From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
||Félix du Temple
The du Temple Monoplane was a large aeroplane made of aluminium, built in Brest, France, by naval officer Félix du Temple in 1874.
The plane had a wingspan of 13 m (43 ft) and a
weight of only 80 kg/180 lb (without the pilot).
Several trials were made with the plane, and it is generally
recognized that it achieved lift-off under its own power after a
ski-jump run, glided for a short time and returned safely to the
ground, making it the first successful powered flight in history,
although the flight was only a short distance and a short time.
The plane was displayed at the 1878 World Fair (Exposition Universelle
(1878)) in Paris.
The plane used a very compact, high-speed circulation steam engine for
which Félix du Temple applied for a patent on 28 April 1876. The
engine used very small pipes packed together "to obtain the highest
possible contact surface for the smallest possible volume" 
- "When he began with the aid of his brother, M. Louis du Temple,
to experiment on a large scale, the inadequacy of all motors then
known became apparent. They first tried steam at very high
pressures, then a hot-air engine, and finally built and patented,
in 1876 a very light steam boiler weighing from 39 to 44 lb.
to the horse power, which appears to have been the prototype of
some of the light boilers which have since been constructed. It
consisted in a series of very thin tubes less than 1/8 in. in
internal diameter, through which water circulated very rapidly, and
was flashed into steam by the surrounding flame." Octave Chanute,
Aeroplanes : Part III, August 1892
This type of boiler, which boils the water instantly, has come
to be known as a flash
boiler. The engine design was later adopted by the French Navy for the
propulsion of the first French torpedo boats:
- "Officers and engineers have now made up their opinion
regarding Du Temple's steam engine. Everybody proclaims the
superiority of its qualities… orders are pouring in from our
commercial harbours and from the French government." Revue Maritime
1888 ("L’opinion est faite aujourd’hui sur la chaudière Du Temple
parmi les officiers et les ingénieurs. Tout le monde proclame ses
qualités supérieures… les commandes affluent de nos ports de
commerce et de la part du gouvernement français".) 
The patent describes "une demande pour une chaudière à vapeur à
circulation rapide donnant la plus grande surface de chauffe
possible sous le plus petit volume et le moindre poids."