GOURDOU LESSEURE B3
Acquired: Sept. 1, 1924
Type: monoplane, single-seater fighter
Engine: 8-cylinder 165-180 hp HS-8C engine
Max Speed: 245 km/hr
- Length: 6.4 metres
- Wing Span: 9.1 metres
- Height: 2.2 metres
Maximum Ceiling: 7500 metres
Known Serial Numbers: #30, then #1 (AA)
- September 1, 1924 - the Gourdou is received by the Aviation Regiment and is intended to be used as a trainer.
- February 11, 1927 - the Gourdou, #30, is flown by Nikolajs Bulmanis.
- December 5, 1931 - the Gourdou is handed over to the Aizsargi.
- September 8, 1935 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Riga/Spilve.
- September 15, 1935 - participates in the Aviation Festival at Ikskile.
- April 29, 1936 - the Gourdou is written off when it requires yet further
major repairs. The reason for taking it out of service was, at least in part,
because of the belief that the aircraft was unsafe to fly. In the Aizsargi,
only their very best pilots were willing to fly the plane.
- The aircraft was unpopular both when it was in the air force and with
the Aizsargi. While it clearly deserved its reputation for requiring
far too much repair and maintenance, the comments about its flight safety may
be rooted in the fact that it was a monoplane. Among the Latvians, with their primarily
biplane trainers and front-line aircraft, this modern aircraft may have had unfamiliar
flight characteristics, thus earning it the reputation of being difficult to fly.
Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
Humberstone (ed) Latvian Air Force 1918 - 1940
Irbitis, Karlis Of Struggle and Flight
"Rits" No. 274 (Oct. 4, 1936)
Profiles courtesy of Arvo Vercamer