Richard Farman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Richard Farman
Dick Farman 1920.jpg
Dick Farman in 1920
Died31 January 1940 (aged 67–68)

Richard Farman (1872–1940) was an Anglo-French aeronautical engineer, aviator, and eldest of the Farman brothers who were pioneers of early aviation. He was better known as Dick Farman using the then popular sobriquet in place of the formal Richard.


Born in Paris, France to British parents, he was the eldest son[note 1] of a well to do newspaper correspondent working there. With his brothers he was educated at home and they were allowed unusual freedom to follow personal interests. With his brother Henry, who was also trained as an engineer, he set up Paris's largest automobile agency, the Palais de l'Automobile, dealing in Delauney-Bellevilles, Panhard-Levassors, and Renaults. Together they wrote The Aviator's Companion published in 1910 describing their early flying achievements.[1]

He became an electrical engineer and built the first electric trams in Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro. He was an author of many technical works on engines, also an aviator in 1914 to 1918, and was a director of an aircraft factory in Lyon.[citation needed]

After World War I, he founded[citation needed] Avions H.M.D. Farman,[note 2] also known as Farman Aviation Works, with his two younger brothers Henri and Maurice in Boulogne-Billancourt.

Dick concentrated on the business side of manufacture at Société Anonyme des Usines Farman and their airline [note 3] which became part of Air France in 1933. He is rarely mentioned in most Farman stories in later days.[2] In spite of his scientific knowledge and techniques, he dealt with administrative and commercial services.[3] Now aged 65 Dick retired after the French nationalization of its aircraft industry in 1937 ended their independence, the brothers refusing to remain as employees.[4] Dick Farman died in Paris 31 January 1940.[5]


  1. ^ It seems that also there was an elder sister who died very young.
  2. ^ H.M.D. seems to stands for the initials of the three brothers; Henri, Maurice, and Dick.
  3. ^ Lignes Aériennes Farman (from 1922 S.G.T.A. Société Générale de Transport Aérien commonly called Lignes Farman) which claimed to have flown the first international airline service Paris-Brussels on 22 March 1919


  1. ^ Peter G. Cooksley, Farman, Henry (1874–1958), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  2. ^ The Pioneers: An Anthology - Henry, Maurice and Dick Farman
  3. ^ Review of French Aviation, Icare magazine[1] Autumn 1977, by Courteous Philippe
  4. ^ The Farman Brothers Retire; Plane Factories Nationalised, The Observer, London Nov. 28, 1937
  5. ^ The New International Year Book 1940, A compendium of the world's progress, Dodd Mead, New York, 1941