J.Zynk Polish Aircraft 1893-1939 (Putnam)
Chlebowski Brothers' Triplane
The brothers Wladyslaw, Henryk and Stefan Chlebowski were counted among the best-known and most active aviation enthusiasts and proponents working in Lodz. In the years 1909-10 they evolved a study for a triplane and in 1910 constructed a detailed quarter-scale flying model of the proposed aircraft.
The model, a structure of bamboo covered with fabric, was powered by an unspecified French-made two-cylinder vee engine driving a tractor airscrew. The output of this engine was given in the contemporary Polish press as 10 hp, but this could hardly be correct and perhaps the figure of 2 hp would be more realistic. On 30 August, 1910, the model made a successful free flight. The machine, which was equipped with a special device of the Chlebowskis' design to maintain lateral stability, climbed to some 10 m (33 ft) and stayed in the air for three minutes, making large circles. Encouraged by this success, the brothers intended to begin immediately the construction of the full-size aircraft, but financial difficulties put an end to this plan. In any case a study of photographs of the model reveals certain deficiencies in the design and lack of expertise on the part of the designers (e.g. incorrect positioning of the struts supporting the uppermost wing) and it seems rather doubtful that their full-size triplane would have been structurally sound.
Some Polish historians have confused the Chlebowski brothers' triplane model with the Montgolfier monoplane, which the brothers bought on an instalment basis towards the end of 1910 or early in 1911. This monoplane, a development of Santos-Dumont's Demoiselle, was constructed in France early in 1910 by an Austrian, Lieut Heinrich Bier, who named it the Montgolfier and took it with him to Wiener-Neustadt. The Montgolfier monoplane was shown by the Chlebowski brothers together with their triplane model at the Aviation Exhibition in Helenow Hall in Lodz, which was open for two weeks in the second half of March 1911, As the brothers were unable to keep up the payments, the Montgolfier monoplane was sequestrated by a court order in August 1911.
The general configuration of the Chlebowski brothers' proposed triplane is apparent from the photograph of the model. No details about the project are available.