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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Alberto Santos-Dumont


Vôo do Centenário do 14-Bis
Replica of Alberto's airplane flown on the 100th anniversary of his historic flight.

Watching the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games in Rio this evening and I learn that the Wright Brothers weren't the first ones to build and fly and airplane, it was in point of fact a Brazilian, one Alberto Santos-Dumont, who accomplished this feat in Paris in 1906. There are a bunch technical nits that can be picked if you want to argue the case, and some people do. Seems that I recall that one of the big contributions made by the Wright Brothers was a comprehensive set of controls. Flying in a straight line is verifiably wonderful, given that it hadn't been done before, but being able to control your craft became sort of important once you left the ground.
    The Olympics, like our Presidential election, is a giant spectacle. It's a little weird the number of people who dedicate years of their lives in their chase for gold. My having a flaky heartbeat might have contributed to my attitude. I mean, I learned early on, that while I might compete, I was never going to be a contender. I will say that watching the Olympics is still a heck of lot better than watching politicians yammer.
    The opening ceremony goes on for hours, hundreds of countries, thousands of athletes. We were able to hang on through Estonia but by then we were kind of burned out.

2 comments:

Ole Phat Stu said...

Gustav Weisskopf was first to fly a powered plane, see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Whitehead

Chuck Pergiel said...

I knew that. http://pergelator.blogspot.com/2013/12/gustav-whiteheads-aeroplane-21.html