Charles de Lambert (aviator)
De Lambert was the first person in France to be taught to fly by Wilbur Wright. The first lesson took place at Le Mans on 28 October 1908. On 18 October 1909 de Lambert "left the Juvisy Aerodrome at 4:36 o'clock in a Wright machine, flew across Paris to the Eiffel Tower, circled it, and returned to his starting point, arriving safely at 5:25." De Lambert claimed that he flew 300 feet above the 1,000 foot Eiffel Tower, which was nearly equal to Orville Wright's height record set in Berlin.
Lambert, along with Hubert Latham and Louis Blériot, was one of the three main contenders for the £1,000 prize offered by the Daily Mail for a successful crossing of the English Channel in an aèroplane, although he was not motivated by the monetary value. He took his pair of Wright Flyers (Nos. 2 and 18) and set up camp at Wissant to practice and wait for good weather. Latham made the first real attempt, but foundered and landed on the water, and Lambert damaged his 'Flyers' while practising. The prize was won by Louis Blériot on 25 July 1909.
Count de Lambert was married first to Louise with whom had a daughter, Jane de Lambert. After they divorced Louise married the Marquis de Ivanrey, Ricardo Soriano (Ricardo Soriano von Hermansdorff Sholtz) and then the aviation engineer Léon Lemartin who raised Jane as his own daughter. After Louise's death in December 1907 and his own death in an air-crash in 1911, Jane de Lambert was eventually parented by Lemartin's second wife Madeline and her second husband, his brother Albert Lemartin.
Count de Lambert's second wife was Cordelia de Lambert.
References and notes
- His full name was Charles Alexandre Maurice Joseph Marie Jules Stanislas Jacques count Charles de Lambert (Charles count de Lambert. He was also known as Charles, Comte de Lambert
- The Flying Machines Exhibit, Wright State University Libraries
- Wright teaches flying.; Count de Lambert, His Pupil, Says Handling the Aeroplane Is Simple. New York Times, 29 October 1908.
- Over Eiffel Tower in a Wright biplane Special Cable to New York Times, 19 October 1909
- Flight Magazine, July 24, 1909 p.442
- Patrimoine - Grandes figures of gadzarts - Profiles of alumni - Leon Lemartin
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