segunda-feira, 27 de junho de 2011

Santos=Dumont erases part of his history in Benérvile

leia este artigo em português

The life of Santos-Dumont could have been better documented, wasn’t for the episode in Benérville, near the French Resort of Deuaville, in which he burns all his documents, photos and personal objects.

It is a known fact that after the experiences with his “Demoiselle” in January 1910, Santos=Dumont was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and as a flame that goes out with the air stream, Santos just disappeared.

He had built a modest house as a refuge in Benérville, nicknamed La Boîte for its square shape.

It is also known that he was visited by some close friends, such as SEM, the now very saddened mechanical Chapin and Roland Garros, who had gone there for the arrangements regarded to the purchase of a Demoiselle number 20 (possibly they played tennis on his magnificent court).

In this 1913 document we see Santos reffering to the construction of "La Boîte"

Due to his now complicated health condition, S=D devoted his life to sports and let his mind busy with scientific pleasures, built an observatory on the roof of his house with a powerful Zeiss telescope to watch the stars.

Santos=Dumont Observatory – Santos=Dumont receive his friends Ferdinand Charron and Emmanuel Aime among others. At back the famous Zeiss telescope.

Looking at these pictures, we can realise that he received visitors not so famous, so it was not possible to know exactly who these people are.

He paid a high price for living a reclusive lifestyle, as soon as the first world war was declared in Europe in August 1914, Santos=Dumont was visited by the Gendarmes in two cars. An Austrian neighbor called Goujon denounced him. He believed that S=D was watching the movement on the coast of the English Channel with his powerful telescope and communicating through nautical flags erected on a ship mast installed next to the house.

By that time, Santos would take advantage of the laurels of his former aviator life, spent in design and style, beside the eccentricities of having nautical pieces installed in the village, he also had a beautiful Alda, 4 cylinder, 15HP, designed and built by his friend Charron.

By scouring the house, the police confiscated several belongings and documents and Santos=Dumont kept under house arrest. Antonio Prado Jr, was alerted and intervened with the Embassy of Brazil to resolve impasse.

Santos=Dumont decided to leave his residence, but not before burning all documents, plans, books and personal objects, without the chance of making duplicates, leading to a great loss of historical documents.

After the withdrawal of the S=D, the Gendarmes returned and confiscated several other objects left by him, including the beautiful car Alda. Exactly 62 years later, in September 1976 Benedic Hubert was at the site where the house was built. He found the place deserted, with only part of the floor among the debris " a magnificent view, both sides, which must have seduced Santos=Dumont" as written in this letter addressed to the family of Santos=Dumont.

sexta-feira, 10 de junho de 2011

L 'H O M M E - M E C A N I Q U E - by Santos=Dumont - in English

I dedicate this book to posterity

And, forced by circumstances I decided to write this book.
On the one hand I do not like writing, and on the other, I think the facts should be enough by itself, without further comments.
This time, after so many years, the demands and questions from friends and correspondents, especially on my last invention that forced me to take a pen and write again.
I owed them an explanation. So here they are:

.. ..

My machine is intended to transform the rotary motion of our engines in alternative, and I called it "Martian" in homage to the inhabitants of the planet Mars, which according to Wells, no longer make use of the wheel, but only automatic legs in all its machines, among which includes the huge chariots devastating London, quoted in "The War of the Worlds" - "Ah! “ They say, “these novelists, Jules Verne, Wells, such visionaries they are!”. “Did you read" I would answer, if he wanted to discuss "the latest work about our secrets on aircraft navigation or sidereal navigation?" But I will not argue.
Let's get back to the "Martian".

Luiz Pagano Historian, speitialist on Santos=Dumont, wearing 'THE MARTIAN'

These are the circumstances in which I conceive it.

For over twenty years I am passionate about skiing, since than, I was obsessed with the obligation to waste hours climbing the mountain height, before enjoying the long descent - deep pleasure , but that would be uncomplicated if the legs were not extremely exhausted by the preceding strenuous climb.
For a long time the problem seemed impossible to be solved.
.. ..
One day however, during the winter of 1925-1926, almost reaching to the top of Mont Joli, which dominates Magève, I was exhausted, like a locomotive without steam. Infinitely tired, I stopped with one ski ahead and the other just behind, no longer having the strength to pull them! This invariably happened after a climb. Immobile in thet position, curseing the poor man's inventiveness, which had not yet adapted a motor to the needs of skier and mountaineer.
It was at this very moment, that looking at the tip of my ski placing far ahead, I thought: "But here's a real pivoting point, because the seal skin prevents my ski to retreat.
If from that point, by a thread, I pull the heel of my other foot, it will reach and overcome my other ankle and only will stop when reach the same hight of this point.

This ski will then be placed at the same position occupied by the other in the last instant, and a second wire will allow me to start, with the other ski, the same maneuver. "For, as the first researchers in the direction of the balloons use to say, " Give us a point of support (pivot) - here is the answer to the whole issue. "
The problem was now resolved. It was necessary to put it into practice, or bring it to reality with one engine and automatically move back and forth, within a range of more than one meter.
What the existing mechanical would offer at that point? A conne crankshaft and a connecting rod, better say, a conne crankshaft with 60cm and a connecting rod of about two meters. For the skier, two conne crankshafts and two rods. I obviously could not conceive it (this way). So, I was forced to invent something new.
Here's what I realized: the rod, I replaced them by the two wires that, if made in steel, would not be greater than the thickness of a hair. The conne crankshafts would then be repalced by two smal barrel made of light magnesium, of only 25 grams, which would be like small winches to the threads - and I think that is not much exaggeration to say that the moving parts of this transformer is a hundred times lighter that the rods in the old system. And the low inertia of moving parts is of great interest in a machine which is subject to continuous gear invertions.
The first picture shows my 95 grams transformer designed for an engine of 1 / 10 HP put on the back of a skier. Figure number 2 shows a greater model , of 450 grams, for a 2 HP motor, or even more.
See now how they work.

