|Name:||Alberto Santos Dumont|
|Real Name:||Alberto Santos-Dumont|
|Birth Day:||July 20, 1873|
|Death Date:||23 July 1932(1932-07-23) (aged 59)
Guarujá, São Paulo, Brazil
|Birth Place:||Santos Dumont, Brazil|
As per our current Database, Alberto Santos Dumont died on 23 July 1932(1932-07-23) (aged 59)
Guarujá, São Paulo, Brazil.
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
Santos-Dumont was born on 20 July 1873 in Cabangu in the Brazilian town of Palmira (today named Santos Dumont) in the state of Minas Gerais in southeast Brazil. He was the youngest of seven children born to Henrique Dumont, an engineer of French descent, and Francisca de Paula Santos. Santos-Dumont's father managed a coffee plantation on land owned by his wife's family, and later bought land in Ribeirão Preto on which he established a plantation of his own. His extensive use of labor-saving inventions earned him a fortune, and he was known for a time as the "Coffee King of Brazil."
After numerous balloon flights, Santos-Dumont turned to the design of steerable balloons, which became known as dirigibles. These could be propelled through the air rather than drifting along with the wind. A dirigible powered by an electric motor, La France, capable of flying at around 24 km/h (15 mph) had been successfully flown in 1884 by Charles Renard and Arthur Krebs, but their experiments had not progressed due to a lack of funding. His first design was wrecked during its second flight on 29 September 1898, and he had even less luck with his second, which was abandoned after his first attempt to fly it on 11 May 1899.
In 1891 Santos-Dumont's father was partially paralyzed by a fall from a horse. He sold the plantation and went to Europe with his wife and Santos-Dumont in search of treatment. In Paris, Santos-Dumont contacted a balloonist with the intention of making an ascent. The price quoted was 1,200 francs for a two-hour flight, plus payment for any damage caused and for returning the balloon to Paris. This was a considerable sum of money, and Santos-Dumont decided not to make the flight, reasoning that "If I risk 1,200 francs for an afternoon's pleasure I shall find it either good or bad. If it is bad the money will be lost. If it is good I shall want to repeat it and I shall not have the means." After this he bought a Peugeot automobile, which he took with him when he returned to Brazil with his parents at the end of the year.
In 1892 the family returned to Europe, but Henriques felt too ill to continue on to Paris from Lisbon, and Alberto made the journey on his own. His father's health deteriorated and he decided to return to Brazil, where he died on 30 August 1892.
For the next four years Alberto lived in Paris, studying physics, chemistry, mechanics, and electricity with the help of a private tutor, and returning to Brazil for short holidays. During this period he sold his Peugeot, replacing it with a more powerful and faster De Dion motor-tricycle. In 1896 he returned to Brazil for a longer period, but began to miss Paris and so returned to Europe in 1897. Before embarking he had bought a copy of an account of Salomon Andrée's attempt to fly to the North Pole by balloon, written by the constructors of the balloon, MM. Lachambre and Machuron. In his biography Santos-Dumont describes the book as "a revelation", and resolved to make contact with the balloon constructors when he reached Paris.
To win the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize Santos-Dumont decided to build a bigger craft, the No. 5. On 8 August 1901, during one of his attempts, his dirigible began to lose hydrogen, and started to descend and was unable to clear the roof of the Trocadero Hotel. Santos-Dumont was left hanging in the basket from the side of the hotel. With the help of the Paris fire brigade, he climbed to the roof without injury, but the dirigible was a complete loss. He immediately ordered a replacement to be constructed, the No.6
On 19 October 1901, after several more attempts, Santos-Dumont succeeded in making the return flight. Immediately after he reached Saint-Cloud, a controversy broke out regarding the precise timing of the flight: although he had reached his destination in under 30 minutes there had been a delay of over a minute before his mooring line was picked up. However a satisfactory compromise was reached, and Santos-Dumont was eventually given the prize, which he announced would be given to the poor of Paris. An additional 125,000 francs along with a gold medal was voted to him by the government of his native Brazil.
Santos-Dumont, a lifelong bachelor, appeared to have a particular affection for a married Cuban-American woman named Aida de Acosta, who in 1903 became the only other person that he ever permitted to fly one of his airships – his No. 9. Until the end of his life, he kept a picture of her on his desk alongside a vase of fresh flowers. Nonetheless, there is no indication that Santos-Dumont and Acosta stayed in touch after her flight; upon his death she was reported as saying that she hardly knew him.
