Santos-Dumont, Alberto älbĕr´to͝o sän´to͝ozh-dümôN´ [key], 1873–1932, Brazilian aeronaut. The son of a wealthy coffee grower, he was a flamboyant bon vivant and lived in France from 1891 to 1928. A pioneer in the development of aircraft, he was the first person to construct and fly (1898) a gasoline-powered airship , the predecessor of the modern blimp. He built several other lighter-than-air craft, winning in one a prize for a round-trip flight between Saint-Cloud and the Eiffel Tower (1901). At Neuilly, France, he established in 1903 the first airship base. In 1905 he turned to the construction of airplanes, and in the first successful public demonstration of one he flew a biplane some 200 ft (60 m) in Paris in 1906. His other achievements include building a successful small monoplane in 1909.
See his autobiography (tr. 1973) study by P. Hoffman (2003).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Aviation: Biographies
Browse by Subject
- Earth and the Environment +-
- History +-
- Literature and the Arts +-
- Medicine +-
- People +-
- Philosophy and Religion +-
- Places +-
- Australia and Oceania
- Britain, Ireland, France, and the Low Countries
- Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic Nations
- Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Europe
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Oceans, Continents, and Polar Regions
- Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and the Balkans
- United States, Canada, and Greenland
- Plants and Animals +-
- Science and Technology +-
- Social Sciences and the Law +-
- Sports and Everyday Life +-