Alberto Santos-Dumont

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Alberto Santos-Dumont
Birthday
BirthplacePalmira, Minas Gerais, Empire of Brazil
Died
Occupation
Aviator, inventor

Santos-Dumont, Alberto

 

Born July 20, 1873, in Palmyra (now Santos Dumont), state of Minas Gerais, Brazil; died July 24, 1932, in Guarujá, state of São Paulo, Brazil. French balloonist and aviator.

Beginning in 1896, Santos-Dumont worked in France. Between 1898 and 1903 he constructed and tested 12 small airships (up to 1,250 m3), registering speeds up to 25 km/hr. In 1901 he flew around the Eiffel Tower in one of his airships. He later designed and constructed airplanes jointly with L. Blériot and H. Farman. From 1906 to 1909 he built eight airplanes of his own design, of which four were flown. Santos-Dumont’s flight on Oct. 23, 1906, over a distance of 60 m was recognized as the first in Europe.

REFERENCES

Anoshchenko, N. D. “100 let so dnia rozhdeniia A. Santosa-Diumona.” In Iz istorii aviatsii i kosmonavtiki, issue 19. Moscow, 1973.
Gibbs-Smith, C. The Invention of the Aeroplane (1799–1909). London, 1966.
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Although a case can be argued/or claiming that heavier-than-air flight was first achieved in 1906 by Albert Santos-Dumont (see History Today, December 2003), the names of the Wright Brothers are probably" forever enshrined in the cultural history of the twentieth century as the inventors of the first machine to 'fly' under its own power in December 1903.
Documents collated by Moura Visoni seem to confirm that his fellow-countryman Albert Santos-Dumont has the more reliable claim as the world's first heavier-than-air aviator.