Alberto Santos-Dumont

March 22, 2018

Born: 20 July 1873

Died: 23 July 1932

Nationality: Brazilian

 

Alberto Santos-Dumont was a Brazilian aviation pioneer. The heir of a wealthy family of coffee producers, Santos Dumont dedicated himself to aeronautical study and experimentation in Paris, France.

Santos-Dumont designed, built, and flew the first practical dirigible, demonstrating that routine, controlled flight was possible. This "conquest of the air", in particular his winning the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize on 19 October 1901 on a flight that rounded the Eiffel Tower, made him one of the most famous people in the world during the early 20th century.

Following his pioneering work in airships, Santos-Dumont constructed a heavier than air aircraft, the 14 bis. On 23 October 1906, he flew this to make the first verified powered heavier than air flight, certified by the Aéro Club de France and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).

In his homeland, Brazil, Santos-Dumont is a national hero, having his name written in Brazilian Hero Panthéon. He is credited in Brazil as the "father of flight". Santos-Dumont occupied the 38th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters from 1931 until his death in 1932.

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