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Henri Marie Léonce FABRE

French Henri Marie Léonce FABRE

French aviator and the inventor of Le Canard, the first seaplane in history

Source :  Michel AMAYENC

Born: on November 29, 1882 in Marseille, France
Died: on June 29, 1984 in Le Touvet, France


Henri Fabre was born into a prominent family of shipowners in the city of Marseilles. He was educated in the Jesuit College of Marseilles, where he undertook advanced studies in sciences. He then studied intensively aeroplane and propeller designs. He patented a system of flotation devices, which he used when he succeeded in taking off from the surface of the Etang de Berre on March 28, 1910. On that day, he completed four consecutive flights, the longest about 600 meters. "Le Canard", has survived and is displayed in the airport at Marseilles. Henri Fabre was soon contacted by Glenn Curtiss and Gabriel Voisin who used his invention to develop their own seaplanes.

As late as 1971 the aged Fabre could still be seen sailing his own boat single handedly in Marseille harbor.

He died at the age of 101, as one of the last living pioneers of human flight.

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See Also :

- Category Inventor, Aviator