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Alberto Santos-Dumont. Portrait of Alberto Santos- Dumont (1873-1932), the Brazilian who piloted the first-ever powered flight in Europe. The son of a wealthy plantation owner, Santos-Dumont studied engineering in Paris, France, but became interest- ed in flight. After piloting balloons he built his first powered airship in 1898. His airship flight exploits, including surviving several crashes, caught the public imagination. He claimed a prize in 1901 for being the first person to fly around the Eiffel Tower. He then built his own aeroplane, the 14 bis. Its first flight, the first in Europe, was on 13 September 1906 and consisted of a series of short hops, the longest being 220m.
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