André Dubonnet

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André Dubonnet
André Dubonnet 1933.jpg
André Dubonnet in 1933
Born(1897-06-28)28 June 1897
Paris, France
Died20 January 1980(1980-01-20) (aged 82)
UnitEscadrille 3
AwardsLégion d'honneur, Médaille 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 began military service as an artilleryman, but switched to aviation. He was credited with six aerial victories as a pilot during World War I. Flying a SPAD XIII, he shared two out of his three May 1918 victories with Frank Baylies, teamed up with Fernand Henri 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[3] 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 H6B Dubonnet Xenia

Dubonnet became a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in January 1936.[4]

He returned to service during World War II, serving in GCI/2.[4]


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. ^ Retrieved on 2 May 2010.
  3. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "André Dubonnet Olympic Results". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b SPAD XII/XIII aces of World War I. p. 18.

External links[edit]