Santos-Dumont Demoiselle

Alberto Santos Dumont’s delicate Demoiselle (“damselfly”) monoplane was the true ancestor of all ultralights. A Brazilian-born Parisian dandy, Santos-Dumont was renowned for airship flights before he turned to creating heavier-than-air machines in 1905.
His public demonstration flights in his first powered aircraft during October 1906 – the first in Europe caused a sensation. But this was a clumsy box-kite biplane that, at best, managed only a hop of 722ft. The elegant Demoiselle series was altogether more successful. The prototype No. 19, produced in late 1907, managed only three short flights, but the Demoiselle was reborn in 1908-09 as the more sturdy No. 20,
Sitting beneath the high wing, with the engine above his head, the pilot had a lever connected to his jacket, operating a wing-warping apparatus: by moving his body, he could twist the wingtips for lateral control.
Light and sensitive, the Demoiselle was fliyable onlv in the calmest weather and was so small that few people, other than the diminutive Santos-Dumont could pilot it. Yet some 10 or 15 were sold, including the No. 21 and larger No. 22 models.