Take, for example, the large model (Fig.2)
The rotary motion of the motor is received by pinion R and, chained in the tree O, which goes to the bearings P1 and P2. Under this tree are two barrels A and B, on which the wires are wound like it was mentioned before. Finally, among these, a disk D, attached to the shaft by a long key that can slide along it. It is controlled by a system composed of an inner cable T and a lever L, The barrels A, B and disk D that holds the correspondents cavities and saliencies, we see here that we can change using the lever L to one or the other barrel over the axis O.
Lets talk now about the threads F1 and F2 of the drums. In this present case they will bind each at the tip of a ski, through a pulley attached to the heel of your opposite foot, and before that, two small holes L1 and L2, that have two knots a little bit ahead N1 and N2 not exceed two holes of this position, automatically ensures the gear shift, let's see how:
With the engine fired, the belt moves the axis R and the disk D, simple as that.
To start the alternative movement, to gear, lets push, say, by a command, the lever L, it pulls the arm T, which applies the disk D on the barrel B. This comes in line with the tree and turns with it. The wire F2 is coiled then on the barrel-B and the different parts are in the position of Figure 1. This movement should continue until node N2 hit the piece T2 and pull it. But this strike is connected to the lever L, which will be triggered, which will result in moving the disk D to the left, which means disengage the barrel B and engage barrel A. Now it is the time for the wire F, in this second phase, to coil itself, until the arrival of the node N1 on the point of strike; And this again will reverse the gear of the barrels. Notice that during this second time, the wire pulled by ski F2 will uncoil over his barrel, which can rotate freely.
This double movement, in case the skier, should happen about twice per second. But I pray to you my young man or my beautiful girl reader not to worry about it. You not even suspect that the engine valves of your cabriolet open and close more than 60 times per second. It is even said that the atoms inside the molecules, that serve them as prison, are so restless, so excited, going from right to left and left to right, ten million of billion times per second. But I have to admit a limited reliance on the accuracy of these measurements.

On my machine, are strikes that could be accounted, that give the same appearance, which is by the way very entertaining, of a living being.

.. ..

I now present two figures explaining the movement of the skis.
In the first (Fig. ..), the ski is positioned right behind. The wire attached to its tip has just finished his work in bringing the sole of his left foot forward, and its node, arriving at the point of strike, change the gear in the transformer. The wire connected to the tip of the other ski - the left - will then begin to coil up in his little winch. Pushing the right sole to the position of the other figure (Fig. ... ...). Again, the phase of gear will invert, and that about twice per second.

.. ..

For me to be able to convert my invention to the fans, this winter season, and also, show them, in a practical way, the equipment in operation, I’ve manufactured a much larger and more powerful than the other, since its engine has a power of 2, 5 HP and will be placed on two skis, instead of being attached on the back.
Apart from that, if the winter be ready soon, I'll put on wheels initially to test it this summer on the lawns or beaches.
What is curious about this machine is that, like oxen pulling carts, the locomotive that pulls its vagons, the truck pulling trailers and even horse in skijoring, pulling skiers, my machine will push them!

Practice of Skijorking - photo of Santos-Dumont

That's right, you'll see this little machine behind two, three, four man or even more, all in single file, pushed by “cordeletas” (small threads).
Here goes a combination of words as new as my invention.
Do not think, incidentally, I am guided by a fantasy. The system, in all respects, work best from behind. Let us observe that - good change of procedures – would be the machine by itself, driven by last skier. You have to actually consider it as a generator of energy that is transmitted in the form of coming and going of two tiny wires. The respective array of skiers are maintained by a combination of bamboo and light Bowden cables that guide the control leads.

Mme Ponget testing the "Martian"

.. ..

Aeronautics has become the master idea of my life, and still interferes in the smallest concerns of my spirit. This little invention, hardly conceived to help a enjoyable, but very tiring sport, is likely to have considerable importance in my work of predilection.
Time will tell if my imagination did not abuse my expectations.
In this sense, a third machine is under development, with a 30 horsepower engine, weighing 15kg. It is intended for the “flying man” and here's how I envision it operation: on a frame, carrying engine and pilot, two large wings are placed to beat, on the length of the line.

They are formed by a thin mesh, whose bottom face is covered with feathers, each one of these plumes can also rotate around its axis.
When the wing goes up,the feathers goes up and let the air pass by the space formed. When, instead, the wing goes down, all feathers are supported by the screen, forming a counter surface, whose strength is sufficient to lift the machine.
The figure .... clearly shows how the tranformer works on the wings. One of the control cables is directed downward and divides into two branches, each passing over a pulley and coming to connect the wings to download them stops the other wire of the transformer, arranged on top, similarly, serves to raise the sails *.
(* la voilure)

.. ..

These machines, which I have just barely described, are only the first applications of my transformer. I predict many others, even the mechanic pedestrian.
Who knows if we will not see one of these days, like the Martian machines of Wells, cars and trains using mechanical legs? The fantasies of Jules Verne, his submarines, his airships, flying machines, long entertained the audience. But in 1929, are no longer fantasies.
Our sages already foresaw good results from the previously unknown vibratory movements and alternative (apart form those already known), rotating movements. - I envision for Wells, creator of fantasies, the same inventive career that his French counterpart had.

I believe, dear reader, that after this exhibition that tried to do the shortest possible, I was able to describe a curious machine, not only as a novelty, but also for a future use, because of its large number of possible applications.
As with all inventions by me accomplished throughout my life, I did not ask patents. Meeting my highest pleasure and all my reward in the struggle for the solution of the problem, and not on prospective earnings.
So will be it, then, my pleasure, that people may copy my new invention, to the delight of young athletes and to the progress of all mankind.
I only ask one thing: a bit of recognition and forgetting a little slower than that I have experienced in the past.

.. ..


