August 7, 1919 in the sky: Godefroy passes under the Arc de Triomphe in aéroplane

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Aviation History – August 7, 1919. On this Thursday, August 7, 1919, the aviator Charles Godefroy will sign a magnificent performance in Paris. The latter being the author of a flight that will lead him to pass under the vault of the Arc de Triomphe, installed at the controls of an airplane. An exercise that required him a good dose of dexterity but also audacity or even recklessness, this flight not being easy to achieve.

Indeed, crossing the Place de l’Etoile monument is no easy task, this exercise calling on the precision of the aviator who only had a limited space to carry out this feat, i.e. 29, 42 meters high and 14.62 meters wide. Overcoming the difficulties, Charles Godefroy successfully took up the challenge: with his biplane Nieuport XVII, he crossed the building passing between his feet at a height of 10 meters, at 140 kilometers per hour.

Charles Godefroy made this protest flight in place of Jean Navarre who died on July 10, 1919: it was intended to show the dissatisfaction of the airmen concerning the July 14 parade on foot of the Aces of the First World War, a parade in the air would have been more appropriate…

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