Alberto Santos-Dumont, Brazilian aviator, 1905.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Illustrated colour plate by Serge Goursat ('Sem') taken from 'Je Sais Tout' published in Paris, 15 August 1905. Santos-Dumont (1873-1932) was a pioneer aviator who experimented with most modes of flying. He made his first flight in the balloon 'Brasil' in 1898, and later that year his second balloon, 'America', remained in the air for 22 hours, winning him the aero Club of Paris award. He solved the problem of steering airships when he circumnavigated the Eiffel Tower in his 'Santos-Dumont no. 6' dirigible in 1901, for which he was awarded the Deutsch Prize. In 1909 he succeeded in building a light monoplane, a forerunner of modern light aircraft.