Gaston Biot

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      Gaston Biot's first interest in aeronautical matters was designing and flying kites. His kites were sometimes quite large, so much so that in 1868 he was able to go aloft suspended beneath one of his creations. The stability of his early kites was such that in 1880 or 1881 he designed, with Dandrieux, a large human-carrying aeroplane based upon them. Nothing came of that project.

      In 1880 Biot experimented with a tailless kite which was considered remarkably stable. His tailless kite consisted of two cones attached to a flat surface so that the wind would enter the base of the cone and exit through a hole in the top of the cone. Biot demonstrated his kite to the French Society for Aerial Navigation in July of 1880. The Jobert kite of 1887 (below) was based on Biot's kite, of which no illustration has yet been found.

      In 1887 Biot built and attempted to fly a glider with moveable wingtip "fingers" with the support of Massia. That glider is on display at the Musee de L'Air.

J. B. ("Jean Baptiste"?) Biot (b. 1774 - d. 1862) has often been confused with Gaston Biot. J. B. Biot did go aloft in balloons, but was not involved with heavier-than-air machines. Gaston Biot, the heavier-than-air experimenter, might have been FĂ©lix-Gaston Biot, who was an early bicyclist. Thank you to Helmut Veil for the correction.

The Jobert Kite - 1887