Alberto Santos-Dumont

Brazilian aviation pioneer (1873-1932)
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Alberto Santos-Dumont (20 July 1873 - 23 July 1932) was a Brazilian inventor and aviation pioneer, one of the very few people to have contributed significantly to the development of both lighter-than-air and heavier-than-air aircraft.

Alberto Santos-Dumont


  • How often have things been proved to me impossible! Now I am used to it I expect it. But in those days it troubled me. Still I persevered.
  • For the moment I was sure that I was in the presence of death. Well, I will tell it frankly, my sentiment was almost entirely that of waiting and expectation.
    "What is coming next?" I thought. "What am I going to see and know in a few minutes? Whom shall I see after I am dead?"
    The thought that I should be meeting my father in a few minutes thrilled me. Indeed, I think that in such moments there is no room either for regret or terror. The mind is too full of looking forward. One is frightened only so long as one still has a chance."
  • "I don't want to take any merit away from the Wright brothers, for whom I have the greatest admiration; but it is undeniable that, only after us, they presented themselves with an aircraft superior to ours, saying that it was a copy of one they had built before ours".
    "Soon after the Wright brothers, Levavassor appeared with the "Antoinette" airplane, superior to all that existed at the time; Levavassor had been working for 20 years to solve the problem of flight; he could, therefore, say that his device was a copy of one built many years before. But he didn't."
    "What would Edison, Graham Bell or Marconi say if, after they had presented in public the electric light bulb, the telephone and the wireless telegraph, another inventor came forward with a better electric light bulb, telephone or wireless telephone apparatus saying that he had built them before them?"
    "To whom does mankind owe air navigation by the heavier-than-air? To the Wright brothers' experiments, done on the covert (they are themselves saying they did everything possible so that nothing transpired from the results of their experiments) and which were so ignored in the world that we see everyone qualify my 250 meters as a 'memorable minute in the history of aviation,' or is it to Farman, Bleriot and me who did all our demonstrations in front of scientific committees and in full sunlight?"

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