1910 Hanriot Monoplane
Single-Engine Single-Seat High-Wing Monoplane Taildragger Pioneer Aircraft, France

Archive Photos 1

1910 Hanriot (N8849, s/n 11, replica) on display (c.1999) at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Rhinebeck, New York

1910 Hanriot (N8849, s/n 11, replica) on display (c.2000) at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Rhinebeck, New York

1910 Hanriot (N8849, s/n 11, replica) on display (9/18/2003) at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Rhinebeck, New York

Overview 2

Aeroplanes Hanriot et Cie or simply ’Hanriot’ was a French aircraft manufacturer with roots going back to the beginning of aviation. Founded by Réné Hanriot in 1907, the company survived in different forms until 1916 when it established itself as a major player in the aviation field with the Hanriot-Dupont (HD.) line of fighters and observation aircraft. The company lasted through several takeovers and structural changes until in 1936 it merged with Farman to become the Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Centre (SNCAC). ’Central Air Works’ consortium.

Famous Hanriot airplanes included their lines of pre-war monoplanes with its characteristic boat-like fuselages, The HD line of biplane fighters used by various air forces during World War I and the H.220 series of Twin-engine heavy fighters that eventually evolved in the SNCAC 600 fighter just before World War II.

It’s main bases of operations were Bétheny (a suburb of Reims) Boulogne-Billancourt, Carrières-sur-Seine and Bourges.

History 2

Réné Hanriot, a builder and racer of motor boats and a race car driver for the Darracq motor company, built his first aircraft in 1907. His boating background was clearly visible in his first design: A monoplane powered by a 55 hp E.N.V. inline engine mounted in a slender monocoque boat-like wooden fuselage. The success of this airplane encouraged Hanriot to build two more airplanes along the same design and together with his Darracq racing colleague Louis Wagner start a flying school near Bétheny. The two additional planes were respectively powered by a 20 hp Darracq and a 40 hp Gyp. A fourth airplane was a scale model powered by a Duthiel-Chalmers co2 engine used to test construction details. The ’flying’ of this plane was increasingly performed by Réné Hanriot’s son Marcel.

By 1910 the flying school was in full swing and on top of that Hanriot and his ’stable’ of factory pilots were hitting the air show circuit flying for prize money. Next to building airplanes for his school and show flyers, Hanriot became a manufacturer in his own right as he sold several models of the Gyp powered monoplane to private owners. In 1910 also Hanriot’s son Marcel, barely 15 years of age, got his flying license,(at that time he was the youngest holder of a license worldwide,) and joined his fathers pilots as a prize flyer. From there on, Réné Hanriot withdrew from prize flying himself and concentrated completely on the construction of aircraft.

The year 1911 brought some profound changes to the Hanriot factory. It started when Hanriot’s military two-seater was passed over at the French military trials. In retrospect, the plane with his fuselage so slender that it only had place for the pilot’s and co-pilot’s legs, never had a serious chance against the modern monoplanes and biplanes now being built by Nieport, Morane-Saulnier and Deperdussin. As a consequence, Hanriot gave up his monocoque fuselages and hired Alfred Pagny, Nieport’s former chief engineer. Under Pagny, the factory produced a line of square-fuselaged monoplanes in which the Nieport descendance was clearly visible. Yet the planes failed to grab any orders at the 1912 military trials and further attempts to sell the planes on the British civilian market failed. Faced with bankrupcy, Réné Hanriot sold his assets to Louis Alfred Ponnier, set up Pagny in a design bureau for aircraft called Société de Construction de Machines pour la Navigation Aérienne (CMNA/society for the construction of devices for aerial navigation), and opened a car dealership. In 1913, Marcel Hanriot, now 18, was called into military service. The now Ponnier factory continued for several years to build on the Pagny design and develop it into a line of racing aircraft.