It was, in fact - I can it say today - an event a little painful for me to see, after my work with the dirigible and with the heavier than air, the ingratitude of those who covered me with praises not so long ago.
I conducted my experiences in Paris, in front of the people and the press, who witnessed, I received from the Aero Club of France, as a pioneer of aviation, the homage of the monument of Saint-Cloud and the memorial stone of Bagatelle, the government officially consecrated me with honors the French ribbon of the Legion of Honor, and I feel compelled to violate my unwillingness to talk about myself - the self is detestable - to defend these witnesses and this dedication that sometimes recklessly, seem to have been forgotten.
It is more like a proof of my gratitude than a claim, unnecessary by the way, for the history will not by written turning the time, but with facts and documents.
.. ..

From 1901 to 1903, was in everybody’s mouth , all over the world, my successes with dirigibles.
In 1906, my name is praised to the skies again, this time as the first flying man. Here, in support of these sayings, one page of L'Illustration, 18 October 1906. It is impossible here to cite all the newspapers that referred to me in those terms, but what is certain is that everyone, with no exception, was in agreement on this point.
I will not quote here in order not to overload this book.
Soon, however, to meet my young friends demands whom interest the efforts of pioneers, bring all these documents on a second volume that will be completed with the help of evidence, this brief summary.

.. ..
Some years pass, and everything is forgotten. Even if its granted to me, the honor of being the first man to get around the Eiffel Tower in dirigibles, but believed that my balloons were worthless! As if some machine had been born perfect from the first day it was conceived! Observe the boats of some fifty years ago! And the cars of some thirty years ago! (Translator's note – it must be taken into consideration the date of the text - 1929)

For the airplane, the lack of memory is even more complete. According to some, the Wrights were the first to fly. For others it was Ader.

Supporters of the Wrights understand that them flew in North America from 1903 to 1905.
These flights would have occurred near Dayton, in a field whose neighborhood has a Tramway line.
I can not but be deeply surprised by this unexplained fact, unique, unknown: That the Wright brothers did for three and a half years, numerous mechanics flight, without a journalist and as perceptive U.S. press was mobilized to go see them, control them, and take advantage of the most beautiful story of the season!
And what a season!
We were at the height of the career of Gordon Bennett, the typical American journalist, founder of the great stories, which had sent one of his journalists, Livingstone, looking for Stanley in Africa, then unknown and unexplored.
He encouraged everything that was new. Remember the Gordon Bennett Cup for free balloons, and automobiles.
I use to received in my office almost every day and night, one of his reporters. "We", he told me, "we are on a tour to tell the story of the world. Prodigiously We are interested in your work. " And those visits, almost daily, have been reported on his newspaper.
How then imagine that, at the same time, the Wright brothers circled in the air for hours, without anyone been aware of it?
And it is in "1909" that the Wright brothers first came to France, time which they show for the first time their machine. They have kept, they said, as a secret for five years their first flight on December 17, 1903.
However, - I ask you good attention to what I write here - if their machine shown at the end of 1908, first in the United States and later in France, because they would have received an offer of 500,000 francs from a French tycoon. This investor asked them, in exchange, public demonstrations of its apparatus and the assignment of their patents to France.
However, in 1904, time of the Universal Exposition in St. Louis, they say, their machine was already flying for more than one year - and St. Louis is only a few hundred kilometers from the gentlemen’s house - was on the agenda a prize of 500,000 francs, the same as that offered in 1908. And here, no patent had been ceded! But, you see, these 500,000 francs is no longer interesting. They preferred to wait four years and travel 10,000 km to contest on French offer at the moment me myself, the Farman, Blériot and the others already were flying.
Also note that from 1903 to 1908, the Wright brothers had a horror, a terrible dislike for journalists. They will not show anyone their "miracle. " For know the following: In my experience with aircraft in 1903, the engine weighed 10 lbs lighter per horsepower (HP) and in 1908, this proportion had fallen to 3 Kgs per horsepower.
What should be taken into account, in short, is that the Wrights did not fly, or even show their machine, but in 1908.
They had as witness of the flight of 1903 only one sister and two “intimate” friends. Is this proof enough? And this "proof" is not in contradiction with its shortage of 500,000 francs on Saint Louis?
All this is pitifully suspect, further noted that, when they come to Europe, Voisin, framana, Blériot and others had flown after me. Not until two years after those European flights the Wright appear, with a better machine than ours, and would not be, they say, more than a copy of their 1903 airplane.
Soon after Levasseur who came out with his wonderful airplane Antoinette, so superior to anything that existed then! For twenty years he devoted himself to the problem. Could not have said it also was a monoplane that his copy of a model flown several years before? But Levasseur didn’t.
What would say Edison, Graham Bell and Marconi, then if they had made a public presentation of the light bulb, the telephone or the wireless telegraphy, and the comes up a man with a lamp, a telephone or telegraph improved, saying that was built long before and given as a witness ...... his sister! ?
The case Ader, here it goes, no comments:
Commissioned by the War Minister in 1895 to build an aircraft at government expense, Ader, after a two-year work and an expenditure of 700,000 francs, convened the committee to observe his flight.
The committee makes a report that is sent to the Minister of War.
The minister cancels the work and credits of Ader.
By 1906, Ader publishes a book in which he declares that flew in 1897, that the report was favorable, but he would be never able see it. Archdeacon campaigned for knowing the truth.
Senator D'Estournelles Constant even wrote a book that ends with these sentences:
(space of three blank lines)
The report is published by the Journal of Aero, here goes:
(another space of three blank lines)
With over 80 years, the same general has stated that in 1908 Ader flew in the day in question, 300 meters.
None of the other witnesses, that I know, ever came to declare something similar.
.. ..

