Issoudun H-23 amphibian flying boat

hesham

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Hi,


the American Issoudun Aircraft Corp. designed the H-23,a high wing twin engined
amphibian flying boat of 1930,powered by two 90 hp Warner Scarab engines,it was
a very little known aircraft,but nothing heard about this company after or before that
design.


http://www.aerofiles.com/_i.html
 

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Apophenia

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The Issoudun H-23 was a 4-seat, all-metal (other than cloth-covered wings and control surfaces) amphibian designed by A.C. Hamilton. Your photo of the Issoudun H-23 appears in American Flying Boats and Amphibious Aircraft: An Illustrated History by ER Johnson and Michigan Aircraft Manufacturers by Robert F. Pauley:

http://books.google.ca/books?id=H35YzdyTpDcC&pg=PA69&lpg=PA69&dq=%22Issoudun+Aircraft&source=bl&ots=cSMY73Txqh&sig=zytAK4-cKmKPD530J3tVHeo8SMk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=14hYUZiHO4qLiALTvoGgAw&sqi=2&ved=0CH8Q6AEwDQ#v=onepage&q=%22Issoudun%20Aircraft&f=false

Issoudun's founder was Thomas George Lamphier, Sr., a West Point grad, WWI veteran, and USAAC Major serving in Michigan until the late 1920s. While in the Air Corps, Lamphier flew a number of record flights. On 01 Nov 1925, flew from Selfridge Field to New York City in 3 hours, 20 minutes. Previously, in 1923 Capt. Lamphier had led a flight of 6 aircraft from San Antonio, TX, to San Juan, Puerto Rico. After meeting Charles Lindbergh (in 1927), Lamphier left the Air Corps to become a member of the Technical Committee of TAT (Transcontinental Air Transport) in 1929 along with Lindbergh.

Issoudun was formed in March 1930 but there are a few discrepencies in the telling. The firm is called Issoudun Aircraft Corp. by Aerofiles. But, in Michigan Aircraft Manufacturers,
Pauley calls it Issoudun Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. A contemporary industry newsletter (Automotive Industries) refers to it as the Issoudun Aircraft Co. It's anyone's guess as to which of these names is correct.

http://www.hcfi.org/viewer.php?doc=../Library/Automotive_Industries/1930/04/05/page_0052

Engines are another issue. Aerofiles say 2 x 90 hp Warner Scarab radials but that output suggests the 5-cylinder Warner Scarab Junior. Johnson says 2 x 125 hp Warner Scarabs which seems a better match for the photo (which clearly shows 7-cylinder engines).

The Northville, MI factory is said to be the former location of the Cadillac Aircraft Corp. by Pauley but the newsletter article refers to it as a former Stinson works. It was both (Cadillac taking over the facility from Stinson in 1929).

I assume that Lamphier named his 1930 company after the WWI US training airfield at Issoudun, France. BTW, Capt. Thomas G. Lamphier Jr. was a P-38 pilot originally given a shared credit for shooting down Admiral Yamamoto's aircraft. He later became a VP at Convair.

FWIW, here's a 1922 photo of Lamphier's DH4B, 'Man-o-War':
http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/67346/rec/1
 

Stargazer2006

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I'm faced with a mystery regarding the Issoudun H-23, and was wondering if anyone could be of help — primarily Apophenia since he seems to know a little bit more about the subject than most of us, but of course others may have relevant elements of information to share.

Until now, I assumed that the designation "H-23" may have been a subtle evocation that Issoudun is one of the major cities of "la Creuse", also known as France's "département No. 23" (23rd district, out of 95 in metropolitan France).

Today, however, I came across the mention of the name "Hamilton" next to NASM's entry on the H-23 (which they call an "Issoudin" in error). As I hadn't visited this here page in a long while, I'd forgotten about the fact that the type was designed by an "A. C. Hamilton", and instead tried to see if there could be a connection with the Hamilton Metalplane division of Boeing. On first glance it would seem that there wasn't, of course... except I realized that there is that mysterious "Hamilton H-23" in my list that I could never find anything about. Not only does this number conveniently fit in right after Hamilton Metalplane's H-18 to H-22 series, but it's also a 1930 type, just like the H-22.

Now that I've been reminded of this "A. C. Hamilton", it's safe to say that H-23 was probably just Hamilton's 23rd design — or perhaps the "23" really was about Issoudun in France, since there was Army lieutenant called A. C. Hamilton at some point? Still, I would like to know two things:
[list type=decimal]
[*]Do we know more works by A. C. Hamilton? Did he design any other aircraft? I couldn't find any.
[*]Was A. C. Hamilton in any way related to Thomas F. Hamilton (founder of Hamilton Metalplane)? Or to Alexander Hamilton, who was an aeronautical constructing engineer in Michigan circa 1910?
[/list]

Thanks in advance to anyone who may be of help.
 

Dynoman

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According to the Ludington Daily News on March 30, 1930, A. C. Hamilton was identified as the designer of a new amphibian, stating that "Announcement was made here last night of a $500,000 concern, the Issoudun Aircraft Co., to manufacture a new type of amphibian plane designed by A. C. Hamilton, Maj. S. G. M. Lanphier, former commandant of Selfridge Field, will be president of the company, and Mr. Hamilton will be vice president."

Detroit Free Press March 29, 1930 also relates A.C. Hamilton as the designer of the Lanphier aircraft and that Hamilton is said to be "one of the oldest designers and fliers in the country" and that Hamilton competed in air races against Graham White, Farman, and Bleriot.

For immediate relatives, Thomas F. Hamilton had one younger brother named Edgar Charles Hamilton, listed from a biography found in Wikipedia (for what its worth). I did not find any other designs for A.C. Hamilton and did not find a relation to the engineer Alexander Hamilton. I'll keep an eye out for any connections.
 

hesham

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Thank you my dear Dynoman,

and for my dear Skyblaser,a very good two questions,but it needs more
search and digging.
 