In 1904 Santos-Dumont shipped his new airship No. 7 from Paris to St. Louis to fly at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, to compete for the Grand Prize of $100,000 which was to be given to a flying machine (of any sort) that could make three round-trip flights over a 24 km (15 mile) L-shaped course at an average speed of 20 mph (32 km/h), later reduced to 15 mph (24 km/h). It was also necessary for the machine to land undamaged not more than 46 m (150 ft) from the starting point. Because he was the best-known aviator at the time, the Fair committee went to great lengths to ensure his participation, including modifying the rules.
In 1904, after Santos-Dumont complained to his friend Louis Cartier about the difficulty of checking his pocket watch during flight, Cartier created his first men's wristwatch, thus allowing Santos-Dumont to check his flight performance while keeping both hands on the controls. Cartier still markets a line of Santos-Dumont watches and sunglasses.
Although Santos-Dumont continued to work on non-rigid airships, his primary interest soon turned to heavier-than-air aircraft. By 1905, he had finished his first fixed-wing aircraft design, and also a helicopter. Santos-Dumont finally succeeded in flying a heavier-than-air aircraft on 23 October 1906, piloting the 14-bis before a large crowd of witnesses at the grounds of Paris' Château de Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne for a distance of 60 metres (197 ft) at a height of about five meters (16 ft). This was the first flight of a powered heavier-than-air machine in Europe to be certified by the Aéro-Club de France, and won the Deutsch-Archdeacon Prize for the first officially observed flight of more than 25 meters. On 12 November 1906 Santos-Dumont set the first world record recognized by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, by flying 220 metres (722 ft) in 21.5 seconds. On that date he became the first person to be filmed in an airplane in flight. As late as 1906 he was reported as stating that the Wright Brothers claim to have flown for thirty miles was mere bluff.
In 1908 Santos-Dumont started working with Adolphe Clément's Clement-Bayard company to mass-produce the Demoiselle No 19. They planned a production run of 100 units, built 50 but sold only 15, for 7,500 francs for each airframe. It was the world's first series production aircraft. By 1909 it was offered with a choice of three engines: Clement 20 hp; Wright 4-cyl 30 hp (Clement-Bayard had the license to manufacture Wright engines) and Clement-Bayard 40 hp designed by Pierre Clerget. The Demoiselle could achieve a speed of 120 km/h.
Santos-Dumont's final flight as a pilot was made in a Demoiselle on 4 January 1910. The flight ended when a bracing wire snapped at an altitude of about 25 m (80 ft), causing a wing to collapse. Santos-Dumont suffered only bruises.
In March 1910 Santos-Dumont announced that he was retiring from aviation. He secluded himself in his house and it was rumoured that he was suffering from a nervous breakdown caused by overwork, but it is probable that he was depressed about the multiple sclerosis from which he was later known to suffer.
In 1911 he moved to the French seaside village of Bénerville (now Benerville-sur-Mer), where he took up astronomy as a hobby. After the outbreak of war in 1914 his German-made telescope and unusual accent led to accusations he was a German spy tracking French naval activity, and his rooms searched by French police. Upset by the allegation and depressed about his illness Santos-Dumont burned all his papers and plans. For this reason there is little direct information available about his designs today. He spent much of the 1920s in Swiss and French sanatoria, though returning to Brazil at times.
In Brazil, during 1918 Santos-Dumont bought a small lot on the side of a hill in the city of Petrópolis, in the mountains near Rio de Janeiro, and in 1918 built a small house there filled with imaginative mechanical gadgetry including an alcohol-fueled heated shower of his own design. The hill was purposefully chosen because of its great steepness as a proof that ingenuity could make it possible to build a comfortable house in that unlikely site. After building it, he used to spend his summers there to escape the heat in Rio, calling it A Encantada ("The Enchanted") after its street, Rua do Encanto. The treads of the exterior stairs are hollowed alternately on the right and left, to enable people to climb them comfortably. The house is now a museum.
For his arrival in Brazil on the luxury liner Cap Arcona in 1928, a dozen members of the Brazilian scientific community boarded a seaplane with the intention of paying him a flying welcome. The plane crashed with the loss of all on board; Santos-Dumont's growing despondency deepened even further, and he returned to Switzerland.
In 1931 Santos-Dumont's nephew went to Switzerland and took him back to Brazil. Seriously ill and said to be depressed both by his multiple sclerosis and also the use of aircraft in warfare during São Paulo's Constitutionalist Revolution, he hanged himself on 23 July 1932, three days after his 59th birthday, in the city of Guarujá (although his death certificate gives the cause of death as "cardiac collapse").
Currently, Alberto Santos Dumont is 148 years, 9 months and 28 days old. Alberto Santos Dumont will celebrate 149th birthday on a Wednesday 20th of July 2022.
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