.U.1 at the Musée des Arts et Métiers (1911). A very successful civilian biplane declined into a very large number of engine-based versions
The 1907 Breguet-Richet Gyroplane was an experimental single-seat helicopter-like craft with four rotors, the next year Gyroplane No.2 was a tandem biplane with a pair of large inclined propellers providing both thrust and lift. The Type I (1909) Single-seat tractor biplane had boxkite-like tail on booms. The next Type II of 1910 was a new version with a with a tricycle undercarriage and the tail carried at the end of a fuselage-like structure and a pair of booms. The same year, the Type III was up, as a three-seater with a rotary engine. The Type IV stayed experimental, the Type R.U1 was a single seat biplane derived into many variants in a proprietary basis, offered with many motorizations. It was a 1911 civilian model. The Breguet Aerhydroplane
of 1913 was a paper-project of a Single-engine one-seat seaplane. The first production military model was the Breguet Bre.4 of 1914, Single-engine two-seat biplane bomber with a Pusher configuration. The next Bre.5 of 1915 was a development of the first, Single-engine two-seat biplane escort fighter. it was derived into the model 6, with different engine, and the Br.12 was a version of the Breguet 5 with 37mm cannon and searchlight as a night fighter in 1918. The large production Br.14 of 1916 became the staple of French biplane bomber aircrafts from 1916, a dependable single-engine two-seater model. The Br.16 of 1918 was a lengthened version and the Br.17 a shorter one, used as a fighter in 1918.
- Breguet Bre.4 (1914) (c50)
- Breguet Bre.5 (1915) (c100)
- Breguet 6 (1915) (c50)
- Breguet 12 (1918) (?)
- Breguet 14 (1916) (8000)
- Breguet 16 (1918) (200)
- Breguet 17 (1918) (100)