sábado, 23 de junho de 2018

Santos=Dumont and his Aerial Dinner Parties

Santos=Dumont sitting at his high tables with guests
In Paris, where Santos=Dumont lived in the early 1910s, he had manufactured seven-feet-tall tables, accompanied by small stairs, so that the guests could climb on the raised chairs, and the waiters were able to serve them. He placed these tables and chairs in the oval room of his apartment on the Champs Élysées and promoted some meals for very special guests.

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Unfortunately, we do not have many references to how, when, and why Santos=Dumont promoted these "Dinners in the Heights", the few that come to us end up being distorted, incomplete, biased and pejorative.

But I have no doubt that they must have been very extravagant, sophisticated and therefore unforgettable events.


Santos=Dumont's appreciation of experiencing unique meals, and living a life-style worthy of what he use to read in the adventures of Jules Verne, came to be known later when he frequently stopped his dirigible#9 in the restaurant 'La Grande Cascade' , or in front of his elegant apartment in Paris, just to have a coffee with friends, and return to his flights.

But it was with the Aereial Dinner Parties (eventually called "L'incroyable diner dans le ciel" or "diner aérien" by the Parisians) that Santos=Dumont won the heart of the elegant dandies of his time.

Among the best articles that I’ve found about these and other dinners parties promoted by him, I begin by quoting Jorge Henrique Dodsworth, Santos=Dumont’s nephew: "Head in the heights, dinner in the heights. He had dinner tables and special chairs arranged in order to give to the aristocratic guests the feeling of being in the air. "

Yolanda Penteado describes her "Tio Alberto, ("Uncle Alberto, in Portuguese" as she affectionately called him) and little bit about who these guests might be: "Santos-Dumont was extremely elegant and refined. Impeccable, he was a fashion influencer of his time: Santos-Dumont collar, Santos-Dumont hats, ... eccentric and vain. Because he was small in size, he wore elevated boots. Or as they will be called later, platform shoes (...) in the early years of the twentieth century, Santos-Dumont was, indeed, the number one figure of Paris. He was, sort to speak, star in time when fabulous people like, Marcel Proust, Guy de Moupassant, Toulouse-Lautrec, glowed on boulevards, cafes and halls. (...) The famous caricaturist SEM registered him in a cafe next to Lautrec ".


Yolanda also talks about other eccentricities and sophistications of Dumont in relation to the meals he was serving, "Once [Santos-Dumont] invited us to go to Petrópolis ... we were invited to lunch, and it was, not to my astonishment, when we saw the table lined with folded violets of Parma, very pretty Royal Dalton pottery, in red. A huge black guy brought a tray with a huge turkey. The black guy was so big that almost did not fit into the room (A Encantada - the Enchanted in Portuguese, was house of Santos=Dumont in Petrópolis, with very small dimensions) it was really a scene, when he tried to cut the turkey. Mr Alberto served only champagne. There was also a violet inside the champagne glasses.

As for the aviator's life in Paris, and the privacy of him in his apartment, we have the reference of the New York Mail and Express reporter, who had once been sent to Paris to describe his personality. It is important to note that this descriptions may be somewhat biased, since Santos=Dumont was a close friend of James Gordon Bennett, a celebrity and millionaire living in Paris, owner of the competing newspaper, The New York Herald.

Paul Hoffman in his book, Wings of Madness, painstakingly describes the decoration of Santos=Dumont's apartment, described by a reporter: “in a profusion of pastel, blue and white, pink, golden, silk-lined walls, large bowls. He also says that it was Dumont himself who knit, he was very knowledgeable in the art of tapestry, and he had embroidered his own towels and napkins”.

It is also possible that Dumont made his own tablecloth, since the embroiderers of the Dumont family in northwestern Minas Gerais (Estate located in southeast region of Brazil) have tradition in this sort of art, making Irish lace towels, lace sheets, cross stitch pillowcases, using centuries old techniques, among many others in Brazil.

The knitting, crocheting and embroidering are part of the feminine tradition in Brazil, nevertheless it is known that the mathematics skills and the art behind such task, was learned in family, very often by men who, of course, did not publish that sort of feat, to avoid prejudice among male community, and it is currently practiced by many men and women now days in order to develop mental abilities, control stress and obviously, for its beauty.


In the book "La Demoiselle et la Mort", Michel Bénichou describes the inventor, and his life in his apartment, practicing this art: "In the white room, where the setting sun shines in golden reflexions, Alberto Santos-Dumont turns his back on the window. Standing in a golden armchair in front of a pink curtain under an embroidered veil, he faces his world, a bundle of trinkets over some collection of little ‘guéridon’ tables, he is gazing into nothingness. From his little hieratic body, only the hands are shaken in a regular fashion. He is knitting. The ticking of their needles competes with the faint ticking of a clock. When the time comes, he looks at it, counts the meshes with the tip of his thumb, folds and arranges them, rises and walks with sudden vivacity up to the room"*.

I also know that many readers of our culture tend to have such ‘macho impulses’ with regard to his abilities with needles, and with respect to his sexuality, which is caused by pure ignorance, but in France this ability is well known and respected. In this sense, I strive to address such subject, in a spirit of journalistic investigation and free of prejudice.

Being invited to such an event, having a meal at the home of one of the greatest personalities of the early twentieth century, promoted by the genius of the air, the Brazilian father of aviation, and still experience his unique gastronomic experiences on the heights, in such luxurious and exotic atmosphere, happened more than a hundred years ago, and nothing to this day could match it - if you, who are reading this blog wants to invest in such format of restaurants, you should count on me to be your business partner :).

* original article in French - « Dans le salon blanc, où le soleil couchant fait étinceler les dorures, Alberto Santos-Dumont tourne le dos à la fenêtre. Immobile, assis bien droit sur une fine chaise dorée, devant un voile de guipure drapé et son rideau de soi rose, il fait face à son monde, théorie de bibelots sur collection de guéridons, les yeux fixés sur le néant. De son petit corps hiératique, seules les mains sont agitées de saccades régulières. Il tricote. Ses aiguilles opposent un tic-tic affaire au langoureux tic-tic d’une pendule. Quand sonne l’heure, il abaisse le regard vers elles, compte les mailles du bout du pouce, replie l ouvrage, le range, se lève et marche avec une vivacité soudaine vers la chambre ».

sábado, 16 de junho de 2018

Gago Coutinho & Sacadura Cabral

Portuguese Pioneers of Aviation Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral
The town of Sagres, located on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, Cape St. Vincent; it’s the southwesternmost tip of Portugal and the whole European continent. It’s an incredibly special place, with 250-foot cliffs that plunge down into the sea, and for a long time people believed it was the end of the world.

