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Sun 7 Mar 2010 - 5:24 pm UTC
simple enough, but I don't have the time or the expertise:
Found in a manga volume, Can someone identify this biplane model?
Tue 9 Mar 2010 - 1:23 am UTC
I'm not posting this in the answer box because I'm not sure you want to accept for your answer that the biplane in the picture is not a drawing of a real biplane. However, that's what I think, and here's why:
First of all, the story takes place in the 1890s. The earliest biplanes were built during that decade, so the timeframe is slightly plausible. However, the design of the first biplanes were nothing like the one in the drawing. See this account with images of the Wright Brothers first biplane, built in 1899:
Here are a couple more links showing early biplanes from approximately the same era:
"Biplane Glider of Octave Chanute, c1896 (1910)"
"1900's Wright Glider"
1910 Bristol Box Kite
You'll notice these very early biplanes look much different than the one in the "Emma" drawing, which would be actually quite futuristic for the time in which the story is set. Apparently this fact was noticed by others also.
In one review of the comic, the reviwer says, "the toy biplane on pg. 31 is an anachronism," which of course means something that cannot have existed at the time stated. http://www.rocketbomber.com/2010/03/07/emma-mmf-daily-diary-vol-1
Apparently the author, or at least her staff agreed, as in a future edition of Emma, according to another commenter, "Kaoru Mori got it half-wrong ... but the staff of the anime corrected her error. The anime still had a flying model aircraft, but they replaced her relatively futuristic biplane with a model of the Aerial Steam Carriage, an 1840s design that didn’t fly but might have been known about by at least a few people (there was an aviation display at the Crystal Palace, even if controlled, powered flight had yet to occur):
According to this Wikipedia article, author Kaoru Mori attempted in Emma "to recreate 1895 London with meticulous detail." However, since there were no biplanes flying around London in 1895, it's obvious that she could not have drawn an actual biplane from that time and place.
Furthermore, the biplane in the drawing does not match any of hundreds of images of real biplanes I viewed on dozens of vintage aircraft sites. None match all the details of the drawing including radial engine, two-bladed propeller, single bay open cockpit, squared-off empennage (tail assembly), partially exposed strutwork in the aft fuselage, six pairs of vertical struts separating the wings, wings of the width depicted, wheels directly forward of the cockpit and centered under the lower wing, and so forth. Early British biplane manufacturers included British and Colonial Aeroplane Company (Bristol), Hawker-Siddley, Sopwith, Nieuport, General, RAF (Royal Aircraft Factory), Vickers, Avro, and Fairey. Of these, a few of the closest matches are
http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/roe.html (scroll down to nearly the bottom of the page)
But none of these match exactly, and they are all of much later vintage. Also, none of the British models had three pairs of vertical struts on either side of the fuselage separating the wings as depicted in the drawing. In fact, the only biplane I found that had that particular feature was a German WWI biplane called the Gotha Bomber, here:
Just for comparison a coupld of other close matches might be the American Grumman F3F or the Sopwith Tabloid:
However, neither did these have all the features of the drawing.
Therefore, based on all the above, I believe the drawing in the original Emma Volume 1 is a fictitious composite, made up of parts of various aircraft, either imagined, drawn from memory, or combined from a variety of actual aircraft, to create a representative biplane, but not a faithful drawing of any actual year, make or model of real biplane. If you concur, I'll be glad to post this information as an answer. If not, perhaps someone else might do a better job of identifying the biplane in the drawing.
Tue 9 Mar 2010 - 1:37 am UTC
I especially like that you picked up on the RocketBomber review, as I wrote it. (and was trying to peg just how many years out of place this damned 'aeroplane' was, hence the uclue query)
Your research work is excellent. If you could give me your best guess as to which year this model might best fall into, I'll happily take that (with the information above) as your answer. And I hope you don't mind, but I'll likely link to this post when discussing this matter on RocketBomber.com later in the week.
Tue 9 Mar 2010 - 2:18 am UTC
I'm glad you were pleased with the research and information. I believe the closest matches to the Emma drawing might be the Avro 504 (1916), the Bristol Fighter (1916), and the Gotha Bomber (early 1917). Therefore my best guess as to the vintage of the biplane in the Emma drawing would be mid-WWI or 1916.
Just fyi, I am a pilot and while not an expert in historical aviation, I do nevertheless have a large collection of aviation related bookmarks, and know how to locate and use aviation databases, as well as have some base knowledge of aircraft history and manufacturers, etc. that gives me a starting point from which to search. In addition to researching Emma and Kaoru Mori, a few of the other resources I used included:
I don't mind at all if you link to this post, please do. I'll be making a point to check RocketBomber.com to see what kind of conversation is sparked. Now I'm interested too!
Thanks again for accepting my research in answer to your question. Please let me know if there is anything else you need on this.
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