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Alberto Santos Dumont was born in Palmira on July 20, 1873 and died at the age of 59 in the city of Guarujá on July 23, 1932.

Dumont was a Brazilian aeronaut, sportsman, self-taught and inventor.

Santos Dumont designed, built and flew the first airship balloons with a gasoline engine. This merit is guaranteed to him internationally by winning the Deutsch Prize in 1901, when he flew around the Eiffel Tower with his airship No. 6, becoming one of the most famous people in the world during the 20th century. With his victory in the Deutsch Prize, he was also, therefore, the first to complete a pre-established circuit under the official testimony of experts, journalists and members of the public.

Santos Dumont was also the first to take off aboard a plane powered by a gasoline engine. On October 23, 1906, he flew about sixty meters at a height of two to three meters with the Oiseau de Proie (French for "bird of prey"), at the Field of Bagatelle in Paris. Less than a month later, on November 12, in front of a crowd of witnesses, he covered 220 meters at a height of six meters with the Oiseau de Proie III. These flights were the first approved by the Aero Club of France of a device heavier than air, and possibly the first public demonstration of a vehicle taking flight under its own power, without the need for a launch ramp.

The title of responsible for the first flight in an airplane, attributed by Brazilians to Santos Dumont, is disputed with other pioneers, namely the Wright brothers. In France, it is customary to attribute the feat to Clément Ader , who would have made the first flight of a heavier-than-air machine powered by a motor and took off under his own power on October 9, 1890, but had his claims refuted by the Ministry of War of the French Army. Around the world, at least fourteen names are cited as inventors of the airplane. The FAI , however, considers that the Wright brothers were the first to carry out a controlled, powered flight in a heavier-than-air aircraft, through a takeoff and subsequent flight that took place on December 17, 1903 in the Flyer , since the Clément Ader's flights were carried out in military secrecy, and their existence only became known many years later. On the other hand, Dumont's 14-Bis had a self-propelled takeoff, officially recognized by the public and journalists, and was the first aviation sporting activity to be approved by the FAI.


Alberto Santos Dumont

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