The Musée de l'Air and the Demoiselle<br />The child of a coffee plantation baron in Palmira, Minas Gerais in S.E. Brasil, Alberto Santos Dumont studied at a technical school in Paris. There he began experimenting with gas balloons and then airships. In 1906 he was the first to fly a ‘heavier than air’ powered aeroplane in Europe, slightly less than three years after the Wright Brothers made history at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. <br />
The Musée de l'Air and the Demoiselle<br />The Demoiselle (‘young lady’ in French) is named after the delicate but powerful ‘Demoiselle Dragonfly.’ <br />
The Musée de l'Air and the Demoiselle<br />The first Demoiselle, the model 19, was powered by a 20 hp horizontally opposed Dutheil-Chalmers engine which was mounted between the wheels and linked to the propeller by a drive chain. A single bamboo pole supported tail surfaces, which pivoted on a universal joint to act as both elevator and rudder. There was an auxiliary rudder either side of the pilot and an auxiliary elevator between the front wheels. There initially was no lateral (roll) control, until the auxiliary rudders were removed and wing-warping control was added in the model 20. The warping was controlled by wires connected directly to a harness that the pilot would wear. Also a 24 hp Antoinette engine was installed for more speed and power.<br /> <br />In 1909 he exhibited the first version of his No. 20 "Demoiselle. " Bamboo, wood and linen were the main components of what was at that time, the smallest and lightest aircraft in the world. "Le Petit," as the Parisians called the Brazilian, intended his creation to be a kind of "Everyman's Aeroplane," available for the modest sum of 7,500 French francs.<br />
The Musée de l'Air and the Demoiselle<br />Powered by a 24 HP horizontally opposed, water-cooled Antoinette engine, the 235 Lb model 20 Demoiselle aircraft would cruise at 56 MPH.<br />
The Musée de l'Air and the Demoiselle<br />Original 20 HP Model 19<br />Re-engine’ed 24 HP Model 19<br />30 HP Control stick Model 20<br />Sling-seat Model 20<br />
The Musée de l'Air and the Demoiselle<br />$<br />$<br />Our Museum is extremely proud to have a Demoiselle <br />Replica in the collection. <br />All we need now is money to refurbish and rebuild it.<br />
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