|Zane, e-mail, 09.02.2015 20:38|
From what my research has revealed, the Payen Pa.22 /1R "Flechair" (Arrow) was designed by Nicolas Roland Payen in 1935 for the Henri F Melot Steam-Oil Jet, an early form of ramjet, intended to compete in the 1939 air races (cancelled by WWII).
The Steam-Oil Jet was a self-propelled ramjet based on a mixture of oil and water. The oil was ignited in a boiler inside the aircraft to heat the water which was then forced through tubes into a bulb at the front of the engine. The heat from the steam compressed the air coming into the round air scoops. Within the bulb the oil and air mixed to form a small explosion. This set off a series of explosions as each airscoop took in more air. This series built up into a continuous stream with an outlet underneath the aircraft for propulsion. This was the Melot 1R engine.
In the end the Melot 1R engine could not develop enough thrust to lift the aircraft off of the ground so M. Payen then re-engined the aircraft with a Regnier R6 piston engine. This is the version confiscated by the Luftwaffe and later destroyed in an Allied bombing raid.
There was an alledged military fighter version, unverified, which supposedly had a wheel under the nose because the main landing wheels were jettisoned after takeoff. Actually the fourth wheel was to accommodate the weight of the engine in case the nose bounded upon landing, similar to the Heinkel He-176 configuration. Main wheels were fixed on all versions.