Clément Ader's Avion 3 at Salon Aéronautique 1909
Clément Ader’s Avion 3 at « Le Grand Palais » in Paris, France – 1909


What if aviation history had to be rewritten?
What if aviation history had to be rewritten?

Has Clément Ader had a lot of clout in aviation history? This is one of the questions and issues a brand new project will examine and try to answer.

« Clément Ader – le film » (Clément Ader – the movie) project was born a few months ago thanks to a French team led by Sylvain Thomas – an aviation geek, with extensive experience in light aircraft videos, and as a former chief editor of an aviation magazine – and Thomas Leroux who has extensive experience as a TV channel director.

It all started by the idea of re-writing aviation history as far as Ader is concerned for the French engineer may not have revealed the whole of his activity. Some Satory archives were released in 1990 only. Besides, it has been clearly established that Clément Ader used to be bound by military secrecy, and it is believed that the inventor may have well hidden some of his projects. Besides, he happened to undervalue his performance. Was it any confession? Or odd attitude? Anyway, the plot lies in the first part of the film and consists of a fiction that reports earlier Ader’s flights that could have happened in the 1870s whereas the second part is a documentary developped by several aviation experts and historians. We cannot tell you more, of course.

The directors placed their idea on Ulule – a crowdfunding website, and they gathered enough money for starting up. They  have received considerable support from José Garcia, the French movie star – and pilot – and the actress and singer Véronique Jeannot who used to sponsor the Patrouille de France, and brought out the album « Aviateur » in 1988. The guest stars have sponsored « Rêves de gosse« , an association helping impaired children. More than a hundred other avgeeks gave their support in the crowdfunding, and the film is now on the making. Xavier Cotton ( is one of them, and he has already helped Prepa PLS Anglais a lot with his photos, and given his expertise in the field of aeronautics.

Clément Ader – le film & Prepa PLS Anglais have spontaneously begun a partnership, helping each other as often as possible. It must be noted that both structures share the same interests, particularly by promoting aviation history, and even rewriting it. You will be kept posted sooner or later…

The team has already released a few quite interesting videos which deal with aeronautical issues in the broadest sense on their their Youtube channel in a French-speaking series called « Avianoob ». It is worth a visit, and may represent learning resource for BIA(Brevet d’Initiation Aéronautique) as well as CAEA (Certificat d’Aptitude à l’Enseignement Aéronautique) candidates.

Last, not the least, Sylvain and Thomas, to their credit, made the decision of donating part of the profits from DVD sales to « Rêves de gosse« .


En français:

L'Eole de Clément Ader
L’Eole de Clément Ader

Peut-on dire que Clément Ader a beaucoup marqué l’histoire de l’aviation de son influence? C’est une des questions qu’un projet flambant neuf tentera d’élucider.

Le projet « Clément Ader – le film » a vu le jour il y a quelques mois grâce à une équipe menée par Sylvain Thomas (fan d’aviation avec une grande expérience sur le tournage de vidéos d’avions légers, il fût rédacteur-en-chef d’un magazine sur l’aviation) et Thomas Leroux qui a une grande expérience comme réalisateur d’une chaîne télévisée.

Tout a commencé avec l’idée de réécrire l’histoire de l’aviation en ce qui concerne Ader car il se peut que l’ingénieur français n’ait pas tout dévoilé de son activité. Des archives de Satory ne furent rendues publiques qu’en 1990. D’autre part, il a clairement été établi que jadis, Clément Ader était tenu au secret militaire et on croit qu’il se peut que certains projets de l’inventeur aient bien été cachés. Par ailleurs, il est arrivé qu’il minimise ses performances. Etait-ce un aveu? Ou une étrange attitude? Bref, l’histoire, dans la première partie du film consiste en une fiction selon laquelle des précédents vols d’Ader auraient pu avoir lieu dans les années 1870 tandis que la seconde partie est un documentaire développé par des experts de l’aviation et des historiens. Bien entendu, nous ne pouvons pas vous en dire plus.

Les réalisateurs on mis leur idée en ligne sur Ulule (un site de crowdfuning) et ils ont rassemblé suffisamment de fonds pour démarrer leur projet. Ils ont bénéficié d’un appui considérable de José Garcia, la star du cinéma et pilote d’aviation et de l’actrice chanteuse Véronique Jeannot qui avait été une marraine de la Patrouille de France et avait sorti l’album « Aviateur » en 1988. Les deux vedettes du petit et du grand écran ont parainné « Rêves de gosse« , une association qui aide les enfants en difficulté ou en situation de handicap. Une grosse centaine de pasionnés d’aviation ont apporté leur soutien lors du crowdfunding et la réalisation du film est en cours. L’un d’entre eux est Xavier Cotton ( qui a déjà beaucoup aidé Prépa PLS Anglais avec ses photos et grâce à son expertise dans le domaine de l’aéronautique.

Clément Ader – le film et Prepa PLS Anglais ont spontanément démarré un partenariat dans une aide mutuelle aussi fréquente que possible. Il faut dire que les deux structures partagent les mêmes intérêts. Particulièrement en faisant la promotion de l’histoire de l’aviation et même en la réécrivant. Vous serez tenus informés tôt ou tard…

L’équipe a déjà réalisé quelques vidéos ô combien intéressantes qui traitent de questions sur l’aéronautique au sens très large sur leur chaîne Youtube dans une rubrique intitulée « Avianoob ». Elle vaut le détour et peut représenter une aide pédagogique pour les candidats au BIA(Brevet d’Initiation Aéronautique) voire au CAEA (Certificat d’Aptitude à l’Enseignement Aéronautique).

