The Deutsch Prize is an aviation prize for “aircraft lighter than air” (airships), which was donated in April 1900 by the oil industrialist Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe . The Grand Prix d'Aviation aviation prize awarded by Deutsch in 1904 for “aircraft heavier than air” is often referred to as the German prize .
German de la Meurthe Prize
The prize money of 100,000 francs was to be given to anyone who by October 1, 1903 would succeed in circling the Eiffel Tower in an airship from Saint-Cloud and be back at the launch site within 30 minutes without a stopover.
Deutsch was motivated to advertise this award because of his interest and trust in the rapidly developing airships.
One of the aspirants for the award was the Paris-based Brazilian Alberto Santos Dumont , who had been building airships since 1898. After several unsuccessful attempts, on October 19, 1901 , he managed to cover the distance in a little less than 30 minutes with his sixth airship, although he had to restart the engine several times along the way. However, the timekeeper of the Paris Aero Club announced that he had exceeded the time limit by 40 seconds including the landing, so he was denied the prize. Under pressure from the Paris press, the Aero Club finally gave in and declared Santos Dumont the winner on November 4th. As previously announced, he donated half of the prize money to the poor in Paris, the other half went to his team.
Grand Prix d'Aviation
In 1904, Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe and Ernest Archdeacon donated another prize, the Grand Prix d'Aviation . The prize was 50,000 francs for the first flight of an “aircraft heavier than air” over a closed distance of at least one kilometer. The prize was won on January 13, 1908 by Henri Farman with his Voisin-Farman I aircraft at the military training area in Issy-les-Moulineaux, which was used as an airfield from 1905 (today the Issy-les-Moulineaux heliport in the 15th arrondissement of Paris ). A memorial by Paul Landowski in front of the heliport on Rue Henri Farman has commemorated this flight since 1929.