Ader, Clément

Ader, Clément

▪ French inventor
born Feb. 4, 1841, Muret, France
died March 5, 1926, Toulouse
 self-taught French engineer, inventor, and aeronautical pioneer.

      Ader constructed a balloon at his own expense in 1870. By 1873 he had turned his attention to heavier-than-air flight, constructing a winged “bird” on which he is said to have made tethered flights. Ader resigned his position with the Administration of Bridges and Roads in 1876, determined to make a fortune and pursue the dream of mechanical flight. He built his early reputation as a pioneer of telephony and an inventor of communications devices, which ranged from a microphone to a public address system.

      Work on his first powered aircraft began in 1882 and continued for eight years. On Aug. 11, 1890, Ader was granted a patent covering the essentials of the steam-propelled, tailless monoplane that he named Éole (Ader Éole) in honour of the Greek god of the winds ( Aeolus). Six weeks later, on Oct. 9, 1890, he achieved a powered hop of about 50 metres (165 feet) through the air. Éole was incapable of either sustained or controlled flight, but this was the first occasion on which a powered aircraft carrying a human being made a takeoff from level ground. Ader's claims for a second hop of about 100 metres (330 feet) in September 1891 are not generally accepted.

 In 1892 the Minister of War offered Ader the first payment in what would have eventually grown into a 650,000-franc subsidy to construct a new flying machine. The initial design, Avion II, was abandoned before completion. Avion III (Ader Avion III) was tested on a circular track at Satory on Oct. 12 and 14, 1897. The official report of the trials noted that the machine had not flown but recommended that the tests continue. Officials of the Ministry of War, however, decided that they had seen enough and refused to fund further tests.

 Nine years later, at the peak of the excitement over the first public heavier-than-air flights in Europe, Ader announced for the first time that he had flown Avion III over 90 metres (300 feet) on Oct. 14, 1897. One of the surviving witnesses now recalled that the wheels of Avion III had lifted, followed by a crash “almost immediately afterwards.” In spite of the fact that this spectacular conclusion to the day's testing had been ignored in the original report, several historians of aviation began to credit Ader with the flight. Following World War II, Charles Dolfuss, the leading French historian of aviation, and C.H. Gibbs-Smith, his English counterpart, demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that there was little substantial evidence to support Ader's claims for flights in 1891 and 1897.

Tom D. Crouch
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ader, Clement — (1841 1925)    engineer and inventor Called the Father of Aviation, Clement Ader was born in Muret. in 1870, he manufactured a balloon that was launched successfully and then, in 1890, a heavier than air apparatus (Éole) powered by steam; it flew …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Ader, Clément — ► (1841 1925) Ingeniero y aviador francés. Planeó y construyó un aparato volador (lo llamó avión) que puede considerarse precursor de los modernos aviones …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Ader Clement III — Éole III (Fotomontage) Vorderansicht mit Blick auf die Propeller Die Ader Éole III (auch Avion III oder Aquilon genannt) war der Versuch von Clement Ader ein …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Clement Ader — Clément Ader 1891 Éole III Clément Agnès Ader (* 2. April 1841 in Muret bei Toulouse, Frankreich; † …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Clément Ader — Born 2 April 1841(1841 04 02) Muret, Haute Garonne, France Died 5 March 1925(1925 03 05) (aged 83) …   Wikipedia

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