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A Portuguese prince, Henry the Navigator (Infante Dom Henrique in Portuguese), had a school there; you can still visit the ruins. He had the latest nautical charts, celestial maps and navigation equipment. It’s where explorers would meet and share knowledge and information before setting sail across the ocean.

Being there made me think about Columbus, Magellan and Vasco da Gama, brave men who took great leaps into the unknown to discover new worlds. Sagres was the Johnson Space Centre of its day.

As all real discovery begins with romantic daydreams, the Portuguese were the first to put their dreams into practice - legend has it that Portuguese aviation history may start to be told with the "deeds of João Torto",

João Torto jumps from the tower of the cathedral in São Mateus square
Using two pairs of calico cloth-covered wings attached to his arms and an eagle-shaped helmet, Torto jumped from the cathedral tower in St. Mateus square on June 20, 1540 at 5 p.m. in front of a large crowd, and fell a short distance to a nearby chapel.

Unfortunately, when he landed, his helmet slipped over his face and obscured his view. He fell to the ground, fatally wounding himself.

Torto a true Renaissance man, was a person of many trades: He was a nurse, a barber, a certified bleeder and healer, an astrologer and a teacher. - he certainly inspired the next aviation pioneers to come.

Another great pioneer of aeronautics was a Jesuit monk, Bartolomeu de Gusmão, who interrupted his studies at Coimbra University to develop his flying machines. On 5th and 8th August, 1709, the monk demonstrated the principle of lighter-than-air balloon to the King John V of Portugal and his court, and also to the Papal Representative Conti, later to become Pope Inocencius XIII.

Bartolomeu de Gusmão and his Passarola

Gusmão demonstrated indoors and outdoors his “hot air balloon” that in one case reached a height of 4.5 meters, carrying the “Passarola” an oneiric bird-like flying ship.

It is impossible for me not to mention in this blog Santos=Dumont, and his Portuguese maternal side of the family, that he valued so much, using both his Portuguese name "Santos" and also his French "Dumont" separated by a symbol of equal, depicted in his famous signature "Santos=Dumont", in which he equalized the importance of his two ancestries. But Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral were undoubtedly the most important Portuguese aeronauts to this day.

At this meeting, Dumont provided the pair of avid navigators with important navigation information regarding the use of chronometer and other crucial navigation references that made the difference in air safety for the crossing.

On march 30, in 1922, the pair of Portuguese aviators, Sacadura Cabral and Gago Coutinho, set off at the Bom Sucesso Naval Air Station in the Tagus, near the Belém Tower in Lisbon, at 16:30 on March 30, 1922, in the Portuguese Naval Aviation aircraft Lusitânia, It was the first flight across the southern Atlantic.

O Lusitânia near the Tower of Belêm

On April 17 they flew to Praia on Santiago Island, and then to the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, already in Brazilian waters, where they arrived on the same day, after flying 1,700 kilometres (1,100 mi) over the South Atlantic. They had reached that point by relying solely on the Pattern Bubble Sextant with its artificial horizon and the route corrector, both invented by Coutinho exclusively to this travel.

However, when ditching on the rough seas near the archipelago, the Lusitânia lost one of its floats and sank. The two aviators were saved by the cruiser NRP República, which had been sent by the Portuguese Navy to support the aerial crossing. The aviators were then carried to the Brazilian Fernando de Noronha islands.

Immediately after that incident, the Portuguese government sent another Fairey III seaplane to complete the journey. The new plane, baptized Pátria (homeland in Portuguese), arrived at Fernando Noronha on May 6. After being refitted, the Pátria departed on May 11 with Coutinho and Cabral on board, departed towards the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago to resume the journey at the point where had been interrupted, but an engine problem forced them to once again make an emergency ditching in the middle of the ocean, where they drifted for nine hours until being saved by the nearby British cargo ship Paris City, which carried them back to Fernando Noronha.

Fairey III arrival in Santa Cruz Island

A third Fairey III – baptized Santa Cruz by the wife of Epitácio Pessoa, the President of Brazil – was sent out, carried by the cruiser NRP Carvalho Araújo. On June 5, the Santa Cruz was put in the waters of Fernando Noronha and Coutinho and Cabral resumed their journey, flying to Recife, then to Salvador da Bahia.

They’ve finally finished the 5,100-mile voyage at Rio de Janeiro on June 17, after a total of 62 hours flying, (important to say that British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown, made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919, and arrived in St. John's, Newfoundland, in Candada).

 Coutinho-Pattern Bubble Sextant

Normally used to measure the angle between two objects at a distance, the sextant was the basic tool used by marine navigators, but it was not possible to use it when on board an aircraft, considering the water line and sea level as fundamental points of reference.

It was then that Gago Coutinho invented the Artificial Horizon Sextant or the Coutinho-Pattern Bubble Sextant and the Path Corrector.

Coutinho-Pattern Bubble Sextant 

The Sextant used an ampoule containing an air bubble as a substitute for the water line, following the tradition of experienced Portuguese navigators, the idea to conceive this special sextant was elegant and simple – let’s suppose that a navigator is approaching to the coast of Lisbon, and at a certain distance, he wants to measure the angle between the top of the tower of Belem in comparison with the line of the horizon (water line), win order to stipulate the angle and trigonometrically obtain the distance to the tower:

1 - At first it starts from scratch on the movable arm and the micrometric barrel, then looking through the telescope, it fits the water line in the small mirror;

How does the Coutinho's Sextant work?

