- Category : Engineer
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 1
Self-taught French engineer, inventor, and aeronautical pioneer.
Ader constructed a balloon at his own expense in 1870. By 1873 he had turned his attention to heavier-than-air flight, constructing a winged “bird” on which he is said to have made tethered flights. Ader resigned his position with the Administration of Bridges and Roads in 1876, determined to make a fortune and pursue the dream of mechanical flight. He built his early reputation as a pioneer of telephony and an inventor of communications devices, which ranged from a microphone to a public address system.
Work on his first powered aircraft began in 1882 and continued for eight years. On Aug. 11, 1890, Ader was granted a patent covering the essentials of the steam-propelled, tailless monoplane that he named Éole in honour of the Greek god of the winds (Aeolus). Six weeks later, on Oct. 9, 1890, he achieved a powered hop of about 50 metres (165 feet) through the air. Éole was incapable of either sustained or controlled flight, but this was the first occasion on which a powered aircraft carrying a human being made a takeoff from level ground. Ader’s claims for a second hop of about 100 metres (330 feet) in September 1891 are not generally accepted.
In 1892 the Minister of War offered Ader the first payment in what would have eventually grown into a 650,000-franc subsidy to construct a new flying machine. The initial design, Avion II, was abandoned before completion. Avion III was tested on a circular track at Satory on 12 Oct. 12 1897. The official report of the trials noted that the machine had not flown but recommended that the tests continue. Officials of the Ministry of War, however, decided that they had seen enough and refused to fund further tests
Clément Ader remained an active proponent of the development of aviation. In 1909 he published L'Aviation Militaire, a very popular book which went through 10 editions in the five years before the First World War. It is notable for its vision of air warfare and its foreseeing the form of the modern aircraft carrier, with a flat flight deck, an island superstructure, deck elevators and a hangar bay. His idea for an aircraft carrier was relayed by the US Naval Attaché in Paris and were followed by the first trials in the United States in November 1910.
He died 5 March 1926, Toulouse.