Jules Védrines aboard his Morane

Jules Védrines aboard his Morane

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Title: Jules Védrines aboard his Morane.

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1915

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: photography

Storage location: Air and Space Museum - Le Bourget website

Contact copyright: © Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, Paris - Le Bourget - Agence Monde et Camerasite web

Picture reference: MC 13795

Jules Védrines aboard his Morane.

© Air and Space Museum, Paris - Le Bourget - Agence Monde and Camera

Publication date: March 2016

Historical context

Jules Védrines is a character that is both unclassifiable and yet very characteristic of the beginnings of aviation. Mobilized in 1914 in the new air force, his talents will enable him to develop new air practices.

Image Analysis

Védrines is on board his plane, a Morane N fighter, a device used in the early days of air warfare to shoot down German observation planes and balloons. The aviator is above all known for having increased special operations behind German lines. On board his baptized plane The cow, he dropped off officers seven times in occupied regions, before resuming them in broad daylight. These perilous missions earned him numerous military decorations and made him a hero of popular novels. Védrines used the system developed by Roland Garros to fire machine guns through the propeller of his plane, like him using a deflector placed on the propeller blades to deflect bullets that might have struck them. The photo shows the aircraft’s firing system very well and allows us to understand the difficulties of using such instruments. After the band fired, Védrines then had to reload his hand machine gun by inserting a new twenty-five round magazine into the weapon, while piloting his plane and attempting to stay in his opponent's wake.


The interest of photography is to present Védrines, a true hero of both times of peace and war, in action with his unique style. Cigarette in the beak as he takes off, he is both focused and sure of himself, like a hunter, a raptor. He poses for the photographer and the mechanic, who awaits his orders and actively participates in the scene. Exceptionally sharp for the time, this photo also shows a few levers and indicators on its instrument panel, as well as the wiring systems that connected the fuselage to the wings. He is without a parachute, like all the aviators of the Great War. Such a shot shows in an exemplary fashion how aviation embodies this very particular dimension of the Belle Epoque, where feat, heroism, speed, technology, sport and modernity come together in a kind of philosophy and ethics of energy.

  • aviation
  • Belle Epoque
  • War of 14-18
  • heroic figure


Pierre VALLAUD, 14-18, World War I, volumes I and II, Paris, Fayard, 2004.Bernard MARK Aviation history Paris, Flammarion, 2001. Michel BENICHOU A century of aviation in France Paris, Larivière, 2000. Jean-Paul PHILIPPE The heyday of fighter pilots Paris, Perrin, 1991.

To cite this article

Philippe GRAS, "Jules Védrines aboard his Morane"

Video: Morane Saulnier N maiden flight


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