Arthur Duray
Les Aviateurs de la Grande Semaine d'Aviation de Rouen
(19-16 Juin 19:0)
13   DURAY au poste de Direction d'un biplan H. Farman
Collection of Jean-Pierre Lauwers

Arthur Duray
Meeting d'Aviateurs de Bruxelles
DURAY ,Aviateur
Collection of Jean-Pierre Lauwers

Where Was He Born?
via email from Marc Ceulemans, 6-5-07
Courtesy of Richard Copeman
Historic Racing
I'm Marc Ceulemans, from Brussels. I sometimes (often) posted on TNF Atlas
F1 and I want to react about a thing which is commonly accepted by
everyone. Its' about Arthur Duray, the former Belgian then French driver.

The sentence is this one: "Arthur Duray was born in New York City, New
York of Belgian parentage..."

What is your source(s) about the fact that he was born in NY ? You can answer me: Autocar (1954), Alpha Auto Encylopedie...
But I think they were wrong. I'm not 100% sure but I'd like to believe he
was just born near Brussels where he lived until he came to Paris. I think
they were some confusions about "Leon Duray"...

I would like to find (ans to see) the act of birth / death to know the truth...

Editor's Note: If you can help us to resolve this mystery, please contact me. Thank you.

     Using the Google search engine on Arthur Duray, (7-9-08), you will find about 2,230 links! Most of them deal with his life as a race car driver. If you refine your search by searching for "Arthur Duray +aviation", you will find about 179 links. The one cited immediately below offers a number of vintage photographs of him and other pioneers.

     This page on the Flying Pioneers website offers a number of very interesting photographs, many of which include Duray. You can access the site by clicking on the title.

     This page on the F1EMPIRE website offers some of the basic vital statistics and two nice photos, one a portrait, the other of Duray in action in his race car. The webmaster of the site, Gordon Graff, writes that the nationality of Duray is still in question, although he is usually thought to be French. He also offers the fact that a biography is in preparation and will be added as soon as it is available. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

Geo. Chavez
Il primo trasvolatore delle Alpi
Martini Luciano
Product Details
Editore: Tararà 2004
Prezzo: € 19.00
ISBN: 8886593422
ISBN-13: 9788886593427

Courtesy of Giovanni Giorgetti


Il meeting di Verona, pur con le sue multiple manchevolezze, è importantissimo per George Chavez e quindi anche per noi. Arthur Duray, un pilota lorenese naturalizzato francese, era al suo esordio in un meeting internazionale; sino ad allora aveva guidato automobili da corsa. Era poi passato, assieme a Hubert Latham, a fare il collaudatore presso la società Antoinette. A Verona, Duray ebbe un primo gravissimo incidente il 25 maggio. Dopo aver vinto il premio di velocità, egli tentò di ripartire. L'aereo però, invece di innalzarsi, si inclinò in avanti e si schiacciò al suolo. Il pilota riuscì a salvarsi saltando fuori dal sedile; il motore, dato il tipo di incidente, rimase comunque danneggiato assieme all'elica. II 29 maggio, ultimo giorno del meeting, l'aereo dopo le necessarie riparazioni, era a punto, o almeno così sembrava. Duray parte e arriva fino alla cabina delle segnalazioni situata alla fine della pista di decollo, senza però riuscire ad alzarsi dal campo. Nel bloccare la corsa dell'aereo, Duray scivola dal sedile, cade in avanti e viene imprigionato dalle ruote del carrello. Non riesce a liberarsi, mentre l'aeroplano continua a ruotare su se stesso.

Geo che è ai bordi del campo ad attendere il proprio turno di volo, si lancia di corsa, sale sull'apparecchio impazzito, raggiunge il posto di guida e riesce a fermare il motore. Duray, che prima dell'intervento di Geo, era stato colpito più volte dall'elica al fianco sinistro, ha tre costole fratturate, che, nei giorni successivi, gli procureranno un emotorace; il versamento di sangue nella pleura sarà così abbondante da spostare il cuore del povero pilota verso destra, creandogli così problemi cardio-circolatori. I medici sono molto preoccupati per la sua vita. Tuttavia, per fortuna sua e di Geo; Duray si rimise dopo qualche mese di ospedale: ritenne però prudente abbandonare la carriera di pilota. Decise di continuare comunque a vivere le emozioni dell'aviazione, offrendosi di seguire il suo salvatore Geo Chavez. Diverrà il suo amico più fidato, il confidente pi ù silenzioso, il consigliere più attento. Sarà con lui a Briga, sarà con lui a Domossola. Era nata, da quell'incidente, una grande amicizia. Forse la più grande nella storia dell'aviazione.


The meeting in Verona, despite its multiple shortcomings, was very important for George Chavez and thus also for us. Arthur Duray, a Lorraine pilot naturalized French, was on his debut in an international meeting, until then had driven racing cars. He was then chosen, along with Hubert Latham, test fly at the Antoinette company. In Verona, Duray had his first serious incident on May 25th. After having won the speed prize, he tried to leave. The airplane, however, instead of rising, pitched forward and crashed to the ground. The pilot managed to escape by jumping out of the seat; the engine, due to the type of accident, was damaged along with the propeller. On the May 29th, the last day of the meeting, the airplane after the necessary repairs, was readied, or so it seemed. Duray prodeeded and reached the signal box located at the end of the take-off runway, but he could not get off the field. In stopping the run of the plane, Duray slid from the seat, fell forward and was imprisoned by the wheels of the undercarriage. He could not free himself, while the airplane continued to turn on itself.

George, who was on the sidelines waiting for his turn to fly, raced forward, got on the aircraft gone crazy, made it to the driver's seat and stopped the engine. Duray, who before the intervention of George was hit several times by the propeller on his left hip, had three fractured ribs, which, in the days that followed, caused a hemothorax and the pooling of blood in the pleura was so abundant as to move the heart of the poor pilot to the right, thus causing cardio-circulatory problems. The doctors are very worried for his life. However, fortunately for him and Georeg, Duray recovered after a few months in the hospital, but he thought it was prudent to abandon his career as a pilot. He decided to continue anyway to experience the excitement of aviation, and offered to follow his saver George Chavez. He will become his most trustworthy in Domodossola. It was from that incident that a great friendship was born, perhaps the most intense in aviation history.

Arthur Duray died in 1954.
from the F1EMPIRE website

Editor's Note:
If you have any information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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