When crippled Michel Wibault’s home city of Lille was occupied 1914 he was permitted to stay, and passed time by building a wind tunnel and testing models. In 1917 he managed to cross front lines into French-held territory. Produced Wib.1 C1 fighter, 220-hp HS8b (8 November 1918), outstanding, but war over. Formed Société des Avions Michel Wibault at Billancourt (Paris) late 1919, produced succession of prototypes, at first all fighters, bombers or recon, all parasol monoplanes with totally Duralumin construction. A few were produced in series, notably Wib.72 (60 for Armée de l’Air 1928, plus 26 for Chile made by Vickers, and 25 built by PZL), and 18 Wib.74 and 18 Wib.75 for Aéronavale. Penhoët (Chantiers St Nazaire) shipyard funded Wibault-Penhoët 280 low-wing transport (November 1930). In 1931 merged company registered as Chantiers Aéronautiques Wibault-Penhoët, producing derived Wib.281, 282 and 283 for Air Union and Air France. Small numbers made of Wib.360-367 as transports and racing aircraft, but 1934 Wibault-Penhoët taken over by Breguet, who built several Wibault projected designs. In 1956 Wibault was living retired in Paris as protégé of Winthrop Rockefeller, who funded small project studies. One, Le Gyroptère, was for 4 fans driven by a turboshaft engine to give vectored thrust for VTOL. Via Mutual Defense Aid Program it reached Bristol where, completely recast as neat single engine, it resulted in Pegasus and Harrier.

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