Air Force

GOURDOU LESSEURE B3


Gourdou Gourdou Gourdou #1 Toms Gailitis with the Gourdou

Source: France

Acquired: Sept. 1, 1924

Type: monoplane, single-seater fighter

Engine: 8-cylinder 165-180 hp HS-8C engine

Dimensions
Length: 6.4 metres
Wing Span: 9.1 metres
Height: 2.2 metres
Max Speed: 245 km/hr

Range:

Maximum Ceiling: 7500 metres

Known Serial Numbers: #30, then #1 (AA)

Notes

  • 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.


Sources

Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
Humberstone (ed) Latvian Air Force 1918 - 1940
Irbitis, Karlis Of Struggle and Flight
"Rits" No. 274 (Oct. 4, 1936)
Sparnota Latvija

Profiles courtesy of Arvo Vercamer

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