by Sergio Garon
Since the ancient Greece times, one of men’s oldest dreams was already to fly. Mentioned as part of the Greek Mythology, Icarus’s flight was the first register in mankind history.
After many centuries, Leonardo da Vinci also tried to make this dream come true.
By the end of the 19th century, a Brazilian inventor, Alberto Santos Dumont started his trial-and-error research on flying. Firstly, after testing many balloons, he invented the balloon dirigible, an airship inaugurated flying around the Eiffel Tower. His biographer, Paul Hoffman wrote that Santos Dumont used to tie his airship near home in Paris and go every evening to have dinner at Maxim’s by airship.
On November 12, 1906, Santos Dumont, 24, publicly exhibited in Paris, at the Château de Bagatelle grounds, his new invention, the “14 Bis”. Three years earlier the American Wright brothers claimed to have invented the first airplane, but it didn’t have wheels and it was released by a catapult. Also, it was not publicly exhibited.
Years later, the Brazilian inventor Santos Dumont committed suicide after learning that his major invention, the airplane, was going to be used for military purposes.
Nowadays, some countries such as the U.S.A. still credit the Wright brothers to be the inventors of the airplane, despite of its limitations and lack of event credibility.