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.

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Pigs Might Fly: Early French Aviators

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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