2 - Once well framed, the navigator tightens the clip and loosens the movable arm, turning the micrometric drum until the top of the tower aligns with the water line - at this point he reads the scale of graduate arc.
Artificial Horizon Sextant, invented by Gago Coutinho

In the case of the Coutinho-Pattern Bubble Sextant, invented by Gago Coutinho, an artificial horizon (9) was added, a device with an air bubble inside a water vial, which was reflected by an auxiliary mirror, thus replacing the window of the water level. This device made it possible to define a horizontal plane without the need for the visible sea horizon for those naturally positioned at sea level.

In collaboration with Sacadura Cabral, he designed and built another instrument which they called the “Plaqué de abatimento” or “route corrector”, which made it possible to graphically calculate the angle between the longitudinal angle of the aircraft and the route to be followed, taking the intensity and direction of the wind into account.

In order to verify the effectiveness of their methods and instruments, Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral made several aerial voyages, one of which was the journey between Lisbon and Funchal in 1921, in approximately seven and a half hours. On this journey, Gago Coutinho performed 15 calculations of straight altitude lines and several observations of the strength and direction of the wind. According to his annotations, the navigation processes used “were sufficient to determine with precision any point away from the earth, as small as it might be, a resource which became essential in a projected aerial journey from Lisbon to Brazil”.

Seaplane Fairey F III-D nº 17 "Santa Cruz" (Museum of the Navy of Lisbon)

The Coutinho and Cabral's saga, the South Atlantic aerial crossing, and the invention of such innovative instruments as well, inspired numerous subsequent transatlantic pilots, such as the American Charles Lindbergh, the Brazilian João Ribeiro de Barros and the Portuguese Sarmento de Beires, all of whom crossed the Atlantic in 1927.
Letter from Gago Coutinho to Santos = Dumont
Letter from Gago Coutinho to Santos=Dumont

In an incredible document, kept in the museum of Cabangu there is a beautiful posthumous letter from Gago Coutinho addressed to Santos=Dumont, expressing admiration for the idol, describing the joy when reading about the great man's adventures in the articles of "Vie au grand-air", and affectionately referring to and Santos=Dumont as the father of aviation. Find below the full text.

"Personally, I admired Santos=Dumont before I met him in person. His aerial adventures were reported to me by the French weekly "Vie au grand-air”, when I was working in the African backlands as a geographer, half a century ago.

I noticed that he had begun his studies at first, through the spherical balloon. Then he went to the airship, only military, with electric motor. When he made the turn around the Eiffel Tower; from there he passed to the "fire engine" dirigible, which represented the danger of a "fire at the foot of the tow" event, as it was to be seen later.

And so he was taken to the airplane, already without hydrogen, almost as his vision of the "flying machine" of the future. Finally – after 52 years - Santos, had obtained material result, proving that "Man can fly", and much better than the rivals, the birds. It seems that some people were surprised that he had not made his demonstrations in his homeland, Brazil, as I many times heard 36 years ago, in Rio, causing him dislike ad indifference. But still there were not the resources for his experiences there with light engines, gasoline, in addition to qualified personnel for the construction of balloons, etc.

But there was still a lack of interest worldwide, as proved by his definitive experience in 1906 in St. Cloud. Here (in Europe) his experiences provoked a public interest in the presence of those interested in the problem, such as Blérriot and others, who saw materially the future that S. Dumont had publicly revealed. And so, his experience soon provoked other Air pilots, who after a few months already knew how to fly, with resources derived from those revealed by the "Father of Aviation", our S. Dumont. So, if others had flown better than their two heliometers - flight that I would like to see repeated every year by this time the concrete fact is that it was their experiences of 1906 the capital step that brought about such a development, as that of Company "Panair do Brasil" demonstrates with its giant airplanes, that ships 70 passengers, every week!

That's not all. In 1922, S. Dumont offered me, as his fellow experimenter, those two instruments, with which he sought to demonstrate practically the power of Airplane guidance in the Air - similar to that which - centuries later - the "Portuguese Pilots" revealed to the World, at sea. His Chronometer here, and his sextant, which also served to his studies of navigation, I have already offered to the Museum of São Paulo, studies which preceded ours.

Arrangement of the letter originally written in three pages
And so to speak, in reply, came the occasion when I gave him spiritual pleasure: On the afternoon of June 4, 1931, S. Dumont sailed aboard the ‘paquete’ Lutetia, thus taking him, on his last voyage to Brazil, the Air Pioneer, Santos Dumont; through the ‘paquete’, the giant Airplane D.O.X., flying a hundred meters across the sea, only six meters from the water level. We were racing safely at a hundred knots, and giving him the satisfaction of palpably checking the reach of his initial creation - flying with that machine a hundred times heavier than his "Demoiselle" of Paris. We were flying confident with those instruments, as those he had used, the chronometer and the sextant. This aerial event showed that he had foreseen everything, better than others would have done, without witnesses.

That's what I noticed, only 25 years after his public flight, definitive. "

Lisbon, 1958 - Oct. 17 Gago Coutinho

sexta-feira, 4 de novembro de 2016

The balloons ‘Brasil’ and ‘L'Amerique’

First flight of Santos=Dumont with balloon manufacturers Lachambre & Machuron
Soon after his first balloon flight, Santos=Dumont tried to convince the manufacturers of balloon, brothers Machuron and Lachambre, to construct a small individual balloon. It was indeed the first steps to realize his dream of performing individual flight, like the mythological Icarus.

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"... They’ve tried to prove me that in order to be stable a balloon, needs weight. A 100 cubic meters balloon should be more responsive to movements of an aeronaut inside of the nacelle than a large balloon of currents dimensions.

In order to prevent that my movements inside the nacelle may alter the center of balance of the balloon, I’ve ordered longer strings; the result was a huge success regarding to the balance and weight distribution.

When I took Mr. Lachambre my light Japanese silk, he looked at me and said, "It will be very weak." We tested it in dynamometer and the result was surprising. While China silk supports a 700 kilograms per linear meter tension, thin Japanese silk endured tension of 1,000 kg; I mean that proved to be 30 times more resistant than necessary because of the theory of tensions. The result is extraordinary considering that it weighs only 30 grams per square meter!

A fact that shows how competent people can be deceived when attached to summary judgments is to say that all the balloons of my aircraft are manufactured with the same silk.

