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Farman's Record Breaking Flight
Reported in The London Times
 
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THE CONQUEST OF THE AIR
SUCCESS OF AN ENGLISHMAN
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)
PARIS, JAN. 13
 
In the domain of the air, at all events, the number 13 would seem to bring good luck. In any case, to-day has been an epoch-making date, that of the victory before official witnesses of human intelligence in its efforts to solve the problem which brought Icarus to grief, which tormented the brain of Leonardo da Vinci, and which during the last few years has become possible of solution only through the invention of a light and stable motor whereby to animate the gigantic wings of a machine heavier than air. This morning, a little after 10 o'clock, Mr.Henry Farman succeeded on rising on such a machine of his own invention [ sic: the Voisins had actually invented it] , in flying over a kilomètre towards a goal previously fixed, which he rounded in perfect conditions of stability, and in returning to his starting point, where he alighted without a hitch. Nothing of the kind has ever before been acomplished. [ sic: the Wrights had of course done it, but not in front of official witnesses ] Mr.Farman thus wins the 50,000f. (£2,000) prize of aviation offered by MM.Henry Deutsch and Archdeacon. But he wins as well a unique fame.
The details of an event of such historical importance are worth recording. Mr.Farman's aeroplane, which was brought out upon the Plain of Issy towards 10 o'clock this morning, consists of an apparatus built on the principle of the Chanute two-surface gliding machine. The total surface of the apparatus is 52 square mètres and the total length is 10 mètres. The screw is worked by an Antoinette 50 horse-power motor of eight cylinders. It is extraordinarily light being one of the few motors possible in aviation owing to this peculiarity. While the members of the Aviation Committee of the Aéro Club measured and marked out the distance on the Issy Plain Mr.Farman calmly took his place on his aeroplane. The conditions of the contest were that a machine heavier than air should travel at least one kilomètre, making the circuit of a goal fixed at 500 mètres from the starting-point, and in setting out as well as on its return should pass between two posts separated by a space of 50 mètres. When the starting signal was given, the aeroplane rolled for about 50 mètres on the ground then rose to about 100 mètres [sic: 10 metres? ] and headed towards the turning-post. There was a slight but steady descent, but after this Mr.Farman kept himself steadily at the same level, turning at the point indicated, and returning to the point that he had just left with the ease of a gigantic bird coming to earth. The entire flight had taken only 1 min. 28 sec., which would make 40 kilomètres 909 mètres an hour.
Mr.Farman, who is only 33 years old, and who began life as a pupil of the painter Cormon, is the son of the well-known Paris Correspondent of the Tribune and has long been known to sportsmen, having taken part in many automobile races. He intends to go to England to compete for various aviation prizes. On Thursday he will be presented with the grand gold medal of the French Aéro Club, and a banquet will be organized in his honour.
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