Following the outbreak of World War I, Marcel Hanriot, still in military service, joined a bomber squadron in the French air force. As the German advance slowed down and settled into a trench-war, the CMNA/Ponnier factories in Rheims found themselves behind the German lines, but Réné Hanriot founded a new factory, Aéroplanes Hanriot et Cie, in Levallois. Starting off by building airplane parts and components as a subcontractor, the company progressed to licence-build airplanes from other manufacturers (notably the Sopwith 1½ Strutter and Salmson 2). In 1915, Marcel Hanriot, after being seriously wounded in a night-flying raid, was dismissed from military service and joined his father’s factory. Around the same time, Hanriot hired the young engineer Pierre Dupont and in 1916, the Dupont-designed fighter HD.1 rolled out. Although being passed over by the French air force in favor of the more powerful SPAD design, the HD.1 was adopted by the Belgian and Italian Air Forces and before too long, Hanriot produced a long line of HD- military aircraft. So huge was the demand for the new Hanriots, that a new factory had to be opened in Boulogne-Billancourt (84, rue des Moulineaux). On top of that licenses to build the HD.1 were granted to Macchi in Italy. In 1917, Hanriot produced 5,000 airplanes and employed 2,000 workers in his Boulogne-Billancourt factory alone.

After the war, Hanriot continued as a manufacturer of military fighters and all-purpose aircraft, building on the HD.1 and HD.2 series but slowly incorporating new designs of biplanes and monoplanes. In 1924, having outgrown his workplaces in Boulogne-Billancourt, the company moved to Carrières-sur-Seine.

Réné Hanriot died quite suddenly on 7 November 1925. His heirs, Marcel and his two brothers-in-law, decided to entrust the daily operations of the factories to Outhenin Chalandre, formerly director of a paper mill. In 1930 the Hanriot company became part of the Lorraine-Dietrich company under the name Lorraine-Hanriot. The merger lasted three years, until in 1933 the two companies separated and Marcel Hanriot stepped once again forward to lead his family business. Under his management, the company embarked on an ambitious project to design and build state-of-the-art metal military aircraft like the H.220 heavy fighter. However its main successes would lie in the liaison/training monoplane H.180/H.182 and the two-engined H.232/H.232 trainer.

In 1936 the company was included in Pierre Cot’s nationalization program, merging with Farman to become the Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Centre in 1937. Unlike Maurice Farman, who left the new company in protest, Marcel Hanriot stayed on as one of the directors.

Nomenclature 2

The pre-war aircraft designed by Réné Hanriot went by Roman Numerals, the 1907 monoplane being the ’Type I’. Commonly however the planes were known by a description usually featuring the year of built and some characteristic such as ’monoplane’, one- or two-seater, engine and horsepower. Thus Hanriot’s first airplane was the ’1907 monoplane’, the type IV was the ’1911 military two-seater’ and the Hanriot VIII was known as the ’Hanriot 100 ch’ (100 Hp Hanriot). The monoplane two-seater designed by Pagny is mostly referred to as the Hanriot 1912 monoplane or the Hanriot-Pagny 1912 monoplane.

The World War I and later biplanes designed by Pierre Dupont received the shorthand code HD. followed by a consecutive arabic number (HD.1, HD.8, HD.32 ...) During the short stint as Lorraine-Hanriot, the designation HD. was kept for aircraft already in production but the prefix was changed into LH. for new designs. Around this time, Hanriot also adopted the habit by other French factories to add a number for the subtype directly behind the two-digit type number. Thus the HD.32-series 0 became the HD.320, the next improvement, series 1 became the HD.321 and so on...

After the merger with Lorraine was dissolved, Hanriot aircraft adopted the single letter H., again followed by a design number. It also kept the now universal French habit of adding the subseries number directly behind the design number. (Hanriot H.180/H.182)

Aircraft 2

Specifications (1910 Hanriot Monoplane) 3


  1. Shupek, John. Photos, copyright © 2001 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
  2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Hanriot (aircraft company)
  3. Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (website), Hanriot

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