Stargazer2006

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Dynoman said:
According to the Ludington Daily News on March 30, 1930, A. C. Hamilton was identified as the designer of a new amphibian, stating that "Announcement was made here last night of a $500,000 concern, the Issoudun Aircraft Co., to manufacture a new type of amphibian plane designed by A. C. Hamilton, Maj. S. G. M. Lanphier, former commandant of Selfridge Field, will be president of the company, and Mr. Hamilton will be vice president."

Detroit Free Press March 29, 1930 also relates A.C. Hamilton as the designer of the Lanphier aircraft and that Hamilton is said to be "one of the oldest designers and fliers in the country" and that Hamilton competed in air races against Graham White, Farman, and Bleriot.

For immediate relatives, Thomas F. Hamilton had one younger brother named Edgar Charles Hamilton, listed from a biography found in Wikipedia (for what its worth). I did not find any other designs for A.C. Hamilton and did not find a relation to the engineer Alexander Hamilton. I'll keep an eye out for any connections.

Thanks a lot Dynoman, for your extensive search. I did indeed find out about Edgar Charles, and since he was also busy in aviation (though moderately compared to his elder brother) I was wondering if the "A. C." might have been a typo for E. C. Hamilton...

However, since you've now clearly found two separate period references to A. C. Hamilton, and a most crucial reference to him being "one of the oldest designers and fliers in the country", I think we can now clearly establish that "A. C." was my second option, the Alexander Hamilton who had worked as a constructing engineer circa 1910 for the Brooks Aeroplane Co. in Saginaw, Michigan, for which he had designed a "Biplane", a "Tractor-Biplane", a "Hydroaeroplane" and a "Monoplane", all supposedly test-flown by legendary aviator Hillery Beachey. The Michigan area location is of course an additional element to back up that conclusion.


My research into the Issoudun H-23 has been tedious and produced little fruit, but I did gather up some interesting facts:
[list type=decimal]
[*]Thomas G. Lanphier, Sr. was a retired U.S. Army Air Corps Colonel and an American aviation pioneer. He received pilot training at Issoudun Aerodrome, France, where he was in command of the American base (which explains the name he later gave to his company). He was a friend and business partner of Colonel Charles Lindbergh, and one of his flying instructors. Before founding the short-lived Issoudun company, he had taken the helm of the Transcontinental Air Transport Co. in 1928 and also created a U. S. airfield that was a copy of the French Issoudun aerodrome, which he considered a model of its kind. He became the president of the Bird Aircraft Corp. in 1931 (interestingly, it seems a Bird aircraft was already displayed by Issoudun at the 1930 Detroit show even before he had formally joined the company).
[*]The H-23 was registered in Detroit but was built in Northville, Mich., in the Cadillac Aircraft Corporation's factory (which was the ex-Stinson factory). Although it would appear that the company's headquarters were officially in Detroit, most publications of the time placed it in Northville because that's where the aircraft was built.
[*]Identifying the exact company name from period articles is a hopeless quest... The firm is called Issoudun Aircraft Corp. by Aero Design (April 1930 issue) and Aeronautics (May 1930), but Automotive Industries and Aviation Week both refered to it in April 1930 as the Issoudun Aircraft Co. (not to mention the fact that Robert F. Pauley calls it the Issoudun Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation in his book Michigan Aircraft Manufacturers, as has already been said)
[*]According to Aero Digest (May 1930), which was covering the 1930 Detroit show (where the Issoudun was exhibited next to the large Fokker transports) the H-23 was powered neither by 90hp nor 125hp engines, but "by two Warner 110-horsepower engines." The item's conclusion gave an interesting clue as to the probable reason for the H-23's vanishing into oblivion: "It is highly experimental and appears to need a reworking." The post-crash market was such that a "reworking" of the type was likely not deemed viable, and Lanphier was already busy with Bird Aircraft by then.
[/list]
 

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Dynoman

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Skyblazer, excellent research!

With the H-23 having been built in the old Stinson, and then Cadillac Aircraft Corporation (CAC) hangar, I'm curious how much of an influence over the H-23 was the CAC's Douplane and MAC-1 designs. It appears that as soon as CAC folded the Issoudun aircraft venture began and the basic configurations of the aircraft are remarkably similar (of course there are many differences between all three designs as not to suggest that any of them are the same aircraft).

The Douplane was engineered by Ralph R. Johnson, Henry Corrlgan, Carlton Wolfe and George Bussiere, who were all graduates of the University of Detroit engineering school. Do you know if any of these gentlemen were affiliated with the Issoudun aircraft company? From outward appearances it looks as though these aircraft would have some connection, however I've not found Hamilton or any other engineer on both the CAC and Issoudun aircraft development groups. Just food for thought.
 

hesham

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A very interested research my dear Skyblazer.
 

Stargazer2006

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Dynoman said:
Skyblazer, excellent research!

hesham said:
A very interested research my dear Skyblazer.

Thanks folks. That's the kind of research I like to do. Can't say I always succeed, but then again the topics I'm usually interested in are often pretty difficult to research, not the kind you'll find on an average aviation bookshelf or even on the main aviation-related sites... I know that if I lived in America I would spend a vast amount of my spare time digging through archives and collections in various museums and would come up with a lot of interesting stuff. I'd even write books I guess. But from my little corner of the planet I can only scratch the surface and hope to inspire other people to dig in some more... ;)
 

burunduk

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Dear Skyblazer, thank you for the research.
I can't find the article about H-23 in the May issues of "Aero Digest". Couldn't you mention the page number?

Thanks in advance.
 
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