Who, indeed, humanity owes the credit of air navigation by the heavier than air? To the experiments done in secret (they even claim to have done everything in order no to turn public their work)
[... Ils disent eux-memes, pour avoir tout fait qu'on ne pas suivi leurs travaux] and without any decisive proof? The Ader, that had an overwhelming report against him, done by an elite officer and signed by a young general,and has nothing on his favor but the declaration of this same general, octogenarian now? Or are the pioneers, working in broad daylight, who’s the first step - my flight of 250 meters at Bagatelle - was greeted by all the press as
« minute mémorable dans l’Histoire de l’aviation ». (“memorable minute in the history of Aviation”).

quarta-feira, 8 de junho de 2011

L’Homme Mecanique - reviews and remarks - original in French

Leia esta matéria em Português

Among the findings that were stored in one trunk of Dona Sophia Helena, was one of the most interesting manuscripts (typed by the S=D himself) - L'Homme Mecanique.
Santos Dumont had not only shown his newest inventions, the " Martian transformer" and the "Icarus" but also, for the first time, expressed his feelings about being victim of ingratitude by the fact that the whole world (with the exception of Brazil and some other countries) have given to the Wright brothers the primacy of being the first to perform the flight of the heavier than air.
Here S=D exudes geniality by letting his mind free to create without limits and then, applying the scientific method to bring their dreams to reality.
Santos not only create new devices, but also may well have invented innovative concepts for the time, such as:
- Ergonomics - see how Santos=Dumont applied a machine attached to the human body, in the case of the “Martian”, to make him climb the snow-slopes;
- Mimicry, in various degrees - see how S=D begins by observing the birds, then elevates himself in the air with captive balloon, and as the nature of Linnaeus, he makes no leaps: progresses from gentle, evolves, and so he did, to the blimp, and then to the plane and ultimately increases the degree of mimicry by the extreme trying to create wings to perform the individual and autonomous flight.
Obviously, even with all the genius of S=D, the ornithopter could not being invented in 1929.

The UTIAS Ornithopter No.1 (registration C-GPTR) that James De Laurier, built in Canada in the late nineties flew 300 meters in 14 seconds on July 8, 2006, since then nobody had better results.

On December 3rd, 1928 Santos-Dumont disembarked the Cap Arcona in Rio de Janeiro, bringing his two inventions, the " Martian Transformer " and "Icarus ". The result of his researches in the last three years (1925-1928) at La Casucha apartment rented by his close friend and partner, Marques de Soriano.

Santos-Dumont had a society with his friend, Marquis of Soriano - Soriano Ricardo Sholtz von Hermensdorff also called Marquis of Ivanrey, owner of Soriano Pedroso Automotive Company, which since 1919 manufactured cars, engines and even seaplanes.

Santos-Dumont card with the address of "La Casucha"

La Casucha - where Santos Dumont experimented with Icarus and the Martian

Santos developed, together with the Marquis of Soriano a special engine, powered by heavy oil, with low consumption, and eliminating the risk of flare up. The engine was launched in the market under the name "Dumont-Soriano. "

Jet backpack of Glenn Martin - solo flight in 2009

See now the interview that S=D conceded to the “Jornal do Commercio” about his latest inventions:

"The device comes, termed as" Martian transformer” in honor, if I may say so, H. G. Wells, in “The War of the Worlds”, the famous writer writes that on Mars there are no wheels and machines, in which inhabitants uses as means of transportation, there are no twisting, only alternative movements. I’ve studied for the last three years and worked in the discovery and manufacturing the “Martian" which reached successful practical results. I also have invented lately, another product, which is already being built. I’m not supposed to say a word about this one, except that It's called “Icarus”, I’ll try to attach a pair of wings to a man, in order to make him fly like a bird.”
The "Martian Transformer”, is a mechanic ski, used to climb mountains, well-understood, snow-capped mountains. For the climber there will be no further expenditure of human effort, with regard to the movement of the legs, because it will be supplied by the engine, a very light one. It is a small single cylinder, four-stroke 1 / 10 HP powered engine, weighing only 880 grams. It gives a rate of 1.20 (meters) per second ascent of a mountain. "

L’ H O M M E - M E C A N I Q U E
(see this article in English)

Je Dédie ce livre à la postérité

C’est forcé par les circonstances que je me décide à écrire ce livre.
D’une part, je n’aime pas écrire, d’autre part, je crois que les faits et les actes doivent se suffire à eux-mêmes sans commentaires.
Cette fois ci, après bien des années, ce sont les demandes et les questions innombrables d’amis et de correspondants, su sujet de ma dernière invention, en particulier, qui m’ont remis la plume à la main.
Je leur devais des explications. Les Voici :

.. ..

Mon appareil est destiné à transformer le mouvement rotatif de nous moteurs en mouvement alternatif et je l’ai baptise « Le Martien » en hommage eux habitants de la planète Mars qui, d’après Wells, n’emploient plus la roue, mais des jambes automatiques sur toutes leurs machines, y compris les immenses chare de guerre ravagèrent Londres, dans la « Guerre des Mondes » : - « Ah ! dire-t-on, ces romanciers, ces Jules Verne, ces Wells, quels visionnaires ! ».
Avez-vous lu, répondrais-je, si je voulais raisonner les derniers travaux de nous secrets sur «l’ astronautique ou navigation intersidérale ?» Mais je ne veux pas raisonner.
Revenons donc au Martien. Voici dans quelles circonstances je le conçus :
Depuis plus de vingt ans je suis un passionné du ski, et, déjà à cette époque lointaine, j’étais obsédé par obligation de peiner pendant plusieurs heures pour grimper su flanc des montagnes avant de gouter à la joie de l’immense glissade, joie profonde mais qui pourrait être décuplée si les jambes n’étaient fourbues par l’épuisante montés précédente.
Pendant le problème m’a paru insoluble.

.. ..