In the meantime, the internal pressure that it must withstand is large, whereas all the spherical balloons are fitted at the bottom of a hole permitting it relief.

Santos=Dumont 1st Balloon - 'Brasil' 

Once ready, the "Brazil" showed 113 cubic meters of capacity, which is approximately 113 square meters of silk surface. The entire involucre weighed only 3 and half kilos. Varnish layers made up that weight 14 kg.

The net (filet du ballon), which often weighs 50 kilos, was not going to only 1,800 grams. The nacelle, which ordinary minimum is 30 kilos, is now just 6kg.  My No. 9 had a nacelle that did not reach the 5 kilos. My "guide-rope", thin but very long because average 100 meters, weighed 8 kilos, if at all; its length gave the "Brazil" a good elasticity. I’ve replaced the anchor by a 3 kilos iron harpoon.

Still, with reference to lightness in every detail, I thought the balloon, despite its small dimensions, would have enough strength to get up with my 50 kilos of weight and 30 more ballast, I got to test a tied bike to the ropes with the intention of returning to distant places to the comforts of home, but unfortunately came very close to the total balloon tare and became infeasible, only returned to do it in my second balloon the L’Amerique. And these weight conditions that made my first air travel.


Balloon Brazil with filet du ballon (net used around the enclosure) inside - extremely light

On another occasion, in the presence of a curious French minister to see the smallest of spherical balloons, I almost never took ballast, 4 or 5 kilos only, and nevertheless I had a good rise.

The "Brazil" was very manageable in the air and very docile. It was, moreover, easy to pack after the descent: It wasn't a rumor spreaded that I even carried it inside a briefcase.

Before my first ascent in little "Brazil" I performed twenty-five or thirty other rises in standard spherical balloons, all alone, simultaneously captain and passenger in one person. Mr. Lachambre, who commissioned several public ascents, allowed me to do some instead. That's how I came up in several cities of France and Belgium. This attitude avoided work and uncomfortable to Mr. Lachambre, whom I reimbursed for all expenses, gave me pleasure and allowed me to practice this so-called "sport". This gentlemen's agreement pleased both of us.

I doubt that without a series of studies and preliminary experiments on spherical balloon, a man get any chance of being successful with an elongated dirigible, whose management is much more delicate. Before attempting to drive an aircraft is essential to be on board of an ordinary balloon, learned the conditions of atmospheric environment, made knowledge with the wind whims, penetrated in depth the difficulties that presents the ballast problem under the triple aspect of departure air balance and landing.

original balloon 'Brasil'

Having maneuvered personally a spherical balloon is, in my opinion, indispensable preliminary to acquire exact notion of what entails the construction and direction of an elongated balloon, equipped with engine and propeller.
One of the balloon Brazil ascents - great friend of Dumont's  the mathematician Emmanuel Aimé took his daughter to the event

Notice that I manifest great surprise when I see inventors who never set foot in a nacelle, draw on paper and to execute, in whole or in part, those fantastic aircrafts with balloons cubing thousands of meters, laden with huge engines, completely unable to rise from the ground and provided with such complicated machines that will never work. The inventors of this class never expressed fear because they have absolutely no idea of the difficulties involving of this particular problem.

If they had started to travel in the air blowing in the wind, facing hostile influences of atmospheric phenomena, they would understand that a dirigible balloon, to be practical, requires first of all an extremely simple mechanism. Some unfortunate builders, who paid with their lives their sad recklessness, had never made an increase in spherical balloon as captain and under his own responsibility. Most of the emulators today, so devoted to their tasks, is still under the same conditions of inexperience. This explains to me their failures. They are in the same situation that, without having ever left the land or set foot in a boat, intended to build and operate a transatlantic ship."

And then, Santos=Dumont reports the first flight of the small Balloon Brazil


People present at the inaugural flight of the balloon Brazil on July 4 1898 - Marcelle Grandcey French socialite, the painter Leopold Flammeng, Louis Krieger engineer, responsible for introducing the electric motor drive to Santos=Dumont, Emmanuel aimé among other friends
"... I did not have to wait long to have a beautiful day with gentle winds, it was a Saturday morning of July 4th , 1898, my sister Virginia had come all the way from Porto city in Portugal only to witness my achievement, the balloon was already connected to the nacelle, the audience was waiting with anxiety and everything was ready, but I could not leave. I had invited Hélène de Raoul to be the maid of honor of this first flight and she was extremely late. When my impatience seemed already evident from my nervousness I see at the distance the beautiful lady accompanied by her chauffeur.
Hélène de Raoul maid of honor of the inaugural flight of the balloon Brazil

At that moment my grief had turned immediately in great joy. Hélène justified her delay to the fact that her husband, an officer in the French army, be at the front that morning. The christening ceremony took place as planned; Hélène insisted that the balloon was baptized with her favorite champagne, Dom Perrignon. Then without further ado I took a cup and then went up into the air".

Helene was indeed very important to Dumont, and apparently, she also had great affection for him, because she ignored the jealous husband's concerns to the aviator, went to the jardin d'Acclimatation in Paris, only to take with S=D a glass of Champagne under the maiden voyage of the balloon Brazil.

L'Amerique

Dumont got tired to fly alone, and decides to make a slightly larger balloon with 9.8 meters of diameters and cubing 500 m3. He had two basic purposes with that, take passengers on board, and most importantly, thought to increase the strength ascensoral to the point of bringing a light engine and propellers, to make the first experiences with maneuverability.

Balão Esférico L'Ameirque



L'Amerique made several ascents, on June 12, 1898 was in 4th place in a test drive of 325km and the first in another proof of staying longer in the air, doing extensive 22-hour flight.

sexta-feira, 4 de março de 2016

Japanese community is conclusive in favor of Santos Dumont vs Wright brothers, on dispute 'who gave wings to mankind'

Japanese community is conclusive in favor of Santos Dumont vs Wright brothers, on dispute 'who gave wings to mankind'
Last February 11, LIGO experiment has proved that gravitational waves exists and opened a new era of astrophysics, right?

- Wrong, two brothers from Dayton, OH, became the first people to prove the existence of such waves, three years ago.


- But they have witnesses?

