hit counter
british anzani history:
Allessandro Anzani was born in Milan December 5, 1877 (died 23rd July 1956). He was an ambitious bicycle racer/engineer who had travelled to France to make his fortune in the burgeoning cycle racing circuit. With his engineering background he soon became involved with building motor cycles and engines for the very dangerous ‘motor paced’ cycle racing around the banked velodromes of the time. His motors proved reliable and powerful and his growing reputation as an engine designer and builder was made. In 1907 he started a small manufacturing company with just three employees to exploit this reputation. The profit he made and the experience he gained from making these small, light-weight, reliable motors led him to experiment with the other great world wide interest of the time - aviation. The factory moved and the name changed to
A proud Anzani (centre with his hands in his pockets) with his employees at Asnieres. (http://zhumoriste.over-blog.com)
Anzani Moteurs d’Aviation and was situated at 112 Boulevard de Courbevoie, Courbevoie, Paris. His first aero engines were a development of his 'W' or 'fan' configurated 3 cylinder motor cycle engines. They had a 3.75lt capacity and produced barely 24hp. It's reputation for reliability though led to it being chosen by Louis Bleriot for his incredible ‘Traverse de la Manche’ first cross channel flight on October 29th 1909. Anzani, and Bleriots', fortunes were made. (See a short film of the race to cross the channel http://tinyurl.com/qbjbff3) Anzani engine development continued: the three cylinder ‘Bleriot’ 'W' engine developed into the later 'Y' format, he staggered two of his 3 cylinder motors to (reputedly) make the first rotary aero engine. He made 5 and 6 cylinder versions of various capacities and the 1913 10 cylinder twin row rotary proved popular with Cauldron and Clyde Cessna and was tested at Farnborough by the RFC. His engines sold world wide all through the World War I period although increased competition meant he never attained the huge production numbers of Gnome or LeRhône or Rolls Royce in the UK. Factories were set up in Monza (1914) and in London and the Anzani story continues in it's own right. Post war the French Anzani factory diversified into light car engines and motocyclettes until the company was sold when Anzani retired aged 50 in 1927. The British Anzani Engine Company was an agency of the original French operation and the first premises were established on November 20th 1912 in Scrubbs Lane, Willesden, London NW10. The majority shareholder was General Aviation Contractors a
Anzani and Bleriot in conversation before the momentous flight across the Channel. Mrs Bleriot looks on! A rare image of Anzani at the controls of a Bleriot airplane. Waldo Ridley Prentice at the controls of the tail-first ASL Valkyrie monoplane. The plane carried the first ever commercial cargo - a box of light bulbs was flown from Shoreham to Hove in April 1911 next next previous previous