Albert Santos-Dumont


Super Member
Aug 2, 2009
One of my great heroes is Albert Santos-Dumont. His design of the light "Demoiselle" aircraft is as close to Antoine de Saint-Exupery's quote:

Il semble que la perfection soit atteinte
non quand il n'y a plus rien a ajouter,
mais quand il n'y a plus rien a retrancher.

as you could get to at the time, yet two of the coolest moments in aviation history did he create using his dirigibles:
- he was the winner of the Deutsch-de-la-Meurthe prize, being the first to fly around the Eiffel tower from Saint Cloud in a given time (and he gave the prize money to the poor in Paris since he was the heir of a very rich Argentine family (pps: Argentine was a very rich country then))

- he flew one of his lighter than air designs to the Champs Elysees, tied the craft to one of the trees and had a coffee in a nearby Café. Just imagine that slim chap tying his airship to a tree like John Wayne would tie a horse in front of a saloon....;-)

anyway, here is a beautifully nostalgic picture of ASD rounding the Tour Eiffel,


(if you click on the picture to enlarge it you can also save it)

PS: seems a change in forum software got me confused....;-)
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