Louis Paulhan
1909 Louis Paulhan
Collection of Jean-Pierre Lauwers

Louis Paulhan
PAULHAN vole sur biplan Voisin
Spa le 23-9-09
Emilei L. Pauleie?

Collection of Dave Lam, 2-20-05

Louis Paulhan, brevet de pilote n°10
from the L'actualité Sartrouville website
Transcription courtesy of M.Galilée, 7-15-05

For the convenience of those who don't read French,
a machine-translated version is available at:
English Version
Louis Paulhan naquit en 1883 à Pézénas, il fut l'un de nos concitoyens, habitant la Villa Gypaète, rue Jean-Jaurès, aujourd'hui devenue la maison de retraite dite "la villa Berthe".

Louis Paulhan was born in Pézènas, in 1883, he has an inhabitant of Sartrouville living Jean Jaurès Street, in Gypaete House which is now a senior residence nicknamed Villa Berthe.

Mécanicien de dirigeable, il s'intéresse vivement à la construction de modèles réduits et gagne en 1908, un concours dont le premier prix est la réalisation grandeur nature du modèle gagnant. Devant la complexité de la maquette, on préfère lui offrir une cellule d'aéroplane (sans moteur). Réussissant rapidement à s'en procurer un, Louis Paulhan entreprend son apprentissage de pilote et devient titulaire du 10° brevet délivré en France. (Louis Blériot détenait le brevet n°1).
Louis Paulhan se fait remarquer dans plusieurs meetings aériens, notamment celui de Douai, qui eut lieu du 10 au 18 juillet 1909, où il pulvérisa le record d'altitude( 150m) et de durée avec 1h07mn, couvrant 47 km. Il triomphe dans la course Londres-Manchester, d'une distance de 300 km.

Mobilisé pour la Grande Guerre comme pilote de chasse, puis démobilisé, il devient constructeur d'hydravions, puis finit sa vie à St-Jean-de-Luz où il décède le 10 février 1963.1909 Louis Paulhan

Louis Paulhan
Library of Congress Collection, 8-16-10

Louis Paulhan
1910 Paulhan + R. de Kersauson de Pennendreff
Collection of Jean-Pierre Lauwers

Louis Paulhan
1910 Paulhan receives the "silver cup"
from the hands of the Lord Mayor of San Diego
Collection of Jean-Pierre Lauwers

By email from Dave Lam, 1-25-03
     Check Birthdate-- my sources say July 19, 1884 at Pezenas. Got French License #10 on August 17, 1909 in a Voisin. Dave

Paulhan Gives Exhibition Flights
Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: March 12, 1910,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 1-29-05
New York, March 11. - Louis Paulhan, the French aviator, made two flights this afternoon at the Jamacia, L. I., race track in the Farman biplane. In neither of today's flights did Paulhan go higher than 250 feet and the distance in each case, a trifle more than two miles, was made in about five minutes. Although an 18-mile wind was blowing Paulhan's control of his machine was perfect.
      A crowd of 300 inside the track enclosure witnessed the exhibition by invitation, while thousands outside cheered the aviator in his flights. Wilbur Wright was among the favored spectators. He studied the bi-plane closely as did his attorney.
      Paulhan has an agreement with the Wrights whereby he can continue to give exhibition flights on the deposit of a $6,000 weekly bond pending the determination of the Wright patent injunction suit.

