8/05/2012 France, Colonies & Dependencies
Clement Ader (1841-1925) was a French inventor and Aviation pioneer. As early as 1886, he constructed a flying machine, which he named the 'Eole'. It was a primitive bat-like design and was powered by a small steam engine. In 1890, according to historians, the machine apparently left the ground for a short distance.
A few years later, Ader constructed the 'Avion III'. Like its predecessor, this was also a bat-like design, but this time it was larger. The construction was made from wood and linen, and apparently like the 'Eole', this also flew for a short distance in 1897, before crashing back down to earth again. Nowadays, the 'Avion III' can still be seen in the Museum of Arts and Industry in Paris.
In 1938, the French Postal authorites issued a stamp to honour the pioneering efforts of Clement Ader in the early field of Aviation. The 'Avion III' was the featured choice of design.
The Clement Ader stamp has remained popular with collectors of French stamps.