Ader's 'Eole' flying machine, 1890

1890 in Gretz
Clement Ader

Model of Ader's first aeroplane, the "Eole", scale 1:10

Model (scale 1:10). This was French aviation pioneer Clement Ader's first flying machine. The Eole was the first aeroplane in the world to take off under its own power from level ground, flying for some 50 metres at a height of 20 cms in 1890. Ader (1841-1925) pinned his hopes on steam engines and a canopied form of wing based on that of a bat. However, the Eole's 20 hp steam engine driving a single propeller was not capable of powering a prolonged flight, and its complex control system lacked provision for full flight control.

Ader (1841-1925) was a talented engineer from Muret, near Toulouse. As a young man he

worked as master of works laying railway lines for the Compagnie du Midi. Later he invented a track-laying machine and a rubber-tyred bicycle. In 1872 he designed a man-carrying glider with goose feather wings. In 1878, in Paris, Ader became interested in *electricity and started to experiment with telephones. The patents he took out brought him wealth when the French telephone network was established and he was able to finance his enthusiasm for aviation. There have been passionate debates about the success of Ader's aircraft, particularly the last, Avion Ill, which had a disputed trial in 1897. One historian described it as 'an almost chimerical machine... like some romantic creature which has survived into another age.' In recent years French researchers have tested the power output of the engine and begun aerodynamic research on the wings. Nevertheless, Ader’s bat forms had no influence on the development of aircraft.


Object Number:
aircraft and aeroplanes
Purchased from R Gaume