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Letur Parachute-dirigeable
Designed and patented by Louis-Charles Letur (French brevet dated July 1852); the first pilot-controlled, heavier-than-air machine to be flight-tested in France and Britain. The fateful last flight by Letur at London’s Cremorne Garden on June 27, 1854 resulted in a fatal accident. The story is told in the references differently, nevertheless, the machine was suspended below the balloon of William Adam which was intended to get the “parachute-dirigeable” to the required height, but was almost immediately seized by heavy winds. The balloon did not get much height and bounced the machine over the obstacle-littered ground with Letur fastened by ropes to his seat. Fatally wounded, he lived only a few hours after the balloon and machine came back to earth to a complete stop.

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