- Yes, some people who were near saw it.

Today an affirmation as these would be considered ridiculous, misplaced and with total lack of criteria - an absurd, but it was exactly what happened to Santos-Dumont.

The morning of November 12th 1906 the world was in ecstasy, for the first time the man was able to achieve the maximum dream, flying with a self-powered machine heavier-than-air in the presence of the scientific community, reporters from various countries of the world and many more hundreds of people.

Some days later, American media frivolously discredited him by saying that brothers from Dayton, OH had already flown three years before Mr. Dumont, in the presence of 4 or 5 passers-by.

Santos-Dumont has devoted much of his life to the flight, thoroughly studied the birds and the dynamics of flight, flew in several balloons baskets, airships designed by him in 15 years of research, created 14 previous inventions until he could effectively fly that day.

But for the sake of history, Japanese community is very careful and devoted to judicious affirmations and is from Japan that comes the rescue of truth.

The last edition of AGORA, a magazine for top executives distributed to passengers with a particularly high usage rate from among JAL passengers annually, brings an extensive article that describes the amazing truth about Santos=Dumont’s life, and about the historical distortions that led the Wright Brothers to the improper glory, and thrown Santos-Dumont to oblivion.

But now, things start to change, the article leaves no doubt:

“...What really made Santos-Dumont best known all over the world, was his performances in 1906 in the Bois de Boulogne with a funny powered kite-shaped airplane, named (Bis). He flew 60 meters. (The flight of Santos-Dumont was done in front of thousands of witnesses, including scientists and newspaper reporters, whereas the flight 1903 of Wright brothers was attended by only five common people).
Santos=Dumont Club - history of the the man who gave wings to mankind - Santos=Dumont

Thus, Santos-Dumont becomes adored as the first man to achieve the biggest dream of humanity,

'No, the first fly the skies with a precarious flying machine were the Wright brothers, for that no one would have the good sense to question about'

This hypothetical "historical fact" is what erroneously remains in people's minds of the XXI century around the world. But "good sense" confirms that the first to have won the heavens was the Brazilian citizen living in Paris, Alberto Santos-Dumont.

If 100 years ago, or more, you asked someone anywhere in the world, even in crowded streets of Ginza, "Do you know who Santos-Dumont is?", People probably would say yes. Today perhaps some people might remember him, just because the famous series 'Cartier Santos watches' (in fact, the watch was originally conceived to allow Santos-Dumont to monitor time while maneuvering his dirigible, it was presented by his dear friend, Louis Cartier).

What remains is that bad feeling that Santos-Dumont is another orphan child left in the immense darkness of history.”
Some other Japanese Magazines about Santos=Dumont

Original article, written in Japanese

彼の名をさらに世界に知ら しめたのは〇六年一〇月二二日、 ブーローニュの森で箱型凧のよう な奇妙な形の動力付飛行機『 bis』でやってのけた約六〇メ ートルの飛行だった。

この時、世界はまだライト兄弟のライト・フライヤー号による〇三年の飛行成 功を知らない(サントス デュモ ンの飛行が科学者や新聞記者を含 む何千人という証人の前で成され た一方、ライト兄弟のそれを見た のはわずか五人の一般人だった)。

 為に、サントス デュモンは人類 の夢を叶えた男として大いにもて はやされ、時代の寵児となる。

行機で空を飛んだのはア メリカのライト兄弟である──こ れは誰も異論を差し挟むことのな い常識だろう。けれども、二〇世 紀初頭のある時期、世界の大方の 人々が信じていたのは別の「歴史 的事実」だった。当時の「常識」に よれば、最初に空を制したのはパ リに住むブラジル人、アルベルト・ サントス デュモンである。

  その頃から一〇〇余年を経た今 日、例えば東京・銀座の街角で一 〇〇〇人に「サントス デュモン を知っていますか?」と訊いて、 いったい何人がイエスと答えるだ ろう? もしかしたら、数人の時 計好きがカルティエのサントス・ ウォッチのことを思い出すかもし れない(その腕時計は、元々ルイ・ カルティエが畏友サントス デュ モンのために、飛行船操縦の時に 便利なようにと考案したものだっ た)。
こと ほ ど さ よ う に サ ン ト スデュモンの名は歴史の暗がりの 中に置き去りにされてしまった感 がある。

The Japanese have always given due weight to history and the achievements of Santos-Dumont. In 1976 there was a club exclusively dedicated to the aviation pioneer his noble memory.
Santos=Dumont Club - Japan 1976

Led by Master Morita, the club was known for foster interchange of information between the Foundation Santos-Dumont, administrated at that time by deputy president, Fernando E. Lee.

In 2004, while researching the real history of human flight discovery, two magazines published articles about the life of Santos=Dumont, the Seven Seas magazine dedicated to luxury consumers and members of the Seven Seas Club, which features 45 pages with wonderful photos showing places frequented by Santos=Dumont in Brazil and in the world and a special edition of 世界の腕時計. (The World of watches), both deal with how Santos-Dumont, a creative genius, elegant man who makes insightful research comes inventing the heavier-than-air in a thorough inventive process, but falling in the days public oblivion today, then I transcribe the text of The World of watches.

“...At October 22, 1906, a bizarre shaped flight machine, such as a box kite took off in the gardens of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, and flew 60m.

It was a huge success in Europe's when the first powered flight took place. Designed and maneuvered by Santos-Dumont, the bamboo flying machine had a wingspan of 12m, total length 10m, all covered with Japanese-made silk, the canard style airship called 14-bis (bis means "again”, because it was the 14th attempt to construct a flying machine, completely designed and tested by him).

Three weeks later he flew 100m with the same airship, and was awarded with the Archdeacon prize, to be given for "the one who first fly an aircraft heavier than air, for more than 100m”.

