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Packard LePère “LUSAC 11”
Single-engine two-seat WWI biplane fighter


Archive Photos ¹


Packard LePère “LUSAC 11” (LePèere United States Air Corps) on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio (Photo copyright © 2001 Skytamer Images by John Shupek)

The Le Père Fighter ²


  • Role: Fighter aircraft
  • National origin: United States of America
  • Manufacturer: Engineering Division/Packard
  • Designer: Georges LePère
  • First flight: 15 May 1918
  • Primary user: United States Army Air Service
  • Number built: 30
  • Developed into: Waterman 3-L-400

Captain G. LePère, an aeronautical engineer in the French Air Service, designed the LePère “Fighter” with a Liberty engine for production in the United States. The aircraft was intended for use as a fighter or reconnaissance machine, and carried two fixed guns firing forward, synchronized with the engine, and two Lewis guns attached to a movable Scarff ring surrounding the rear cockpit.

Specifications and Performance ²


General Dimensions

  • Span, upper plane: 39 feet 01/4 inches
  • Span, lower plane: 39 feet 01/4 inches
  • Chord, both planes: 5 feet 6 inches
  • Gap between planes: 5 feet 05/8 inches
  • Stagger: 2 feet 015/16 inches
  • Length over all: 25 feet 45/8 inches
  • Height over all: 9 feet 107/8 inches

Weights

  • Machine empty: 2,468 lbs
  • Pilot and gunner: 360 lbs
  • Fuel and oil: 475 lbs
  • Armament: 352 lbs
  • Total: 3.655 lbs

Performances

  • Maximum speed at sea level: 136 mph
  • Maximum speed at 6000 feet: 132 mph
  • Maximum speed at 10,000 feet: 127 mph
  • Maximum speed at 15,000 feet: 118 mph
  • Maximum speed at 20,000 feet: 102 mph
  • Climb to 6000 feet: 5 minutes 35 seconds
  • Climb to 10,000 feet: 10 minutes 35 seconds
  • Climb to 15,000 feet: 19 minutes 15 seconds
  • Climb to 20,000 feet: 41 minutes 0 seconds
  • Service ceiling, or height beyond which the machine will not climb 100 feet per minute: 20,800 feet

Main Planes

  • Planes are flat in span and have no sweepBack.
  • Top plane is in three sections — a center section over the body and two outer panels.
  • Lower plane in two sections attached at lower sides of the fuselage in the usual manner.
  • Upper and lower planes are similar in shape, and with ailerons 213/4 inches wide by 941/4 inches long attached to both.
  • An interconnecting streamlined rod is used between each pair of ailerons, located between the outer wing struts.
  • Leading edge of outer plane is located 49/16 inches from front of propeller hub.
  • Middle struts located 945/8 inches from center of machine; outer struts 981/2 inches from middle struts; overhang, 41 inches.
  • Interplane strut design is unique, in as much as it eliminates the usual incidence wires.

Fuselage

  • Veneer is used for exterior finish.
  • Overall length of fuselage, 22 feet 01/8 inches.
  • Maximum section at the gunner's cockpit, 321/2 inches wide, 451/2 inches deep.
  • Center of gravity occurs at a point 6 feet 3 inches from nose of fuselage.
  • Axel of landing gear 223/8 inches forward of center of gravity.
  • The landing gear wheels had a 659/16 inch track and are 28 inches in diameter.

Tail Group

  • Overall plan of stabilizer: 983/4 inches.
  • Chord: 351/2 inches. It is fixed at a non-lift angle, and attached to upper fuselage longerons.
  • Tail flaps or elevators, measure 1581/2 inches from tip to tip.
  • Their chord is 313/8 inches, and in addition to this there are small balancing portions extending beyond the tailplane.
  • Rudder is 30 inches wide and has a balancing portion above the fin, 25 inches wide.

Engine Group

  • A Liberty “12” 400-hp engine is used.
  • It develops 400-hp at 1,750 rpm.
  • Bore, 5 inches.
  • Stroke, 7 inches.
  • Weight, without propeller and water, 858 lbs.
  • Two Zenith Duplex carburetors are used.
  • The radiator is located in the upper Plains Center section, and his location has necessitated some slight modifications in the engine to increase the water circulation.
  • Propeller, 9 feet 4 inches in diameter.
  • Front propeller plate projects 113/4 inches forward of fuselage nose.
  • Propeller axis 157/16 inches below top of upper longerons.
  • In flying position the propeller hub is 5 feet 27/8 inches above the ground line.
  • When at rest on the ground the propeller hub is 6 feet 15/8 inches above ground.

References


  1. Shupek, John, Photos & 3-view, “The Skytamer Archive”
  2. Jane, Fred T., “Jane's All The World’s Aircraft 1919”, Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd., London, 1919 (Arco reprint), pp. 473a-475a

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