Santos-Dumont nº 9 “Baladeuse”: Dreams came true.

The always irrepressible Santos used to tailor his creations to his minute size. No better example that his “Baladeuse”. His “smallest of possible dirigible” started to show its astonishing capacities during the spring of 1903, while the Wrights were still putting the final touch to their Flyer. Powered by a Clément-Bayard of only 3hp, this tiny and handy airship was in essence the first practical personal “aircar”. His creator amused himself and all Paris using it instead of a conventional car. He paid visits to friends, went shopping and flew to restaurants, society calls and clubs. He just left the “Baladeuse” outside at doorman’s care.
By the way, this same airship was used by the almost teenager (19-year-old) Aida de Acosta to become the first ever woman pilot, June 1903.

Superbly clear pic. Le Petit Santos,as usual, dressed to the nines… bowler hat included.


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