Santos-Dumont Wins Deutsch Prize

On October 19, 1901, Alberto Santos-Dumont, the son of a wealthy Brazilian coffee planter, won the 100,000-Franc Deutsch Prize for an 11.3-km (7-mile) flight from the Paris suburb of St. Cloud to the Eiffel Tower and back in less than 30 minutes in a powered airship.

Santos-Dumont designed and flew his first balloon in 1898, however his interests would later shift to powered airships and powered aircraft. By October 1905, Wilbur Wright had achieved several long flights, but little progress had been achieved in Europe. Santos-Dumont abandoned dirigibles and turned his attention to heavier-than-air machines. On October 23, 1906, Santos-Dumont flew a fixed-wing aircraft of his own design and construction, l’oiseau de proie. The flight was recognized as the first heavier-than-air flight by the Aéro Club de France and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).