Un jour, pourtant, pendant l’hiver 1925 – 1926, j’étais arrive presque à la cîme du Mont Joli, qui domine Megève, épuisé, come une locomotive à bout de vapeur. Infiniment fatigué, je m’étais arrêté, un ski en avant, l’autre très en arrière, n’ayant plus la force de le tirer ! A la fin dune montée, cela arrive toutes les minutes ! Immobile, dans cette position, je maudissais la faible capacité inventive de l’homme que n’avait pas encore adapté un moteur aux besoins du skieur et du montagnard.
C’est à ce moment que, regardent la pointe de mon ski, placé très en avant, je pensai : « Mais j’ai ici un vrai point d’appui, puisque la peau do phoque empêche mon ski de reculer ! Si, de là, par un fil, je tire le talon de mon autre pied, celui-ci va avancer, dépasser mon autre talon et ne s’arrêtera lui-même qu’à hauteur de cette pointe.

Ce ski va alors se trouver dans la position occupée par l’autre, l’instant précédent et un second i’ il me permettra de recommencer pour celui-ci la même manouvre. Car comme disaient les premiers chercheurs de la direction des ballons, « Donnez-nous un point d’appui – toute la question est là ».
Le problème était donc résolu. Il fallait le mettre en pratique, c’est-à-dire réaliser, avec un moteur et automatiquement, le mouvement de va et vient d’une amplitude de plus d’un métré.
Que me donnait la mécanique existent pour cela ? Un vilebrequin et une bielle,
c’est-à-dire un arbre muni d’un couds de 60 centimètres et une bielle d’environ 2 Mêtres – pour le skieur : deux coudes et deux bielles – je ne pouvais évidemment envisager cela, force me fut d’inventer quelque de nouveau.
Voici ce que j’ai réalisé : les bielles je les si remplacée par deux fils que, s’ils sont en acier, peuvent n’avoir guère plus d’épaisseur qu’un cheveu. Les arbres à manetons, déviant alors deux très légers tambours en magnésium, pesant à peine 25 grammes, qui forment petits treuils pour les fils – je pense ne pas trop exagérer en disant que les pièces on mouvement do ce transformateur son cent fois plus légères que dans l ancien système à bielles. Et cette faible inertie des pièces en mouvement est d’un intérêt capital dans une machine où celles-ce subissant continuellement des renversements de marche.
La première figure montre mon petit transformateur de 95 grammes pour un moteur de 1/10 de cheval placé sur le dos d’un skieur. La figure numéro 2 montre un modèle plus grande, de 450 grammes pour un moteur de deux chevaux ou même plus.

Voici comment ils fonctionnent.
Prenons, par exemple, le grand modèle (fig. 2) .
Le mouvement rotatif du moteur est reçu par le pignon R, els voté sur l’arbre O, que tourne dans les paliers P1 et P2. Sur cet arbre sont montés librement les deux tambours A et B, sur lesquels viennent s’enrouler les fils dont nous avons parlé. Enfin, entre ceux-ci, un disque D, fixé d’une clavette longue sur l’arbre, peut coulisser le long de celui-ce. Il est commandé par l’intermédiaire d’un système formé d’une tige intérieure T er d’un levier L. Les tambours A, B et le disque D portant des cavités er des bossages correspondants, on voit que l’en pourra, par la commande de Levier L, accoupler l’un ou l’autre des tambours sur l’arbre O.
Suivons maintenant les fils F1 et F2 des tambours. Ils vent s’attacher dans le cas présent, chacun à la pointe d’un ski, en passant par une poulie fixée au talon du pied opposé, mais passant d’au bord par deux petits trous L1 et L2 et portant un peu plus loin deux nœuds N1 et N2, ne pouvant traverser ses trous. Cette disposition assure automatiquement le changement de marche – Voyons comme.
Le moteur étant mis en marche, le pignon R et l’arbre o tornent en entrainant le disque D. C’est tout.
Pour amorcer le mouvement alternatif, pour embrayer, poussons par une commande quelconque le levier L ; celui-ci tire la tige T qui applique le disque D sur le tambour B. Celui-ci devenant solidaire de l’arbre, tourne avec lui. Le fil F2 s’enroule donc sur le treuil tambour B et les différentes pièces se trouvent dans la position de la figure no 1.
Ce mouvement va se continuer jusqu'à ce que nœud N2 venant buter contre la pièce T2 entraine celle-ci. Mais cette butée est reliée au levier de commande L, qui va être tiré, ce qui aura pour conséquence, de déplacer le disque D à droite, c’est-à-dire de débrayer le tambour B er d’embrayer le tambour A. C’est le fil P qui, dans ce deuxième tempe va s’enrouler, jusqu’à l’arrivée du nœud N1 sur sa butée ; celle-ci inversera de nouveau l’embrayage des tambours. Remarquais que, pendant ce deuxième temps le fil F2 tiré par le ski se déroulera sur son tambour, que peut tourner librement.
Ce double mouvement doit, dans le cas du skieur, se réaliser à peu près deux fois par seconde – mais que mon jeune lecteur ou ma belle lectrice ne s’effraye pas de cela. Se doutent-ils que les soupapes du moteur de leur cabriolet s’ouvrent er se ferment plus de 60 fois par seconde. On dit même, que les atomes, dans le molécule que leur sert de prison, sont si inquiets, si agités, qu’ils vont da droite à gauche et de gauche à droite, dix milliards de millions de fois par seconde. Mais je n’ai ici qu’une confiance limitée dans la précision des mesures.

Dans ma machine, on voit et on compte les battements qui lui donnent même l’apparence, très amusante, d’un être vivant.

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Voici maintenant deux figures expliquant le mouvement des skis. Dans la première (Fig….) le ski droit est en arrière. Le fil attaché à sa pointe, vient de finir son travail en amenant le talon du pied gauche en avant, et son nœud arrivant sur la butée, fait le changement de marche dans le transformateur. Le fil attaché à la pointe de l’autre ski – le gauche – va commencer à s’enrouler sur son petit treuil en poussent le talon droit, jusqu’à la position de figure … …
De nouveau l’inversion de marche fonctionnera, et ceci à peu près deux fois par seconde.

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Pour pouvoir, cet hiver, convertir des adeptes à mon invention et aussi leur montrer, pratiquement, le fonctionnement de l’appareil, je construis, maintenant, un transformateur beaucoup plus grand et plus puissant que l’autre, puisque son moteur aura une puissance de 2 CV ½ et sera placé sur deux skis, au lieu d’être attaché sur le dos.
D’ailleurs, s’il est prêt asses tôt, je le placerais d’abord sur roues pour l’essayer cet été sur des pelouses ou sur les plages.
Ce qui est curieux, dans cette machine, c’est qu’à l’encontre des bœufs qui tirent leurs chars, de la locomotive qui tire ses wagons, du camion qui tire ses remorques et même du cheval qui, en skijoring, tire le ou les skieurs, ma machine, elle, va les pousser !

pratique du skijöring - photo by Santos=Dumont

Mais oui, vous allez voir cette tante petite machine deux, trois, quatre, ou même plus, tous à la fils indienne, pousses par des ficelles.
Voici bien une association de mots aussi nouvelle que mon invention. Ne pensez pas, d’ailleurs que je sois guidé par une fantaisie, non. Le système sous tous les rapports fonctionnera mieux à l‘arrière.
Remarquons d’ailleurs que – échange de bons procédés – la machine ne sera elle-même tirée par le dernier skieur. Il faut, en réalité, la considérer comme la génératrice d’une énergie que est transmise à la caravane sous la forme de va et vient de deux petits câbles. Les intervalles respectifs des skieurs sont maintenus par une commination de bambous légers et de câbles Bowden qui guident les fils de commandes.

Mme. Ponget avec le "Marcian"

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L’aéronautique ayant été l’idée maitreuse de ma vie, elle intervient encore dans les moindres préoccupations de mon esprit. Cette petite invention conçue à peine pour aider à un sport agréable, mais trop fatiguent, aura peut être une importance considérable dans mes travaux de prédilection, Le temps dira si mon imagination n’abuse pas de mes espérances.
Dans cette voie, une troisième machine est en préparation, pour un moteur de 30cv, pesant 15Kgs. Elle est destinée à l’homme volant et voici comment j’envisagé son fonctionnement : sur la bâti, pourtant moteur et pilote, deux grandes ailes peuvent battre, autour de leur ligne d’attache. Elles sont formées par un grillage fin dont la face inferieur est couverte de plumes, chacune de ces plumes pouvant aussi tourner autour de son axe.
Quand l’aile remonte, les plumes pivotent et se présentent par leur tranche au courant d’air. Quand, au contraire, l’aille descend, les plumes viennent toutes s’appliquer, par leur face, sur le grillage, en formant une surface contraire, dont la résistance est suffisante pour soulever l’appareil.
La figure … montre clairement la manière dont le transformateur agit sur les ailes : un des câbles de commande se dirige vers la bas et se divise en deux brins, passant chacun sur une poulie er volant s’attacher sur les ailes battantes pour les abaisser. L’autre câble du transformateur, disposé, vers le haut, d’une manière analogue, sort à relever la voilure.

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Ces machines que je viens de décrire rapidement ne sont que les premières applications de mon transformateur. J’en prévois beaucoup d’autres, ne serait-ce que le piéton mécanique.
Qui sait même si nous ne verrons pas un jour, à l’exemple de la machine martienne de Wells, des autos er des trains à jambes mécaniques. Les fantaisies de Jules Vernes, ses sous-marines, ses dirigeables, ses machines volantes, ont longtemps amusé le public. Et pourtant ce ne sont plus des fantaisies, en 1929.
Déjà nous savants prévoient, pour les mouvements vibratoires et alternatifs des rendements inconnus du mouvement rotatif – je prévois pour Wells, le fantaisiste, la même carrière inventive que celle de son confrère français.
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Je pense, cher lecteur, après cet exposé que j’ai fait le plus court possible, vous avoir décrit une machine curieuse, non seulement nouvelle, mais d’avenir, para suite au nombre de ses applications.
Comme pour toutes les inventions que j’ai réalisées, jusqu’ici, dans mon existence, je n’ai pas pris de brevets. Je trouve tout mon plaisir et tout ma récompense, dans la lutte pour la solution du problème et non pas dans des profits possibles.
On va donc, et cela me fera grand plaisir, copier ma nouvelle invention, pour la joie des jeunes sportifs er le progrès de l’humanité toute entière.
Je ne demande seulement qu’une chose : un peu de reconnaissance un oubli un peu moins rapide que celui que j’ai dû subir dans le passé.

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Ce fut, en effet – je puis le dire aujourd’hui – une épreuve un peu douloureuse pour moi, de voir, âpres mes travaux sur le dirigeable et le plus lourd que l’air, l’ingratitude de ceux que me couvraient de louanges quelque temps auparavant.
J’ai réalisé mes expériences à Paris, devant son peuple e devant sa presse, qui en ont été les témoins ; j’ai reçu de l’Aéro-Club de France, come pionnier de l’aéronautique, l’hommage du monument de Saint Cloud et de la pierre commémorative de Bagatelle, hommage consacré officiellement par le Gouvernement français avec la cravate de La légion d’Honneur, et je me crois contraint, faisant violence à ma répugnance à parler de moi-même - le moi est haïssable - de defendre ces témoignages et cette consácration, qui, parfois, inconsidérément, parait sont oublié.
Il y a, en cela, beaucoup plus, une preuve de sa gratitude qu’une revendication, au surplus inutile, car l’histoire ne s’écrira, dans le recul du temps, qu’avec les faits er les documents.

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De 1901 à 1903, on ne parle, dans le monde entier, que de mes succès en dirigeables.
En 1906, mon nom est de nouveau porté aux nues, et cette fois, en qualité du premier homme volant. Voici à l’appui de ces dires, une page de L’Illustration du 18 Octobre 1906. Il est impossible ici de citer touts les journaux que parlèrent de moi en ces termes, mais, ce qui est certain, c’est que tous, sans exception, étaient d’accord sur ce point.
Je ne les citerai pas ici pour ne pas surcharger ce livre.
Bientôt, cependant, à l’intention de mes jeunes amis que l’effort des pionniers intéresse, je compte réunir tous ces documents dans un second volume qui complètera, preuves à l’appui, ce bref aperçu.

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Quelques années passèront et on oublie tout.
On m’accorde, il est vrai, encore l’honneur d’avoir le premier contourné la Tour Eiffel, en dirigeable, mais on trouve que mes ballons ne valaient rien ! Voyez les bateaux d’il y a cinquante ans ! Et les automobiles d’il y a trente ans !
Pour l’aéroplane, l’oubli est encore plus complet. D’après les uns, ce sont les Wright qui, les premières, ont volé. Pour d’autres c’ ce Ader.
Les partisans des Frères Wright prétendent que ceux-ci ont volé en Amérique du Nord, depuis 1903 jusqu’en 1908. Ces vols auraient ou lieu près de Dayton, dans un champ en bordure duquel passait un tramway.
Je ne puis m’empêcher d’être étonné profondément de ce fait inouï inexplicable, unique : Les Frères Wright ont pu faire pendant trois ans et demi, d’innombrables vols mécaniques, sans qu’aucun journaliste de la si perspicace presse des États Unis se soit dérangé pour les voir, les contrôler et profiter du plus beau reportage de l’époque.
Et de quelle Époque !
Nous étions à l’apogée de la carrière de Gordon Bennett, ce prototype du journaliste américain, ce fondateur du grand reportage, qui avait envoyé un de ses journalistes, Livingstone, rechercher Stanley au centre de l’Afrique, alors inconnue et inexplorée.
Tout ce qui était nouveau, il l’encourageait ; on se souvient de coupe Gordon Bennett des ballons libres et des Automobiles.
Dans mes ateliers se trouvait, presque jour er nuit, un de ses reporters. « Nous sommes me disait-il, à un tournant de l’histoire du monde. On s’intéresse prodigieusement à vos travaux ». Et ceux-ci presque quotidiennement, étaient relatés, dans son journal.
Comment alors imaginer qu’à la même époque, les Frères Wright décrivent pendant des heures des cercles dans les airs er que personne ne s’en occupe !
C’est en « 1909 » que les frères Wright sont venus on France er qu’ils montrèrent, pour la premier fois leur machine. Ils l’auraient gardée, disent-ils, en cachette depuis cinq ans, depuis leur premier vol du 17 Décembre 1903.
Mais - et je vous prie ici, de bien suivre ce que je vais écrire s’ils ont montré leur machine, à la fin de 1908, d’abord aux Etats Unis puis en France, c’est qu’ils avaient reçu une offre de 500.000 francs d’un brasseur d’affaires français. Ce marché leur demandait, en échange, des démonstrations publiques avec leur appareil et la cession de leurs brevets pour la France.
Or, en 1904, à l’Exposition Universelle de St. Louis, c’est-à-dire à l’époque où déjà, disent-ils, leur machine volait depuis un an – et St. Louis n’est qu’à quelques centaines de miles de chez ces messieurs - il y avait à gagner un prix de 500.000 francs, de la même valeur que l’offre de 1903. Et ici, pas de brevets à céder ! Mais, voyez-vous à cette époque, ces 500.000 Francs ne les intéressant pas. Ils ont préféré attendre quatre ans et faire 10.000 kilomètres pour venir les toucher, à un moment où moi-même, les Farman, les Bleriot, et d’autres volaient déjà !
Remarquez aussi que de 1903 à 1908, les Frères Wright ont une horreur, une répugnance terribles pour les journalistes. Ils ne veulent montrer à personne, leur « merveille ».
En 1908 tout change, mais je demande à ce qu’on note ceci : Lors de mes expériences de dirigeables, en 1903, le moteur le plus léger pesait 10 Kgs par cheval ; en 1908, ce poids était tombé à 3 Kgs.
Ce qu’il faut retenir, en résumé, c’est que les Wright ne volent et même ne montrent leur machine qu’on ……..1908.
Ils n’eurent pour témoins de vols de 1903, que leur sœur et deux amis « intimes » Est-ce vraiment une preuve suffisante ? Et ce « preuve » n’est-elle pas en contradiction avec leur carence, devant les 500.000 Frcs de St. Louis ?
Tout ceci est piteusement louche, car remarquez que lorsque viennent en Europe, Voisin, Farman, Bleriot, et d’autres on déjà vole après moi. Ce n’est donc que deux ans après ces vols européennes que le Wright apparaît, mieux au point que nous appareils, et que ne serait d’après eux qu’une copie de leur biplan de 1903. » !
Aussitôt âpres, c’est Levasseur qui sort son merveilleux monoplan « Anoniette » si supérieur à tout ce qui existait ! Depuis vingt ans, il s’était attaché au problème. N’aurait-il pas pu dire, lui aussi, que son monoplan était une copie d’un modèle ayant volé plusieurs années auparavant ? Levasseur ne l’a pas fait.
Que diraient Edison, Grahan Bell, ou Marconi, si après qu’ils eurent présenté au public la lampe électrique, le téléphone et la télégraphic sans fil, un quidam était venu avec une lampe, un téléphone ou un télégraphe plus perfectionnés, disant l’avoir construit longtemps auparavant et donnant comme témoin ….. sa sœur !
L’affaire Ader, la voici sans commentaires :
Chargé par le Ministre de la Guerre en 1895 de construire un avion aux frais du Gouvernement, Ader, après un travail de deux ans et une dépense de 700.000 francs, convoque la commission pour contrôler son vol.
La commission fait un rapport que est remis au Ministre de la Guerre.
Le Ministre arrête les travaux et les crédits.
Vers 1906 Ader publie un livre dans lequel il déclare qu’il a volé en 1897, que le rapport lui était favorable, mais qu’il n’a jamais pu le voir. Archdeacon fait une campagne pour qu’on sache la vérité. Le Sénateur d’Estournelles de Constant écrit même un livre qu’il finit avec ces phrases :

Le rapport est publie par le Journal Aéro du voici :

Agé de plus de 80 ans, le même général vient on qu’Ader a volé ce jour lá 300 mètres.
Aucun des autres témoins, que je sache, n’a jamais dit de semblable.

