Benoist-Korn "Type XII"
Benoist-Korn Type XII c.2004 at the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia (Photo by Jim Hough)
The Benoist Aircraft Company was an early manufacturer of aircraft in the United States. It was formed in 1912 in St Louis, Missouri by Tom Benoist. Over the next five years, it would manufacture some 106 aircraft, including Benoist XIV's that would be used for the first heavier-than-air airline service. The company dissolved with Tom Benoist's accidental death in 1917.
In the spring of 1912 Thomas Benoist announced the completion of his firm's newest aircraft, the Type XII. It was a two-place tractor biplane, powered by a Roberts six-cylinder, 75-horsepower engine. It was one of the first closed-fuselage tractor airplanes to appear in the United States. Perhaps five Type XII aircraft were produced by the Benoist factory during the next year.
The Benoist Type XII on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum was constructed in the Benoist shop in St. Louis by its purchasers, Edward and Milton Korn. The Korn brothers began work on their airplane in March 1912 and completed it on on May 20, 1912. The aircraft was flown soon thereafter at Anna, Illinois. The Korn brothers use their Benoist Type XII during numerous exhibitions the following year. Unlike most other aircraft of that era, the Benoist Type XII was an original design, not a close of copy of Wright, Curtiss, or European machines.