If Wright Brothers Win,
America will Lose International Aviation Meet

Foreign Experts Will Sign No Contracts to Appear
until the Suit Against Paulhan has been Decided
Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: March 13, 1910,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 1-29-05
New York, March 12. - America stands to lose the international aviation meet for the Gordon Bennett trophy won last summer by Glenn H. Curtiss, of Hammondsport, N. Y., if the Wright Brothers win their suit pending against Louis Paulhan, the French aviator who is now giving exhibitions here.
      Courtlandt Field Bishop, president of the Aero club of America said this afternoon that all foreign aviators of note have assured him that they will not sign contracts to appear in this country till the suit against Paulhan is decided. If Paulhan wins, they will be glad to compete. If he loses they do not care to place themselves within the jurisdiction of American courts. "All the aero clubs of Europe and the British Isles have informed Mr. Bishop they will hold no meets between October 1 - November 18, 1910, in order that the Aero club of America may be left a free hand in naming a date for the international meet.
      The Wright Brothers have been granted a temporary injunction in the United States courts circuit court restraining Paulhan from flights in his Farman bi-plane which they contend infringes on their patents and counsel for Paulhan must appear next week to show cause why the injunction should not be made permanent. In the meantime a compromise has been reached by which he is permitted to give exhibitions under a bond.
      Wilbur Wright was at the Jamaica race track this afternoon to watch Paulhan make a daring flight in a northeast wind of twenty-eight miles an hour. Paulhan attempted to make a circuit of the track but alighted before he had gone half way. He realized, he said, that he would be killed in any attempt to describe the full circumference. "I hope for better success tomorrow," he said.

Wrights Won't Interfere with Aviation Meet
Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: March 14, 1910,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 1-29-05
Dayton, Ohio, March 13. - The Wright brothers are willing to make arrangements for the protection of foreign aviators who may wish to enter the international aviation meet, according to a statement made by Orville Wright. He said he and his brother wished only to maintain their technical rights, and would make no trouble for any foreigner who may wish to enter the country with an aeroplane, provided there is not actual danger in their status at law.

Paulhan's Perilous Flight
Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: March 14, 1910,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 1-29-05
New York, March 13. - In a cross-choppy wind of about twenty miles an hour which caught his bi-plane at the start and tipped it from side to side like a boat, in a rolling sea, Louis Paulhan, the French aviator, made a daring flight at the Jamaica, L. I. , race track this afternoon. He was in the air for eight minutes and ten seconds and covered about six miles.
      Wilbur Wright, as he has done daily heretofore, attended the exhibition with his attorney and closely watched the flight with an eye to taking evidence to show that Paulhan's bi-plane is an infringe of the Wright's patents.
      Paulhan may attempt flight to New York, thirteen miles away, some day this week if the weather conditions are right.

Paulhan Quietly Slips Away to France
Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: March 19, 1910,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 1-29-05
New York, March 18. - A motion supplemental to that made a few days ago to enjoin the removal of Louis Paulhan's flying machine was made today in the supreme court, where it was sought to have the aviator personally enjoined from leaving the jurisdiction of the state of New York.
      Counsel for Edwin Cleary, Paulhan's erstwhile manager, who alleges that Paulhan broke his contract, leaving him $82,000 in the hole, made the application. Further argument will be heard tomorrow.
      Paulhan could not be found today and it is rumored that he has quietly sailed for France, leaving his aeroplanes behind him.

Using the Google search engine on "Louis Paulhan", you will find about 140 links. One of my favorites is that of the Dominguez Air Meet. You can access it by clicking on:

Another which I found to be unique and interesting is "The First Flight in Texas." It has a very nice picture of Paulhan and his plane. It also mentions the Texas inventor, Jacob F. Brodbeck, who may have been "The World's First Aviator." You can access it by clicking on:

If you have the time, and the interest, you can be well satisfied by browsing the entire selection.


Flying Machines, 1909
Special Collections
Wright State University Libraries

This outstanding website includes 25 brief biographies of aviators of the period, including Louis Paulhan, and their associated postcards. Full size images of the postcards are available and are beautiful. To access the introduction, just click on:

I think you will want to browse the entire exhibit, page by page. I found it to be a very valuable addition to the online community.

        Louis Paulhan was born in Pézenas (Herault), 1883. He died in Saint-Jean de Luz (Pyrénées Atlantiques), 10 février 1963).
from City of Sartrouville
Courtesy of M.Galilée, 7-14-05

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

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