Thursday, September 3, 2009

Alberto Santos-Dumont

One of the pioneers who made France the centre of the aviation world in the early 20th century, was Alberto Santos-Dumont, who was a Brazilian. He was an aeronaut who built balloons and dirigible airships and thence moved to heavier-than-air aircraft. He designed and built an aircraft he named 14-Bis - French word for 'again' or 'encore' as it was built after his 14th airship.

Photograph of the first flight
Alberto Santos-Dumont flew into the records book on 23rd October, 1906 when he flew his 14-bis plane at Bagatelle, near Paris, for over 200 feet at an altitude of about 10 feet. This was the first officially recognized heavier-than-air flight in Europe and earned him the first of the aviation prizes, 3,000 francs for a 25-meter-or-greater flight.

Alberto Santos-Dumont was born on July 20, 1873 and died on July 23, 1932

On 12th November, 1906 Santos-Dumont flew 700 feet at an altitude of almost 13 feet thus qualifying for the second aviation prize offered for heavier-than-air-aircraft, 1,000 francs for a flight of 100 meters or more.

Brazilian stamp issued in 1929 shows the 14-bis and the date of 12 November 1906.

Set of 4 stamps issued by Brazil on the 50th anniversary of Alberto Santos Dumont's 14-bis

Stamps issued by Uruguay for the 50th Anniversary of Santos-Dumont's 1906 flight

First in the Air, first on the Moon. Brazil marked the Moon Landing in 1969 with this stamp showing Santos-Dumont's aviation achievement vis a vis the
Landing on the Moon

Wallis & Futuna Islands issued this stamp to mark the birth centenary of Santos-Dumont. The stamp shows his airship also the 14-bis.

French stamp issed to mark Santos-Dumont's birth centenary shows the progress of his aviation exploits from Balloons to Airships to dirigibles to heavier-than-air aircraft.

This stamp issued by SanMarino shows the Demoiselle monoplane, the last plane Santos-Dumont designed. He used this as his personal transportation. It could attain speed of over 100 km/hr

Stamps issued by Brazil to commemorate Santos-Dumont birth centenary

14-bis on an old postcard


michaelatcddstamps said...

Rudy, great piece.. I so enjoy your writings..

Best wishes Michael

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