Roland Garros (aviator)

Roland Garros (aviator)

Infobox Person
name = Roland Garros

image_size = 200px
caption = in Tunisia immediately after crossing the Mediterranean by air. September 1913
birth_name =
birth_date = birth date|1888|10|06
birth_place = Saint-Denis, Réunion
death_date = death date and age|1918|10|05|1888|10|06
death_place = Vouziers, Ardennes, France
body_discovered =
death_cause = Aircraft crash
resting_place = Vouziers, Ardennes, France
resting_place_coordinates =
residence =
nationality = French
ethnicity =
citizenship =
other_names =
known_for =
education =
alma_mater =
employer =
occupation =
home_town =
title =
salary =
networth =
height =
weight =
term =
predecessor =
successor =
party =
boards =
religion =
spouse =
partner =
children =
parents =
relations =
callsign =

website =
footnotes =

Roland Garros (October 6 1888 – October 5 1918) was an early French aviator and a fighter aircraft pilot during World War I.


Garros was born in Saint-Denis, Réunion. He started his aviation career in 1909 flying Santos-Dumont's Demoiselle monoplane, an aircraft that only flew well with a small lightweight pilot. In 1911 Garros graduated to flying Bleriot monoplanes and entered a number of European air races with this type of machine. He was already a noted aviator before World War I having visited the US and South America; by 1913 he had switched to flying Morane-Saulnier monoplanes, a vast improvement over the Blériot, and gained fame for making the first non-stop flight across the Mediterranean Sea from Fréjus in south of France to Bizerte in Tunisia. The following year, Garros joined the French army at the outbreak of the conflict.

Garros and Development of Interruptor Gear

In the early stages of the air war in World War I the problem of achieving a practicable platform for a forward-firing machine gun on combat aircraft was considered by a number of individuals. The so-called Interrupter gear did not come into use until Anthony Fokker developed a synchronisation device which made a large impact on air combat, however Garros also had a significant role in the process of achieving this goal.

In December 1914, Garros, as a reconnaissance pilot with the Escadrille MS26, visited the Morane-Saulnier Works. [van Wyngarden, G. "Early German Aces of World War 1". Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-84176-997-5] Saulnier's work on metal deflector wedges attached to propeller blades was taken forward by Garros; he eventually had a workable installation fitted to his Morane-Saulnier Type L aircraft. Garros achieved the first ever shooting-down of an aircraft in which deflector wedges were used, on 1 April 1915; two more victories over German aircraft were achieved on 15th and 18th April 1915. [van Wyngarden]

On April 18, 1915, either Garros' fuel line clogged or, by other accounts, his aircraft was downed by ground fire, [van Wyngarden] and he glided to a landing on the German side of the lines. Garros succeeded in burning the aircraft before being taken prisoner but the gun and armoured propellor remained intact. After examining the plane, German aircraft engineers, led by Fokker, designed the improved interrupter gear system. The tables were reversed against the Allies due to Fokker's planes shooting down nearly every enemy aircraft they met, leading to what became known as the Fokker Scourge.

Garros managed to escape from a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany in February 1918 and rejoined the French army. On October 5, 1918, he was shot down and killed near Vouziers, Ardennes, a month shy of the end of the war and one day before his 30th birthday.

Garros is erroneously called the world's first fighter ace. In fact, he shot down three aircraft, and the honour of the first ace went to another French airman, Adolphe Pegoud.

Places named after Roland Garros

In the 1920s, a tennis centre was named after the pilot, "Stade de Roland Garros". The stadium accommodates the French Open, one of tennis' Grand Slam tournaments. Consequently, the tournament is officially called Roland Garros.

The international airport of La Réunion, Roland Garros Airport, is also named after him.

Peugeot Car Manufacturers (French) commissioned a 'Roland Garros' limited edition version of its 205 model in celebration of the Tennis Tournament that bears his name. The model included special paint and leather interior. Due to the success of this special edition, Peugeot later created Roland Garros editions of its 106, 206, 306 and 806 models.


ee also


External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Roland Garros — may refer to: *Roland Garros (aviator), French aviator during World War I *Roland Garros (tennis), Grand Slam tennis tournament in Paris, France *Roland Garros Airport, the airport in the aviator s hometown, Saint Denis *Stade Roland Garros, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Roland Garros Airport — Infobox Airport name = Roland Garros Airport nativename = Aéroport de La Réunion Roland Garros nativename a = nativename r = image width = caption = IATA = RUN ICAO = FMEE type = Public owner = operator = city served = location = Saint Denis,… …   Wikipedia

  • Stade Roland Garros — Nikolay Davydenko serves to David Nalbandian on Court Suzanne Lenglen, 2006 French Open Location 16th arrondissement, Paris, France …   Wikipedia

  • 1918 in France — See also: 1917 in France, other events of 1918, 1919 in France. Events from the year 1918 in France.Events*21 March Second Battle of the Somme begins. *23 March The giant German cannon, the so called Paris Gun, begins to shell Paris from 114 km… …   Wikipedia

  • 1888 in France — See also: 1887 in France, other events of 1888, 1889 in France. Events from the year 1888 in France.Events*14 October Louis Le Prince films the first motion picture: Roundhay Garden Scene in Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. Followed by his… …   Wikipedia

  • French Open — This article is about the tennis tournament. For the golf tournament, see Open de France. French Open Les internationaux de France de Roland Garros Official web Location Paris (XVI …   Wikipedia

  • Marcel Brindejonc des Moulinais — Marcel Georges Brindejonc des Moulinais (18 February 1892 – 18 August 1916) was a French aviator who died in World War I. Contents 1 …   Wikipedia

  • List of French people — This is a list of French people of note.Actors/actressesA*Isabelle Adjani *Renée Adorée *Anouk Aimée *Arletty *Antonin Artaud *Fanny Ardant *Jeanne Aubert *Jean Louis Aubert *Jean Pierre Aumont *Claude Autant Lara *Daniel Auteuil *Charles… …   Wikipedia

  • Alberto Santos-Dumont — Infobox Person name = Alberto Santos Dumont image size = 150px caption = birth date = July 20, 1873 birth place = Palmira, Minas Gerais death date = July 23, 1932 death place = Guarujá, São Paulo occupation = Alberto Santos Dumont (July 20, 1873… …   Wikipedia

  • Fighter aircraft — A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air to air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets by dropping bombs. Fighters are comparatively small, fast, and… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.