Benoist-Korn, Type XII, 1912 - (scan - 1996)

One of the first enclosed fuselage tractor aircraft, the Type XII is representative of pre-WWI design.

Identified as Type XII, first tractor aircraft made by Thomas Wesley Benoist and one of the first "modern" closed fuselage tractors to appear in US. Dec 12, one of these, mounted on floats, made much-publicized flight of 1,973 miles down Missouri/Mississippi River; Tony Janus was pilot. NASM specimen (Factory No. 32) built in the Benoist shops at St. Louis by Edward Korn and brother Milton and was completed 20 May 12. Shortly thereafter, first flown at Anna IL; Korn flew numerous exhibitions during following year. Was altered significantly during this period. Ailerons (warping, not hinged) fixed to the outer forward strut at the midpoint replaced by normal ailerons at trailing edge of upper wing. Milton died after crash 13 Aug 13; Edward, pilot, badly injured but recovered. Remains of aircraft placed in storage. He loaned it to aviation school 1917-8 with understanding that they would rebuild it and use it for instructing students about design, construction, operation of airplanes. Apparently, school did not have original plans and it was reconstructed along the lines of a Jenny. Later, was broken down and stored at Korn Airport in Jackson Center OH where it remained until moved in 1949 to NASM facility at Park Ridge IL and finally moved in 1951 to Garber. B-K is significant example of pre-World War I aeronautical technology in US. Most aircraft produced during era were direct copies of Wright, Curtiss, or European machines. Benoist was one of very few US firms building and selling original designs. One other original B-K exists. Despite condition and history of the airplane, considerable documentation existed to allow rebuilding and restoration to original condition; particular attention to the fuselage, empennage, and control system required. Controls included two sticks but no rudder pedals; right stick controlled elevator and ailerons and left stick controlled rudder. Foot pedal controlled the engine; it probably stayed at full power most of the time since aircraft was definitely underpowered.

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