Farman, Henri

SUBJECT AREA: Aerospace
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b. 26 May 1874 Paris, France
d. 17 July 1958 Paris, France
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French aeroplane designer who modified Voisin biplanes and later, with his brother Maurice (b. 21 March 1877 Paris, France; d. 26 February 1964 Paris, France), created a major aircraft-manufacturing company.
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The parents of Henri and Maurice Farman were British subjects living in Paris, but their sons lived all their lives in France and became French citizens. As young men, both became involved in cycle and automobile racing. Henri (or Henry—he used both versions) turned his attention to aviation in 1907 when he bought a biplane from Gabriel Voisin. Within a short time he had established himself as one of the leading pilots in Europe, with many record-breaking flights to his credit. Farman modified the Voisin with his own improvements, including ailerons, and then in 1909 he designed the first Farman biplane. This became the most popular biplane in Europe from the autumn of 1909 until well into 1911 and is one of the classic aeroplanes of history. Meanwhile, Maurice Farman had also begun to design and build biplanes; his first design of 1909 was not a great success but from it evolved two robust biplanes nicknamed the "Longhorn" and the "Shorthorn", so called because of their undercarriage skids. In 1912 the brothers joined forces and set up a very large factory at Billancourt. The "Longhorn" and "Shorthorn" became the standard training aircraft in France and Britain during the early years of the First World War. The Farman brothers went on to produce a number of other wartime designs, including a large bomber. After the war the Farmans produced a series of large airliners which played a key role in establishing France as a major airline operator. Most famous of these was the Goliath, a twin-engined biplane capable of carrying up to twelve passengers. This was produced from 1918 to 1929 and was used by many airlines, including the Farman Line. The brothers retired when their company was nationalized in 1937.
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Bibliography
1910, The Aviator's Companion, London (with his brother Dick Farman).
Further Reading
M.Farman, 1901, 3,000 kilomètres en ballon, Paris (an account of several balloon flights from 1894 to 1900).
J.Liron, 1984, Les Avions Farman, Paris (provides comprehensive descriptions of all Farman aircraft).
Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War I, 1990, London (reprint) (gives details of all early Farman aircraft).
J.Stroud, 1966, European Aircraft since 1910, London (provides details about Farman air-liners).
JDS

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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