'The Flight of the Swallow', 1910-1912.
2 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 12cm

'The Flight of the Swallow', 1910-1912.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Chromolithograph showing a Demoiselle monoplane piloted by the Brazilian-born aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, approaching the Chateau de Wideville, France, at sunset. Working in France, Santos-Dumont originally involved himself in airship design, solving the problem of steering airships. He later moved on to designing aeroplanes, and his '14 bis', an aeroplane with box-kite wings and tail which flew tail first made the first succesful officially observed aeroplane flight in Europe in November 1906. His most succesful aeroplane was the 'Demoiselle', built in 1909, which became a favourite with sporting pilots. Santos-Dumont became increasingly disillusioned with the use of aviation in warfare, and returned to Brazil, committing suicide in 1932.

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