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Gourdou-Leseurre GL-1 (Type A)

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Graham Summers, 13.01.2018

The Gourdou-Leseurre Type A, which was later named the GL.1, was a prototype fighter aircraft built in France in 1918. It was a conventional parasol-wing monoplane with fixed tailskid undercarriage, with main units connected by a cross-axle. The pilot sat in an open cockpit. Construction was of fabric-covered wood and steel. Initial flight testing revealed performance superior to most contemporary biplane fighters and led to an order of 100 aircraft being placed. However, further tests suggested that the aircraft structure could be considerably lightened, and that the wing needed to be stiffened, leading to a cancellation of the order.
Only a single prototype was built, but this led to the development of the successful Gourdou-Leseurre Type B.
Length: 6.60 m (21 ft 8 in)
Wingspan: 9.00 m (29 ft 6 in)
Height: 2.30 m (7 ft 7 in)
Wing area: 16.6 m2 (179 ft2)
Empty weight: 594 kg (1,309 lb)
Gross weight: 780 kg (1,720 lb)
Powerplant: 1 Hispano-Suiza 8Ab, 134 kW (180 hp)
Maximum speed: 242 km/h (150 mph)
Range: 300 km (190 miles)
Service ceiling: 7,000 m (23,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 5.8 m/s (1,140 ft/min)
2 fixed, forward-firing .303 Vickers machine guns

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