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A qui, en réalité, l’Humanité doit-elle la navigation par le plus lord que l’air ? Est-ce des expériences faites en cachette ils disent eux-mêmes , avoir tout fait pour qu’on ne suive pas leurs travaux) et sans aucune preuve décisive ; est-ce à Ader que a contre lui un rapport écrasant, fait par une élite d’officiers et signe par un jeune général et n’a pour lui que le dernier aveu de ce même général, mais alors octogénaire, - ou aux pionniers, travaillant au grand jour, et dont le premier pas – mon vol de 230 mètres à Bagatelle – fut salué par toute la Presse de « Minute mémorable dans l’Histoire de l’Aviation » ?

« minute mémorable dans l’Histoire de l’aviation ». (“minuto memorável na Historia da Aviação”).

terça-feira, 7 de junho de 2011

Unsolved History, Santos=Dumont – The accident of Agust 8, 1901

Leia este artigo em Português

This illustration is a picture overview of the August 8, 1901 accident. Next, I will explain how I came to the conclusion that the airship passed over the Hotel Trocadeiro, snagged the involucre on an array of chimneys, pop as a balloon and hung as seen in photos of the day of the accident.

The reports about the most important accident that Santos=Dumont suffered with his dirigible Number 5, which provided the basis for the construction of dirigible No. 6 with the needed modifications to reach the Deutsche prize, never been very clear. That’s why I perform a thorough investigation to ascertain the facts of that fatidic August, 8, which would change the life of Santos=Dumont from that day on.

Did the number five really hit the Hotel Trocadero frontally (as seen in many reconstitution)?
Why have we never seen pictures of the famous buildings in its exact location in Passy?

If I really want to illustrate this sequence, I need to know exactly what happened.

The most important source of reference is in the book "My Airships" written by the Dumont. And no less important are the articles such as the interview he gave to the Republican American newspaper in Springfield October 27, 1901, in which Dumont says "I fell without a great shock" - Le Figaro, August 10 of that year, Le Progres de Dijon, among others.

The second sources of references are the photos of the period.

The third and undoubtedly the coolest one is the research in loco. From the point of view of an illustrator it is very important to check the light and shadow casting to find the exact hour of happenings. Unfortunately I could not get there on August 8 but, on September 4. However this difference in dates is not important enough to result in big differences.


Tough the buildings where most of the photos were taken are no longer there, if you compare the photos taken on that day to others in the near, there are lots of places in common.

In spite of not finding the precise window in which Santos-Dumont sat while he was waiting for the rope, I found the same type of windows in the buildings around Passy.

If we put on the map the description of the fall made by Santos-Dumont will have the following sequence:

- We know that the final destination of the dirigible was the Hotel Trocadero;
- We do not have any photos of the hotel in 1901. But I was sure that it should be next-door to the buildings of Passy. As the airship had been losing altitude it didn’t fall in the upper part of the neighborhood, but at the bottom part, almost to the banks of the Seine.

Analyzing this picture taken from the Upper Passy, we see that the guide rope is being dragged from right to left, and then we know that the airship was moving to the left, toward the Seine.

The conclusion is that the hotel was not on the rue de l'Albon and much less in the Rue des Eaux (as we’ve seen in lots and lots of reconstitutions). But, it was definitely on avenue du Président-Kennedy.

Now that we know for sure the position where the hotel should be, it became much easier to find the buildings of the hotel Trocadero, and attest the exact location of the accident.

Et voit la! This old photo is the proof that we were looking for. It is the view of the Ile des Cygnes taken from the Eiffel Tower. Here we could see the hotel Trocadeiro, "side-by-side with the buildings of the Passy."

Santos=Dumont No5 –The accident of August 8, 1901

Leia este artigo em Português

In the beginning of 1900, the Aéro-Club de France announced the 'Deutsch de la Meurthe' prize of one hundred thousand francs for 'the first flying machine' to complete the round trip from St. Cloud to the Eiffel Tower and back in less than thirty minutes.

Santos=Dumont was performing experiences with his dirigible (The Santos=Dumont No. 5)when he suffered his worst accident ever, it was really a narrow escape from death.

In the book “My Airships” written by Santos=Dumont, he described one of the worst accidents he’d ever suffered:

" And now I come to a terrible day — August 8, 1901. At 6.30 am, I started for the Eiffel Tower again, in the presence of the Scientific Committee of the Aero Club, duly convoked. I turned the goal at the end of nine minutes, and took my way to Saint Cloud. Unfortunately, a precedent accident weakened the spring of an automatic valve and the balloon was losing hydrogen. I ventured to continue. The balloon shrank visibly; to the point that when I reach the fortifications of Paris, near La Muette the ropes attached to the involucre curved upward, so that, the others, close to the propeller, hooked on it in motion.

When I saw the propeller cutting and root them out. I stopped the engine.

The wind was blowing hard, instantly I took the airship by the side of the Eiffel Tower. At the same time, I fell. The gas loss was substantial.

I would have been able to throw out a lot of ballast in order to cushion the fall significantly, but the wind would throw me against the great iron monument. So, I chose to leave the aircraft to go its own way (...)

I fell. And the wind took me to the Eiffel Tower (...)

the rear part of my elongated balloon, which still retains all the gas, hit against a roof at exact moment I was trying to deviate.

The balloon burst with a bang (...)

Like a paper bag full of air, crashed against a wall and explodes, producing a great noise, …my balloon bag, which was not small, made ​​a noise like that, but ... on a large scale. It was completely destroyed…

…in small pieces not bigger than a napkin!


I have escaped by miracle,

Therefore I was hanging by a few strings, part of the balloon, in an uncomfortable and dangerous position,

And then arrived the firemen of Paris to rescue me"