There are great advantages to having a ‘cranked wing’, as in a Junkers Ju87 Stuka or Chance Vought F4U Corsair. As a designer you can make sure that the wing root makes as close as possible a 90° angle to the fuselage (the minimum drag position), whilst the outer dihedral portion of the wing generates more lift at low speeds (think easier landings) and gives greater inherent stability. The wing used on Jodel aircraft and many Avions Robin machines is one of the most distinctive of light aircraft wings, and instantly recognizable. The first Jodel, the D9 Bébé, was a minute single-seater with a 26 hp Poinsard engine; it was obviously not big enough for a serious club aircraft. However, official interest from the French Government meant that investment funding for expansion soon took place.
What followed was an explosion of aircraft variants from Édouard Joly and Jean Délémontez (the originators of the Société Avions Jodel company). The D11 series had a wider fuselage and, with more power and an enclosed cockpit, were the first capable club and touring aircraft from Jodel; over 1,100 examples of all sub-types of this two-seat design were built from 1950 onwards. Some Jodels, with their wooden construction, could be fabricated by homebuilders from sets of plans, whilst other variants were manufactured under licence by a number of aircraft companies. This was the case with the D112, a member of the D11 family, which was powered by a four-cylinder 65 hp Continental Motors Corporation A65-8 engine. According to the Manual of Flight, CNRA No. 660 – FPIID, for the Jodell D112, ALL aerobatic manoeuvres, especially spins, are forbidden. It is easy to understand this prohibition when you realise that the airframe is only stressed to +4.4 and -1.75G.
A small series of this model was constructed at Issoire, near Clermont-Ferrand, France by the Société Wassmer, a woodworking concern which was founded in 1905 by Bernard Wassmer and which had decided to break into the aviation field. G-BVEH is one of the Wassmer-built examples (construction number 1294) and is shown here at Cotswold Airport, Kemble, Gloucestershire. It has a small spinner on its EVRA propeller, and a rather smart red/white paint scheme. The pronounced dihedral on the outer wing sections is shown to some advantage in this shot. G-BVEH has been seen at many fly-ins and events around the UK at airfields such Popham, Cranfield, Kemble and Breighton - preferably where there is a grass runway available, as the hard rubber tailwheel does not take kindly to tarmac runways! This aircraft was constructed in 1964; it was formerly on the French Civil Aircraft Register as F-BMOH, and it still carries this registration (in very small lettering) along with its construction number, on the rudder just ahead of the trim tab. G-BVEH has been owned since 1998 by Martin Copland of Haxby, York. Long may he continue to enjoy this delightful French aircraft!