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October 23, 2006. Today is the centennary of the world's first flight in a machine heavier than air, taking off on its own power. When Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont performed this feat 100 years ago, surrounded by a huge crowd at Bagatelle, in Paris, no-one had ever heard of the Wright Bros (who, incidentally, were catapulted into the air, they did not "take-off"). Robert Gannon has arrived in Brazil in his Cessna 182 and was introduced to a Santos-Dumont look-alike by Margi Moss at a recent airshow. Santos-Dumont popularised flying, not seeking to patent his his designs as did the Wrights, but rather making them freely available to one and all. However, he was so depressed when aircraft were turned into war machines that he committed suicide. He just wanted people to fly. Just like we do...
 


Last update: December 16, 2006
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