Santos-Dumont Demoiselle

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Santos-Dumont Demoiselle
Santos-Dumont "Demoiselle", 1908
Type: Sport plane
Design country:

BrazilBrazil Brazil France


Alberto Santos Dumont

First flight:

November 16, 1907



Production time:

1908 to ???

Number of pieces:

approx. 15

Alberto Santos Dumont with his stowed Demoiselle
Santos-Dumont on a flight with the Demoiselle over Paris in 1909
Santos-Dumont Demoiselle No. 20 in Tampere , Finland

The Santos-Dumont Demoiselle ( French: demoiselle "dragonfly") was the last development of the Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont . It was the first sports aircraft in the world to be produced in small series . Santos-Dumont developed the original type Demoiselle No. 19 several times up to type No. 22 .


Alberto Santos Dumont hoped to win the Grand Prix d'Aviation (1 km flight) of Henry Deutsch and Ernest Archdeacon with his light aircraft No. 19 , but failed. On November 21, 1907, he flew 122 meters on the airfield in Issy-les-Moulineaux with his No. 19. The prize was finally won by Henri Farman on January 13, 1908.

The first Belgian female pilot, Hélène Dutrieu, learned to fly on a Demoiselle in 1908. Her first attempts to fly without a license ended up in a crash landing. Alberto Santos Dumont's last flight also ended on January 4, 1910 in an accident involving a demoiselle that he never talked about. Roland Garros , who later became a French flying ace in World War I, flew the machine in Belmont Park in New York in 1910 .

Santos-Dumont distributed the Demoiselle's architectural drawings free of charge, so there were a number of replicas. The Finnish Demoiselle Tampereella Type No. 20 from 1910 was such a model. In June and July 1911, Popular Mechanics magazine recognized Santos-Dumont for developing the # 20 and # 21.


The light aircraft No. 19 was 7.90 meters long and had a wingspan of 5.50 meters. The aircraft, made of bamboo , was powered by a 13 kW (18 hp) Duthiel-Chalmers engine. The engine weighed only 24.5 kg when dry and was located above the pilot's head. In the later versions, the engine was placed lower in front of the pilot. Overall, the aircraft weighed only 110 kg. The Demoiselle was mainly controlled with the tailplane and wing twisting. The pilot sat under the engine between the two-wheeled landing gear.

Further development and records

Since the performance of the Demoiselle was too low, Santos Dumont replaced the engine with a 35 HP Darracq engine in 1909 and now called the machine No. 20; Further modifications led to the types No. 21 and No. 22. The type No. 22 had a slightly larger wingspan and a 40 hp water-cooled Clément-Bayard engine. She had an extraordinary capacity for the time. It flew up to 110 km / h and only needed 200 m to take off. In September 1909 the Demoiselle achieved several flight records, such as B. a flight of 18 km in 16 minutes.

Series production

In the Clément-Bayard car factory in France, the machines were built in a small series, 15 of which are said to have been sold. The machine could be finished within 15 days. In Europe, the motorized machines cost 7,500 francs. The inventor Tom Hamilton built it at Hamilton Aero Manufacturing in the USA and sold it without a motor for $ 250, the Chicago Company offered it completely for $ 1,000.

Museum plane

A replica of the Demoiselle No. 20 is in the Museu Aeronautico in Rio de Janeiro.

Technical specifications

Parameter Data Santos-Dumont Demoiselle No. 20th
crew 1
length 8.00 m
span 5.10 m
Wing area 10.2 m²
height 2.40 m
Empty mass 110 kg
Takeoff mass 143 kg
Top speed 90 km / h
Service ceiling k. A.
Flight duration 20-30 min
Engines a 2-cylinder boxer engine Dutheil-Chalmers (Darracq) with 35 HP (26 kW)

Airworthy replica

An airworthy replica of the Demoiselle was demonstrated in August 2013 at the Lilienthal airfield in Lachen-Speyerdorf .

Web links

Commons : Santos-Dumont Demoiselle  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Youtube: Flight video of a Demoiselle replica in Lachen-Speyerdorf