Alberto Santos-Dumont

Inventor

1873 – 1932

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Who was Alberto Santos-Dumont?

Alberto Santos-Dumont was a Franco-Brazilian aviation pioneer. The heir of a wealthy family of coffee producers, Santos Dumont dedicated himself to aeronautical study and experimentation in Paris, France, where he spent most of his adult life.

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 heavier-than-air flight to be certified by the Aéro Club de France and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.

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 aviation.

Santos-Dumont occupied the 38th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters from 1931 until his death in 1932.

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Born
Jul 20, 1873
Santos Dumont
Nationality
  • Brazil
Profession
Education
  • Colégio Culto à Ciência
Lived in
  • Minas Gerais
Died
Jul 23, 1932
Guarujá

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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