François Pilâtre de Rozier: First man to fly in a balloon

Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier was a well-renowned pioneer of aviation. While studying pharmacology in Paris, Pilâtre de Rozier ventured into the fields of chemistry and experimental Physics. He soon sought a powerful patron to support his work in the form of the Count and Countess de Provence who named him intendant of the cabinets of physics, chemistry and natural history. With his patron’s backing, Pilâtre de Rozier established a scientific club, the Musée de Monsieur where he offered lectures. Pilâtre de Rozier’s penchant for the spectacular reached full fruition when he heard about the new invention of Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier, the hot air balloon which had its first public launch in June 1783.

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Louis Bleriot: First aviator to cross the English Channel in a powered aircraft

Louis Bleriot was a French aviator, inventor and engineer who was famous for his flight across the English Channel. Even before this ground breaking flight, Louis had already made a name through his invention of the first practical headlamps. Louis taught himself the principles of flight and designed orinthopters and gliders which he tested out. Through trial and error, he designed the tail surfaces which have become conventional and his company Recherches Aeronautiques Louis Bleriot is credited as being the inventors of the monoplane.

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