Dernier point et pas le moindre, Sylvain et Thomas ont pris la décision de reverser une partie de leurs bénéfices des ventes de DVD et c’est tout à leur honneur, en faveur de l’association « Rêves de gosse« .

Source des images:


Clément Ader flying
Clément Ader flying

Bande annonce:






Florian Rochat's book cover - The legend of Little Eagle
 Book Cover


« The Legend of Little Eagle » is a novel about destinies that intersect. It is based on a true story which involved an actual American pilot – Lieutenant LeRoy Lutz – whose warplane was hit by anti-aircraft fire while strafing a German train. He then made the decision of purposefully crashing into a clear area instead of dashing into a French village called Mardeuil in Champagne, in June 1944. He did not survive to his feat, but the villagers did.

LeRoy Lutz has been turned into « John Philippe Garreau », and LeRoy Lutz flew a P-38 Lightning whereas Garreau is on a P-51 Mustang for the novel.

Here is further information about this book from a post written by Florian Rochat – the book’s author – published in French on January 24th, 2012:

In 1999, while I was in Montana researching my novel « Cougar corridor », I discovered a letter mailed from France in 1947. It said how a pilot of the US Army Air Force, Lieutenant LeRoy Lutz, had avoided a tragedy by staying on his damaged plane in order not to fall on a small village of Champagne, Mardeuil. It was in June 1944. Having renounced the bail out option while still able to do so, Lutz (picture below) had paid with his life this heroic act. His Lightning P-38 crashed in a field.

I told in a previous article of this blog how this letter led me to write my latest novel, The Legend of Little Eagle.

But now I have found its author. His name is André Mathy and he lives in Epernay, France…

…Time passes by, History is forgotten, but for the old inhabitants of Mardeuil LeRoy Lutz is always a hero whose sacrifice helped avoid civilian casualties in their village. « This story keeps coming to my mind, » said André Mathy.

I have been able to find him, which moves me. For this endpoint in the long story that was the writing of The Legend of Little Eagle highlights a surprising phenomenon on which I return repeatedly – over the reconstruction of the life of my hero who experienced a similar fate to LeRoy Lutz – in this story in which the notion of fate is perhaps the theme: the meaning and weight of stories, as explained in several books by William Kittredge, one of the great writers of Montana. According to him, our lives are ceaselessly intertwined with narrative, with the stories that we tell or hear told, those that we dream or imagine or would like to tell, all of which are reworked in that story of our own lives that we narrate to ourselves in an episodic, somewhat semiconscious, but virtually uninterrupted monologue. We live immersed in narrative (have you noticed?) These stories allow us, according to him, to situate ourselves in the world, and find meaning in our existence in the chaos of life. « We live in stories. We are stories, »  he asserts.

“We tell stories to talk out the trouble in our lives, trouble otherwise so often so unspeakable. It is one of our main ways of making our lives sensible. Trying to live without stories can make us crazy. They help us recognize what we believe to be most valuable in the world, and help us identify what we hold demonic,” Kittredge adds.

Seventeen years ago, when he finally learned about his father’s display of courage, Richard Lutz, LeRoy’s son, declared: « I was twelve years old when my mother told me that my father had died in France. I always thought he was the bravest pilot on earth. But now I know. »

 This book has already had 4.7 stars out of 13 customer reviews on It is a breath-taking novel according to them. The readers did love Florian Rochat’s talent and style. The synopsis made them believe that it was a book on aviation. It is, with many scenes of air combat during John Philip Garreau’s missions over Germany and France. But there is more to it. As mentioned above, it mainly deals with puzzling questions on destiny and fates bound within a same tragic event. However, these readers loved reading this unbelievable story. Air combat is not swept out of sight as the act of gallantry when LeRoy Lutz veered away from the village to save lives is well highlighted. Moreover, the hero amazingly meets with a famous WWII aviator.

Many reviews, and articles have been posted about this book, especially in French since it was first written in French. Here are two of them:

You can read Florian Rochat’s biography on Xavier Cotton’s blog « Passion pour l’Aviation« . Special thanks to Xavier who passed the information on.

« The Legend of Little Eagle » is on sale as an ebook on,,, and, Smashwords and other digital platforms, and as a paperback on all Amazon bookstores. Author’s website:



Hi there!

Dear readers, it’s high time I sent season’s greetings, and a happy new year to you through this video:

In this amusing video, a voice-over quotes Hamlet, act 1, scene 1:

Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike;
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is the time.

Then, the voice-over adds:

So, I brought you that… Merry, merry Christmas, and happy new year to you all.

The voice-over quotes Marcellus’s cue from the original version of Hamlet:

It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long.
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad.
The nights are wholesome. Then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is that time.

…, which roughly means:

It faded away when the rooster crowed. Some people say that just before Christmas the rooster crows all night long, so that no ghost dares to go wandering, and the night is safe. The planets have no sway over us, fairies’ spells do not work, and witches cannot bewitch us. That is how holy that night is.

Here below a translation from François Maguin’s bilingual book in both old English, and French:

Il a disparu au chant du coq.
On dit que toujours, lorsque vient la saison
Où l’on célèbre la naissance de Notre Sauveur,
L’oiseau de l’aube chante toute la nuit.
Alors, dit-on, nul esprit ne se risque à sortir,
Les nuits s’en trouvent pures, nulle planète ne frappe,
Pas de fée ni de sorcière qui puisse jeter un sort,
Tant la grâce vient sanctifier ce temps.

Video from Valentin Bajkov © Delov Digital,


SUPERB French Navy RAFALE Video

Make your life a dream,
and this dream a reality.

Fais de ta vie un rêve
et de ce rêve, une réalité.

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry)