The Wright Brothers are recognised almost universally as the first to fly a heavier-than-air powered aeroplane at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina on 17 December 1903. Their demands for licence fees from anyone flying in their own country suppressed progress in America.

Initially disbelieving the Wright Brothers' claims and wanting to be first to fly, the French became very active and rapidly took the lead in early aviation development.

To see a short description of each pioneer, please 'left click' on the images below


Ernest Archdeacon & Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe

Ferdinand Ferber

Alberto Santos-Dumont

Gabriel & Charles Voisin

Léon Delagrange

Henri Farman

Robert Esnault-Pelterie

Louis Breguet

Louis Blériot

Hubert Latham

Eugène Lefèbvre

René & Gaston Caudron

Armand Deperdussin

Raymonde de Laroche

Henri Fabre

Louis Paulhan

Édouard Nieuport

Marie Marvingt

Jules Védrines

André Beaumont

Roland Garros

Adolphe Pégoud


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