The Brazilian pioneer was the first to demonstrate that controlled flight was possible thanks to his dirigible balloons. He flew his « Number 6 » round the Eiffel Tower as early as 1901. He designed and flew the 14-bis « Oiseau de proie » (Bird of prey) in 1906. This invention was the first fixed-wing flying machine witnessed by the European press and French aviation authorities to achieve an actual controlled flight.
He designed and flew the Demoiselle (Damselfly) in 1908. This aircraft was controlled by wing warping, and a tail unit equipped with a rudder, and an elevator.
The Swedish-made Saab 35 Draken was a second generation jet fighter. 644 of them were built. This fighter aircraft used to fly during the Cold War as early as 1955, and entered in service in 1960.
Maybe her particular double-delta shape was worth calling it « Draken » which means « kite ». She was more an air defense aircraft than a dogfighter aircraft.
She retired from the RDAF, the Royal Danish Air Force in 1993; from the SwAF, the Swedish Air Force in 1999; from the FIAF, the Finnish Air Force in 2000; and from the AAF, the Austrian Air Force in 2005.
Hereafter an interesting video featuring a Saab 29 Tunnan (Flying Barrel); a Saab 32 Lansen (Lance); and a Draken momentarily as an interceptor; with her rate of climb nearing 35,000ft/min, she could reach FL650 – more than 20 kilometres above the earth – to hit her target:
Here is a tribute to CPT Georges GUYNEMER who was killed in action on September 11th, 1917. Three months earlier, he fought with Ernst Udet, the ace who came up 2nd after the Red Baron. You can watch hereafter how this dogfight reportedly happened, and how these fighter pilots had the gut to keep honor above all:
Remember Guynemer’s mottos: FAIRE FACE (face up to it) was then adopted by the French Air Force Academy (FAFA) as their motto. A few words that well expresses the French pilots’ bravery.
The WWI French ace Georges Guynemer used to say:
– « Il y a une limite à toute chose, et il faut toujours la dépasser. « Everything has a limit which has always got to be surpassed. » – « Lorsque l’on n’a pas tout donné, on n’a rien donné. » « As long as you have not given your all, you have given nothing »
Loyal to these principles, the French ace took part in several hundreds of aerial combats, crediting 53 victories. He was shot down seven times, and he was admired for he always survived, but that September 11, Ninety-three years ago. The hero took off once again. Outnumbered by German warplanes in a last dogfighting over Belgium. Then, he fell.
Since then, the French Air Force aviators have worn a black tie in sign of mourning.
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