AKA Eugene Ruchonnet
I need a photo of him.  If you can help, 
	please contact me.
from Pete Jones, 1-6-11
Hi Ralph:
     The pilot named Emile Ruchonnet, he is sometimes called Eugene Ruchonnet as in the the February 4, 1911 Flight Magazine listing for his pilot's license (*see below). Ruchonnet was born on August 29, 1877 in Ouchy Switzerland and died in a crash on January 12, 1912 at Vidamee Senlia, France(*Dave Lam Aviation Death Summary). He qualified for his French pilots license #127 on July 1, 1910 in an Antoinette. Before his involvement with aircraft Ruchonnet was an engineer in the boat industry. Ruchonnet began in aviation with the Antoinette becoming Leon Levavasseur's engineer. He moved to Hanriot and eventually designed his own plane which I think was constructed by the Hanriots. A photo of him and his plane is linked below. In addition to his own plane Ruchonnet apparently flew several types such as Antoinettes, Hanriots and Deperdussins. Ruchonnet is credited with bringing his former boat building skills to aviation and coming up with the idea of monocoque fuselage construction which was implemented into early Deperdussin designs with the further aid of Louis Bechereau. Ruchonnet was the first of the pioneer pilots killed in the year 1912(on January 12).


*Ruchonnet and plane:

*Flight Magazine; February 4, 1911

*FATAL ACCIDENT TO RUCHONNET; Flight Magazine January 20, 1912:

*Postcard of Ruchonnet and flight of the Antoinette:

*The Deperdussin Racer:

     If you search for "Emile Ruchonnet" +aviation, using the Google search engine,
(7-21-11), you will find about 154 links. A good place to start is the following.
Emile Ruchonnet France
     This page on the Champagne | Berceau de l'aviation du Monde website, also cited by Pete Jones, offers a very important resumé of his life and career. It is written in French, but if you will copy the URL and paste it into the Google "TRANSLATION" program, you will produce the following English version.

     "In early 1909, Emile Ruchonnet is part of the firm Antoinette. He works under the authority of René Demanest, chief pilot of the camp-school in Chalons-en-Champagne. The Antoinette monoplane, type IV, the firm's Paris Levavasseur, powered by the new engine of 50 hp Antoinette is successfully tested at Chalons in spring 1909.
     Demanest Ruchonnet and Antoinette are on the 1 st World Meeting of planes organized by the Reims Grandes Marques de Champagne, but only Hubert Latham will fly using two planes: Antoinette VII 29 and an Antoinette IV 13.
     Emile Ruchonnet, "had not resulted in that during a weekend on his camera, on Friday, he made some smart breaks, distorting its landing gear on Sunday after repairs, he flew again. Two days later, concluding his training, he had traveled 1,500 meters of ground. " It could not compete seriously in the world 1st Meeting of August 1909.
     Prudent, he recruited an experienced aviator, Emile Ruchonnet to develop his flying machines, which serves as both an engineer and chief pilot in his school of the air. Former carpenter and former foreman at Levavasseur, Ruchonnet was registered in Reims in August 1909 Antoinette monoplane, has his pilot's license of the Aero Club of France since June 21, 1910.
     Within months, Hanriot Ruchonnet and realize a new monoplane, the type II lighter. Named Dragonfly, it flies in Bethany in April, with the Clement-Bayard 40 ch. Then, they create a third type of monoplane, more powerful, for the competitions. Type IV, a tandem, the military interest. The type V and type VI are used by Marcel Hanriot at meetings in 1910.
     Wingspan 10 8 m, 12 m long, width of the wing tips m 3, surface 30 m 2, 540 kg Pioda, slender body whose walls form the radiator ENV 50hp engine.
     Finishing his school year at Chalons, Marcel Hanriot happening because his Sundays on the grass of the field of Bethany. His father made him try all types of monoplane produced by the firm. May 17 at Bethany, Marcel Hanriot the two-seater takes in the sky of Champagne engineer Etienne Grandjean, a professor at the College of Aeronautics. June 9, Marcel Hanriot steals Bétheny to Mourmelon the monoplane type VI. He beat Marthe Niel, a woman, partly on a Voisin biplane, slower. The next day, Marcel Hanriot obtained his pilot's license, with the No. 95. He is the youngest licensed pilot in France and probably Europe."

To access the site, click on the title above.


Emile Ruchonette died on January 12, 1912

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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