Henry Farman

Henry Farman

Henri Farman (born Henry Farman) [ all Farman aircrafts were named Henri Farman by himself] (May 26, 1874 - July 18, 1958) was a French aviator and aircraft designer and manufacturer with his brother Maurice Farman.

Born in Paris in France, he was the son of a well to do English newspaper correspondent working there. Farman trained as a painter at the École des Beaux Arts, but quickly become obsessed with the new mechanical inventions that were rapidly appearing at the end of the 19th century. Because his family had the money, he was able to pursue this interest as an amateur sportsman. In the 1890s he became a championship cyclist, and at the turn of the century he discovered motor racing, competing for Renault in the Gordon Bennett Cup.

When Gabriel Voisin began to produce a powered airplane for sale in 1907, Farman was one of his first customers. He set numerous Official Records (though still well short of those achieved by the Wright Brothers) for both distance and duration. [http://www.earlyaviators.com/efarman.htm Early Aviators - Henri Farman] ] These include the first to fly a complete circuit of 1 kilometre (January 13, 1908) and 2 kilometres (March 21, 1908). On the latter date he is also recorded as becoming the first ever airplane passenger, flown by Leon Delagrange. [http://www.earlyaviators.com/edelagra.htm Early Aviators - Leon Delagrange] ] Later in 1908, on October 30, Farman went on to make the first cross-country flight in Europe, flying from Chalons to Rheims (27 kilometres in 20 minutes).

After designing his own airplane, on May 30, 1908, he took Ernest Archdeacon for a 1241 metre flight at Ghent, Belgium. Although his own flight as a passenger should take precedence there is some evidence that on or around this date he made the first flight with a woman passenger. [http://www.earlyaviators.com/epeltier.htm Early Aviators - Therese Peltier] ]

In 1909, he made further record breaking flights of 180 kilometres in just over 3 hours (at Rheims on August 27) and 232 kilometres in 4 hours 17 minutes and 53 seconds (at Mourmelon on November 3). On August 28, he was the pilot of the first 3-person flight when he carried 2 passengers for 10 kilometres.

In partnership with his two brothers he built a highly successful and innovative aircraft manufacturing plant. Their 1914 model was used extensively for artillery observation and reconnaissance during World War I. The Farman Aircraft company's "Goliath" was the first long-distance passenger airliner, beginning regular Paris-London flights on February 8, 1919.

He was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1919 and retired in 1937, when the French government nationalized the aircraft industry.

Henri Farman died in Paris and is buried in the Cimetière de Passy in Paris.

Notes and References

See also

* Farman Aviation Works
* Farman III (1909)
*Farman F.60 Goliath
*Farman F.121 Jabiru
*Farman F.170 Jabiru
*Farman F.222
*Farman F 402

External links

* [http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/farman.html A more extensive telling of the Farman brothers story]
* [http://www.tapuz.co.il/blog/ViewEntry.asp?EntryId=1075144 Henri Farman in Maximum Card]

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