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Louis C. Breguet

French Aviation Pioneer

Engineer—Industrialist

Born Paris, France

January 2, 1880—May 5, 1955

Louis Charles Breguet was born into a family tradition of engineering science. He developed an early interest in the fledgling aeronautic technology and in 1905 developed a sophisticated wind tunnel in which he was able to measure and evaluate in depth the effects of airflow on airfoils. He was among the few pioneer aircraft designers who understood the vital need for pre-flight experimentation and testing, and the urgency of highest quality construction for safety.

His first aircraft was produced in 1909, a rugged biplane of high quality and performance. It not only became notable for establishing speed records, but also set the standards of quality accepted throughout the aviation industry. In 1911, his interest in air transportation gave him the distinction of being the first to carry 12 people aloft in an aircraft.

World War I assured the success of his company as they produced some 8000 of the famed Breguet XIV reconnaissance aircraft for the Allied Forces, thereby contributing to victory and the emergence of air power. His more advanced Breguet XIX made history in the postwar years for its ability to fly long distances across oceans and continents.

In 1919, Louis Breguet established a commercial air transportation company, Compagnie Des Messageries Avienne, which now spans the world under the name Air France, and under Breguet's technical guidance the Societe de Avions maintained prominence in the French aviation industry in production of civil and military aircraft.

Invested 1980 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame

From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984


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Updated: March 12, 2004