I know this may cause great controversy on this message board,but it is one that I believe that should be adressed,since it is very important to the aviation world. Who actually made the first airplane flight: The Wright brothers, or the Brazilian inventor Santos Dumont?
Here in Brazil we are taught that it was Santos Dumont,although we also recognize the Wright brothers accomplisments. In the US, Santos Dumont is completly ignored. He doesn't even receive acnkowlegment for his invention of the aileron. Does everbody agree with me that that is very disrespectful? During my first year at Embry-Riddle, I did extensive research into the matter,and found this out:
The Wright brothers "flew" first,but it is questionable if it was a true airplane flight. Their aircraft was catapulted into the windiest skies of North America and only flew for a few seconds,during which they had NO control of the plane. Santos Dumont,on the other hand,took his craft off in downtown Paris infront of millions,flew it for much longer than the Wright brothers,and had control,meaning he performed turns and climbs.
With that information,it seems to me as if the Wright brothers plane perfomed more as a kite,making Santos Dumont's flight the first true one. Plus,at the time, the Wright brothers were unkown. Santos Dumont and his accomplisments and inventions were know world wide. So there was no way Santos Dumont could have copied the Wright brothers ideas,since they were not even know within the United States. I am not trying to knock down the Wright brothers,or trying to build up Santos Dumont just because he is Brazilian. I am just brining into light information I gathered over the years from various American,Brazilian,and neutral sources. I very much admire the Wright brothers,but I feel it is wrong to ignore Santos Dumont,and the possibility that he could have truly made the first flight. This whole topic came to my head a few days ago when I saw a movie that showed a license plate from the state of Ohio,and on it was written,"the birthplace of aviation",obviously because the Wright brothers are from Ohio. Then I thought,if Santos Dumont is the true father of flight,then my state(and his!) of Minas Gerais is the birthplace of aviation!
What do you guys have to say about this. I understand that many,especially Americans,may have never even heard of Santos Dumont. If you would like to know more about him,go to any search page such as msn or yahoo and type in his name. Thanks guys,hope to hear your opinions soon!