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History of Flight

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Santos-Dumont

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About FirstFlight

Santos-Dumont - aircraft - 14 bis

The most original feature of the 14-bis is that it was the first, and probably the only, plane in history in which the pilot controlled it from a standing position. Santos-Dumont had always stood in his powered balloon flights, and he seemed to regard flying as a chivalrous sport so perhaps he thought that to sit down was somehow ungentlemanly. For whatever reason, once the ailerons were added Santos-Dumont made use of his standing position to control them by wires attached to his jacket. Leaning to the left and right in this way, he is described as using 'samba-like movements' to keep control in the 1906 flight!

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