But then, the Wright Brothers arrived announcing that they had already flown, on December 17, 1903 in the United States, a successful flight of 12 seconds in the light ‘Flyer1’, at the presence of observers. And thus, Santos-Dumont lost the honor to be the world's first to fly).
Team of Masako Mori and Professor Ricardo Magalhaes, doing their research at S=D museum in Petrópolis
Santos-Dumont has emigrated to Paris in 1891, he was a stylished dressed, small statured man who divided his time in car races and dinners in first-class restaurants, and he had always shown great interest in flying through the skies. In 1898 he drifted in empty space, with his first, small balloon, designed by him. After this first invention, he has conceived 14 more flying machines, 10 of them were dirigibles, with the dirigible No 6, and he was the first man to maneuver a dirigible, in a pre-determined route around the Eiffel Tower, in limited time and by this, won the Deutsch Prize. After that he has designed 4 more airplanes, until reach the success in flying with his14-Bis. In 1907 he hits his peak with the invention of his last airplane, with a full-length of 8m, the “Demoiselle”, was both elegant and delicate.”
世界 の 腕時計. (World of Watches) on Cartier Santos Watches 

1906 10 月 22 日、 パリ · ブローニュ の 森で箱凧のような 奇怪 な 形の飛行機械が飛び立ち 、 60mを飛行した 。

ヨーロッパ 初の動力飛行の成功だった。 操縦するの は設計者でもあるサ・ントス - デュモン 、 飛行機械は竹と日本製 シルクで作られた 翼幅 12m 、 全長 10 m 、 先尾翼機14- ビス ( ビスとは "再び の 意で, 彼 は テスト機 14号篠を設計 し ていた)。 それから 3 週間後 、 彼 は 同じ機体で100 m を飛行 し 、「初めて重航空機で100m を飛行した者」 に与え られた アルクデアコン賞 を受賞した。 しかし 1903 年12月17日に アメ リカで ライト兄弟が ライトフライヤ 1で12秒の 飛行に成功したことが後 に認められ 、 世界初の栄誉 は 逃してしまう。

1891年、パリに移住したサントス-デュモンは 小粋な身なりをした社交界の新参者であった。 自動車 レースに出たり 、 一流レストランで食事を したりと遊んではいたが 、 彼 のいちばんの興味は空を飛ぶこと。 1898 年には自ら設計した 小型気球 「 ブラジル号 」 でパリの 空を漂った。その後、 14- ビスまでに 10機の飛行船を設計したが 、 なかでも6号機は制限時間内にエッフェル 塔を周回し 、 ドゥーチ 賞を 獲得した 。 14-ビス後、 4機の飛行機を設計した、 いずれも失敗に終わってしまう。 そして 1907年 、最後に設計した全長 8m の華奢で優美な姿の 「 ドゥモアゼル 」 が 飛び上がった。

'Unsolved mysteries' and 'rewriting the history of aviation'

Japanese community has always had great expressiveness in the Brazilian Aviation, Brazil has the largest Japanese community outside Japan - Ricardo Magalhaes - vice president of the Institute A. Santos Dumont, Luiz Pagano - blogger of Santos-Dumont and the first Japanese descent who reached the highest rank of the institution, Lieutenant-Brigadier of the Air Masao Kawanami - at back, Japanese garden and plaque honoring Japanese-Brazilian community at Medical Center/Hospital Sao Paulo Air Force Base
Why public opinion worldwide has decided to adopt the brothers’ and to abandon Santos-Dumont?

To answer this question, I invite the reader to make a more thorough investigation. Nonetheless, I venture to say that the beginning of the century was a time of great discoveries, the supremacy of the countries was evaluated by the way they presented their inventions in world fairs. The United States of America were the inventors of marketing and have always dominated the state propaganda - Why then a man belonging to an unexpressive country, of a newly liberated colony of Portugal, would be entitled to primacy of the flight?

Publications mentioned in this article

Agora Magazine – february 27th, 2016 (March issue/16)
Publishing House - JAPAN AIRLINES CO. LTD
40-8637 Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo Higashi 2-4-11
Report 堀 雅子 (Masako Hori)
Jornalist Yasuyuki Ukieta, 
Photographer Taisuke Yoshida

日本 サントス · ドゥモン クラブ -1976
Santos=Dumont Club Japan
Directed by Master Morita, in Japan 
Technical partner in Brazil Fernando E. Lee - VP in exercise of the Santos=Dumont Foundation

Magazine 世界の腕時計 (The World of Watches) – august 20th 2004 
# 70
Editorial & Corporate Headquarter 3-39-2 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-8551 Japan 
Publisher: KESAHARO IMAI
Editor in Chief TOMOKO KAYAMA

Seven Seas Magazine (セブン シーズ) – July 7th,  2004 
# 191
International Luxury Media and Club Seven Seas
Publisher: International Luxury Media
Copyright(c) 2002-2016 Fujisan Magazine Service Co., Ltd. 



segunda-feira, 3 de novembro de 2014

Speculations on the mechanics of airships of Santos=Dumont - Propeller Shaft and Rudder

In this photo we see the stern of No. 6
The researchers of Santos = Dumont knows well the episode of Bénerville (http://santosdumontlife.blogspot.com.br/2011/06/santosdumont-erases-part-of-his-history.html) in which Santos=Dumont set fire in all his projects, leaving us only with our assumptions, some texts and photos to fathom the workings of his inventions.

leia este artigo em Português

The only way to reconstruct his mechanics are doing a composition of texts written by him, with a deep analysis of old photos and then to extrapolate the remainder from pure logic.

One of the adaptations that raises more questions is how the bottom part of the helm of dirigibles No. 6 and No. 9, appear to be connected directly to the propeller shaft. We see old photos and we get scared when realizing that the rudder cables seem to come straight from the spinning axis of the helices, which, of course would be impossible.
 
Here the stern has its parts was transferred to a software, so that we can study each function separately.
Once you have eliminated the impossible, like the character of Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes does, we set out to the unlikely however plausible alternatives. In the case of Santos=Dumont, the word 'unlikely' should be replaced to 'elegant solutions'.

That said, we reached the conclusion that the only way for the rudder cables not curl all around the propeller shaft would be that the dirigibles mentioned, would use something equivalent to a "tube-in-tube 'system. A tubular external shaft that supports the helix, would rotate freely around a internal and thin shaft, firmly connected to the nacelle.
 
In this photo we isolated even more the important parts, in order to know how the inner shaft, fixed to the nacelle, holds the rudder cables.

Once formulated this theory, I pick up a photo of the back of a dirigible, I designed structures over the photo and extrapolated the 'tube-in-tube' system. The result was astonishing.

In this diagram, we understand even better how the 'tube-in-tube' system works, the outer shaft has at its tip a large cogwheel that spins around the inner shaft, fixed to the nacelle, triggered by the small cogwheel, whose axis comes directly from the engine.

sexta-feira, 25 de julho de 2014

Luiz Pagano receives the medal 'Merit of Cabangu'

Luiz Pagano receives the medal 'Mérito de Cabangú (Merit of Cabangu) from the hands of Mr. Tomás Castelo Branco
This Friday I had the great honor to receive the medal "Merit of Cabangu" for my work to preserve, disseminate and improve the memory Santos=Dumont (my work could be seen on this blog).

leia este artigo em Português

The ceremony took place on July 18, 2014, at the Farm Cabangu in a city called Santos Dumont, in the estate of Minas Gerais, Brazil. It was the event tha would celebrate the 141st anniversary of Santos=Dumont birth by Cabangu House Foundation, by the patron Jorge Henrique Dumont Dodsworth, the Preparatory School of the Air Cadets and the Municipality of Santos Dumont - MG. At the ceremony it were handed medals "Merit of Cabangu" and "Merit Santos=Durnont".

Luiz Pagano and Jane Bieringuer in Cabangu – MG
The Medal "Merit of Cabangu" was established on April 2, 2005, for the commemoration on birth of Alberto Santos Dumont, on July 20th, 1873 in Cabangu Farm. Was created to distinguish people who have contributed to the preservation, promotion and enhancement of the "Museu Casa Natal de Santos=Dumont" (The Homeland museum of Santos=Dumont). The Medal "Santos Dumont Merit" was established by the Air Ministry Decree No. 39,905 of September 5, 1956 in honor of Alberto Santos=Dumont, in celebration of the 1st flight of the 14 Bis. Brazilian Air Force awards the distinction to citizens who have become entitled to receive the honors.

On the moment of my arrival I was kindly received by Mrs. Monica and Mr. Tomás Castelo Branco, coordinators of Cabangu House Foundation, and trustees of the namesake museum, amidst a band and military buglers, I was invited to take my place in grandstand.

The ceremony began exactly 10 o'clock in the morning with military honors and homage to the Patron of the Air Force, The Air Marshal Alberto Santos=Dumont, then they entered into a military formation, in order to begin the reading of the official agenda by the Commander of the Air Force, we sang the Aviators Anthem, and finally the ceremony of delivering of medals, made by Mr. Tomas Castelo Branco

Among medal recipients of this year, was the astronomer of the Astronomical Observatory of the city of Piracicaba (state of São Paulo), Travnik Nelson, author of the first photograph of the crater on the Moon named after Brazilian Santos=Dumont, taken in 2006, the year of celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the flight of the 14-Bis.

Other recipients of the medal in previous years were Dr. Henrique Lins de Barros, researcher and biographer of Santos=Dumont with several published works, João Luís Musa photographer who restored and published awesome new photos Aviator and also great biographer Mrs Laurete Godoy , author of seven books on aviation and on Greek mythology.

Luiz Pagano receives the medal 'Merit of Cabangu' - With high collar, Cartier Santos and hat S=D style
At the end of the medal delivering ceremony, I along with the other holders of medals, which had gone out of military formation to stand at the right side of Brazilian Flag, returned to our seats in the grandstand for the hearing, in my opinion, one of the most exciting moment of the day, when Tomás told us the story of Cabangu Museum.

Very few people knows that the idea of building the museum, as well as the decision to change the name of the city came on the very same day of the death of aviator (July 23rd, 2932). The name changed in a quickly decision, on July 31, 1932, by the state decree n ° 10.447, the city was no longer called Palmyra in order to become Santos Dumont, but, in other hand, the creation of the museum still follows a much more difficult path.

A few days after the death of aviator in 1932, some citizens of Palmyra decided to go check on his home and became very sad to see the dilapidated state of the house, inhabited by squatters, with belongings and documents scattered all over the place. They immediately expelled the invaders and proceeded to the guardianship of existing goods in house of Cabangu.

The statute of the museum was not written until February 9, 1949, but the harsh struggles to protect the house and farm of Santos=Dumont seemed to be an ungrateful task. Without any help from any government agency, the foundation has only had her first visit of the Air Ministry on 23 October 1952, which started to pay attention to the historical legacy.

In order to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the aviator, in 1973, it was created the National Commission for the Commemoration of the Air Force, then graduated from the House Museum of Santos=Dumont and even a road was built to connect the museum to the road BR 499.

Finally in 2006 the museum received the first help from Federal Government and a headquarters was built. The dream of Alberto Santos=Dumont, who made clear the intention to transform the farmhouse into a museum, began to take its first steps.

According to Mr. Tomás, there is still much to be done, and he (like me) hopes one day to see our country giving the due weight to our historical legacy of Santos=Dumont, and other important figures of our history.

Officials entered into military formation, in order to begin the reading of the official agenda by the Commander of the Air Force, we sang the Aviators Anthem and the event ended with the ceremony of delivering the medals, made by Mr. Tomas Castelo Branco
Below,  the Aviators Anthem Lyrics in Portuguese

Vamos filhos altivos dos ares
Nosso vôo ousado alçar
Sobre campos, cidades e mares
Vamos nuvens e céus enfrentar

D´astro rei desafiamos os cimos
Bandeirantes audazes do azul
Às estrelas de noite subimos
Para orar ao Cruzeiro do Sul

Contato, companheiros !
Ao vento sobranceiros
Lancemos o roncar
Da hélice a girar

Mas se explode o corisco no espaço
Ou a metralha na guerra rugir
Cavaleiros do século do aço
Não nos faz o perigo fugir

Não importa a tocaia da morte
Pois que a pátria dos céus o altar
Sempre erguemos de ânimo forte
O holocausto da vida a voar

Contato, companheiros !
Ao vento sobranceiros
Lancemos o roncar

Da hélice a girar

terça-feira, 27 de maio de 2014

Santos=Dumont - Father of 'Post-scarcity Philosophy'

The idea of ​​Santos=Dumont to share knowledge, without any compromise with patent laws, focusing only the sole purpose of conquering the flight, certainly caused the anticipation of discovering of the aircraft to the beginning of the 20th century. But was also the great cause of the misinterpretation of Americans conferring to the Wright brothers' the status of inventors of the airplane.


Santos=Dumont anticipated the 'wiki' philosophy for over 100 years, in which all the information about an invention, in a specific development process, are placed at the disposal of everybody, in order to multiply the chances of advancement - opening opportunities to a greater number of people involved in the issue, aiming the final creation of such invention (the term 'wiki' to designate this phenomenon appears today in the Wikipedia site and also in the book "Wikinomics" by Anthony D. Williams and Don Tapscott ) - know more about Santos=Dumont father of wiki philosophy

What is known today as "philosophy of post-scarcity" was also created by Santos=Dumont - but today the term 'post-scarcity' is still taken more like science fiction, than a science.

The process of invention/creation through the method of 'post-scarcity' implies in using full mental devotion, seeking to resolve the issues, concerning the stages of creation, taking into consideration that "we can find in nature any and all recourse in order to resolve any and all issue".

The 'post-scarcity' is the method in which the profound observation of nature, combined with the most perfect use of the creative mind, allows to test all possibilities to the exhaustion, in order to obtain the invention of something in its best form.

- scarcity ends at the time when realize the unlimited nature of resources that we consider, in ignorance, as scarce. -

As the name says, the method of 'post-scarcity' also implies in measuring well the use these resources to avoid waste and misuse.


See the following article in which Santos=Dumont presents the use of "aeroplanes " as part of the solution for the development of a dirigible designed to carry passengers, such as an air bus, and draw your own conclusions.

Dirigible Santos=Dumont n.10 - "The Bus" with its "aeroplanes"
Evening Journal Artist, Coffin, Interviews Inventor and Explains His Ideas - July 30, 1902

By G. A Coffin.

Nerve, intellectual and physical.
That is the impression you receive in talking with Santos-Dumont, the Brazilian aeronaut. He is a fatalist. Generally speaking, navigators of the air will avail themselves of every safeguard in their dangerous undertakings, but M. Santos trusts entirely to his airship, discarding the parachute and merely says, with expensive shrug, when the possibility of an accident during his flight is broached:
“Well then, it is all over.”

In discussing aerial navigation, M. Santos is rather cuscreative, He admits that the only way to carry passengers is an airship is by enormously increasing the size of the balloon and that of course makes it more unwieldy in unfavorable weather.

The limit of buoyancy or lifting power has been practically reached by using hydrogen gas for inflations.

Theoretically it might be possible to obtain a gas that would give an increased lifting power. The increased power would be small and the cost large. But the saving would be so doubtful and the results so small that it is useless to figure on it.

So like everyone else who has studied the subject. M. Santos will find that he must delve in other direction seeking assistance from some other source.
 
His Latest Experiment

He informed me that his balloon “dips” during flights. It rocks as though it were riding a swell of the ocean. In order to partially rectify this tendency the young aeronaut has planed two partitions in his balloon, which divide the gasbag into three compartments. The surfaces of the partitions are not varnished, are holed and porous, permitting the gas to percolate or pass slowly through, thus avoiding the evils of gas displacement.

To make his airship absolutely steady M. Santos is about to add a number of aeroplanes to the framework. They are simple frames of some light but strong material. Bamboo or aluminum, on which, light silk is stretched. The adjustment of these at the will of the operator will prove efficacious in giving greater control of the airship.

This departure by Santos-Dumont would seem to indicate no very radical change in construction but in reality it is a noteworthy alteration of his design.

The young Brazilian, to some, may seem a very narrow man, but to me his ability to see things one side only appears as the result of that supreme quality which every successful man possesses, namely, concentration.

Takes One Thing at a Time.

He looks at things from one point of view merely as a microscope searches for one small part of an object. He has devoted himself to the balloon part of his airship and has exhausted the subject and so turns to some other phase in the construction of vehicles of aerial navigation. He finds his attention centered in aeroplanes and for a time he will see nothing but these planes. He will learn all there is to be learned and put the practical use his knowledge and then divert it to some other phase and slowly but surely will arrive at practical results that the whole world will appreciate.

I think that when he fully realizes the lifting power of aeroplanes he will add great many of them to his future airship, and discovering that they undoubtedly add greatly to the lifting power he will eventually be able to construct a ship to carry a number of passengers without increasing the size o the present balloon.


Another thing that would greatly assist in his work of navigating the air is the possibility of liquefying hydrogen. If this can be done on a commercial basis, M. Santos will merely have to carry a few small receptacles containing liquid hydrogen, and be releasing a small quantity at a time can keep the balloon filled. There are, of course, difficulties in the way of even this, but they doubtless will be overcome, as have others before them.

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The 'family' inventions of Santos = Dumont - his own drawing, January 8, 1929

Logic of the inventive process of Santos=Dumont

  "The man is unable to fly" - that line that was constantly heard by Santos=Dumont, but it did not discourage him. He knew that the flight was plausible, all he had to do was to abstract the concept of impossibility. In his mind there was no shortage of resources, quite the contrary, S=D tested a huge range of real possibilities of flight.

These were the steps taken by Santos=Dumont for his inventions, note that as nature does, he did not jump from one invention to another. Every discovery was the result of a process of reasoning (by a privileged mind) applied to practical situations in a sequence of impeccable logic.


1 - He determined that the invention of the airplane, the flight of heavier than air, was possible, since the birds, insects and other animals’ flies;
2 - He began his inventive process from technology in hand, undirigible balloons and steam engines;
3 - He questioned the use of oil engine and step-by-step invented the dirigibility of balloons;
4 - His invention evolved following a logical order of inventions to improve his airship to the state of the art;
5 - He started experimenting with heavier than air, studied the fluctuation of heavier than air with the help of displacement and handling (n.11 and n.14), and in tests in the water (n. 18 );
6 - Created the flight of heavier than air (n. 14 Bis);
7 - Improved the flight of heavier than air aircraft in several other airships (no. 15 and n.20);