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  1. Alphonse Pénaud (31 May 1850 – 22 October 1880), was a 19th-century French pioneer of aviation design and engineering. He was the originator of the use of twisted rubber to power model aircraft, and his 1871 model airplane, which he called the Planophore, was the first aerodynamically stable flying model.

    • 22 October 1880 (aged 30)
    • Aeronautical inventor and engineer
    • French
    • 31 May 1850, Paris
  2. Pénaud's Helicopter The Wright brothers’ first experience with flight occurred in 1878, when their father gave them a small rubber band–powered toy helicopter designed by French aviation pioneer Alphonse Pénaud. Intrigued by the little flying machine, they made several copies of it of varying sizes.

  3. May 31, 2019 · May 31, 2019 Alphonse Pénaud, a French aviation pioneer, was born May 31, 1850. In the early 1870s, Pénaud began building model aircraft powered by twisted rubber cords, the first to use what we would call a rubber-band motor. In 1871, he flew a model aircraft in the Tuileries for the Aeronautical Society of France.

  4. In 1878, the brothers’ father, Milton Wright, brought home a rubber band powered toy helicopter. Designed by French aeronautical experimenter Alphonse Pénaud, this toy did not simply fall to the ground as expected. Rather it "flew across the room till it struck the ceiling, where it fluttered awhile, and finally sank to the floor."

  5. Alphonse Pénaud, (born 1850, Paris, France—died October 1880, Paris), French aeronautical pioneer. Pénaud was the son of an admiral but suffered from a degenerative hip condition that prevented his following a family tradition of service in the French navy.

  6. During the next ten years, Pénaud thought and he experimented. Sometime before 1874, he built a rubber-band-powered helicopter that he stabilized with counter-rotating propellers -- one above and one below. In 1875, the French Academy of Sciences awarded him a prize for his brilliant thinking. Still, Pénaud meant to fly, not just to think.

  7. Nov 30, 2009 · A toy helicopter of the type that was designed by Alphonse Pénaud was given to Wilbur and Orville Wright by their father Milton. It made such an impression on the boys that it inspired them to develop their own airplane that would someday carry a man into flight. 5

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