Herb Sieger is a retired Swiss international trader. On taking early retirement back in the late eighties, he and his wife, Sylvia, moved to Tuscany, Italy, where they became 'hobby farmers'.

It was his general interest in vintage aircraft that inspired Herb to try and research the subject in order to produce a chronological history of full-scale powered vintage planes, and modelflight was pleased to host the project.

Initially, it was limitations of webspace which limited the project to the years 1903 - 1913 as far as modelflight is concerned, and for that reason the planes included were classified as 'pioneer' as opposed to 'vintage' which is often used to describe machines right up to the 1940s.

In January 2008, a start was made on a second volume covering the years 1914 - 1922, thus extending the project to the first twenty years of powered flight, but it was not possible to continue the project beyond October 2008 and Volume II was withdrawn.


Herb Sieger's

Powered Plane Project

Here is Herb's chronological and geographical history of successfully-flown powered planes for the period 1903 - 1913, subtitled Pioneer Aircraft 1903 - 1913.

Although the record would now appear to be complete, you are invited to add to the record by sending in details of any planes from the period 1903 - 1913 that are not already shown, provide any missing information and also point out any errors that might occur so that the record can be corrected. The name of anybody supplying information will be added to the list of contributors, unless not desired. Please send contributions by email direct to Herb by clicking this link or the Early Birds logo at the foot of the information panel below.

New entries are requested, along the lines you see below. Basic information sought is year of production, country of origin, designer, builder/manufacturer, span, length, weight, speed, any brief significant note, and picture of the aircraft if possible. Entries will carry a thumbnail image linked to a larger image. Please give credit to any sources of your information and pictures so that they can be acknowledged within the entry. Permission should always be obtained to reproduce material where copyright is claimed and you are asked to confirm that this has been granted. Alternatively, if you can provide Herb with details of any web sites containing information on planes not already included, he will research the sites and sort out the copyright where necessary.

The Early Birds project is published in full on each issue of modelflight, with new and updated entries being flagged when they appear for the first time. It is NOT included on the modelflight archive as (a) it will always appear on the current issue of modelflight and (b) it will take up too much web space on the archive server. It is, however, accessible from the archive by a link back to the current issue.

email Reg



Researched and compiled by Herb Sieger

Early Birds Red Report
Thanks to information received we can add one biplane from Uruguay, adding a new country and bringing

Early Birds to a Total of 1598

during the years:
1903 (2) 1904 (2) 1905 (1) 1906 (5) 1907 (15) 1908 (48) 1909 (173) 1910 (347)
1911 (351) 1912 (343) 1913 (311)

and from 34 countries (and all 5 continents)

Argentina (3) Australia (5) Austria (31) Belgium (10) Brazil (4) Canada (8) Chile (6)
China (2) Croatia (2) Czechia (25) Denmark (4) France (582) Germany (100) Holland (12) Hungary (74) India (1) Ireland (1) Italy (43) Japan (21) Latvia (10) New Zealand (5) Poland (37) Romania (17) Russia (66) Slovakia (2) Slovenia (10) South Africa (2) Spain (16) Sweden (3) Switzerland (13) UK (243) Ukraine (1) Uruguay (1) USA (238)

Will it be possible to discover still more in the future?

Entries within each year appear in alphabetical order of the name by which the plane was known.
Entries appearing for the first time are flagged
Entries revised from that previously published are flagged
Click on the thumbnail images for an enlarged view, where available
Click on the HOT LINK TO INTERNET IMAGE thumbnail to view copyright protected images on their original website, then click your Return button to return to Early Birds.

Early Birds Statistics
Herb is willing to email the the following regularly updated statistical records of Early Birds to interested readers:
INDEX - Alphabetical Index by Plane's Name, showing Country and Years of Production
Countries Index, showing planes alphabetically with Years of Production
Years Index, showing planes alphabetically with Countries
SUMMARY - List of countries with number of planes produced each year and total for 1903-13

To request this information, email Herb by clicking this link.

Additional contributors to Early Birds I: Ken Blais, Phil Burress, Bud Carlson, Ricardo Otranto Chagas, George Elliot, Gabor Fekecs, Mauro Fiorentini, Andor Gibas, Roger B. Goetze, Peter Holloway, Milan Javorsky, Hugh Jobling, Manni Kaiser, Yuri Kuzman, Nico Mallee, Willem Mar, Juan Lobos Martin, Robin Moreton, Jacques Moulin, Roy Nagl, Gustavo Necco, Jon Rogers, Phil Treweek, Johan Visschedijk, Mitch Williamson.

Copyright. Every effort has been made to obtain permission to reproduce photographs for which copyright may exist and any infringement of copyright is unintentional. Anyone claiming legitimate copyright of uncredited photographs is invited to contact Herb (click the Early Birds logo below) when acknowledgment will be made or the picture removed, in accordance with your wishes.
Click the Early Birds logo to email Herb with your contribution to the project.

Herb is also happy to assist in searching for information on any vintage plane you might be interested in and to supply further information on any of the planes appearing on Early Birds - just contact him here!