September 8, 1911 in the sky: Michelin Prize, winning essay for Emmanuel Helen

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Aviation History – September 8, 1911. On this Friday, September 8, 1911, the French aviator Emmanuel Helen took off with his airplane to try to win the Michelin prize. The latter, founded on March 6, 1908 by industrialists André and Edouard Michelin, intends to reward, with a sum of money, the pilot who succeeds in covering the longest distance of the year. A way for the Michelin brothers to contribute to aviation, while advertising themselves.

It was only 4:47 a.m. on September 8, 1911, when Emmanuel Helen took off to make his attempt, as part of the fourth edition of this aerial event, leaving Lhumery, near Etampes.

The first three editions of 1908, 1909 and 1910 were respectively won by the American air pioneer Wilbur Wright, the Franco-British Henry Farman and the French Maurice Tabuteau. In 1911, it was Emmanuel Helen who was the big winner, having managed to complete a flight of no less than 1,252,800 kilometers!

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