Riout 102T Alérion Ornithopter

by Daniel Russ on May 15, 2018

Post image for Riout 102T Alérion Ornithopter


French engineer René Louis Riout built ornithopters, or aircraft that mimicked flapping wings to achieve flight. This was his first ornithopter, the

DuBois Riot  and it was constructed in 1913. Spoiler alert: Its development was delayed because World War I broke out. It never achieved sustained flight, and it crashed. After the war, Riout post war ornithopter had two sets of flapping wings. It seemed too odd to investors and skeptics.


On 23 April 1937, Riout was awarded a contract for the construction of an ornithopter prototype. The single-place ornithopter had a cigar-shaped fuselage. Aluminum covered a tubular-steel frame. The wings were covered in fabrics with complex gears to create “lift”.  While the smaller test model performed well in the first wind tunnel, the second one collapsed the wings and the project was abandoned.



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