Alberto Santos Dumont Facts

Alberto Santos Dumont Facts
Alberto Santos Dumont (July 20, 1873 to July 23,1932) was a Brazilian aviation engineer who designed the first flight-worthy dirigible. As the son of an engineer who owned a coffee plantation, he saw many inventions make life and work easier, and strove to do the same.
Interesting Alberto Santos Dumont Facts:
Santos-Dumont was very familiar with steam-driven machinery as it was used on his family's plantation, and had a special interest in the works of Jules Verne.
These inventions made the work of the plantation so automated that it resulted in wealth and prestige for his family.
Santos-Dumont was educated at home with private tutors until he was old enough to attend high school in a farther city.
After some time, his father was badly injured while working on the plantation; he sold the plantation and moved his family to Paris where Santos-Dumont finished his education.
During this time, Santos-Dumont began experimenting with various means of flight, beginning with the balloon in 1897.
While construction was being completed on a balloon according to Santos-Dumont's own design, he began experimenting with steerable balloons, or dirigibles, that would let the pilot control the direction rather than just be carried along with winds.
Santos-Dumont's study of lighter-than-air aircraft included several different types of dirigibles, some of which had different length shapes in order to make them hold their inflated shape and steer better.
While he still worked with dirigibles, Santos-Dumont won a number of prestigious competitions but also fell victim to sabotage in several competitions as well
He turned his attention to heavier-than-air airships, as rudimentary airplanes were first called.
Santos-Dumont is credited with the first flight, even before the Wright Brothers, as their aircraft required a catapult of sorts to launch it and Santos-Dumont's design took off without any external assistance.
A Santos-Dumont plane is also credited with carrying the first female pilot, Aida de Acosta, when she flew one of his planes in 1903.
Santos-Dumont's constructions included several fixed wing airplanes and even a helicopter.
One of his most famous planes was the fixed wing 14-bis, which he flew under its own takeoff power before the Wright Brothers developed such a wheeled system.
In popular culture, Santos-Dumont had already contributed to fashion as Parisians began to imitate his style of dress, but due to the needs of piloting, he also popularized the wrist watch; it had only been worn as jewelry by women until he made it popular.
Santos-Dumont piloted his final flight in 1910, but it ended in an unexplained crash; several months later he began suffering from vertigo and other neurological issues.
He died in 1932, having only been a passenger on flights after his final crash.

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