It does not receive public funding Editor in chief: CLARA MOSCHINI
Airplanes and history. On September 23, 1910: the fly over the Alps by Geo Chavez
Rome, Italy - The aviator reached the world record for altitude only a month before
Geo Chavez aviator of the Peruvian origins born in France, was the first man to perform a fly across the Alps, on September 23, 1910, from Switzerland to Italy, while competed to a competition of the "International air circuit of Milan- fly over of the Alps", under the patronage by the Italian king.
10,000 lira was raffled for the first three fliers who were able to make the challenge.
Only a month before, on August 3, Chavez had passed the altitude world record of 1643 m above sea level, in Blackpool, in UK.
For the venture he had chosen the "Gipeto", a Bleriot XI monoplane, the same airplane with which Louis Bleriot had performed the first fly over of the English Channel on July 25, 1909, but generating some changes: the engine in this case, in fact, was a Gnome Omega of 50hp, 7 cylinders, air cooled.
The airplane had a compass and a speedometer, but there was not a tool that indicated the altitude. It had not a windscreen and so the pilot was exposed to the cold and to the flows of air.
A first attempt of fly over failed on September 19, 1910 due to the adverse weather conditions. The challenge was attempted again the successive 23, this time with success. Then 41 minutes of flight, when finally the airplane was landing in Domodossola, the aircraft crashed.
The cause perhaps was due to the strong turbolences and the extreme load on the airframe in its quick descent towards the Italian city. Chavez was injured in serious manner, and on September 27, 1910, only four days after he reached this new record, he dead at the hospital due to the injured suffered.
The challenge remained in the history. In 1960 in Peru the main airport of the capital Lima was dedicated to him. In addition, in the museum in Domodossola there are still his relics, while his remains returned in 1957 in the South American Nation.
The 23 young man Chavez was son of the spirit addressed to the air of the first years of the 1900s and he was promoter with his tragic death.