A. Santos Dumont, Brazilian aviator

A. Santos Dumont, Brazilian aviator

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Alberto Santos Dumont (1873-1932), Brazilian aviator. Santos Dumont's airship won a prize in 1901 by navigating round the Eiffel Tower. He then worked on aeroplane design, and his 14-bis aeroplane made its first public flight in Paris, France, on 23 October 1906. Some consider this to be the first true powered flight. Santos Dumont retired from flying after an accident in 1910, and he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a few months later. He continued to design planes, but the loss of life from crashes, and the use of planes in war, and his continuing illness depressed him. He committed suicide a few years after his return to Brazil. Photograph from the Bain News Service.

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