Makhonine 10 and 101 retractable-winged aircraft - an innovative French aeronautical design
Continuing with our series of posts on innovative French aeronautical designs. Yvan Makhonine, a Russian expatriate conceived the idea of the telescopic wing. The wing outer panel 'telescoped' into the inner panel to reduce span and wing area for high speed flight and was extended for economic cruise and landing. His first design was the MAK-10 first flown 11 August 1931 (video screen grabs below) which proved the concept but was severely underpowered. The sliding wing was pneumatically powered and a standby manual system was provided. French Government support carried the test programme a further stage culminating in the MAK-101 of 1935.
above; rare picture found on Ebay of the French experimental Makhonine 101 in German markings. Testing continued under German occupation with plans apparently being made to transfer the aircraft to Rechlin. The aircraft subsequently had its landing gear deliberately wiped off in a crash-landing by its French pilot to prevent this. The factory technical plans had already been burnt before the Germans arrived...
This machine achieving 233mph with the outer wing panel retracted. The concept attracted another Frenchman, Charles Gourdou, who designed in 1937 what could have been the world's first variable-geometry single-seat fighter, the Gourdou G-11 C1. (via wwiiaircraft.com)