SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Roland Garros (1888-1918), French aviator, standing in an aircraft. Garros began flying in 1909, and in 1913 he achieved fame when he made the first non-stop flight across the Mediterranean Sea from France to Tunisia. During World War I, he fought as a fighter pilot and shot down three aircraft. He pioneered the use of a machine gun mounted on an airplane, and used metal wedges to protect his propeller from his own bullets. He was shot down and captured in April 1915, and the Dutch aircraft engineer Anthony Fokker improved Garros's design, giving German planes a massive advantage over French and English planes. Garros escaped from captivity, but was shot down and killed in October 1918, near the end of the war.
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