Alphonse Penaud
Guy Lochhead, 20/05/10
French engineer and inventor of the first model flying machines; his elastic-band-powered Planophore (1870) is the root of many modern flying toys. He also designed an ornithopter, and The Penaud & Gauchot Amphibian. His influence was felt far and wide, but he was not aware of this. He was not a natural businessman, and found it difficult to secure funding for his research. Unable to finance his enterprise, Penaud fell into depression. He committed suicide believing his work to be unappreciated, sealing his blueprints in a smaller coffin before doing so. This is a tragic story that can be read as a example of the stupidity of the funding systems that still exist today, or of the selectiveness of history. I will include a planophore.

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