Brazil Celebrates in Paris 100 Years of Aviation Father’s Demoiselle Flight

Brazilian Alberto Santos Dumont getting ready to fly his Demoiselle in Paris Past and present will be side by side at the Salon International de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace, to take place in June, in France. Brazilian businessman Fernando de Arruda Botelho, president of Arruda Botelho Institute has been invited to fly his replica of the Demoiselle during the Salon. 

Botelho is taking a heavyweight partner: the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex), which will participate in the event promoting the Brazilian companies that make aircraft parts and also, of course, airline Embraer.

That is, apart from commemorating the centenarian of one of the most important feats of Brazilian history, Brazil is going to make use of the opportunity to promote national companies.

"Today, in the aeronautical sector, we already work with a group of 15 companies that started basically serving Embraer. They now also export to the American, Canadian and European markets," stated Juan Quirós, president of the Apex, yesterday, March 14, during the release of the Demoiselle Centenary Project.

In general, these companies, all small and medium, were established by former Embraer employees. "The group recently closed a sale of 36 million euros to the European Airbus consortium," he said.

Although Embraer is already among the most important producers in the world, exports of aeronautic parts and services are still recent for Brazil. In the last five years, according to the Apex, sector foreign sales have already grown 700%.

During the event in Le Bourget, in July, the idea is to show this know-how that Brazil has to further boost these sales. The Apex makes use of the opportunity to strengthen the Brazil brand abroad.

This is so true that the Agency does not intend only to promote aeronautical technology, but also other products like meat, cane spirit and even Brazilian music.

"We always make use of these events to promote various products with greater added value," explained Quirós.

Apart from companies, the most important research center in the area will also be promoted during the seven days of the fair in France, among them the Aeronautics Technology Center (ITA) and the General Command for Aerospace Technology (CTA). The event in Paris usually attracts about half a million people.

"We are going to show that Embraer has not grown by chance. We have aviation in our blood," stated Fernando de Arruda Botelho, creator of the Demoiselle Centenary Project and great enthusiast of the feats of Santos Dumont.

Flying Brazilians

The Demoiselle Centenary Project forecasts a year full of celebrations. Apart from participating in the event in France, various commemorative flights will take place in Brazil each month up to November, the month in which the feat by Santos Dumont, which took place in Paris in 1907, celebrates its 100th anniversary.

In the sidelines of the flights – which, incidentally, will be made by Fernando himself – the IAB is going to promote, throughout the year, a series of events to promote Santos Dumont's flight and provide incentives for Brazilians to follow the example of this small aviator (the inventor-aviator was just 1.52 meters (4.98 feet) tall).

Project "You can fly" intends to take replicas of the Demoiselle and teaching material to children in distant parts of Brazil.

Apart from that, ten social entrepreneurs who stand out for their projects were selected and will have their stories told on television during the breaks of program Domingo Espetacular, on television channel TV Record. According to Botelho, the idea is to show who are the true national heroes who make the country take off, as did Dumont.

Alberto Santos Dumont, born in 1873, is considered the father of aviation for having flown his famous invention, the 14 Bis, in 1906, at a demonstration in Paris.

There is a historic controversy regarding the fact that the Wright Brothers flew three years before. Anyway, it is impossible to talk about the history of aviation without mentioning the Brazilian.

His creations, which were only possible thanks to his family of coffee farmers, served as the basis for modern aviation. Santos Dumont ended his own life in 1932, in the city of Guarujá, at the age of 59.

Learn more at

Anba –



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