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Showing posts from April, 2019

Santos-Dumont's Earlier Flight

Quick: who invented the airplane?If you’re an American, you no doubt thought of the Wright Brothers.If you’re from New Zealand, you probably thought of Richard Pearse.If you’re from Brazil, you no doubt thought of Alberto Santos-Dumont.All three are widely held to be responsible for the invention of the flying machine.

A few of the best-known pioneers of flight.  Left to right: Orville Wright, Wilbur Wright, Alberto Santos-Dumont, Richard Pearse

National pride might cloud people’s judgement.And since people had been trying to invent the airplane for years, it’s fair to say that whoever deserves credit for finally inventing it owes a lot to those who worked on the problem before.The Wright Brothers’ flight took place on December 17, 1903, and lasted all of 59 seconds.Richard Pearse’s flight beat them by about nine months, taking place on March 31, 1903.Witnesses claim that Pearse flew his plane roughly three meters off the ground and crashed it into a hedge.Pearse had worked on creati…