Brazilian industrialist Fernando de Arrula Botelho to fly replica and give chalk-talk
Wings Over Miami Air Museum is proud to host Santos-Dumont’s Demoiselle replica on loan from Brazilian industrialist Fernando de Arrula Botelho and the Botelho Institute. The original Demoiselle was an aircraft designed and flown in 1907 by the Brazilian “Father of Aviation”, Alberto Santos-Dumont. We are fortunate that Mr. Botelho, a museum member and frequent museum visitor, was able to offer Wings the opportunity to share this exciting part of Brazilian and world aviation history with South Florida.
Alberto Santos-Dumont was the Brazilian equivalent of the Wright Brothers here in the United States. The Demoiselle was built in France by Santos-Dumont and was flown in demonstration events in Europe and caused quite a sensation.
The original aircraft (Damselfly) was a light-weight plane with exposed framework. It was constructed with bamboo which provided the frame to hold guide wires to secure the wings. The pilot is seated directly below the wings with the engine front and above the pilot.
The Instituto Arruda Botelho, a non-profit based in Brazil, commissioned the design and construction of four Demoiselle aircraft replicas to help celebrate the centennial anniversary of Santos-Dumont’s historic flight.
The aircraft visiting Wings Over Miami is constructed without the bamboo framework and can be easily taken apart for shipping. In the coming months, the Demoiselle will travel to various air shows throughout the U.S. and return to Miami following those trips. Wings Over Miami is honored to be home base for this flying gem for the coming year.