Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mermoz was a poetry lover. He also admired sculpture and other forms of art. He has been described as shy and as a quiet adolescent. He also liked literature, but he shunned potential careers in any art fields to concentrate on becoming a pilot. In 1919, he graduated from school.
Mermoz, whose infancy had been marked by World War I news, joined the French Air Force in 1922, being assigned, as a pilot of the air force's 11th regiment, to duty in Syria. In 1924, he returned to France, having arguably been one of the most successful pilots in the Syrian operations. Mermoz relocated to Toulouse. Later on, Mermoz went on to become an acrobatic pilot, with Didier Daurat 's company. It was there that Mermoz met Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Mermoz travelled to Morocco, Senegal and other African areas with Daurat's company.
In 1927, Mermoz began building a substitute to an airplane that he had flown himself, the Breguet XIV. This was a direct consequence of his accident over the Sahara: the Latécoère 25 , (or "Laté 25") and, later, the Latécoère 26 proved to be efficient aircraft when flying from Morocco to Senegal, and Mermoz himself flew the types on those routes on multiple occasions.
After flying from Saint-Louis, in Senegal, to Natal, Brazil, Mermoz and the French government understood the importance of having a national airline, and Aeropostale was soon born. The airline flew to Africa, South America and the rest of Europe, helping convince governments from other countries that soon, Zeppelins could be substituted by airplanes owned by national flag carriers.
By 1929, it became evident that it would be economically viable for France to establish a commercial air route to South America, so Mermoz and others flew over the Andes. Despite Mermoz finding the flying conditions over the Andes to be tough, he and his companions were commissioned, in 1931, to fly from Natal to Santiago. This flight was performed on a Latécoère 28.
In 1933, Mermoz was appointed general inspector by Air France. That same year, he arrived in Argentina, where he and de Saint-Exupery became important persons during the infancy of what would later become Aerolineas Argentinas. Mermoz and Saint-Exupery flew many dangerous flights for the then new air company. They became regarded as two of the most important men in ths history of Argentina commercial aviation. From 1934 to 1936, Mermoz would fly private expeditions on Latécoère 300 airplanes. He flew 24 expeditions with that type. In 1935, he also flew De Havilland DH88 "Comet" airplanes.
On December 7, 1936, while flying on his airplane named "Croix du Sud" ("Cross of the South"), Mermoz sent an SOS message, where he declared that one of his engines had come loose, breaking his tail and part of the fuselage as he flew over the Souschoolth Atlantic ocean. No further messages were received, and Mermoz's body was never recovered.
A French lycée in Buenos Aires is called after him. This Bilingual school is one of Argentina's most prestigeous and is located in the intersection of Ramsay and Juamento streets in Belgrano.
External link and references
- Website about Mermoz
- Mermoz, Jean. Défricheur du ciel : correspondance, 1923-1936 assembled and presented by Bernard Marck. Paris: L'Archipel, 2001.
- Mermoz, Jean. Mes vols. preface by Gilbert Louis; notes by Bernard Marck. Paris: Flammarion, 2001.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details