André Dubonnet

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André Dubonnet
Born (1897-06-28)28 June 1897
Paris, France
Died 20 January 1980(1980-01-20) (aged 82)
Allegiance France
Service/branch Aviation
Rank Sergent
Unit Escadrille 3
Awards Legion d'Honneur, Medaille Militaire, Croix de Guerre

André Dubonnet (28 June 1897 – 20 January 1980) was a French flying ace, athlete, racecar driver, and inventor.

Dubonnet was the son of Joseph Dubonnet, founder of the Dubonnet apéritif firm, from which he inherited substantial wealth.[1]

He was credited with six aerial victories as a pilot during World War I. He began military service as an artilleryman, but switched to aviation. Flying a SPAD XIII, he shared two out of his three May 1918 victories with Frank Baylies, teamed up with Fernand Chavannes to destroy an observation balloon on 13 June, and split a pair of wins on 16 August 1918, with Joseph de Sevin and Captain Battle.[2]

During the 1920s, Dubonnet competed in Olympic bobsledding as well as racing cars for Bugatti and Hispano-Suiza.[1] He later spent much of his fortune developing inventions. He successfully sold an automobile suspension system (système Dubonnet) to General Motors, but nearly went bankrupt late in life while working on solar energy.[1] He also developed several aerodynamic studies and commissioned some special aerodynamic cars to be built for him.

Dubonnet also commissioned several unique cars to be built, such as this Hispano-Suiza H6C "Xenia".

Dubonnet became a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur in January 1936.[3]

He returned to service during World War II, serving in GCI/2.[3]

References[edit]

SPAD XII/XIII aces of World War I. Jon Guttman. Osprey Publishing, 2002. ISBN. 1841763160, 9781841763163.

Sources of information[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Milestones, Feb. 4, 1980". Time. February 4, 1980. 
  2. ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/france/dubonnet.php Retrieved on 2 May 2010.
  3. ^ a b SPAD XII/XIII aces of World War I. p. 18.