Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology

By Lance Day; Ian McNeil | Go to book overview

F

Fabre, Henri

b. 29 November 1882 Marseilles, France

d. June 1984 France


French engineer, designer of the first seaplane, in which he made the first flight from water.

After obtaining a degree in engineering, Fabre specialized in hydrodynamics. Around 1904 he developed an interest in flying and followed the progress of early French aviators such as Archdeacon, Voisin and Blériot who were experimenting with float-gliders. Fabre carried out many experiments during the following years, including airflow tests on various surfaces and hydrodynamic tests on different designs for floats. He also built a propeller-driven motor car to develop the most efficient design for a propeller. In 1909 he built his first 'hydro-aeroplane', but it failed to fly. By March 1910 he built a new float plane which was very different from contemporary French aeroplanes. It was a tail-first (canard) monoplane and had unusual Warren girder spars exposed to the airstream. The engine was a conventional Gnome rotary mounted at the rear of the machine. On 28 March 1910 Fabre, who had no previous experience of flying, decided he was ready to test his hydro-aeroplane. First he made several straight runs to test the planing properties of his three floats, then he made several short hops. In the afternoon Fabre took off from the harbour at La Mède near Marseille before official witnesses: he was able to claim the first flight by a powered seaplane. His hydro-aeroplane is preserved in the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace in Paris.

Despite several accidents, Fabre continued to improve his design and in October of 1910 Glenn Curtiss, the American designer, visited Fabre to compare notes. A year later Curtiss built the first of his many successful seaplanes. Fabre did not continue as an aircraft designer, but he went on to design and manufacture floats for other people.


Bibliography
1980, J'ai vu naître l'aviation, Grenoble (autobiography).

JDS


Fabricius (of Aquapendente), Hieronymus

b. 20 May 1537 Aquapendente, central Italy

d. 21 May 1619 Padua, Italy


Italian physician and anatomist, teacher of William Harvey, first known exponent of tracheotomy.

Of well-to-do origins, Fabricius studied at the University of Padua and obtained his doctorate in medicine and philosophy c.1559. He succeeded his master Fallopius in the Chair of Surgery at Padua in 1565 and was created Professor Supraordinarius for life c.1600. His discoveries and researches embraced a wide range of subjects, from the course and valves of blood-vessels to the embryology of the chick. He also covered a great variety of surgical innovations. His description of the technique of tracheotomy is clearly based on practical experience and sets out the contraindications as well as the practical requirements. He also wrote extensively on the senses, the mechanics of body movement, the mechanism of respiration and the language of animals.


Principal Honours and Distinctions

Knighthood of St Mark of Venice.


Bibliography
1617, Opera chirurgica in duas partes divisa, Padua.
1621, The Formation of the Egg and of the Chick, Padua.

Further Reading
Zimmerman and Veith, 1961, Great Ideas in the History of Surgery, Baltimore.

MG


Fairbairn, Sir Peter

b. September 1799 Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland

d. 4 January 1861 Leeds, Yorkshire, England

-247-

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