Victor Tatin of France was a superb mechanician and an active aerial experimenter who made a series of important test model flying machines in the 1870's. About 1875 he began his series of experimental models building ornthopters ("Oiseau Mechanique" - "artificial birds"), the flapping wings of which were powered by rubber bands. Arguably his most important flying machine of that period was the Tatin Monoplane of 1879. This large machine (with a wing span of some 6 ft. 3 in.) made public circular flights tethered to a pole on the grounds of the French Army compound at Chalais-Meudon. The Tatin 1879 Monoplane, powered by compressed air, would take off under its own power, rise into the air, fly perhaps 50 feet through the air and then land, often causing damage to the fragile wheeled landing gear. The steam-powered model monoplane of 1890 featured design elements which later appeared in the beautiful Antoinette Monoplane of the Pre-War period.